Premier League - Reading off bottom after Swansea stalemate

Premier League, Madjeski Stadium - Reading 0 Swansea City 0

Reading are off the bottom of the Premier League after a 0-0 draw with Swansea at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals brought their run of seven straight defeats to an end and will be buoyed by their second-half display.

Substitute Adam Le Fondre made an impact for the home side with a volley that was cleared off the line and also having a goal ruled out after using his hand to put the ball into the net.

Michu had Swansea’s best chance after blazing over from six yards out before hobbling off the field with a suspected knee injury.

The Spanish striker had the game’s first chance on four minutes with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

Ki Sung-Yeung then fired a free-kick over from 25 yards minutes later, while Michu then put his shot wide from ten yards after a mazy run but was penalised for a foul which saved his blushes.

The Royals, who were without Jason Roberts, Sean Morrison and Alex McCarthy due to injury, relied on the free-kicks of veteran Ian Harte to threaten.

First Jimmy Kebe lashed a shot wide from the edge of the box after Harte’s set-piece was half-cleared, while Alex Pearce then fired a header straight at Michel Vorm from a Hart free-kick but was penalised for a push.

The best chance of the half came on 28 minutes when Chris Gunter’s horrendous back-pass with his chest fell to Michu six yards out but the striker blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Despite having 68 per cent possession, the Swans continued to be frustrated with Nathan Dyer twice blazing over from distance.

The second-half followed a similar pattern with the home side absorbing the pressure and were happy to keep men behind the ball to stifle the Swans.

That frustration was summed up by Ki hitting a rasping effort from 30 yards that flew over.

Reading relied on the counter and went close on 54 minutes when Jobi McAnuff’s low shot deflected wide for a corner.

But their lone striker Pavel Pogrebnyak was lucky to stay on the field after being booked for clattering Ashley Williams and then sliding in on Dwight Tiendalli.

The game became more even when Reading boss Brian McDermott introduced Hal Robson Kanu and Le Fondre on the hour mark.

Le Fondre was involved in the move that saw Jem Karacan’s header across goal cleared away by Ki.

That sparked the visitors into action with Wayne Routledge’s cross finding Dyer, whose header was palmed away by Adam Federici on 65 minutes.

Federici was called into action again five minutes later when he saved Ki’s rasping effort from the edge of the box.

Reading thought they had the ball in the net on 73 minutes but goal-scorer Le Fondre was booked and the goal was disallowed after the striker used his hand to knock the ball past Vorm.

The Royals were handed a boost ten minutes from time when striker Michu hobbled off with a suspected knee injury after colliding with substitute Jonathan De Guzman on the edge of the box.

Their afternoon could have got even better when Vorm’s punch clear fell to Le Fondre but the striker’s venomous volley was headed off the line by Chico Flores on 85 minutes.

Despite improving in the latter stages. Reading were unable to grab a much-needed win in the final minutes to leave them above rock-bottom QPR on goal difference while Swansea remain 11th.

MANC OF THE MATCH: Adam Federici (Reading) There were few outstanding candidates but goalkeeper Federici kept Reading in the game with key saves in the second-half for a much-needed clean sheet.

PLAYER RATINGS

READING: Federici 8, Gunter 6, Pearce 6, Mariappa 5, Harte 7, Kebe 6, Leigertwood 5, Karacan 5, McAnuff 7, Guthrie 5, Pogrebnyak 4. Subs: Le Fondre 7, Robson-Kanu 5.

SWANSEA CITY: Vorm 6, Tiendalli 5, Chico 7, Williams 6, Davies 5, Dyer 6, Britton 6, Ki 6, Moore 5, Routledge 5, Michu 6. Subs: Shechter 5, de Guzman 6, Agustien 5.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS