Alex Pearce was at the heart of a truly fearless Reading performance against the European Champions on Wednesday.
The Royals were in dreamland for approximately 40 minutes at Stamford Bridge, but because of a hugely suspicious offside goal from Fernando Torres, and a bit of bad luck here and there, Chelsea ran out 4-2 winners.
The 2011/12 Player of the Season was full of acclaim for the side’s spirit to turn the game on its head after going behind to a Frank Lampard penalty.
He said, “We showed the character and resilience that we have at this club to go 2-1 up. We had fantastic spirit, desire and quality but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.
“When I found out that the third goal was offside, it rubbed salt into the wounds. We fought and fought all game, so for them to score the winning goal from an offside position is really annoying.”
The 23-year-old, though, found many reasons to be optimistic for the rest of the season.
“But we can take many positives from it. We held our own for a long time against the European Champions and caused them a lot of problems – not many teams come here and do that.
“We have the belief in the dressing room that we can go to any place in the country and put them under pressure. We know how good we are and we know we can definitely compete in the division.”
Next up for the Royals are Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland, and Pearce can’t wait to put the Chelsea result behind us and go to the North East full of confidence.
“We’ve put it to bed though, and hopefully we can get a result at Sunderland. Every game is important but we’re confident looking ahead to the game on Saturday. It’s a tough place to go, but we’ll be going there taking the positives and learning from the negatives.”