Live Commentary: Chelsea 4-2 Reading - as it happened

Roberto Di Matteo
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary from the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Reading at Stamford Bridge.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Reading at Stamford Bridge.

Big-spending Chelsea began their campaign with a 2-0 victory at Wigan Athletic on Sunday, with new arrival Eden Hazard particularly impressive on his Blues debut.

The Belgian playmaker is named in a starting lineup showing two changes from the side that were victorious at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Di Matteo is forced into an alteration in defence as Gary Cahill replaces the injured David Luiz, while Ramires comes in at the expense of Ryan Bertrand in midfield.

Meanwhile, the newly-promoted Royals marked their return to the top flight with a home point against Stoke City on Saturday.

Adam Le Fondre netted a last-minute penalty as Reading salvaged a 1-1 draw against the Potters, but he is dropped to the bench as Brian McDermott reverts to 4-5-1 for his side's trip to the European champions.

Click here for the full team news.

Please note that the live action will start at 7.45pm.


10.00pmThat's it from me for tonight. Thanks for joining Sports Mole to follow another thrilling Premier League encounter. Be sure to return for our live coverage this weekend, which includes commentary of Spurs vs. West Brom and Man United vs. Fulham. I'm off to check on the progress of my fantasy team. Many thanks to Ivanovic, Pogrebnyak and Torres - pity I didn't have Hazard too! Over and out...

9.57pmLooking ahead to this weekend, both sides face north East opposition as Chelsea host Newcastle, while Reading travel to Sunderland looking for their first win since returning to the top flight.

9.55pmSo, Chelsea are the early Premier League leaders, taking advantage of their rearranged fixture to move clear at the top ahead of this weekend's matches...

9.50pmFULL-TIME: The Premier League never fails to entertain. When Frank Lampard gave Chelsea an 18th-minute lead, I, like many, suspected this would turn out to be a routine win for the Blues. However, a quickfire double from Pogrebnyak and Guthrie, who was given an assist from Chelsea stopper Petr Cech, turned the game around and silenced those doubters and the home crowd along with it. The European champions needed a goalkeeping error of their own to get back on level terms, and then some assistance from the linesman to see them go ahead courtesy of an offside Fernando Torres. Ivanovic rubbed salt into the wounds with a late counter-attack goal, which was created by the excellent Eden Hazard, who was once again the outstanding player on the park.

9.42pmFULL-TIME: Read Sports Mole's full-time report on the contest here.

9.39pmFULL-TIME: Chelsea 4-2 Reading

9.38pmGOAL! Chelsea 4-2 Reading (Ivanovic) The corner was directed towards Federici and thus when the ball is cleared, the Reading goal is vacant with lone defender Chris Gunter staring at a stampede of Chelsea bodies on the counter attack. Hazard is the man who takes the ball the length of the field, but rather than shoot himself, he squares for Ivanovic to tap into an almost unguarded net. Game over.

9.37pmThe Irishman strikes low and it is deflected behind off a Chelsea body. Corner to Reading and goalkeeper Federici is up..!

9.36pmAnother free kick for Reading. This one is more central, but is quite a way out. Harte is over it again...

9.35pmBut Meireles is on hand to clear at the near post. Danger averted...

9.34pmOn that note, free kick in a promising position for Reading. Harte is over it...

9.33pmReading won't have given up hope just yet. The fourth official has signaled that there will be FIVE minutes of added time. Remember, nothing is certain yet...this is the Premier League...

9.32pmGood play from Robson-Kanu as he wrong foots Ivanovic, but his cross is slightly over-hit and McAnuff can only loop his header straight into the arms of a grateful Cech.

9.30pmSo, with a little help from the assistant referee, Chelsea have turned this one around as we enter the final two minutes.

9.28pmA change for each side. Di Matteo brings on Raul Meireles to Juan Mata to tighten up the midfield, while Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Gareth McLeary in a straight swap down the Reading right.

9.25pmGOAL! Chelsea 3-2 Reading (Torres) To the relief of the home support, Chelsea regain their lead and it is Torres who has scored. The Blues get plenty of bodies forward and when Mata spreads the ball to Ashley Cole, the Stamford Bridge faithful urge the left back to shoot. Instead though the England international shows great composure to square for Torres to convert from close range. There's a hint of offside though. More than a hint in-fact, the Spaniard is off by a yard. Reading will consider themselves pretty unlucky there.

9.22pmJust wide from Mata! Chelsea pass the ball around the box patiently until Hazard spots an opening and fires a ball into Mata. The Spaniard is in a tight space and he sends a miscued shot with his weaker right foot narrowly wide.

9.20pmA second change for the Royals as Noel Hunt comes on for Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russian put in an excellent shift up top, but it is a case of fresh legs now for Brian McDermott.

9.18pmIn the midst of those Chelsea attacks, Reading make a change of their own with Adam Le Fondre replacing Jem Karacan. The former Rotherham striker made a habit of scoring off the bench during their Championship winning campaign last season...

9.16pmSubstitute Sturridge tries a similar effort as Chelsea push for a winning goal. This one is very ambitious from the former Man City man though and ends up high and wide.

9.14pmChelsea nearly take the lead immediately after but Mata's curling effort does not bend enough to finish inside of the post.

9.12pmGOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Reading (Cahill) It has not been a good night for goalkeepers. Adam Federici, who made an error in Reading's opening-day draw to Stoke, is again at fault for Chelsea's equaliser as he can only palm Gary Cahill's long-range effort into the net.

9.11pmAs I suspected, Chelsea make a second change and it is Sturridge who is introduced to the action. The England international replaces John Obi Mikel in a very attack-minded change from Di Matteo.

9.10pmChance for Chelsea! Hazard starts and nearly finishes a fine Blues move. The Belgian turns cleverly on the halfway line and after Oscar, Mata, Torres and Ivanovic all have touches, the ball eventually returns to Hazard for him to shoot at goal. He connects well with his first-time effort but Pearce is on hand to block the goal-bound shot.

9.08pmReading pick up a second yellow card and it is goalscorer Pogrebnyak who enters the referee's book for persistent fouling.

9.07pmWe have now played 65 minutes at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea still find themselves behind. Daniel Sturridge is probably next in line should Roberto Di Matteo look to change personnel again...

9.04pmHazard and Oscar combine well as the Belgian presents the latter with a chance to shoot. He is denied a first Chelsea goal by an Adam Federici save.

9.02pmA brief stoppage on play as John Terry crashes into the floor after an aerial challenge with Alex Pearce. The Blues skipper has had to leave the field temporarily after landing hard on his lower back - through no fault of the Reading defender I should add.

9.01pmOscar's introduction has seen Hazard switch to the right, with the ?20m signing operating on the left.

9.00pmFirst booking of the game as Jem Karacan is cautioned for a late challenge on Juan Mata.

8.59pmChange for Chelsea as Oscar replaces Brazilian compatriot Ramires.

8.57pmMore excellent play from Hazard, who skips in from the right, beating two men before sending a pass cross-field to Mata. The Spaniard cuts inside but, with Torres in wait, cannot thread the ball through a crowded box.

8.54pmAnother cross directed towards Torres is headed to temporary safety by the Reading defence- Kasper Gorkss the man responsible this time.

8.52pmRamires has the run on Harte down this right-hand side and easily sprints past the experienced full-back, but the cross is headed clear by Pearce.

8.50pmI briefly sensed more fantasy points there when Torres laid the ball back for Branislav Ivanovic to strike at goal. The Serbian cannot repeat his opening day goalscoring antics on this occasion though as he fires wide.

8.48pmNo changes for either side, but I wonder if Di Matteo will look to highly-rated youngster Oscar if the scores remain the same. The Brazilian attacker made his Premier League bow off the bench against Wigan on Sunday...

8.47pmThe action has resumed at Stamford Bridge...

8.45pmHALF-TIME: To slightly amend a famous footballing cliche, this has been a half of two halves. Chelsea were completely dominant in the early stages and took a deserved lead through Frank Lampard's 18th-minute penalty - Eden Hazard again the architect as his brilliant footwork drew a foul from Reading newboy Chris Gunter. However, from the minute Pavel Pogrebnyak superbly headed the Royals level, the traffic was all heading in the other direction. The usually-reliable Petr Cech gifted Reading a second and a surprise lead by spilling Danny Guthrie's free kick into the net and the newly-promoted side then closed the period in control of the European champions. Reading will be eyeing a big upset here, but there's plenty more mileage in this one yet...

8.35pmHALF-TIME: Read Sports Mole's half-time report on the contest here.

8.33pmHALF-TIME: Chelsea 1-2 Reading

8.32pmChance for Chelsea! The Blues nearly go into the break on level terms and it is Hazard again who is the creator. This time appearing on the right, he floats a cross for Torres to attack, but under pressure from two Reading defenders, the Spaniard heads narrowly wide.

8.31pmEntering stoppage time at the end of the first half, of which there will be two minutes...

8.29pmGreat chance for Reading! Alex Pearce has his head in his hands. Ian Harte does what he has done all of his career by putting a free kick on the plate for his side to attack. Pearce is the man closest to the cross but, despite being unmarked, somehow fails to make contact with the goal gaping. Any touch from that close range would have left Cech with a serious save to make.

8.26pmGood defensive header from Cahill as he gets the right side of Pogrebnyak this time to head behind for a corner. Torres is on hand to clear from the resultant set piece.

8.24pmBetter response from Chelsea, who drive forward through Mikel. His square pass finds Hazard in space, but his wild strike goes high and wide of Federici's net.

8.20pmMata's delivery is eventually cleared to Terry, but the Blues skipper fires over with an ambitious effort.

8.18pmMore brilliance from Hazard, whose trickery on the left touchline earns his side a free kick in a dangerous area. Karacan meanwhile is fortunate to escape unpunished.

8.16pmChelsea have been rattled by this quickfire Reading double. Mikel gives the ball away to McAnuff in midfield but luckily Cech is on hand to intercept the Royals captain's through ball before Pogrebnyak can reach it.

8.13pmGOAL! Chelsea 1-2 Reading (Guthrie) What a turnaround at the Bridge and it is a howler from Petr Cech. Reading earn a free kick on the left edge of the area and Danny Guthrie shoots low through a crowded box and subsequently the Blues stopper, who fumbles a straightforward gather into the net. The home crowd have been silenced.

8.10pmGOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Reading (Pogrebnyak) What was I saying?! Former Fulham striker Pogrebnyak scores on his return to west London with a superb header and bags me four fantasy points in the process! He gets in-front of Cahill in the box to brilliantly power home Gareth McLeary's cross. An example of commentator's curse if ever there was one!

8.09pmHe doesn't, but the Three Lions boss will be keeping an eye on Blues centre-back pairing John Terry and Gary Cahill, who have been largely untested thus far.

8.08pmEngland boss Roy Hodgson is in the stands for this one. How he must wish he had a player like Hazard at his disposal.

8.06pmBrilliant from Cech as he collects an Ian Harte free kick and releases Mata with a quick throw out. The Spaniard tries to find his international colleague Torres in the area but Pearce is on hand to intercept the danger.

8.04pmGOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Reading (Lampard) You bet he can! Lampard is reliable as ever from 12 yards as he smashes it powerfully under Federici. The Australian dived the right way but there was just too much pace on the strike for him to get near it.

8.02pmPenalty for Chelsea! Deja Vu for Chelsea as Eden Hazard again earns them a penalty with some marvelous skill inside the box. He dribbles past Leigertwood and then twisting Chris Gunter in and out before being caught by the Welshman's trailing leg. Can Frank Lampard replicate his opening-day spot-kick result?...

8.00pmTorres himself had half a sniff at goal when he created space for himself with fine footwork which saw him evade two Reading defenders. As it has been for the majority of his Blues career, the Spaniard miscued his finish wide of the net.

7.58pmThe returning Ramires meanwhile tested the Royals stopper with a bending left-footed shot, but had he squared to the unmarked Fernando Torres, Chelsea would likely be a goal to the good.

7.57pmUnsurprisingly it has been all Chelsea. Mata and Hazard have been lively, with the latter sending an early shot wide of Adam Federici's net.

7.55pmApologies for the gap in updates. That was down to some slight technical difficulties and not me making last-minute fantasy changes. Anyway, I'll summarise the first 10 minutes for you...

7.39pmRussian Pavel Pogrebnyak is the lone striker and he'll be hoping to open up his Royals account in style tonight, (and add to my already healthy fantasy football tally)...

7.37pmInstead Brian McDermott hands a start to fit-again midfielder Jem Karacan as he opts for a more defensive 4-5-1 system.

7.35pmReading striker Adam Le Fondre has learned that the Premier League is a cut-throat business. Even his winning goal against Stoke wasn't enough to see him maintain his starting berth for tonight...

7.32pmThe blow of David Luiz being absent in defence is cushioned by Gary Cahill's inclusion, while Ramires, a key player for the Blues last season, returns in place of young England international Ryan Bertrand on the wing.

7.30pmOne Brazilian in and one out for Chelsea tonight, but the Blues are arguably stronger tonight than they were for their season opener...


Gary Cahill
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