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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms