Match Report | Reading 1-1 Cardiff City
Two late goals at the Madejski Stadium saw the points shared between the Bluebirds and the Royals.
Kieffer Moore scored from the penalty spot to give City the lead, but Yakou Méïté headed home an injury-time leveller for Reading.
Mick McCarthy made one change to his starting eleven against the Royals, with Joe Ralls replacing Josh Murphy in the line-up.
City flew out of the traps at the Madejski, earning a free-kick in a dangerous position inside the first minute of the match. In an attempt to replicate the opening goal from our draw with Blackburn Rovers last time out, Harry Wilson laid the ball off to Will Vaulks, although the midfielder’s effort was blocked on this occasion.
Welsh international Wilson looked lively in the opening quarter of an hour, enjoying a string of opportunities. After 11 minutes, the winger picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired toward goal, with Aden Flint able to get a toe on the ball. The defender’s intervention changed the path of the ball and caught out Reading goalkeeper Rafael, but the ball fizzed wide of the target.
The Brazilian stopper was called into action five minutes later, with Wilson involved once again. From the edge of the box, the Welshman deployed a low, curling shot, which forced a fine one-handed save from the Royals’ ‘keeper, preventing the Bluebirds from taking the lead.
The hosts created few chances of their own in the first half, with the best opportunity falling to Yakou Méïté. The forward did well to adjust his body and get his creative, flicked attempt on target, but Alex Smithies was able to easily hold the ball, sending the two teams in at the break with the scoresheet untouched.
Veljko Paunović’s men looked the livelier side at the beginning of the second half, and went close through Lucas João. From a quickly taken short free-kick, the striker did well to create space inside the area and fire on goal from a tight angle. However, City stopper Smithies made a good save at his near post, with João suffering a match-ending injury in the process, which saw him substituted shortly afterwards.
The Royals enjoyed the lions’ share of possession in the second period, but the introduction of Josh Murphy from the bench gave the Bluebirds renewed energy on the counter-attack. The winger combined with Wilson and Kieffer Moore on the break, with the latter’s shot being held by Rafael. Minutes later, Wilson enjoyed his best chance of the evening after being sent through by Murphy. Racing in on goal, the 24-year-old clipped the ball past the Reading keeper, only for Andy Yiadom to race back and clear the ball from the goal line.
The first of two late goals were scored by City, with Sheyi Ojo entering the fray to make a vital impact. The loanee drove forward towards the Reading box and fired a powerful effort on goal, which forced Rafael to parry the ball straight back into the mix. Moore was first to react, nipping in to get a touch on the ball before being felled by Omar Richards. Picking himself up, the striker made no mistake from the spot, confidently firing home his 17th goal of the campaign.
The Bluebirds continued to defend valiantly, as they had done for the majority of the evening, with several heroic blocks from the likes of Flint, Curtis Nelson and Ciaron Brown. However, the hosts applied waves of late attacking pressure, which paid off in injury-time in agonising fashion. Reading substitute Sam Baldock created space and crossed the ball into the box from the by-line, with Méïté heading back across goal towards the far post. Despite the best efforts of Flint, the ball crossed the line and earned the Royals a point.
The Bluebirds have four matches remaining in the 2020/21 Championship season, with our next fixture coming up in four days’ time. City head to West London to take on Brentford on Tuesday, April 20th (6pm).
Reading: Rafael, Yiadom (Baldock 90), Moore, Holmes, Richards (Aluko 90), Rinomhota (Swift 77), Laurent, Ejaria, Olise (Tetek 90), Méïté, João (Pușcaș 58). Subs not used: Southwood, Esteves, Gibson, Semedo.
Cardiff City: Smithies, Sang, Flint, Nelson, Brown, Ng, Pack (Murphy 70), Vaulks, Ralls, Wilson (Ojo 81), Moore. Subs not used: Phillips, Osei-Tutu, Williams, Colwill, Hoilett, Harris, Watters.