Reading were well beaten in the end but once again, in what is becoming a familiar plot it took us a while to get into a comfortable position despite the fact that we had spent most of the game only lending the away side the ball for short periods of time. Headers from Dawson and Adebayor (the former our second goal from a corner in two games) and another deflected loop from Dempsey were the least we deserved after big lump Pogrebnyak had given Reading a very early lead.
The boys in banana yellow were surprisingly physical, a typically random performance from referee Webb allowed Pog and Pearce in particular to manhandle and shove with impunity throughout. The big Russian never ran round a Spurs player if he thought he could run through him and Pearce was rarely without a white shirt in his hand – Adebayor had to wrestle the centre back’s arm away from his chest twice in the few seconds before he met Lennon’s cross for goal number two. Former Spur Chris Gunter joined in, he had Defoe virtually in a headlock at one corner, it was all was fair and legal though according to the baldy in red.
So we were all over them apart from the five-minute spell between Dembélé going off and Dempsey scoring when Lloris was forced into his only save and Kyle Walker made a Ledleyesque intervention as Kebe dallied. We could and should have improved our goal difference in the last few minutes as the heads of Reading disappeared into the supermarket aisles on their chests. Defoe was unusually wasteful. He had spent a lot of the game playing very deep presumably in an effort to ensure he saw more of the ball than usual, a tactic that worked even if he didn’t always use the ball effectively.
Lennon, Dembélé and Sandro were excellent in the middle with everyone else contributing valuably. All very reassuring especially with QPR up next after a week’s break for a bit of 1987 nostalgia. I wonder how many times Keith Houchen’s name will come up in the next few days?
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