Reading played out a stunning climax, coming from behind twice in the final 10 minutes against Fulham in a thrilling Premier League encounter to earn a 3-3 draw.
The home side took the lead early on through Mikele Leigertwood, before Bryan Ruiz found an equalizer in the second half. Chris Baird looked to have given Fulham a vital lead, before Gareth McCleary added a late second for QPR.
However, the game was not done there, with Dimitar Berbatov curling home what should have been a winner. However, Hal Robson-Kanu was on hand to poke home a dramatic equalizer in an end-to-end thriller at the Madejski Stadium.
Before the match, it was all about strikers, namely former Fulham man Pavel Pogrebnyak, as he stated that he had no regrets about leaving Craven Cottage. Martin Jol said he was bothered about the decision - until he signed Manchester United man Berbatov, that is.
Both started, with former Royals man Steve Sidwell having to settle for a place on the bench.
Pogrebnyak really should have put the home team ahead in the opening 10 minutes, inexplicably heading wide from four yards out, much to the delight of the visiting support.
After 15 minutes, Berbatov had his first chance, driving a shot over from the edge of the box after a nice move from involving Kieran Richardson and Hugo Rodallega, with the latter then directing a free header straight to Alex McCarthy in the Reading goal, a real waste.
After 26 minutes, the crowd saw an absolute beauty from Reading. Jason Roberts held the ball up nicely before finding Jobi McAnuff on the left. The winger cut inside before laying the ball off invitingly for Leigertwood, who curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
In a fairly even opening 45 minutes, Fulham was arguably creating the better chances, but was far too inaccurate, with Rodallega fluffing another header, this time from six yards out as he mistimed his effort.
The Cottagers were much more impressive in the second half though, with the introduction of Ruiz proving a pivotal decision from Jol.
The Costa Rican came on for the disappointing Rodallega, adding some flair and a stunning goal straight after his introduction.
Ruiz found Damien Duff in a great position, but the winger's touch let him down a little. However, the Irishman found his teammate again on the edge of the box, who then crashed the ball in off the bar for the second great goal of the game.
In the 76th minute, Fulham looked to have taken a decisive lead. Baird had a free kick from range deflected just wide for a corner, from which he stole a lead on his man at nodded in at the near-post, before falling into the advertising hoardings.
The defender-turned-midfielder eventually left the pitch to be replaced by Sidwell, who got a good ovation considering the visiting side had just taken the lead.
What followed was a tumultuous last 10 minutes, with McCleary on as a sub, sweeping home across Schwarzer.
But the game was far from over, with Berbatov adding a great effort only three minutes from time, curling a strike into the far corner.
However, Reading came straight back and found yet another equalizer, with Hal Robson-Kanu, another substitute, poking home from close range to cap a stunning finale.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Dimitar Berbatov
- Bryan Ruiz
- Mikele Leigertwood
- Hugo Rodallega