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Thursday 23 August 2012

Di Matteo delight at strong-finishing Chelsea

Italian pleased by Chelsea's display; Brian McDermott 'proud' in defeat

  • Roberto Di Matteo was pleased by Chelsea's attacking display against Reading

  • Frank Lampard gave Chelsea an early lead from the spot

  • Pavel Pogrebnyak levelled the scores with a fabulous header

  • Guthrie gave Reading a shock lead with his free kick

  • Cech was unable to hold on to Guthrie's free kick on its way to the net

  • Gary Cahill equalised for Chelsea with a long-range shot

  • Fernando Torres converted Ashley Cole's cross to restore Chelsea's lead

Roberto Di Matteo was delighted with his side's strong finish as Chelsea came from behind to seal a 4-2 victory against Reading, while Reading's Brian McDermott resolved to remain true to his attacking ideology.

Despite taking a 17th-minute lead through Frank Lampard's second penalty in as many matches the Londoners found themselves behind at half-time as Reading responded with two goals in four minutes by Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie, whose free-kick was spilled by Petr Cech.

Chelsea rallied in the second half, however, as Gary Cahill levelled the match with a 69th-minute long shot, Fernando Torres tapped in from close range with nine minutes remaining and Branisalv Ivanovic scored in added time as Reading threw men forward – including goalkeeper Adam Federici – in search of an equaliser.

"I was very happy with the team performance for long periods of the game"
Roberto Di Matteo

Their second successive victory takes the Blues top of the Barclays Premier League for the first time since November 2010 to the delight of Di Matteo. "We are very pleased with six points after two games," the Italian tactician told the club's official website.

"I was very happy with the team performance for long periods of the game. We lost our flow after Reading scored their equaliser and second goal, but apart from that, very good, and we finished very strongly again."

Chelsea's second match was brought forward as a result of their involvement in the UEFA Super Cup next Friday and the European club champions took full advantage.

"Keeping in mind that we've played a game more than other teams, for us it's good we've won our two opening games," he continued. "Wigan away and this game against a promoted team was a tough game, as you could see tonight, and credit to Reading.

"The way we started the game was very enjoyable. Our crowd went a bit quiet when Reading equalised but again at the end they pushed us on and showed how good they are.

"I don't know if we will stay at the top but we are taking it game by game and will enjoy tonight's victory. Then tomorrow morning we will think about the next game."

"We have to try and be solid to win more games"
Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo suggested that Chelsea, who were without the injured David Luiz, will need to look stronger at the back for Saturday's visit of Newcastle United, but was pleased with his side's goal return from their first two matches.

"We were very offensive in the second half and lost our balance a bit but had to take the risk. I would like to think we are defensively quite good, we had a clean sheet on the first day, Reading did well tonight but we've scored six goals in two games. We have to try and be solid to win more games."

Reading manager Brian McDermott was left feeling frustrated at a match that slipped out of his side’s grasp in the last nine minutes.

'Gutted'

"We didn't deserve to lose," he told the club's official website. "We're disappointed with the result and I'm gutted for the players because I didn't just think we were going to draw, I thought we were going to win. It's a shame.

"We probably dropped a little bit deep after half-time but I thought we got through it and weathered that. We had scored a fantastic goal through Pavel and maybe could have had another from Ian Harte's free kick, [Alex] Pearcey could have got on the end of it.

"I always said when I got this job I would try to win games - I'll stick to that"
Brian McDermott

"If you go in 3-1 it's a real plus. But our fans will go home with real belief and will be very proud."

McDermott adopted an offensive approach throughout the match and brought on attacking players in the form of Adam Le Fondre, Noel Hunt and Hal Robson-Kanu despite the hosts' fightback.

"Even at 2-2 I thought we were right in the game," he added. "It wasn't a case of chasing it. I always said when I got this job I would try to win games. If you do that, sometimes it comes for you and we've won a lot of games with that philosophy, I'll stick to that."

Read a full report of the match in our superb Matchday service, offering you how the match unfolded, statistics about the match as well as the best photos of the action. You can also rate the teams' players.

MATCH REPORT, PHOTOS, STATISTICS AND YOUR RATINGS > > >

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Key Points

  • Roberto Di Matteo pleased with Chelsea's strong finish
  • Brian McDermott frustrated but unbowed after Reading defeat
  • Go to the Matchday service to give your ratings on the two teams' players