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Match Reports

Report | Royals fall to Chelsea in final friendly

Recap of Reading's encounter with Chelsea

28 July 2019

An entertaining fixture in front of a bustling crowd, goals from Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, Kenedy, and a Mason Mount brace were enough to overcome the Royals in their final pre-season preparations - Josh Barrett, Michael Morrison and Sam Baldock grabbed the Royals' goals.

Having faced Barcelona in Japan five days earlier, Chelsea descended on RG2 for our final friendly of pre-season on Saturday, with Frank Lampard at the helm taking charge of his first game for the Blues on English soil.

Matt Miazga was introduced to the side having returned to Reading on loan earlier in the week, featuring from the substitutes bench against his parent club.

Charlie Adam and Morrison were too both given initial minutes at Madejski Stadium, while Joao Virgínia guarded the posts like he did against Peterborough.

With the game underway, both sides looked to assert themselves early on – John Swift almost found a route for Yakou Méïté on goal, but the latter’s cross was well cleared.

Captain Liam Moore then rose highest from Swift’s free-kick, but the defender could only watch on as his header glanced narrowly wide, off the upright.

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Continuing on with their attacking pressure, a lovely sweeping move from the Royals would soon see them in front. After receiving the ball from Danny Loader on the edge of the area, Barrett saw his initial shot blocked, but followed up instantly with a spectacular looped effort over Willy Caballero for a wonderful opener.

With Reading looking to take the initiative after taking the lead, it was then Méïté’s turn to come close, heading wide from another Swift corner.

Last season’s Europa League winners weren’t behind for long however, as a foul 20-yards out gave Barkley the opportunity to curl a delightful free-kick past Virgínia at full reach, levelling the score.

Looking to play out from the back, another chance soon came the way of Loader when he received the ball from Tyler Blackett’s cross, but unleashing towards goal, his fiery effort couldn’t trouble the hands of the goalkeeper.

On the half-hour mark, Reading were forced into making their first change of the game. Omar Richards was introduced into the back four, a straight swap for an injured Blackett.

Another set-piece and another opportunity to take the lead followed for Chelsea. Olivier Giroud was the man in space from Barkley’s delivery, but the Frenchman couldn’t direct his effort the right side of the post.

With minutes left in the first-half, Frank Lampard’s men would indeed see themselves in front at the interval. After lashing wide moments before, Kenedy’s hit from range was low and hard to Virginia’s right, narrowly evading his grasp.

Half-time | Reading 1-2 Chelsea

A new look Reading side took to the field in the second half, and immediately, the Royals found themselves a route back in the game.

Four minutes into the half, two new signings combined perfectly – Adam’s swinging corner was met by the boot of Morrison, who made no mistake in turning home past Caballero.

The crossbar was then rattled down the other end as David Luiz took matters into his own hands, firing at goal after a spell of Chelsea possession.    

The advantage was then back with the visitors, as Mount took charge from Tammy Abraham’s intercepted cross, firing precisely past Sam Walker.

The lead was then doubled for Chelsea minutes later as a mistake at the back allowed Mount to grab his second of the game, tucking home from six yards after Abraham had cut out a pass in the Reading box.

Andrija Novakovich almost pulled a goal back for Reading when a quickly taken corner was delivered his way, but the striker could only lash wide on the spin past substitute Cumming's near post.

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The deficit was halved however with 20 minutes left on the clock. Clever play from the Royals saw Michael Olise thread the ball through to Baldock in front of goal who, like all good strikers, stabbed home under pressure.  

With goals aplenty in the second period, Abraham was next up to fancy his chances, but after scoring against Barcelona mid-week, wasn’t able to find the net past Walker.

As the game was drawing to a close, Mount had the chance to seal his hat-trick but fired well wide of Walker’s post.

Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga produced a good block to keep Mateo Kovacic out with three minutes left to play, but come the final whistle it was Frank Lampard's men who held on to the victory at Madejski Stadium. 

Overall, it was a positive test against Premier League opposition for Gomes’ side, who now have one week left before the new season commences against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 3rd August.

Full-Time | Reading 3-4 Chelsea

Reading first-half: Virgínia, Yiadom, Blackett (Richards 31), Moore (c), McIntyre, Rinomhota, Swift, Barrow, Méïté, Barrett, Loader.
Reading second-half: Walker, Howe (Watson 69), Richards, Miazga, Morrison, Adam, Holsgrove, Olise, East, Novakovich, Baldock.
Goals: Barrett 13, Morrison 49, Baldock 70.

Chelsea first-half: Caballero, Alonso, Christensen, Drinkwater, Barkley, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Giroud, Zappacosta, Pulisic, Tomori.
Chelsea second-half: Caballero (Cumming 63), Azpilicueta, Zouma, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Pedro, Abraham, Batshuayi.
Goals: Barkley 22, Kenedy 42, Mount 57, 60.


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