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Swansea City 2 v 3 Reading
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 27th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Merry Christmas Reading FC : Swansea gift wrap a right Royal giveaway
Saturday, 27th Nov 2021 17:42 by David Cornish & Keith Haynes

Shocking defending from Swansea City handed Reading all the points in this last Saturday of the month Championship game. Going in to Christmas the swans defence beautifully wrapped two shockingly generous Christmas presents for their opposition. And it doesn’t end there, Ben Hamer had what can only be described as a nightmare day for all three goals despite two excellent second half saves.

It was an explosive start to the game at the stadium with Swansea City pressing their opponents from the off. It resulted in a lovely move and goal from Jamie Paterson. His precision on goal shot just making it over the goal line despite Reading’s desperate attempts to prevent it.

Jamie Paterson scores Swansea City’s first goal

From there most neutrals would have thought another swans display of keep ball and goals was on the cards. That wasn’t in Readings script and they immediately countered after the restart and scored an equaliser within a minute. A decent three man move after an awful pass from Mat Grimes was intercepted found goal scorer Dele-Bashiru with two Swansea defenders in front of him. He overstepped and moved to his right and fired home his goal from close range. It was shocking defending. Ben Hamer will not have been happy with his effort to stop the shot. Especially at his near post, it was a poor effort from Hamer at best.

Tom Dele-Bashiru opens up his first early Christmas present at Swansea

At 1-1 the swans did try and impose themselves on Reading, missed passes were evident as the distribution became slow and too thoughtful. This left Reading with time to readjust and easily find their positions as the swans crawled forwards. A few shots from Joel Piroe and a decent effort from Ntcham followed but did nothing to really threaten Luke Southwood in goal.

However it was to be two very questionable offside calls by either linesmen that were to be the stories of the first half. First a lovely pass from Korey Smith to Ethan Laird was drilled across the goal for Joel Piroe to score. It was cancelled out. It seemed a very poor decision by the linesman, Piroe was shocked at the decision and a review clearly showed at no point was Piroe offside from the pictures available. However, the decision was made, it matters not.

Olivier Ntcham probably the best of the Swansea performers

The second offside couldn’t have been more ‘seemingly’ blatant, a chipped ball forwards to Andy Carrol with Rhys Williams again exposed saw him race in on goal and score Reading’s second goal. It seemed so offside the decision again has to be challenged as to why it wasn’t given in favour of the swans. Again this is from the pictures available. Gareth Vincent commenting on the incident seemed unconvinced when he reported at half time Carrol may just have been onside. However, we will add Ben Hamer again should have saved the shot.

The issue for Russell Martin now is two very expensive strikers ( by Swansea standards ) are seemingly in some sort of dispute with him and his coaching staff. Failing to train properly, a lack of effort and a poor attitude seems to be the view. What’s the point of these players remaining at Swansea if they are putting their own egos before the club ? The outcome is clear. They aren’t available, and Obafemi especially could have been a great alternative in the second half to change this game.

Andy Carrol does it yet again against Swansea City

At 2-1 down the swans pressed forwards again in the second half, their passing was loose and their control uncomfortable. Smart inter play did materialise at times, Ntcham probing, and at last Matt Grimes taking up a more advanced role with Paterson working with Ryan Manning out on the left. Swansea’s second goal was straight out of the worldy book from last week against Blackpool. A lovely chip in to the Reading area was met by Korey Smith who headed goalwards, that was cleared and Manning met the clearance on the full volley to fire in the swans second. It was a peach of a goal and surely now the ship would be steadied ?

Again as per the swans first goal Reading found themselves in the Swansea City gift shop, never mind Trundles Tuesdays. This was Naughton‘s nicely gift wrapped Saturday. Kyle Naughton for some reason decided a cross field pass was necessary under pressure, played to Ryan Bennett which fell loose in to the path of Danny Drinkwater, his first shot hit the post, and a reversing Hamer saw the shot go between his legs. Again, he will have to loook at himself for that goal as well.

Swansea 2 Reading 3, as bizarre as it looked at this point was to be the end result.

Reading have a couple of players in Danny Drinkwater and Andy Carrol who are,
let’s say in the twilights of their careers. Both slowed down play, Carrol finding himself tackled by the invisible man off the ball. Drinkwater snapping away at anyone’s heels he could find on the ball. Drinkwater’s fairy godmother in the form of referee Tony Harrington could have sent him off twice in this game, but his leniency persisted throughout.

Swansea City have a player in Flynn Downes, who when he did eventually come off the bench looked more positive than his midfield team mates, but breaking down a negative and ten man outfield Reading defence was very difficult. He is a tough tackling player too, something the swans missed today before he came on.

Shots came in from Naughton, as well as Grimes, a goal mouth scramble, missed opportunities by Ntcham and Smith all followed. Cullen came on, his loose passing was noticeable. Laird was brought down in the area, and like last week it wasn’t to be. Unlike last week it was a correct decision. This game wasn’t ever going to be Swansea City’s, not with the gifting of goals as happened today.

Reading fans will be delighted with this win, their first over the swans in fourteen years, however they too will have to acknowledge that they won’t meet too many shockingly poor defensive performances than this all season. The bonus for them is they took their chances, and they won the game. In any supporters book that always suffices, and makes the weekend look far better than they expected. Reading soaked up 74% Swansea possession, nineteen shots, ten on target, and responded with six on target themselves.

The style of football Swansea play will always frustrate, this time today it’s the home fans, on Wednesday it was also the home fans but that didn’t matter. Again on the end of three games in a week the swans falter. Reading beat Swansea for the first time since god invented grass, Swansea were once again the better side but earn nothing. It’s the way it is, a week off now for the swans. The home sides failure at the back was awful, and the finishing up front was also frustratingly poor. Maybe now we will see a bit more commitment from the two missing strikers, especially Obafemi who is as much responsible for this loss due to his absence as the shocking defending by Swansea City.

Middlesbrough away next week, it won’t be easy. The swans are ninth tonight, five points off the play offs, but with five points dropped in the past two home games things could be looking far better.

Swansea City: Hamer; Bennett (Cullen 82), Naughton, Williams; Laird, Grimes (C), Ntcham, Manning; Smith (Downes 63), Paterson; Piroe.

Subs not used: Benda, Latibeaudiere, Cooper, Bidwell, Walsh.

Goals: Paterson 3, Manning 49

Yellow card: 🟨 Laird 83

Reading: Southwood; Yiadom (C), Rahman, Holmes, Dann, Drinkwater, Laurent, Dele-Bashiru, Halilovic (Azeez 66), Swift, Carroll (Puscas 81).

Subs not used: Rafael, Abrefa, Ashcroft, Tetek, Camara.

Goals: Dele-Bashiru 4, Carroll 30, Drinkwater 50

Yellow cards: 🟨 Carroll 74, Swift 86, Drinkwater 56, Puscas 89

Referee: Tony Harrington 7/10🟨

Attendance: 16,980

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Photographs licensed from Reuters

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