Blues spoil Royals return
Written By: Robert Halter
The home of reigning European Champions League winners Chelsea, opened its doors for the first time in the 2012/13 Premiership with the welcome of newcomers to the top flight Reading as the Blues squad included two new additions, Oscar on the bench and Eden Hazard in the starting line up, who had already impressed in Chelsea’s 2-0 away win over Wigan Athletic, at the start of the season, while the Royals began their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Stoke City. In the opening minute, Juan Mata spread the ball through to Hazard but he scuffed his shot wide, which would have been a dream home debut had he scored. Adam Federici was called into action on six minutes to pull off a full length save to keep out a well struck shot by Ramires, after running onto a weighted ball through by Branislav Ivanovic. The Blues persistence paid off on seventeen minutes as a wayward challenge by Chris Gunter on Hazard in the area, gained the Blues a spot kick which was executed perfectly by Frank Lampard, into the bottom left corner. However, the Royals fought back in dramatic fashion as Gareth McCleary’s pin point cross was met by a soaring header from Pavel Pogrebnyak, into the top left corner to force an equaliser in the twenty fifth minute. In a turn around of events, Reading took the lead three minutes later following a foul by Blues captain John Terry on the Royals opposing captain, Jobi McAnuff. From the resulting free kick by Danny Guthrie, the ball took a wicked deflection off Petr Cech, into the back of the net. Two minutes from the break, Alex Pearce was a whisker away with a header from Ian Harte’s free kick in the middle of the park, after Terry had again been penalised for a foul on Pogrebnyak. The Blues responded in stoppage time but Torres miss directed a header from Hazard’s in swinging cross. It took a long range strike by Gary Cahill to put the Blues back on level terms as Hazard’s pass was met with a low curling strike that left Federici unable to keep the ball out at arms length, as the game was all square in the sixty sixth minute. The match opened up again in the seventy ninth minute, as Juan Mata steered the ball wide, after Ivanovic’s pass was deflected off McAnuff. It took less than a minute for the Blues to turn the game in their favour again as Mata put the ball over to Ashley Cole, whose pass in the penalty box found an unmarked Torres, just a few yards out and despite the suspicions of offside Torres applied the finishing touch to guide the ball into an empty net. In the pursuit of an equaliser, Federici was caught out of goal going up front for a Reading corner and as he tried to track back, Hazard ran through and supplied the ball to Ivanovic, who rounded off a 4-2 victory for Chelsea, after the Blues defender scored his second goal in two games .