Reading vs. Swansea City  0 - 0

Article

Laudrup hopeful on injured Michu

26 December 2012 20:01

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup says the injury suffered by Michu in a 0-0 draw with Reading should not prove serious.

Spanish forward Michu limped off in the stalemate at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday and it was initially feared he could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

However, Laudrup has since indicated the initial prognosis is positive on a player who has been one of the revelations of the 2012/13 season so far.

"His ankle is twice as big now. We don't know how bad it is," Laudrup said.

"The doctors and the physios say it shouldn't be the ligaments, which is the most important thing.

"The next question is 'will he play on Saturday?' I don't know. We will have to wait 24 hours.

"Hopefully it is not too bad. It is not a muscle injury but still we have to be careful. He has to be 100 percent.

"He is one of the top scorers in the league, definitely our top scorer. He has played nearly every match this season.

"Even if he is the most important player, we have to deal with it (if he is out). If you rely so much on one or two players it is not good for any team."

Reading manager Brian McDermott was relieved to pick up a point, ending a grim run of seven defeats in succession.

"We need to find a way to get results and today we got a result," McDermott said.

"We are disappointed they didn't give us the handball goal because they normally give them here. Adam would have headed it but he said he got pulled back.

"We were much more resilient, it is important to move on with a point and we can look forward with confidence to West Ham.

"We have got a point and a clean sheet and we are off the bottom of the table."

Article

Premier League: Reading 0 Swansea City 0

26 December 2012 18:14

Reading ended a seven-game losing streak as they battled to a 0-0 draw at home to Swansea City on Wednesday.

It was the away team who had most of the better chances at the Madejski Stadium, Michu somehow missing from six yards in the first half and Nathan Dyer being denied by an excellent Adam Federici save after the break.

But the home side improved as the game wore on and almost nicked a priceless victory when only a headed goal-line clearance from Chico kept out Adam Le Fondre.

It was not the result either side would have hoped for, although the hosts move off the bottom of the Premier League table. Swansea remain in mid-table but have now gone four games without a win.

Reading had no fresh injury concerns for the game, with Jason Roberts, Sean Morrison and Alex McCarthy all still out.

Ki Sung-Yueng came back into to Swansea's starting XI, although an anticipated return for winger Pablo Hernandez from a thigh injury did not materialise.

Swansea made a bright start to proceedings, but there were no early openings until both sides missed golden opportunities at either end of the pitch. Pavel Pogrebnyak was played through on goal but lost control at the vital moment to squander the chance for the hosts.

Then, at the other end, the usually reliable Michu somehow failed to break the deadlock with an even better opening. Chris Gunter left his attempted back-pass to Federici short but as the ball fell at the feet of the Spaniard with the goal gaping, he somehow fired his shot over the crossbar from six yards out.

Swansea continued to have comfortably the better of the first half, dominating possession without creating too many clear-cut chances. Nathan Dyer missed the target with two long-range efforts before the half-time whistle was blown with the score still goalless.

The home side started the second half slightly better and Jobi McAnuff missed the target on 54 minutes.

Swansea were unhappy when Pogrebnyak escaped with only a booking for committing two fouls in a matter of seconds. Reading responded with a double change, taking the Russian off along with McAnuff as Hal Robson-Kanu and Le Fondre came on after an hour.

The visitors were still looking most threatening, though, and only a stunning reaction save from Federici denied Dyer from a close-range header following good work from Wayne Routledge out wide after 65 minutes.

The Royals' goalkeeper had to get down smartly again to deny Ki before Reading had the ball in the net. The lively Le Fondre rose to divert a free-kick past Michel Vorm but the goal was rightly disallowed and the striker booked for using his hand.

There was a concerning sight for away fans in the latter stages as Michu hobbled off the pitch with what looked like an ankle injury.

Reading almost snatched a late winner, but Chico brilliantly prevented a goal from a sweetly-struck Le Fondre effort.

Article

Premier League preview: Reading v Swansea

25 December 2012 05:30

Swansea City will travel to Reading on Boxing Day full of confidence after their draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

Michael Laudrup's side have been in indifferent form so far this season but the result against the Red Devils on the weekend will give the Welsh team a significant lift as the busy Christmas period continues.

Reading, meanwhile, have found life in the Premier League extremely tough, enjoying just one win as they sit bottom of the table with nine points.

The Royals head into the game off the back of a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Manchester City, with Gareth Barry scoring a controversial late header that manager Brian McDermott claimed 'ruined my Christmas'.

The two sides last faced each other in October in a game when Reading gave up a 2-0 lead to the Swans who rallied late, grabbing two second-half goals to ensure the game at the Liberty Stadium ended 2-2.

Spanish striker Michu scored one of his 12 Premier League goals that day and the former Rayo Vallecano man, who came to the Welsh club for just two million pounds in the summer, will be the main threat to the Reading defence, who have conceded 37 goals this season, the highest of any Premier League side.

However, Reading have had no trouble finding the back of the net in recent weeks. The Royals put three past Manchester United in their 4-3 loss earlier this month and backed this up by scoring two more against Arsenal, despite losing 5-2.

Adam Le Fondre is Reading's top scorer, with the 26-year-old finding the back of the net five times so far.

So despite their defensive frailties, McDermott's men have proven themselves more than adequate in scoring against the big sides and will be confident they can do the same against Swansea, particularly at the Madejski Stadium.

But despite their relatively effective attacking force, Reading's leaky defence is still a major cause for concern and this will likely be their downfall against a Swansea side who are noted for their crisp, attacking style of play.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25