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Showing posts from March, 2021

Reading 1-1 QPR

A good performance was marred by a nightmare ten minutes, and the fact that a point really wasn't enough. Injuries to Yiadom and McIntyre, combined with the recoveries of Rinomhota and Ejaria caused a bit of a reshuffle. Reading returned to the 4-2-3-1, with Meite moving out to the right, Ovie coming in on the left, and the re-establishment of the Laurentino partnership. Instead of a natural right-back, like Esteves, the centre backs shuffled right. Holmes played at full-back and Moore RCB, with Gibson, making his first appearance in a month, taking up his position at LCB. All of this seemed to actually work. Reading started the match much the brighter - not something that can be said on many occasions this season. In the first twenty-five minutes, Reading outshot the away side 7-2, including a Yoann Barbet 'shot' from 25 yards. Olise and Ejaria both tallied three key passes in that period, as they looked to provide the cutting edge. Olise had a couple of passes that opened

Birmingham City 2-1 Reading

How quickly football turns. Reading have gone from three wins in four, to one point in six. Form needs to turn around quickly to elongate our season. One of the main issues raised for Reading's demise was Birmingham's high press, and Reading did struggle to move the ball into midfield. There was also a clear plan to get the ball to the front two as quickly as possible, as was evident from Rafael's quick distribution up to the strikers when taking the ball in open play. I think it's one of the areas where Ovie is majorly underrated, yes we get annoyed at him in attacking positions, but his skill on the ball allows Reading to play through the thirds a little easier. He has always been willing to drop deeper to pick up the ball centre-left and attempt to play forward. One of the main issues with playing both Joao and Meite in this system is they both seemingly want to roam - often leaving a hole centrally. That's a particular problem when your team are attempting to pl

Reading 0-0 Tottenham

 After the disappointment of losing to Bristol, a point gained will be seen as a positive. It was, however, not a comfortable performance. For the first time since November, Reading moved away from the 4-2-2-2 - instead opting for three at the back. Mitchell and Leine moved inside from their usual fullback positions to flank Molly Bartrip. Harding remained on the right, with Lily Woodham her opposite. In the middle James played the deepest of a slightly staggered midfield trio. Fara Williams lined up alongside Fishlock, with the latter the most offensive. Up front, Eikeland and Harries provided the energy. Not that any of it changed the overall flow of the game. Reading had a good first half before Spurs took control in the second. The plan seemed to be for Mitchell to find the runs of Eikeland and Harries in that left channel The defence were a bit of a mess. Early on Leine - starting her first game since her injury in January - began playing simple passes out of play. Mitchell, looki

Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading

A point gained? Two points dropped? It's difficult to say, but I shade toward Paunovic's assessment that the side should have got more. Reading controlled the game, and only wasteful finishing kept them from adding to their goal tally. The away side were only really caught out on one occasion, a long ball into the right channel. Ameobi beat Richards to the ball and shrugged off the defender. A mismatch in a fight Richards didn't need to take, allowing Ameobi to then attack the area. His ball across the six-yard box was turned into his own net by Tom Holmes to open the scoring. Moore initially looked to monitor Murray's positioning, before deciding to close down Ameobi - but failing to intercept the cross. McIntyre is late into position watching the cutback, would have probably got over to Ameobi had he been there. Holmes fails to block out Murray, and plays the ball into his own net with his left foot. If we were nitpicking, McIntyre felt like he was slightly late comin

Bristol City 3-2 Reading

This was not what I had in mind when I talked about righting the wrong of earlier in the season. Reading, for the umpteenth time, failed to beat a team they should have dispatched. Kelly Chambers shook the team up, with Emma Harries coming back into the side. That freed Harding to move back to right-back, and Mitchell across to her natural left side. Fishlock and Eikeland started on the bench for the first time this season, as Williams and Bruton came in to replace them. Reading's direct goal kick routine. Moloney touches to James, who passes to Rowe. Her carries were pivotal in Reading's best moves. It started well enough, Reading went 1-0 up after a direct move. Throughout the course of the game, Reading used James to play out from goal kicks, with Moloney tapping the ball to her and allowing her to carry the ball out of the six-yard box. The defensive midfielder was clearly tasked with being the progressor, also dropping deep to pick up the ball in open play. From goal kicks

Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

You can't have too many complaints when the side have won three on the bounce. Especially when doing so without conceding. Paunovic stuck with the diamond that provided Blackburn's downfall, but without Ejaria there was a reshuffle. Laurent moved to the left of the diamond with Tom McIntyre sitting just in front of the back four. McIntyre tries an outside-of-the-foot pass, rather than attempting an easier ball with his right foot. SW player manages to intercept the underhit pass. McIntyre received many of the plaudits for his performance, and rightly so. He was fairly static in front of the defence, though did venture forward during periods of sustained possession. Perhaps his best moment came in the build-up to Joao's goal with a couple of nice touches in midfield before possession found its way to Yiadom to set-up the striker. The academy grad will have more difficult afternoons and was protected well by those next to him. His few moments needing improvement tended to be

Reading 1-1 Everton

What is there to say about Reading women that hasn't already been said? Reading registered their sixth 1-1 draw of the season. What was new was that this was the first Reading game where they bettered their opponent's xG by over a goal, outside of games against the bottom four. Not only that, but they've exceeded the opposition's xG in each of the last three matches, before that they'd failed to do so in consecutive matches. While Villa are one of those sides, Manchester United and Everton are legitimately good teams this year. Unfortunately, Reading didn't manage to convert chances - but, as the xG stats suggest, this wasn't the same sort of performance as clinging on in the reverse fixture. They had a number of chances to score more in the first half but didn't convert.  Eikeland needs to bend the ball into the far post, but her shot is at the goalkeeper      Amalie Eikeland had a chance within the first ten minutes to bend past the goalkeeper coming i

Reading 1-0 Blackburn

These wins may not be good for my nerves, but I couldn't care less if we keep getting results. Reading started the game using the same 4-4-2 diamond as they did away at Ewood Park. There's an excellent video on that match on The Coaches' Voice  if you haven't seen it. It may not have yielded quite the same goal return at The Madejski, but it helped to stifle Blackburn's outlets in the middle of the park - with only their full-backs on the outside.  From earlier in the move that saw Puscas' header. Reading looked to overload the left-hand side with Joao occupying the right back and Richards also looking to make the run. Olise's run into the centre is also what opens space for Yiadom on the right. Reading actually managed to exploit that early on, as Yiadom's run down the side was found by Morrison, and after some interplay with Olise, a cross into the box saw Puscas header turned over. The way we pushed players forward so that the Blackburn full-back had

Rotherham 0-1 Reading

A slightly nervous win, but one that eases the tension among the fanbase. Semedo has a tendency to not even get off the ground when defending set pieces. MacDonald has the height on him, but that's exacerbated when you remain on the floor. After the Middlesbrough game, there's a microscope on Semedo at set-pieces and he struggled again. Multiple chances came the hosts' way due to his inability to track runs and challenge in the air. Confusingly his aerial prowess in open play is a real asset to the team but he doesn't seem able to concentrate on both ball and man, which ends badly... quite a lot of the time. Giving him less responsibility in dead ball situations conflicts with his positioning as a DM, and will be a hard issue to solve if he doesn't improve. The midfielder does still have his uses. He again showed his directness when on the ball, both carrying and passing.  And it's not like Reading have many other options for midweek now that Rinomhota picked up