31st of January 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Substitute Adam Le Fondre scored a late brace as Reading fought back from two goals behind against Chelsea to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone. Blues midfielder Juan Mata had opened the scoring just before half time with a fierce strike and Frank Lampard's header from Mata's corner put third-placed Chelsea in command. But Le Fondre fired in Hope Akpan's pass before scoring a stoppage-time equaliser.
Reading only needed a point to move above relegation rivals Wigan and Aston Villa, but that point seemed long gone as Chelsea took command. But the Royals were rescued once again by Le Fondre, who also came off the bench to score twice in six minutes in their 2-1 win at Newcastle. Fellow substitute Akpan also had a very important contribution as he created both goals for Le Fondre. Akpan's fine through ball enabled Le Fondre to fire past Chelsea goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, who didn't have to make any saves before that moment. Then Reading clinched the unlikely point in the fifth minute of stoppage time when a long free-kick from goalkeeper Federici launched a long free-kick into the Chelsea box and Akpan headed into the path of Le Fondre, who managed to keep cool and score his seventh goal in five matches.
The first half was rather boring but Chelsea took the lead a minute into stoppage time thanks to a clever move between Ramires, Oscar and Mata, who delivered the ball to Torres who then passed back to Mata who fired in a superb half-volley. An error from the home side's defence then allowed Lampard to come forward, clinch a corner which then led to another goal. It was Frank Lampard's 10th of the season and the Chelsea midfielder is now just six goals away from Bobby Tambling's record of 202 goals for the Blues. Brazilian midfielder Oscar could have added a third goal but he was denied by Federici. That miss proved quite costly Le Fondre pulled off the amazing rescue which gives Reading their seventh point from their last three Premier League games.
Reading manager Brian McDermott said after the match: "You definitely didn't see that coming. But we've had it here at the Madejski before with 10 minutes to go. We've done it so many times. We weren't really in the game, just trying to get a foothold and trying to change things to get something. Hope Akpan came on the pitch and made a couple of goals too. He was terrific. That's why we talk about the group and what they all mean to us. They all made a difference for us today."
Chelsea's next game is on February 2 when they visit Newcastle, here are the odds from Bet365:
Newcastle win - 10/3
Draw - 11/4
Chelsea win - 4/5
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