Brian McDermott’s Reading pulled off a formidable comeback in the Capital One Cup yesterday evening, as they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 against QPR at Loftus Road.
Royals boss Brian McDermott opted to make seven changes to this fixture, with the most high profile introduction being that of the returning Jimmy Kebe. This was the Malian’s first appearance all season after tearing his hamstring in pre-season. Rangers boss Mark Hughes played his strongest side, but had a defensive reshuffle due to injuries.
The game endured an open start, with both sides looking in an attacking mind frame. Noel Hunt attempted a long-range effort, before Keiran Dyer’s dangerous cross from the right was eventually dealt with by the Royals defence. However, QPR began to up the pressure on the ten minute mark and eventually scored the opening goal of the encounter.
Former Reading target Junior Hoilett picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, firstly dodging a challenge from Shaun Cummings and drove past Adrian Mariappa, before driving home low past Alex McCarthy with his left foot to give Rangers the lead at Loftus Road. The pressure was starting to pile on and the dazzling run from the Canadian was finished expertly.
The Reading team from the past two fixtures would have crawled into a ball and crumbled following that goal, but instead this revitalised team found an equaliser out of nowhere just minutes later. Nicky Shorey swung in a free-kick that was nodded home by Kaspars Gorkss against his former side and sportingly chose not to celebrate.
The match was now brought to life after an uninspiring start, with Rangers responding with a powerful header from Djbril Cissé, that was palmed away well by Alex McCarthy. Reading have struggled to provide many chances for the likes of Le Fondre and Pogrebnyak in recent games, but the quality of crosses that Nicky Shorey and Shaun Cummings were producing gave the two frontmen plenty to go on.
Hal Robson-Kanu had a few promising breaks down the left hand side, but the final ball was letting the Welshman down. Reading would have been very encouraged by their first half performance and McDermott’s started the second in a similar vein. Pogrebynak had a great chance to give them the lead, but his goal bound volley was blocked by the Rangers defence.
It was then QPR’s turn to attack, with Jamie Mackie’s stinging effort palmed away well by the ever-improving Alex McCarthy. ‘The Pog’ then almost had another opportunity, but Hunt’s knock down just evaded the Russian’s left boot. The former Stuttgart player was then thwarted by the referee, as he blew up for a foul by Hunt, who crossed for Pavel to tap home into an empty net.
McCarthy, starting his third consecutive game, was called into action again soon after. Park had an effort which forced the England U21 international into a solid, routine stop. Rangers started to increase their pressure and Jamie Mackie almost created an opportunity for himself, but Karacan tracked back superbly to save the blushes of his defenders.
Although, the home side once again took the lead in the game thanks to a superb strike from Djbril Cissé. Gorkss’ attempted clearance was blocked to the Frenchman, who was not closed down by the Royals backline and fired an effort in from 25-yards that Alex McCarthy could do nothing about, undoing all of the visitors hard work.
However, once again Reading were not to be undone. Firstly, Noel Hunt’s effort on goal was blocked before Loftus Road witnessed another piece of quality, this time from the unlikely source of Nicky Shorey. The left back’s 30-yard free-kick dipped massively and found its way in off Julio Cesar’s crossbar.
Mark Hughes’ side looked shell-shocked by this and were behind for the first time in this game with ten minutes to play and complete a superb comeback from the away side. Shorey’s square pass to Tabb in the area allowed the midfielder to pull the ball back for Hunt, whose scuffed effort was audaciously flicked in by Pavel Pogrebnyak at the back post.
The 1400 plus travelling support from Reading we’re ecstatic at Loftus Road, with Noel Hunt’s header close to putting the game beyond doubt. Reading then should have sealed the game when the impressive Pogrebnyak was brought down by M’bia in the area, but the Russian’s low penalty was saved well by Brazilian international Cesar.
QPR: Cesar, Dyer, Onuoha, M’bia, Hill, Park, Faurlin, Granero, Hoilett, Mackie, Cisse
Subs: Green, Nelson, Diakite, Derry, Ehmer, Wright-Phillips, Zamora
Reading: McCarthy, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey, Kebe, Karacan, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Morrison, Gunter, McAnuff, McCleary, Church, Le Fondre
Made some routine, yet good saves to keep the scoreline in tact for the Royals. Kicking much better.
Sold himself short for Hoillet’s goal by sliding in needlessly, but certainly improved as the game went on. Crossing also very good, would maybe push him ahead of Gunter in the pecking order after that performance.
Very good aerial ability for a 5’10 defender, certainly put himself about. Good pace and strength. Went off injured with cramp.
See man of the match.
Ian who? The Shorey of old was back with an assured performance at left-back. Never looked in any danger against a QPR side with notable quality. Great ball for the first goal and wonderful free-kick for the second equaliser.
Would not have expected much from Jimmy considering he is only just back from injury, but we saw glimpses of what he can be capable of. Didn’t track back an awful lot in the first half which left Cummings exposed, but did so in the second period.
Has been desperately unlucky to have been dropped from the side, worked his socks off as usual. His passing game seems to be maturing the more he plays.
You always know what your going to get from Tabb and he didn’t let the side down. Superb work in the middle, harrying the Rangers midfield. Did well for Pog’s goal.
Very hit and miss during the game. Didn’t get much luck against Dyer, but his deliveries in the final third of the game were much better.
Never been his biggest fan, but he impressed me today. Was superb in his aerial battles and accommodated the Pog very well. His movement also caused problems for the Rangers defence.
Probably his best game in a Reading shirt. Held the ball up very well and showed his strength on numerous occasions, especially for the penalty. Great flick for the goal, but we’ll forget about the penalty kick….
Did a job when he came on. Put in some good deliveries and certainly opened the game up when he ran through the middle.
Didn’t do an awful lot wrong, made a very crucial block from Cisse at the end of the match.