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Reading 1-3 Spurs - a royal performance!

Posted on 16 September 2012  - 19:37

Jermain Defoe scored twice as a dominant performance at Reading secured a deserved first win of the Premier League campaign on Sunday.

We bossed proceedings at the Madejski Stadium from start to finish with the central midfield axis of Mousa Dembele - his first start - and Sandro particularly impressive.

Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale were a constant threat down the flanks with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dembele knitting it all together.

Kyle Naughton also made his first league start for us as Andre Villas-Boas made two changes to the line-up from the 1-1 draw against Norwich City on September 1, Dembele replacing Jake Livermore.

Statistics showing a shot count of 13-1 in our favour at half-time highlights the balance of play.

Reading goalkeeper Adam McCarthy was forced into a double save in the fifth minute, first blocking Sigurdsson's header from Bale's free-kick, then up quickly to turn away Jan Vertonghen's follow up to his right. Bale then poked just wide from Vertonghen's raking pass forward.

We took the lead after 17 minutes. Sigurdsson played a key role, weighting an inch-perfect pass inside Ian Harte, allowing Lennon a clear route to the byline. The winger had one target in the box and picked out Defoe, who swept the ball across McCarthy and into the far corner.

McCarthy was soon in action again, parrying Sandro's piledriver back into the danger area. Lennon was alert to the rebound but Kaspars Gorkss got there first and hacked away.

Naughton then picked out Defoe's run from deep and the striker somehow pulled the pass out of the air, turning Gorkss in the process, only to fire just wide from 16 yards.

The next chance came out of nothing as McCarthy took a heavy touch to Gunter's back pass, allowing Defoe to pounce. His first touch took him wide of the goal, so he rolled back to Sigurdsson who hit the target - only for Gunter to block on the line.

Reading made a switch at half-time with Adam Le Fondre on for Karacan and pushed up front to play with Pavel Pogrebnyak.

However, the attacking threat remained with us as lightning breaks led first by Lennon and then Dembele came to nothing.

Sandro then won possession deep and picked out Bale, who drove forward before fizzing just wide from 25 yards.

The winger soon turned provider with a trademark run down the left and cross that Defoe collected, turned and fired wide from 12 yards.

Reading enjoyed a decent spell around the hour mark, but attacks were foiled by Vertonghen and Gallas.

The second goal simply had to come and did so in the 71st minute. We took our time in possession on the edge of the box until Walker injected a burst of pace to the byline and picked out Bale, who tucked the ball into the far corner.

It was soon 3-0 with the best goal of the afternoon. Defoe showed great strength to hold off Gorkss on halfway and having turned to goal, raced to the penalty area. Bale's run from left to right opened up more space and Defoe angled his run to the left before firing back across McCarthy.

Gallas cleared off the line from Le Fondre with five minutes remaining and Defoe volleyed over a hat-trick chance from Andros Townsend's cross in the final minute.

There was still time for the home side to grab a consolation as substitutes Le Fondre and Hal Robson-Kanu combined, Le Fondre chipping to the far post for Robson-Kanu to tuck away.

Reading (4-4-1-1): McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte; McCleary, Karacan (Le Fondre, 46), Leigertwood, McAnuff; Guthrie (Robson-Kanu, 84); Pogrebnyak (Hunt, 84). Unused subs: Shorey, Mariappa, Cummings, Taylor.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Vertonghan, Naughton; Dembele, Sandro; Lennon (Townsend, 88), Sigurdsson (Huddlestone, 72), Bale (Dempsey, 79); Defoe. Unused subs: Lloris, Caulker, Dawson, Adebayor.

Goals: Reading - Robson-Kanu (90). Spurs - Defoe (17, 74), Bale (71).

Yellow cards: Spurs - Defoe (90+3).

Attendance: 24,160.

Referee: Mr H Webb.

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