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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
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

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin