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Reading 0-3 Derby

Pre-Match Prediction: 0-3

After having seen Reading been dominated by Derby away at Pride Park in the cup it was obvious that Derby were going to be tough opposition in the league, especially with key players still out of the Reading squad. As the line-ups were announced it became clear just how many ex-Forest players we have; Cox, Gunter, and Mackie all set off the away end. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the game as I’m clearly very late putting up this report but here's a breakdown of the goals and the one thing I do remember:
  • Obita being caught out on the Derby counter: Rather than being on the half way line for attacking corners Obita would stand just in front of the attacker and, presumably try to stop the ball before it got to him. This never worked. Every single time all that happened was that Obita was bypassed and the attacker had a one-on-one with whoever was on the halfway line – normally Gunter if I’m right. Obviously Gunter’s incredibly competent, but it’s an unnecessary risk when it’s obviously not working.
  • Goal One – Man on the post?: The first Derby goal was shambolic. Gunter allowed Martin a free header, and the man on the line – Norwood? (the YouTube video isn’t great) - completely misses the ball. It’s simply not good enough to allow them to score like that.
  • Goal Two – Where’s the Challenge?: Okay so before I get to the main point, what on Earth is Hector doing putting his hands on an attacking player, in the box, who’s going toward the corner flag? I cannot fathom what he’s thinking. In the 10 second clip there’s not a single Reading challenge, and it’s far too much time to allow Derby to pick their men and then a lovely finish from Ibe – admittedly deflected past the diving Federici – to put Derby two up.
  • Goal Three – Where’s the Challenge? Pt 2.: Gunter is shoved off the ball far too easily to allow Martin his second of the match, and by the way he reacts after the goal he’s all too aware of that fact. He’s not the only one at fault, Hector has an opportunity to nab the ball but isn’t anywhere near strong enough for the Scotland striker and he nabs his second.

Derby are a good team, there’s no hiding that, but there’s also no hiding the fact that Reading, after a loss on Tuesday night as well, have now conceded 9 goals in 3 games, and only scored one during October. Blackpool will be a different sort of test, but I’m leaving that for the preview post tomorrow morning.

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