Match Report: Late Reading comeback gives Steve Clarke nightmares

Reading 3 West Bromwich Albion 2

Madejski Stadiu,m

With eight minutes to go West Bromwich Albion were cruising.

Romelu Lukaku had put them 2-0 up and Reading looked to be staying at the bottom of the Premier League table, without as much as a whimper.

But on 82 minutes, Jimmy Kébé scored, six minutes later Adam Le Fondre converted a penalty and in added time Pavel Pogrebnyak pinched a winner, to complete one of the greatest Premier League turnarounds of all time.

Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, was as shocked as anyone in the post-match press conference, not knowing how his players managed to win the match which could be the catalyst that keeps them up.

“I talked to the players after the game and told them if you can win that match, 2-0 down with eight-minutes to go, you can do anything,” he said.

“I am happy to play in high-scoring games, as long as we win them. The real Reading was the last eight minutes of the match. I am proud of the players.

“We were flat in the first half. You don’t usually win games when you are 2-0 down. They needed to score the third goal, but we stayed in the game.

“We have got great resilience. It is a big win, it shows great character, we have had that for a while. It is a unique club and situation. We have got to keep carrying on if we want to stay in the Premier League. I don’t have a tally we should get to. My only target is to win the next game and keep the club in the Premier League, that is the most important thing.”

The match started slowly, but West Brom had the first chance, George Thorne cutting the ball back for James Morrison whose shot from 12 yards was saved by Adam Federici.

Moments later, Lukaku opened the scoring, Morrison squaring for the on-loan Chelsea forward to tap in from three yards. Reading’s best effort in the first period came from a tame header by Pogrebnyak which was comfortably saved by Ben Foster.

Minutes into the second half Lukaku hit the woodwork twice. Firstly heading a Morrison cross onto the right-hand post, then smashing an effort from 15 yards against the crossbar, which flew away to safety.

The Belgian international did double West Brom’s lead on 69 minutes, though – Morrison slipping a ball into Lukaku’s path, who ran on before hitting a low shot into Federici’s bottom right-hand corner, seemingly putting the match out of Reading’s reach.

But this is why the Premier League is considered by many to be the best in the world. Brian McDermott’s side were 1,000-1 with most bookmakers to stage a winning comeback before Garath McCleary crossed and Jimmy Kébé stooped to head home from close range.

On 88 minutes, Kébé was fouled by Queens Park Rangers target Jonas Olsson on the line of the penalty area. Le Fondre, the Reading striker, stepped up and sent Foster the wrong way from the spot, into the bottom left-hand corner for his sixth league goal of the season, which have all been scored at the Madejski.

Reading could sense a third win of their Premier League campaign, and they managed to get it with Pogrebnyak’s third goal in as many matches. Ian Harte crossing in, Alex Pearce heading the ball on and the Russian forward pushing the ball past Foster.

Steve Clarke, the West Brom manager, described his side’s collapse as a “nightmare.” He said: “You never have the points in the bag in the Premier League. I thought we had won the points. We could have been out of sight – we could have been four, five, or six up. We lost our composure. We had control and it should have been a comfortable victory.

“Sometimes football is a strange game and that was the case today. It wasn’t a matter of complacency, though, just one of those things.

After a promising spell in November which saw them go third, Albion will face struggling Aston Villa next week, looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

Clarke said, “It won’t be hard to lift the players, they are professional. Hopefully we can put right the wrongs from today in the derby match next week.”

Reading (5-4-1): Federici; Gunter, Carrico (McCleary, 46), Mariappa, Pearce, Harte; McAnuff, Guthrie, Karacan (Le Fondre, 65), Kébé; Pogrebnyak.

West Bromwich (4-5-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Dorrans (Rosenberg, 79), Thorne, Brunt, Morrison, Thomas; Lukaku..

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Man of the match: Lukaku (West Bromwich)

Match rating: 8/10

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum