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Reading 1-1 Liverpool – FA CUP LIVE

January 2, 2010

Former Lib Dem leader Menzies 'Ming' Campbell wishes he played for Chelsea

7:10
But they can’t do anything either and IT’S ALL OVER. An excellent performance from Reading, who are very unfortunate not to have won the game. Liverpool should deal with them summarily in the replay at Anfield but it’ll be a good day for the Reading coffers. Karacan, McAnuff and Church were all fantastic for the home side, who can hold their heads up high tonight. Well, that’s it. See you again soon for more live football.

7:09
Sadly, it comes to nothing, and some comical defending from Reading gives Liverpool a corner….

7:07
Reina almost gives the ball to Long and in the ensuing mayhem Reading win a corner! Is this the moment?!

7:06
Liverpool go mighty close again! Benayoun chips in to Torres, Hamer flaps and Torres heads over.

7:05
OOOOH! So close for Liverpool. Gerrard bends in a free-kick and Hamer gathers it at the second attempt. That could have been a right kick in the teeth.

7:04
The fourth official has indicated there will be 4 minutes of added time.

7:03
Sigurdsson swings in another good cross but Reina punches clear. One minute left.

7:02
Another good Reading cross almost reaches McAnuff but Insua deals with it. Reading throwing everything at Liverpool now.

7:01
Gunnarsson bundles Torres over and concedes a free kick. El Nino is in the wars. Liverpool do nothing with the free kick, though. Mills hoists another free kick in the box which falls to Sigurdsson. Reading throw-in in a good position.

6:59
Great tackle by Karacan on Aquilani. The Italian was winding up for a thunderbolt there. Church is still full of running and he nearly gets into a shooting position. He can only float the ball out of play, however.

6:56
The crowd are really getting behind the home team now, who are fighting for everything! Karacan and Torres have a bit of a tussle in the middle of the park.

6:55
Ten minutes left. Liverpool look decidedly ordinary. Surely Reading will not have a better chance to nobble them. Yossi Benayoun is on for Aurelio and Shane Long is on for Rasiak. Hamer comes out to save well at the feet of Torres.

6:52
Mike Hill reckons Reading have put in a “spirited display.” Damn right, Mike. They’ve been excellent and could well win this with one moment of luck or good fortune.

6:51
DEFENSIVE NIGHTMARE! A cross comes in from Torres and Mills almost spoons it into his own net. Kuyt fouls Hamer from the ensuing corner and Reading breathe again.

6:48
A high cross from Bertrand is easily dealt with By Reina. Reading substitution: Kalifa Cisse is withdrawn and Brian Howard come on.

6:46
Good play from Reading but it comes to nothing. An eerie silence has befallen the stadium.

6:45
Great running from Church. His tenacity almost lures Skrtel into a howler but the Slovakian gets away with it.

6:43
This could make things interesting. 22 year-old Ben Hamer is coming on in goal for Federici. Which Liverpool player is going to test him first?

6:42
Good work from Darby at full-back gives Kuyt the chance to shoot but his effort is blocked. Liverpool’s big summer signing, Alberto Aquilani, is coming on for the visitors. Federici is in trouble – looks like his hamstring has gone.

6:39
The home fans are in great voice now. And well they might be. It’s all a bit scrappy but Reading definitely look the better side. And they nearly take the lead again! Church’s cross fizzes across the six yard box with Reina scrambling. Sadly, no-one was on hand to turn it in.

6:37
Ngog goes on a great run from his own half but his cross is pitiful.

6:35
Reading are piling on the pressure and Liverpool just keep giving them the ball. Liverpool deal with the threat easily, however.

6:32
McAnuff beats Skrtel but Aurelio clears the danger. Liverpool look clueless. Federici looks like he might have pulled a muscle in taking a goal kick. That’s not good.

6:29
A superb shot from Sigurdsson is well parried by Reina. That must have been well over 30 yards out. Reading have started this half well and again look the more dangerous side.

6:28
PENALTY APPEAL! McAnuff bursts into the Liverpool box and hits the deck. Nothing doing says Martin Atkinson, or words to that effect.

6:26
Good play from Church allows him to get in a cross which is cleared by Liverpool. Torres then has a snapshot from the edge of the box which whizzes over the bar. Things are hotting up again and the crowd are in fine voice once more.

6:23
It’s all a bit low-key at the start of the second half. The crowd have gone very quiet too. What’s going on? Have the fun police had a word? McAnuff is fine now.

6:22
McAnuff, one of Reading’s best performers in the first half, is limping after a hefty challenge. Bad news for the home team.

6:19
OK. I’ve got a fresh cup of tea and some leftover Christmas chocolate. I reckon Liverpool are going to win this 2-1. I hope I’m wrong. Off we go!

6:04
There’s the half-time whistle. It’s been an absorbing tie which has had a bit of everything. Reading started much the brighter but Liverpool improved as the half wore on, showing glimpses of class that will worry the home fans. One goal each is probably a fair reflection. Reading must keep their composure is they are to get through this, and it looks like it will be their ability to capitalise on set-pieces and keep Torres at bay that will decide this game. I need a fresh cup of (hot) tea. See you for the second half…

6:03
A bit of magic from Torres wins his team a free-kick, which is poked in by Gerrard into the path of Aurelio whose shot is blocked. Nice try.

6:00
Good football again from Liverpool. Kuyt puts Aurelio in and his shot fizzes across the face of goal. Reading are hanging on a bit.

5:59
Magnificent save from Federici. Torres is released by Gerrard’s exquisite through ball and his attempted dink is blocked by the Reading keeper.

5:58
It’s all getting a bit scrappy now. Neither side wants to concede before half-time.

5:56
Good play from Kuyt again. His cross is headed out to Gerrard who can’t keep his shot down. Liverpool are in the ascendancy but Reading do not look like they are bothered by the equaliser. Good play from Raziak forces another corner.

5:53
GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Gerrrard’s hopeful ball into the box is dummied by Dirk Kuyt and the ball bounces past Federici. Reading are howling for offside but Kuyt was definitely onside. It was coming.

5:51
Another free-kick for Reading and another good delivery. Well cleared by Liverpool, though, who have thoroughly regained their composure after the shock of that opening goal.

5:49
Suddenly Liverpool and Torres burst into life. A mazy run is halted by some great defending and then Reading go up the other end and nearly score themselves. There’s going to be another goal or two in this one. Gerrard nearly gets on the end of a cross but it’s just too long for him.

5:48
Liverpool are playing like my old Sunday League side. Lucas is easily disposessed in the centre circle. No sign of El Nino as yet. There he is! Kuyt gets a cross in and Torres heads an easy chance wide. Should have been 1-1.

5:45
Reina comes out to punch another Reading corner in far from convincing fashion. Reading have Liverpool on the back foot here. Can they capitalise?

5:43
Rafa Benitez looks like someone’s just nicked his half-time pastie. Not a happy camper.

5:41
GOAL FOR READING! A high cross comes in from a free-kick which finds its way to Raziak at the back post. His touch back is gleefully bundled in by Simon Church. That was way too easy.

5:39
Reading penalty shout! Sigurdsson hits the deck but Martin Atkinson isn’t interested.

5:38
Outstanding football from both teams. McAnuff and Church combine down the right for Reading and McAnuff’s cross is well cut out by the outstretched leg of Carragher. Moments later, Ngog fires across the face of goal after a slick buildup. It’s all happening.

5:35
Suicidal defending alert PART DEUX! Reading keeper Federici gets himself in a tangle and concedes a free-kick outside the box. Liverpool waste it. The crowd seem to be enjoying themselves. A good cup-tie so far. Liverpool look more accomplished but Reading look the more likely to score.

5:33
Suicidal defending alert! Rasiak gets a free header from a corner but Liverpool survive.

5:31
READING GOAL DISALLOWED! And rightly so. Great cross in from a free kick from Sigurdsson which is punched by Reina. The ball is headed home by McAnuff but Reina was stopped from easily catching the ball by Rasiak.

5:29
Good bit of defending from Karacan to stop Ngog. Reading more than holding their own.

5:28
Reading are attacking with purpose. Sadly, without much skill, though. Another high ball into the box is easily dealt with by Liverpool’s defenders. Hang on… Now, that’s better! McAnuff beats his man and finds Church whose first time shot is tame. Promising stuff from the home team.

5:24
Oh dear. Let’s hope that’s not an indication of Reading’s tactical approach to this game. A free-kick inside Liverpool’s half is launched into the box and drifts out for a goal-kick. Too easy.

5:23
Cross-field ball from Ngog finds Aurelio who volleys powerfully but inaccurately.

5:21
Jamie Carragher screams as Liverpool enjoy the better of the possession. Reading defending well. Gerrard’s floated ball to Ngog gets the striker in but the ball deflects harmlessly off him for a goal kick.

5:18
Early bit of pinball in the Liverpool penalty area after a floated free-kick. The ball ends up safely in Reina’s arms. Where’s a beach ball when you need one?

5:16
Nice start to the game from Reading’s Grzegorz Rasiak – he boots Lucas in the head within a minute.

5:15
The man on the PA sounds like he’s had a few too many shandies this afternoon. “LET’S MAKE SOME NOISE” he bellows. And we’re off!

5:12
Stevie G looks mean in the tunnel. Reading captain Brynjar Gunnarsson looks like he means business too. Hopefully his pre-match cup of tea was steaming hot. A near full house at the Madejski Stadium – almost 24,000 – welcome the teams onto the field. Game on.

5:10
I’ve been so engrossed in posting the lineups and listening to the wisdom of Andy Townsend I completely forgot about my cup of tea, which is now stone cold. A bad start.

5:07
Mike Hill has emailed. “Let’s hope there is an upset, ” he says, “but I’m predicting 2-0 Liverpool.” You’ve gone out on a limb there Mike and I think you might be right.

Great montage on ITV of comedy misses by Reading to illustrate their goalscoring inadequacies. Let’s hope they’re not watching.

5:05
Blimey. Liverpool are pretty much at full strength. If Torres and Gerrard are in the mood this could be unpleasant for the home fans. You never know which Liverpool are going to turn up this season, though, do you?

TEAMS

Reading
1 Federici
5 Mills
16 Ingimarsson
24 Bertrand
4 Cisse
6 Gunnarsson
11 McAnuff
20 Karacan
25 Sigurdsson
18 Church
23 Rasiak

Substitutes
21 Hamer,
26 Pearce,
07 Tabb,
14 Kebe,
19 Robson-Kanu,
34 Howard,
09 Long

Liverpool
25 Reina
12 Aurelio
22 Insua
23 Carragher
32 Darby
37 Skrtel
8 Gerrard
21 Lucas
9 Torres
18 Kuyt
24 Ngog

Substitutes
1 Cavalieri,
16 Kyrgiakos,
27 Degen,
4 Aquilani,
15 Benayoun,
26 Spearing,
19 Babel

Ref: Martin Atkinson

5:00
Hello and welcome to the very first live text commentary here on the Videprinter. It’s the FA Cup third round, a time when football fans up and down the country get the chance for their club to hog the limelight, and the little fellas get a pop at the aristocrats of the Premier League or, in some cases, League Two. So far today we’ve had a seven-goal thumping, a team coach stuck on the motorway but, somewhat unbelievably, no giant-killings. A sign of the times?

Fortunately for the FA Cup romantics among us, Reading have the opportunity this evening to redress the balance in favour of the minnows with a home tie against low-flying Rafa Benitez and Liverpool. The odds are stacked against the home side who are winless in five games – most recently on the wrong end of a 4-1 hammering at Plymouth – and currently lie 20th in the Championship. The only thing in Reading’s favour is the sorry state of Liverpool this season, who are already out of the title race, the Champions League and the Carling Cup after a hapless start to the season. However, as a result, the FA Cup represents Liverpool’s best chance of a tropy this season so they’ll be arriving with a full strength team. Failure to win today could see Benitez lose his job so he won’t be messing about.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike Hill permalink
    January 2, 2010 5:57 pm

    Spirited display by Reading, could be more goals in this one. Great coverage so far Guy!

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