Your starting XI to take on Reading! #FFC ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/GDQ5Ih5DA2— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 12, 2017
TEAM NEWS | Skipper @pmacca15 makes his first start of the season and captains Reading against Fulham: https://t.co/XKgjdGuP8Q pic.twitter.com/9bUWyfxj3g— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) August 12, 2017
We got off to a dreadful start, with Kalas being shown a straight red card for taking down the last attacker. Later replays would show that perhaps Ream was behind Kalas, and a red was incorrect. Because of the red card, Kebano came off for Dennis Odoi, whop played as a makeshift center back the whole game. Reading had two quickfire chances in the 11th and 12th minutes, but Button was on call for the first, and the second went over the bar. After that, there was an injury scare for Fulham as David Button went down, but he was back up and able to continue. Through the next 8 minutes, Reading continued to press Fulham, and we were unable to keep the ball. Norwood sold David Button short and Kelly looked to give Reading an advantage, but Button saved his effort. McShane and Johansen were involved in a scuffle, but both were given a verbal warning. Norwood then went close for Fulham on the counter with a beautiful curling effort that was tipped over the bar by Mannone. Illori should have been booked for multiple fouls as Fulham looked to break, but all he gets is a talking to. Fulham had a good spell which culminated in a corner, but no true chance, and the referee blew for halftime.
Good resistance shown by the Fuham team, as we had defended very well, and Reading have had few good chances. Kalas's sending off was questionable, but it is another case of us getting into trouble trying to pass it out from the back. In my opinion, I would have liked to see Kamara go up top alone, as I think his work rate could be very beneficial.
Piazon had a good chance in the early stages, after he had come on to replace Ayite due to injury, but his backheel, intended for Sessegnon, was cut out. Evans came off for Van den Berg in the 56th minute, and the substitute really gave Reading a boost. Kelly gave Reading the lead with a nicely struck shot after some hold up play by Mendes. Nothing David Button could have done would have kept his sweetly struck shot out of the net. Fairly pedestrian play for the next 8 minutes as no team was close to scoring. Illori and and Liam Moore were both booked in quick succession for cynical fouls as Fulham looked to break. Illori was removed and Pelle Clement came on. Later, John Swift went into the book for a cynical challenge again as we looked to counter. Aluko carried the ball past Clement, but we were unable to get any sort of chance from that. Kamara came on for Johansen as Jokanovic looked to get something from the game. Fulham had been looking better after Kamara came on, and Fredericks was getting into the game more. Lucas Piazon leveled the game after a mistake at the back from Reading. Gunter let the ball get away from him and Piazon was there to sprint onto the loose ball and slot it home. piazon was ecstatic to have scored, and let the Reading fans know. Kamara was sent through by Norwood, and Moore brought him down, but by some miracle, the referee didn't give Moore a second yellow and send him off. Norwood had a fantastic block to deny Liam Kelly, and Swift then put an effort over the bar. Furthermore, McDonald had a chance to take the lead but Moore came flying across and blocked it. The referee was absolutely woeful, a minute later, Kamara went into the book for exactly what Moore had done to him seconds earlier. The referee blew the final whistle, giving a good point to Fulham.
Three Points from the Match.
- A Top Class Performance by the Defense: Tim Ream was a wall in defense today earning my man of the match. But if the man of the match could be given to multiple players, I would give it to the whole back line, Kevin McDonald, and Oliver Norwood. All players contributed hugely to the effort, but Tim Ream stuck out as our best player.
- A Testament to our Quality: Through the whole game, we were never completely out of it, and continued to try to play our game. Although it did not give us our goal, as the game wound down, we looked to be passing the ball about very well for a side with 10 men. If someone were to have scored in the final minutes after Piazon, I would bet it would have been Fulham.
- Piazon Loves Fulham: Piazon's eccentric celebration after delivering us the goal that secured a well earned draw, showed his passion for the club. Hopefully Ayite's injury isn't to serious, but if it is, Piazon looks able to slot right into the squad. His goal should give the whole squad a lift as we head into the game against Leeds on Tuesday.