Reading 2-1 Sunderland
Two goals from Jimmy Kebe helped Reading beat Sunderland as the Royals moved two points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Mali forward rifled in an early opener as the hosts dominated against a Black Cats side aiming to move into the top half of the table.
Sunderland equalised through a Craig Gardner penalty after Pavel Pogrebnyak clumsily fouled John O'Shea.
But Kebe towered above Gardner to meet Ian Harte's free-kick in a late twist.
Sunderland's new £5m striker Danny Graham forced home goalkeeper Adam Federici into a brilliant acrobatic save just seconds before Reading's winner.
But instead, Kebe was the match-winner as Reading again showed their fighting qualities to clinch their third victory in four league matches.
Reading's impressive recent form has been characterised by a steely resilience which has enabled them to cancel out deficits in each of the last four top-flight games.
Before kick-off, Brian McDermott insisted he did not want his team to make a habit of going behind before a late rally - and they responded by taking an early lead in a dominant opening.
Sunderland allowed Royals skipper Jobi McAnuff far too much space in the left channel of their penalty area and he picked out Kebe, who took a superb first touch which gave him space to rifle past Simon Mignolet.
However, it looked as though Reading would have to be content with just a point.
Sunderland had little possession in the first half-hour, but they were given a golden opportunity to gain a foothold in the match following Pogrebnyak's rash sliding challenge on visiting skipper O'Shea.
Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and Gardner smashed a venomous spot-kick out of Federici's reach into the bottom left corner.
Both teams lacked punch in a scrappy start to the second half and Royals boss McDermott reacted by introducing in-form striker Adam Le Fondre and new signing Nick Blackman.
Le Fondre had scored seven goals in his five previous matches, including a late brace which salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Wednesday, but it was still not enough to promote him into the Royals' starting XI.
Sunderland counterpart Graham also had to be content with a place on the bench following his move from Swansea. And he almost made an instant impact after being introduced by Martin O'Neill with 10 minutes remaining.
A huge roar from the travelling Sunderland fans greeted Graham, a boyhood Newcastle supporter who once made disparaging comments about the Wearside club, and he was denied twice in quick succession.
He rose to meet Adam Johnson's right-wing cross with a far-post header, only to be denied by a block by Reading defender Alex Pearce, before Federici made another brilliant save from the subsequent corner.
Sunderland had not been beaten in their previous three league matches but Kebe pounced to keep the Black Cats out of the top 10, while Reading remain 17th but are two points clear of the relegation zone.
Reading manager Brian McDermott:
"It was a tough game. I thought we started well and scored the early goal before conceding the penalty.
"We have talked in the dressing room about Jimmy Kebe's prowess in the air, which he thought was greatly amusing. But no-one's laughing today - it was a great finish and a great ball by Ian Harte.
"We're absolutely delighted to get the three points."
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill:
"My main emotion is one of disappointment. Conceding a goal so late in the match, coming off the back of a couple of decent chances, is frustrating. But we have to take it and look forward to the next match.
"Reading adapted to the conditions better than we did and the pitch was firm and slippery on top. They started more brightly than we did and got the goal which they deserved.
"We got back in through the penalty and from then on we were never out of the game. It could have gone either way, but to concede was very disappointing."
- 01 Federici
- 05 Pearce
- 06 Mariappa
- 23 Harte
- 27 Kelly
- 08 Leigertwood
- 11 McAnuff Booked
- 14 Kebe
- 28 Akpan
- 07 Pogrebnyak (Blackman - 72' )
- 12 McCleary (Le Fondre - 65' )
- 41 Taylor
- 03 Shorey
- 15 Morrison
- 04 Karacan
- 20 Guthrie
- 09 Le Fondre
- 30 Blackman
- 22 Mignolet
- 16 O'Shea
- 19 Bramble Booked
- 04 N'Diaye
- 07 Larsson (Rose - 46' )
- 08 Gardner Booked
- 14 Colback
- 15 Vaughan (McClean - 62' )
- 21 Johnson
- 28 Sessegnon Booked (Graham - 79' )
- 26 Fletcher
- 20 Westwood
- 02 Bardsley
- 03 Rose
- 18 Mangane
- 23 McClean
- 09 Graham
- 10 Wickham
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +1:46
Jobi McAnuff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Colback. Free kick taken by Craig Gardner.90:00 +1:32
The ball is swung over by Adam Johnson, Mikele Leigertwood manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:20
Danny Rose delivers the ball, Adrian Mariappa manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:02
The ball is crossed by Craig Gardner, clearance by Alex Pearce.89:06
Centre by James McClean, Nick Blackman makes a clearance.88:50
Short corner taken by Danny Rose from the left by-line.84:50
Assist on the goal came from Ian Harte.84:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Jimmy Kebe - Reading 2 - 1 Sunderland Jimmy Kebe finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Reading 2-1 Sunderland.84:02
Titus Bramble concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Blackman. Ian Harte delivers the ball,83:19
Centre by Adam Johnson, Titus Bramble has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.82:07
The ball is sent over by Adam Johnson, Danny Graham takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Kelly. Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the left by-line, Danny Graham takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the right by-line, Adam Federici makes a save.80:02
Effort on goal by Alfred N'Diaye from inside the box misses to the right of the target.79:42
The ball is crossed by Adam Johnson, Stephen Kelly makes a clearance.78:52
Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.78:52 Substitution
Substitution (Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Danny Graham coming on for Stephane Sessegnon.78:52
The assistant referee signals for offside against Nick Blackman.77:29
A cross is delivered by James McClean, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.73:49
Corner taken by Ian Harte from the right by-line played to the near post, Adrian Mariappa takes a shot.73:16
The ball is crossed by Danny Rose, Adrian Mariappa makes a clearance.
Substitution Nick Blackman on for Pavel Pogrebnyak.68:04
Craig Gardner sends in a cross.67:53
The ball is sent over by James McClean, clearance by Alex Pearce.65:54
Corner taken by James McClean, clearance by Jimmy Kebe.65:33
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson played to the near post, clearance made by Pavel Pogrebnyak.63:35 Substitution
Substitution Adam Le Fondre joins the action as a substitute, replacing Garath McCleary.63:35
Alfred N'Diaye produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.62:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adrian Mariappa on Stephane Sessegnon. Craig Gardner delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Ian Harte makes a clearance.61:15 Substitution
Substitution James McClean on for David Vaughan.60:38
Garath McCleary challenges Alfred N'Diaye unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.58:52
Danny Rose fouled by Stephen Kelly, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Rose takes the indirect free kick.56:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff by David Vaughan. Ian Harte has an effort direct from the free kick, Craig Gardner gets a block in.56:20
Unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe by Danny Rose results in a free kick. Alex Pearce takes the free kick.54:57
Stephane Sessegnon concedes a free kick for a foul on Ian Harte.54:39
Ian Harte crosses the ball in from the free kick.54:39 Booking
Booking Stephane Sessegnon receives a caution.53:26
Jimmy Kebe delivers the ball, Stephane Sessegnon concedes a free kick for a foul on Hope Akpan. Shot on goal comes in from Ian Harte from the free kick, save by Simon Mignolet.53:19
Ian Harte crosses the ball, clearance by John O'Shea.53:06
Ian Harte sends in a cross, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.52:09
Foul by Alex Pearce on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Craig Gardner.51:06
Steven Fletcher takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.50:27
Danny Rose fouled by Garath McCleary, the ref awards a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.50:14
A cross is delivered by Ian Harte, clearance by John O'Shea.49:38
Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Danny Rose.49:24
Ian Harte delivers the ball, Simon Mignolet makes a save.45:48
Adrian Mariappa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick crossed left-footed by Adam Johnson, Stephen Kelly makes a clearance.45:01
The second half begins.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Sebastian Larsson leaves the field to be replaced by Danny Rose.45:00 +2:05 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +1:27
The ball is sent over by Hope Akpan, Pavel Pogrebnyak produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.45:00 +0:27
Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner.44:28
Foul by John O'Shea on Pavel Pogrebnyak, free kick awarded. Alex Pearce restarts play with the free kick.44:13
Adam Johnson produces a cross, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.43:32
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.42:03
Garath McCleary gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick crossed left-footed by Adam Johnson, Ian Harte manages to make a clearance.41:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jobi McAnuff on David Vaughan. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.39:18
Unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe by Jack Colback results in a free kick. Ian Harte sends in a cross, Pavel Pogrebnyak takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.39:08
The ball is sent over by Sebastian Larsson, save by Adam Federici.38:21
The ball is sent over by Adam Johnson, Stephen Kelly manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, clearance by Ian Harte.36:45
Effort from outside the penalty area by Ian Harte goes wide left of the target.36:32
A cross is delivered by Jobi McAnuff, clearance by John O'Shea.34:58
Inswinging corner taken by Adam Johnson, save by Adam Federici.33:56
Stephen Kelly crosses the ball, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.33:20
The ball is delivered by Jimmy Kebe, clearance by Sebastian Larsson.32:27
Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.32:27 Booking
Booking Booking for Titus Bramble.32:26
Unfair challenge on Pavel Pogrebnyak by Titus Bramble results in a free kick.30:36
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Garath McCleary, save by Simon Mignolet.29:17
Shot from just outside the box by Jimmy Kebe misses to the right of the target.28:24
Assist on the goal came from John O'Shea.28:24 Goal scored
Goal! - Craig Gardner - Reading 1 - 1 Sunderland Placed penalty scored by Craig Gardner. Reading 1-1 Sunderland.27:20
Penalty awarded for a foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak on John O'Shea.26:45
Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the right by-line to the near post, Pavel Pogrebnyak makes a clearance.25:56
Garath McCleary produces a cross, clearance made by John O'Shea.25:10
Corner taken by Garath McCleary from the left by-line to the near post, Craig Gardner manages to make a clearance.24:29
Alex Pearce fouled by Stephane Sessegnon, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.23:44
Alfred N'Diaye takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save. Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.23:13
The ball is swung over by Alfred N'Diaye, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.22:01
Jack Colback gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.21:31
Titus Bramble fouled by Pavel Pogrebnyak, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.20:16
The ball is swung over by Jack Colback, clearance made by Adrian Mariappa.18:29
The free kick is delivered left-footed by Ian Harte from left wing, clearance made by Alfred N'Diaye. Inswinging corner taken by Ian Harte from the right by-line played to the near post, save made by Simon Mignolet.18:29 Booking
Booking Craig Gardner goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.18:25
Craig Gardner challenges Garath McCleary unfairly and gives away a free kick.17:17
A cross is delivered by Garath McCleary, Jack Colback manages to make a clearance.16:20
Garath McCleary crosses the ball, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.12:10
Alfred N'Diaye gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garath McCleary. Ian Harte delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance by Alfred N'Diaye.10:49
The ball is swung over by Jimmy Kebe, Jack Colback makes a clearance.9:49
Alfred N'Diaye takes a shot and went wide left of the target.8:58
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pavel Pogrebnyak by Titus Bramble. Adrian Mariappa takes the free kick.6:03
Assist by Jobi McAnuff.6:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Jimmy Kebe - Reading 1 - 0 Sunderland A goal is scored by Jimmy Kebe from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Reading 1-0 Sunderland.5:43
Pavel Pogrebnyak produces a cross, Alfred N'Diaye makes a clearance.5:12
Foul by Steven Fletcher on Ian Harte, free kick awarded. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.5:01
The ball is delivered by Jimmy Kebe, Simon Mignolet makes a save.2:47
Foul by Craig Gardner on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded. Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.0:22
Adam Johnson takes the free kick.0:22 Booking
Booking Jobi McAnuff is booked.0:06
Unfair challenge on Steven Fletcher by Jobi McAnuff results in a free kick.0:00
The referee starts the match.
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