West Bromwich Albion vs. Reading  1 - 0


Premier League: West Bromwich Albion 1 Reading 0

22 September 2012 18:10

West Bromwich Albion won their first three home games of the season for the first time since 1954 with a 1-0 defeat of Reading.

Substitute Shane Long headed the ball in the area into the path of his strike partner Romelu Lukaku, who slammed the ball through a crowd of players on 71 minutes to give the Baggies a well deserved lead, as they had created several chances previously.

The result leaves Brian McDermott's side still waiting for their first win of the season since their return to the Premier League after a four-year absence whilst Steve Clarke's impressive start in his debut season in charge at the Hawthorns continues to gather momentum.

WBA could have taken the lead a minute before half time when Jonas Olsson struck the crossbar with a header from a Chris Brunt cross, as the home side looked worthy of the lead at the break.

The deadlock could have been broken sooner when James Morrison, who was the main orchestrator of chances for the Midlanders, interplayed with Zoltan Gera inside the box but ended up skewing his effort wide on 28 minutes.

The Scotland international, who pulled the strings all afternoon, hit a 30-yard drive to force a brilliant save from keeper Alex McCarthy.

For all their opposition's chances, Reading struggled throughout the first half, yet two minutes after the restart Adam La Fondre forced keeper Ben Foster to produce a fine save.

McAnuff was himself frustrated at referee Chris Foy when he was the subject of two challenges that should have seen the Royals awarded on both occasions yet his appeals went wanting.

Morrison was replaced by former Reading striker Shane Long on 65 minutes, who plied his trade at the Madejski Stadium for six seasons.

The result leaves Reading languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table as they continue to search for that first elusive win while West Brom continue to soar under their new manager and sit pretty in third place just a point behind leaders Chelsea.


McDermott demands improved performance

21 September 2012 13:28

Reading manager Brian McDermott has urged his players to forget about their defeat to Tottenham and focus on West Brom this weekend.

The newly-promoted Royals are still without a win since their return to the Premier League, and left McDermott disappointed following their 3-1 loss at home to Spurs on Sunday.

But the Reading boss has refused to make excuses for the loss, and has called for an improved performance next time out.

"The last thing we want is to have regrets about a performance, that is the key for me. Since I have had the job we don't go into blame mode or excuse but we would have had regrets after that," he said.

"There was real disappointment in the dressing room after the Spurs game, we all would have had regrets about that game and that performance.

"After the game and when we are sat in the dressing room at West Brom, as long as each and every one of us knows we have done the best we can we will have no regrets about that, and fundamentally when we are at the top of our game we get results."

Reading had not played in the league for 25 days before the game against Tottenham, suffering from a postponement against Sunderland, and the international fixtures that followed.

And McDermott believes that while the break was an inconvenience, it should not be used to explain his side's run of form.

"It has been a bit difficult, obviously in the Stoke game we got a point, we went to Chelsea and should have got something and then played Spurs and got what we deserved, we know that," he said.

"We never make excuses but we are glad we have had that game, three-and-a-half weeks is a long time without a game, we were hurting after the game against Spurs because we didn't do ourselves justice."

Reading have picked up just one point so far this season, and the 51-year-old has acknowledged the gulf between England's top two leagues.

"One thing we are is a difficult side to play against and I don't think we would have been seen as a difficult side to play against with Spurs, I think they had a fairly easy afternoon - which hurts us more than anything really," McDermott said.

"Having said that, we are playing against teams with budgets of millions and millions of pounds - you saw the two finishes from (Jermain) Defoe the other day and that is the difference.

"You have players in this division, world-class players, that make the difference - you have seen that in the Champions League games in the last few days."


Premier League preview: West Brom v Reading

20 September 2012 13:15

West Bromwich Albion will be hoping to bounce back from their loss to Fulham when they welcome Reading to the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Steve Clarke's side made a fine start to their English Premier League campaign, collecting seven points from their first three games.

A 3-0 loss at Fulham brought that run to an end, but a home clash against Reading shapes as a good opportunity to return to winning ways.

Clarke will be without forward Peter Odemwingie for the encounter after the Nigerian international was sent off for kicking out at Sascha Riether against Fulham.

More responsibility falls on the shoulders of Shane Long up front, while Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, could also be given a chance.

Long, who moved to West Brom from Reading last season, has promised not to celebrate against his former club should he score.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Long told the club's website.

"It's going to be strange playing against the shirt I played in for six years, but hopefully I'll have the bragging rights come the end of the game.

"I know the Reading lads very well and they've been quite unlucky not have to more than one point from their opening three games."

Reading are still searching for their first win of the season having only managed a draw in three games.

Alex McCarthy started in goal during Reading's 3-1 loss to Tottenham, with first-choice shot-stopper Adam Federici dropped.

Reading manager Brian McDermott has said the decision to leave Federici out was due to form, not fitness, after the Australian made several mistakes early in the season.

Pavel Pogrebnyak, so prolific with Fulham, has netted one goal for his new club and McDermott would love for the Russian striker to build on that form in coming games.

A trip to the Hawthorns would normally be a chance for Reading to collect at least a hard-fought point, but West Brom have been impressive so far this campaign.

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
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