Home opener ends in defeatReading 0
Swansea City 3 (Michu 11, Shelvey 56, Hernandez 59)
The Royals were beaten by an impressive Swansea City side in their penultimate pre-season run-out of the summer this afternoon.
Having scored 18 Premier League goals for Michael Laudrup's men last season, Michu opened the scoring with an 11th minute stab at goal that took a wicked deflection to wrongfoot the helpless Alex McCarthy and agonisingly dribble inside the left post.
And despite Reading bossing the opening stages of the second half and coming close a number of times through half time substitute Hope Akpan, the visitors added two more within the space of three second half minutes through Jonjo Shelvey and Pablo Hernandez.
As an exercise, Adkins allowed a lot of his players 90 minutes for the first time this pre-season and is set to give more some minutes in the final warm-up match of the summer at Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium tomorrow. But at Madejski Stadium, it was a little Premier League class that made the difference.
Reading: McCarthy, Kelly, Bridge, Pearce, Morrison, Karacan (J Taylor 83), Guthrie, McAnuff (c), Robson-Kanu (Akpan HT), Drenthe, Le Fondre.
Subs: Federici, Gunter, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, D'Ath, McCleary, Obita, Ugwu, Pogrebnyak.
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Davies (Taylor 72), Williams, Amat, Britton (De Guzman 62), Hernandez (Dyer 62), Shelvey (Canas 62), Routledge, Michu (Pozuelo 65), Bony.
Subs: Tremmel, Monk, Yeung, Richards, Lamah.
Ref: I Williamson
It was new boy Royston Drenthe who was the first to test the keeper, linking up sublimely with Adam Le Fondre to collect a neat backheeled one-two and drive left-footed at Michel Vorm in the Swansea goal, who got behind it well.
And ten minutes in, the Dutchman won a free kick 25 yards out, but whistled his set piece harmlessly over the crossbar.
But the opening goal came from a familiar source for the top flight Swans - Michu skipped through a challenge after a series of quick passes on the edge of the Royals box and, stabbing towards goal, his toe poke took a deflection off an outstretched Reading leg and crept inside the left post and beyond the helpless and wrongfooted McCarthy.
Pablo Hernandez almost unlocked the home defence with a dinked through ball in to new signing Wilfried Bony, but Alex McCarthy was off his line quickly to mop up and deny the striker a glimpse of goal.
McCarthy was in action again midway through the half to brilliantly parry a powerful left-footed drive from Michu who had latched onto a good low cross from Ben Davies on the left wing and hammered an effort goalwards, looking for a second.
Bony then tested the Royals keeper after Angel Rangel had managed to wrestle his way past McAnuff at the second attempt and cut a cross back to the striker on the edge of the area. He wrapped his right boot around it and arced an effort towards the top right corner, but McCarthy was equal to it and pushed it wide for a corner.
Then, on the half hour mark, a long ball from Bridge picked out McAnuff bursting into the box who controlled it well to beat Michu and scamper in on goal. But Ashley Williams came across and slid into a last ditch tackle to deny the Royals skipper a shot at goal with a good challenge.
The lively £12million forward Bony whistled one wide of the left post from distance and McCarthy was picking up where he left off last season, making a superb one-handed save low to his left to deny another well-placed Bony strike.
Nigel Adkins made one change at half-time, introducing Hope Akpan for Robson-Kanu in midfield, and the midfielder got into the box within a few minutes of the restart, attempting to flick a low Bridge cross towards goal only for it to cannon off a Swansea body.
And Akpan came even closer minutes later. After good work from McAnuff, Drenthe whipped in a cross from the left and Akpan rose to power a header inches over the crossbar.
But although the home side were dominating the second half, it was Swansea who were to score their second ten minutes in; Jonjo Shelvey burst through the middle, stayed strong as he went shoulder to shoulder with the last Royals man, and lashed home for 2-0.
Akpan's second half impression almost told when moments after the goal he scuttled through on goal down the right side of the penalty area, but skied a right-footed shot over the crossbar.
And the Swans made Reading pay with a third. Bony slid the ball into the path of Hernandez who calmly passed the ball under McCarthy.
All of Reading's chances at the other end seemed to be falling to Akpan. He collected a pass from Drenthe, took a lovely touch onto his left boot, but dragged a 20-yard drive wide of the right post.
Alfie won a free kick just outside the area with a quarter of an hour to play, but Drenthe's curling effort was too powerfully hit and sailed over the bar.
Then, with five minutes left, Bridge scuttled into some space in front of him and rifled a sweetly-struck 25-yard drive just over the bar as the Royals searched for a consolation.
It almost came in the form of...Akpan yet again. A far post free kick was nodded back across the area by Pearce and the ball dropped for Akpan, on the volley, but his well struck effort was excellently saved by Vorm, diving low to his right.
In the end, a little bit of Premier League class told - but with 90 minutes under a lot of the Reading players' belts, the exercise - against the team who finished 9th in the Premier League last season - would have been a very worthwhile one.