Reading vs Chelsea Player Ratings

It was another comeback for Reading with Adam Le Fondre bagging two goals to come from behind to nick a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the Madejski Stadium.

A free header...

It was a relatively stop-start first half, with neither side able to hang on to possession for long periods in the game. Chelsea were perhaps the better side going into the break but neither team could break the deadlock till stoppage time when Fernando Torres threaded a ball through to Juan Mata to fire Chelsea into the lead.

Chelsea started the second half with plenty of promise but still lacked penetration for that crucial second goal, until Frank Lampard came to their rescue once more, scoring from a Juan Mata corner in the 66th minute with a free header.

When Royals boss Brian McDermott brought on Adam Le Fondre in the 67th minute, there was belief among the Reading fans and they were not disappointed. The introduction of 21-year-old Hope Akpan was the catalyst in the Reading comeback, setting up both goals for Le Fondre in a space of four minutes as they stole a share of the spoils in unlikely fashion.

Reading

Adam Federici - 6.5

Showed good command of his area and Chelsea found it difficult to test this man despite dominating possession.

Alex Pearce - 6.5

Has absolutely no respect for Torres whatsoever and won majority of aerial challenges, although there were times he looked susceptible to set pieces.

Adrian Mariappa - 6

With Demba Ba warming the bench, Mariappa did not have a formidable foe in the air but looked stretched on a few occasions when Chelsea were playing their quick one-twos.

Ian Harte - 6

Came across on a few occasions to clear any imminent danger, preventing any Chelsea players from a simple tap in on Federici's goal.

However, his deliveries from set pieces were utterly disappointing, especially if one were to dig out the footballing tapes from the archives and watch how good he was in the past.

Stephen Kelly - 6

The right-back had a busy day making interceptions and cutting out crosses, which he did to good effect. Needed the services of Kebe as the game went on or else he would have been seriously outnumbered.

Mikele Leigertwood - 5.5

Could not retain possession long enough in the middle of the park for Reading to create anything and should have been the first candidate to leave the field as he simply could not do anything productive with the ball.

Jem Karacan (77' off) - 5.5

The midfield destroyer stuck to his task diligently but should have made way for the promising Akpan much earlier. Who knows, the home side might have just robbed Chelsea of all three points if that had happened.

Danny Guthrie (58' off) - 5.5

The midfield battle was lost the minute the match kicked-off, which also explains why Chelsea had such a huge slice of the possession pie.

Jimmy Kebe - 6

Kebe was quick down the flanks and looked threatening every time he ran at Cole, but things took a turn for the worse after the restart when Chelsea picked up the pace and he was needed in defence more often.

Jobi McAnuff (67' off) - 6.5

The man who has started every league game for the Royals this season looked the most probable to create something (before the substitutions were made) and covered every blade of grass at the Madejski Stadium.

Pavel Pogrebnyak - 7

Put up a valiant fight with the Chelsea centre-backs and is really the unsung hero in the team, keeping possession upfront and taking the pressure off his defenders. Pity he could not keep the ball out when Lampard headed it straight at him.

Substitutions

Garath McCleary (58' on) - 6.5

The first of three positive changes made in an attempt to get something from the match. His introduction probably was not as significant as the other two changes but his fresh legs caused the Chelsea full-backs real problems. 

Adam Le Fondre (67' on) - 9

The super-sub was as cool as a cucumber in front of goal, contributing the first two attempts on target which resulted in goals! Imagine what the outcome could be if he had more time on the pitch...

Hope Akpan (77' on) - 8

This man came on and made a huge difference in this Reading side, setting up two goals for Le Fondre in the short span of time he was on!

Chelsea 

Ross Turnbull - 5.5

With performances like this, it is no wonder the manager is in search of another reserve keeper, namely the highly-rated Jack Butland. He looked uncertain at times, and the dam eventually cracked when Le Fondre easily put two past him. Petr Cech was sorely missed.

Ashley Cole - 6

Did not have too much trouble with Kebe on the left and had a few bizarre long ranged efforts going forward.

Gary Cahill - 6.5

Had a spectacular diving header which almost gave Chelsea the lead in the first half and was generally comfortable at the back.

Cesar Azpilicueta - 6.5

Kept his game simple and was 100% focused. Unlike Cole, he looked far more effective in his own half than the opposition half.

Branislav Ivanovic - 6

Struggled to cope with the big Russian all game and was always second best to the aerial challenges. Credit to him, he gave Pogrebnyak a run for his money as he barely had a free header in the Chelsea penalty box.

Ramires - 6.5

Ramires made a couple of poor challenges and misplaced passes but it was all in a day's work. On the whole, he kept the team going with his end to end runs.

Frank Lampard - 8

Lampard bossed the midfield and his ball distribution were spot on. Got himself a goal from a free header in the penalty box, which proved to be an important one. How can a man of such quality be replaced?

Oscar - 6.5

Had two clear-cut opportunities to score and put his team in the driving seat, doing everything right but just could not put the ball in the back of the net. His nonchalance cost his team dear.

Ryan Bertrand - 6

A surprise starter for Rafa Benitez's side but he is nowhere near the likes of Eden Hazard or Victor Moses. Had plenty of joy going forward but he was just another name on the team sheet and never really troubled the Reading defence.

Juan Mata (77' off) - 7.5

He was silenced for the first 45 minutes and popped up out of nowhere to volley Chelsea into the lead in the dying seconds of stoppage time. Created chance after chance for the Blues, but there was no one competent enough to bury the chances. Thankfully Mr Lampard was at the end of his corner to double Chelsea's lead.

Fernando Torres (92' off) - 7

A more physical player would have been preferred against the Reading back four as Demba Ba probably would have matched them in the air but nobody would fault the Spaniard for his incredible work rate. Ran tirelessly and did not give up on any loose ball and it was his clever flick that set up his Spanish counterpart for Chelsea's first goal.

Substitutions

Yossi Benayoun (77' on)

N/A

Demba Ba (92' on)

N/A



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