A rollercoaster of a game which ended honours even at Carrow Road; Andy Rinomhota was the man of the hour as he notched his first pro goal to salvage a battling point.
Reading led for a vast portion of the game, thanks to Yakou Méïté’s smart finish – but then Ben Godfrey and Christoph Zimmermann hit two in two minutes to give Norwich the lead in the 88th minute.
The action wasn’t over, though. Andy Rinomhota’s first goal as a senior player was timed perfectly – a 96th-minute belter from the edge of the area earned the Royals a point; a fair reflection for a tireless effort throughout.
“We never gave up,” said Reading boss José Gomes. “When they scored the first goal, the feeling was: it’s not fair. That’s because we did everything so well for so long, and then we were missing out on points.
“So it is a mix of flavours. We were winning for a big part of the game, and then towards the end the feeling was that we were going to lose.
“The team spirit, the brave way that my players fought; they really deserved something. We played against one of the strongest teams, as you can see from the table. It was an important result for us and will give us confidence for Saturday.
“We deserved to get something from the game, and we did. That’s because of the courage that we showed. We cannot forget that we were playing against the team that is top of the table – a team that have scored 82 goals in the league.”
The Royals’ gameplan was all about keeping the Canaries’ potent attack at bay and capitalising on chances when they came – and that required a change of tack.
“It was a different plan; usually we don’t play like that,” Gomes continued.
“Regarding the opponents’ strongest points, we decided to play like that, because of everything we studied. And my players did very well – they followed the plan, 100%.
“We had to protect against their strongest points and use the spaces that they give, especially at home. My players did very well.
“We blocked the way to the goal. But for their first goal, they opened a bit of space and they scored a great goal.
“And then when they scored their second, our players shifted very quickly – it is difficult to change so quickly, when you’re set up to defend like we were and then you need to attack to get something. We created dangerous situations and finally got the goal we deserved.
“It was a great goal by Andy. I didn’t know that it was his first one, but it was a great goal. And a very important goal for us.”
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