We always knew the step up to the Championship would not be easy but today we were shown just how far we could look from a promotion chasing team as the Royals ripped us apart with ease and could easily have had a few more goals to add to their impressive enough tally.
It was a gulf in class that existed between the two teams – particularly in the first half as Reading scored through Noel and Steven Hunt and one from Kevin Doyle who also scored in the later stages of the game to complete the rout.
Dorus was also forced into two or three impressive saves with the closest the Swans came was a Jordi Gomez free kick that hit the bar in the second half.
Surprisingly, Roberto had used his sides toughest test of the season to tinker with the formation and he returned his side to a 4-4-2 formation with Pintado in for Gower who dropped to the bench leaving the Swans to line up as follows
Rangel Monk Williams Bessone
Gomez Britton Bodde Butler
The change in formation didn’t work and no matter who was supposed to be playing wide right nobody occupied that position first or second half leaving Rangel exposed on more than one occasion when he was getting forward. When you then factor in that Bessone was being suckered into the challenge on too many occasions it is easy to understand how the Swans were becoming overwhelmed.
Noel Hunt grabbed the first from a Steven Hunt corner – a goal very similair to the first conceded at Charlton on the opening day – something that we have allegedly worked on. The second came as a result of Dorus being rooted to his line when a ball came into the box and Doyle had no hesitation to add to his impressive goal tally for the season. And there was still time for Steven Hunt to add the third before half time.
The Swans were beaten and were surely on a damage limitation exercise at this time. Martinez’ response was to throw on Brandy and Gower for Scotland and Butler at the start of the second half as he tried to make a difference. And, if truth be known, the Swans were more in the second half although some of that seemed to be Reading happy enough to concede possession and let the Swans come at them.
For all our possession though we could not really threaten the Reading goal and it almost always looked like it would be the home team who would add to the scoreline. The lack of someone to support Rangel on the right became obvious and Gower seemed unable to get decent ball into the box. In addition, you have to wonder how Guillem Bauza must be feeling as he watches Brandy put in some ineffective performances. I am not the greatest Bauza fan in the world but it is hard to see what he has done wrong to be so far out in the cold at the moment.
Reading’s fourth came from a counter attack and very well finished by Doyle to put a scoreline on the match that certainly did not flatter the hosts who were good value and deserved of their scoreline.
Very little for the Swans to be proud of during the game. Bessone looked very average for most of the match and ineffective performances from Scotland, Pintado, Brandy and Butler did not help the Swansea cause with just Leon Britton again coming out with any real credit.
There is no need to panic but some questions need to be asked in the changing rooms of what we need to do to bounce back because the upcoming fixture list is not looking any easier.
A bad day at the office but most definitely beaten by a very good team.