With just a week to go until the start of the new Championship season the Royals had their toughest test so far this pre season in Saturday’s friendly against Chelsea.
Brendan Rodgers selected as close as possible to his favoured 11 ahead of the visit of Forest next weekend, but couldn’t use the services of Marek Matejovsky who failed a late fitness test. His place was taken by Scott Davies who continued his impressive pre season scoring the second goal of the afternoon with a low free kick to give us a 2-0 lead at the break.
Earlier Jimmy Kebe had scored the opener, after good work from the impressive Hal Robson Kanu, with the Mali winger rounding Petr Cech to finish.
Despite having a two goal lead, it was Chelsea who were the dominant side and that continued in the second half with the Royals struggling to create many chances on goal.
Just as it looked like we might hold on for a respectable win, Saloman Kalou beat Federici when one on one with the Australian keeper.
To Chelsea’s credit they kept the pressure on and the unfortunate Alex Pearce headed a stoppage time own goal to give the Blues a draw.
There were many positive’s to come out of this game ahead of the new season most notably the performance of captain Alex Pearce. However the lack of fire power is a real worry, Shane Long doesn’t like he can lead the line in Rodgers favoured 4-3-3 formation and we urgently need a new striker, and centre back as well for that matter!