Premier League Match Report: Swansea catch the comeback bug to frustrate Reading
Swansea City 2 Reading 2
The Liberty Stadium
Sunday 07 October 2012
This was not quite Medinah, but the Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia witnessed a second stirring comeback in a week as Swansea came from two goals down to secure a valuable point against winless Reading.
The golfer Garcia was in Wales to see his sister Mar, the partner of Swansea's £5.5 million record signing, Pablo Hernandez, formerly of Valencia, and received a huge ovation when the Spaniard was introduced to the crowd before the game.
Hernandez was not introduced until the 62nd minute of what looked like a first win of the season back in the Premier League for Reading following first-half strikes from the strikers Pavel Pogrebnyak and Noel Hunt.
But Hernandez's introduction on the wing arrival triggered a major fightback by the home side as Michu and Wayne Routledge ended a run of three successive defeats for Swansea.
Laudrup said: "After three defeats in a row the confidence was not at its highest. It would have been easy if we pumped the ball forward, but it's not the way we play.
"We played well for the first 20 minutes and created chances, but the first time the opponent had a chance they scored. Reading scored again and at 2-0 down, I was thinking, 'What's happening here?' The players were down at half-time and it was a difficult moment for us.
"We had to play faster, move and be more aggressive and believe we could score goals. We did that, but this game reminded me of the game against Sunderland before the last international break. Now I hope this draw is the catalyst for our next few games."
Swansea were on the back foot as Pogrebnyak added to his incredible strike-rate in the top-flight with his eighth goal from 11 shots on target. If the ex-Fulham man continues at this rate Brian McDermott's men might just have a chance of remaining among England's elite.
Pogrebnyak enjoyed a great slice of fortune for his 31st minute effort, his left-footed shot from an acute angle squirming under the body of the Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
But as the old adage goes, if you don't shoot, you don't score.
McDermott beamed: "It's a fantastic record. I'll have to ask him what happened with the other three shots! Pavel's been a great signing for us. We knew what he was all about from last summer. We didn't have much money to spend in the summer. We got him on a free transfer and I'm absolutely delighted.
"This is a point gained for us. Swansea played very well and this is a very hard place to come. But we'll take the point today.
"Of course, at 2-0 with 20 minutes left it was an opportunity for us. It's a nice feeling to be out of the bottom three, but there's a long way to go. We have to play the second half better than we did today."
After Pogrebnyak pounced for Reading's 100th Premier League goal, the Berkshire side doubled their advantage through Noel Hunt. Swansea appealed for offside, but with the centre-back Chico Flores slow to react, Hunt capitalised with a sweet volley into the far corner.
But Michael Laudrup's men refused to lie down. The Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy produced a series of stunning saves to stop Danny Graham, Luke Moore and Ki Sung-Yueng before the former England Under-21 international was beaten by Michu's header.
A Wayne Routledge cross took a deflection off Jay Tabb and allowed Michu to dive full length for his fifth goal of the season.
Then Routledge levelled the scores after some neat interplay with Moore to smash home an unstoppable shot.
Swansea (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Briton, Ki, Michu (De Guzman, 86); Dyer (Hernandez, 62), Graham (Moore, ht), Routledge.
Reading (4-4-2): McCarthy Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey; Kébé, Karacan, Tabb (Robson-Kanu, 89), McAnuff; Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre, 80), Hunt (Roberts, 73).
Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the match: McCarthy (Reading)
Match rating: 8/10
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