Royals edged in open affair at Madejski StadiumIn an open affair at Madejski Stadium, the Royals could not overcome visitors Chelsea, who were the more clinical side in front of goal. An early strike from Tammy Abraham gave the Blues the lead which was quickly wiped out by an impressive Tariqe Fosu strike. It was Chelsea however who came out on top eventually retaking the lead through Jacob Maddox midway through the first half, with Reece Mitchell adding to their lead after the break.
Two minutes into the game and the Royals were behind. A pacey run down the left hand side from Mitchell opened up the Reading defence and his through ball picked out Abraham in space. The Chelsea forward kept his cool to round Reading keeper Lewis Ward to slot home and give the visitors an early lead.
After falling behind the Royals responded well, pushing forward to try and find a quick response, and it did not take long until the hosts were back in the game. After earning a free kick midway inside the Chelsea half, Aaron Kuhl stepped up to deliver a ball into the Chelsea box. His curled cross was only partially cleared by the visitors, with the ball falling to Tariqe Fosu, who shimmied past his man to slam a finish off the underside of the crossbar and level the scores.
The goal started to give the Royals momentum and it was not long until Reading were knocking at the door again. It was another cross from Kuhl that caused the Chelsea defence problems, with his whipped delivery finding Andrija Novakovich at the near post, whose volleyed effort clattered off the upright.
In a frantic first few minutes it was Chelsea’s turn to strike the post. Abraham was again involved getting on the end of a Jacob Maddox pull-back. A jinking run from Maddox beat several Reading men before the winger found his teammate in the centre. Abraham flashed his shot across goal clipping the inside of the post.
After a long spell of Reading possession and just as it seemed the Royals were grasping control of the game, Chelsea re-took the lead against the run of play. Kyle Scott's ball from deep ran through the Reading defence bobbling to Abraham, who squared quickly to Maddox. The winger rounded Ward to make the score 2-1 and hand Chelsea the initiative.
HALF TIME: Reading 1-2 Chelsea
As the second half got underway it was the Royals that looked the sharper and it wasn't long until they fashioned the first opening of the half. Reading earned an early corner which found Samuel Fridjonsson in the centre, with the defender forcing a fine save from Bradley Collins in the Chelsea goal.
Despite Reading pushing forward to try and find an equaliser, Chelsea always looked a threat on the counter attack, with the visitors extending their lead through Mitchell. The forward was found by teammate and substitute Kasey Palmer, before sliding his finish into the bottom left hand corner of Ward's goal.
In a second period of few chances the visitors again went close, with Ward pulling off an impressive save. The keeper was quick to react when Scott ran through on goal, getting down to his left-hand side quickly to deny the striker and keep the Royals in the game.
Reading created a couple of openings as they pushed for a goal, with Harry Cardwell coming the closest, looking to latch on to the end of an inviting cross from Fosu. The striker couldn't quite connect with the ball which eventually bounced just wide of the Chelsea goal.
FULL TIME: Reading 1-3 Chelsea
Reading XI: Ward, Watson, Owusu (Rinomhota), Fridjonsson, Jules, Shaughnessy (Husin), Novakovich (Osho), Kuhl(c), Cardwell, Kelly, Fosu
Unused subs: Southwood, Semedo
Chelsea XI: Collins, Dobo(c), Tomori, Conroy, Aina, Colkett (Palmer), Maddox, Ali, Abraham, Scott, Mitchell
Unused subs: Wright, Baxter, Kiwomya, Quintero
Referee: Mr S Plane