FT: Reading 1 Aston Villa 2

Thanks for all your comments today folks! Don't forget, you can always follow me on Twitter: @RazMirza to send me your views! Match Report will follow...

Villa win a throw deep in Reading territory and they will take their time.

Nick Blackman goes over in the box and claims a penalty, but nothing is given.

Reading win a free-kick on halfway and everybody will pile forward for this.

There will be an additional FOUR added minutes of stoppage time at the Madejski Stadium.

Charles N'Zogbia's left-footer flies just over the crossbar. At the other end Adam Le Fondre heads the ball into the ground and wide.

Andreas Weimann is brought down on the edge of the box by Jobi McAnuff and the Reading man is booked.

CLOSE! Danny Guthrie picks out Hal Robson-Kanu, but his left-foot curler falls inches wide of the near post.

Referee Jon Moss books Ashley Westwood for his reaction to the award of a Reading free-kick.

Paul Lambert is sitting on the edge of his seat as the clock ticks down.

Christian Benteke picks out Charles N'Zogbia just inside the area, but the substitute fires over the crossbar.

Frazer Meldrum emails in to say: "Villa are definitely going to win this match the way things have been going and if things go right we can beat QPR as well."

Charles N'Zogbia stays on his feet before eventually going to ground. But referee Jon Mosswaves play on.

Mikele Leigertwood is replaced by Danny Guthrie as Brian McDermott makes his final change.

Six of Reading's past seven Premier League goals at home have come in the 82nd minute or later while five of their 22 home goals this season have come in the 90th minute.

Nathan Baker is indeed replaced by Joe Bennett as we head into the final ten minutes.

Nathan Baker is down injured, but he quickly gets to his feet and looks to be heading off.

Villa keep possession of the ball until a loose pass allows Reading to break through Jobi McAnuff, but his cross is well taken by Brad Guzan.

SO CLOSE! Andreas Weimann sends Gabby Agbonlahor on his way and the striker cuts back onto his right-foot before seeing his curler drift inches wide of the far post.

Substitute Nick Blackman goes for goal from just outside the box, but Brad Guzan handles well.

The Royals have been the stronger in this second half, but Villa seem happy to sit back and counter-attack.

Charles N'Zogbia's cross finds Christian Benteke and then Stuart Taylor is forced into a hurried clearance.

@Boysie_Baldock Tweets: "Eagerly nervously awaiting the final result!! We need the three points and we can get them!! Work hard play hard!!"

Paul Lambert makes his first change and Charles N'Zogbia comes on for Barry Bannan.

Adam Le Fondre's pull-back is cleared to safety by Ron Vlaar.

CHANCE! Awful defending by Villa as Nick Blackman is allowed too much space to meet the ball at the back post, but it's straight at Brad Guzan.

Ten of Reading's last 11 Premier League goals have come in the last 20 minutes. And they're coming forward in numbers here.

Christian Benteke is booked for sliding in on Adrian Mariappa. That's his sixth booking of the season.

SO CLOSE READING! The cross comes into the box for Hal Robson-Kanu, who chests the ball down before sending his effort wide of the near post from just a few yards out. What a bad miss.

Gabby Agbonlahor is picking up spaces in front of the Reading backline. Barry Bannan gives the balla way though.

Nick Blackman hits his drive wide of the target, but he's allowed too much space and that angers Brad Guzan.

Mark Stott emails in to say: "Reading will beat Villa just like they did the Albion with two late goals I think!!!!"

The Royals are struggling to stay with Villa in the middle of the park.

Christian Benteke is winning everything in the air for Villa. The visitors have possession and come forward with 30 minutes remaining.

The home supporters don't seem to be too happy with the efforts of Jobi McAnuff at the moment and let him know how they feel in no uncertain terms.

Yacouba Sylla fires high and wide and then moments later Andreas Weimann scuff his shot.

Before Noel Hunt came off he was booked by referee Jon Moss for complaining after his disallowed goal.

Brian McDermott makes two changes. Garath McCleary and Nick Blackman replace Hope Akpan and Noel Hunt to boos by the home supporters.

OFFSIDE! Jobi McAnuff's low cross is stuck into the back of the net by Noel Hunt, but the flag is up on the far side.

SO CLOSE! Yacouba Sylla's right-foot cracker from 25 yards fizzes over the crossbar with Stuart Taylor beaten.

Barry Bannan is working hard for Villa today and gets back to make a solid challenge on Noel Hunt.

Aston Villa have gained only two points from losing positions this season, the lowest in the league. Today would be a different story if they hold on to record a win this afternoon.

Ashley Westwood's outswinger comes to Nahan Baker, but he heads wide of the target.

Villa sense blood here as Christian Benteke's right-foot bender deflects away for a corner.

Andreas Weimann breaks down the middle, but Alex Pearce gets back to make an important challenge.

@ReeceLT_97 Tweets: "Hope Villa can hold on too the potential win! Got £10 Benteke too score and Villa win at 3/1, job nearly done." Good luck to you Reece!

Both defences look vunerable, which is why I'm expecting to see a few more goals in the next 45 minutes.

We're underway in the second half and immediately Ron Vlaar surges forward from the back.

Paul Clark says: "Reckon the Villa will press on now scored just at the right time. Benteke to make it comfortable with a hat trick 4-1 Villa."

The Royals are now 5/1 with our friends @SkyBet to beat Villa, who are 1/2, while the draw is a 5/2 shot. I went for a high-scoring 2-2 draw before the match, which was priced at 12/1 and is now a 9/2 shot if you fancy a flutter. Right-click here: SKYBET and open in a new tab so that you can place your bets on this match while following my commentary.

Don't forget, if you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Aston Villa have come from behind to lead 2-1 against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. They gifted the home side the lead after 32 minutes with an own goal from Nathan Baker as he sliced in Jobi McAnuff's cross. But just a minute later Christian Benteke levelled from close-range before Gabby Agbonlahor put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time with a rasping left-foot finish.

Villa have come from behind to lead at the Madejski Stadium. Matt Lowton's header down is touched onto the post by Barry Bannan before Gabby Agbonlahor lashes his left-foot shot into the top corner giving Stuart Taylor no chance! That's only his fourth goal in 42 matches.


Eoin Martin emails in to say: "Baker is having a shocking game but if he improves then Villa should win this incredibly important match."

Yacouba Sylla looks to curl his pass to Gabby Agbonlahor but he fails to connect properly. They still have possession though.

Ashley Westwood sets Villa on the move until Barray Bannan attempts a spectaular half-volley, which is always drifting wide.

Ian Harte's mis-hit cross from the right is dropped over the line for a Reading corner by Brad Guzan, but they waste it after the ball curls out of play.

It's gone very scrappy in the last few minutes here at the Madejski Stadium.

Noel Hunt is working his socks off as he pressurises Ashley Westwood into a mistake.

Villa boss Paul Lambert called Nathan Baker over for a quiet word with him after that equalising goal.

That was a great time for Aston Villa to score and Christian Benteke has got Nathan Baker off the hook here.

Two goals in three minutes at the Madejski Stadium! Andreas Weimann is allowed so much space to pull the ball back for Christian Benteke to send his right-foot shot past goalkeeper Stuart Taylor via a deflection off defender Stephen Kelly. That's the big Belgian's 12th Premier League goal of the season.


Oh dear, oh dear Aston VIlla fans! A moment to forget for 21-year-old defender Nathan Baker as he slices Jobi McAnuff's left-wing cross into this own net.


Jobi McAnuff tries to measure the cross from the left, but Brad Guzan handles well.

Andran Clark comes across to deal with Adam Le Fondre, but it's a Reading throw and that quickly leads to a corner.

JUST WIDE! Nathan Baker is back with us after receiving some attention. And Christian Benteke breaks away before the ball falls kindly into the path of Andreas Weimann, but his left-foot shot is dragged wide of the target. That was a good chance gone begging for Villa.

A worried Andy Lunn in Hull says: "I feel sick right now and I doubt I feel any better unless we get all three points. In 34 years I have never known as poor a team as this Villa team. Please please Villa show some spirit, some ability and start winning and get us out of the mess we are in."

Nathan Baker takes a heavy knock after colliding with goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.

Gabby Agbonlahor breaks away down the right and his cross looks for Christian Benteke, who is behind the play. The big Belgian complains to referee Jon Moss that he was being held by Alex Pearce and replays suggest he was correct to complain to the man in black.

Nathan Baker wins his side a throw and he takes it looking for Andreas Weimann, but he loses out.

Matt Lowton looks long for Andreas Weimann, but the ball had too much pace on it.

CLOSE! Hal Robson-Kanu cuts inside before his left-foot shot drifts inches wide of the near post with Brad Guzan wrong-footed.

Captain Ron Vlaar wins another 50-50 at the back, but Reading are still in possession.

Barry Bannan's free-kick looks for Christian Benteke, who is marked by two men and has no chance of reaching the ball.

Christian Benteke looks a handful already and he earns his side a free-kick on halfway.

Barry Bannan's pass is missed by Andreas Weimann because he thought Yacouba Sylla was behind him, but he wasn't.

@TaufiqHarris Tweets: "Just noticed Bennett isn't in the starting 11 for Villa... I have a good feeling we may win this now!"

Nathan Baker concedes a corner which is taken by Ian Harte, but once again Brad Guzan makes a confident catch.

It's been a very good start to this game with both sides intent on scoring goals. I have a feeling we may have a few this afternoon with some shaky defending at both ends of the field.

OFF THE CROSSBAR! Christian Benteke comes close as his towering header strikes the woodwork with former Villa goalkeeper Stuart Taylor struggling to get across.

The resulting free-kick is headed up into the air before Brad Guzan claims the ball.

YELLOW CARD! Jobi McAnuff is taken to ground by a badly timed challenge by Matt Lowton, who is rightly booked.

Ashley Westwood's right-footed delivery is headed over the crossbar by defender Ciaran Clark.

Barry Bannan is felled by Hope Akpan after good skill from the Scottish midfielder.

Gabby Agbonlahor is playing wide left for Villa today, which is a bit unusual. Stephen Kelly's free-kick searches for Noel Hunt, but Ron Vlaar heads clear.

Villa are keeping a hold of the ball and trying to dictate possession with Reading happily sitting off them.

Craig Holman writes: "Suprised Zogbia not starting, Vlaar at back makes a massive difference. I'm going 3-1 or 3 nill to Villa although first goal will be very important, got a feeling Gabby will get one today."

Good start this from Reading and now Jobi McAnuff's cross deflects off Yacouba Sylla and then back off him for a goalkick.

GOOD CHANCE! Adam Le Fondre forces goalkeeper Brad Guzan into the first save of the match from a right-wing cross.

Whatever happens, one of these teams will claw their way out of the bottom three. Reading have lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Villa lining up in a 4-3-3 system.

Reading get us underway then. Villa's last away win was December 15 when they beat Liverpool 3-1 while Reading have lost each of their last three Premier League games, the longest current run.

The teams are out. Villa are wearing their claret and clue kit, while Reading are in their blue and white home shirts, shorts and socks. The pitch is in decent condition, but it's bitterly cold in Berkshire this afternoon. The Madejski Stadium is packed for this massive clash.

Brian Cook - A Villa Supporter over 65 years writes in to say: "Law of averages says one side should win today. I just hope it is the Villa. Be interesting to see how Sylla performs. Nice to see Barry Bannan in again. Suprised at NZobia being left out. Ron Vlaar hopefully will tighten up the defence."

Darren Grant says: "Hi Raz, Bit of nerves for Villa today, obviously a six-pointer. I think Villa could sneak a win, but feel like it could make or break the season; win, build on it and stay up, lose, capitulate and go down. Not over til it's over though. Surprised not to see N'Zog not starting, thought he's played well recently. UTV!"

Great comments folks! Keep them coming in. Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Meanwhile, Villa fan @stu_mccarthy Tweets: "We've never lost when I've tweeted you, so you're my good luck charm. I'm going for 3-1 to my Villa boys, Benteke (2) and Weimann."

Jon Warner writes in to say: "Speaking as a Villa fan, I feel that to be in an advantageous position we need a minimum of 4 points from our game today and against QPR next week. Whilst a win would be nice today, a draw would by no means be the end of the world, however I think that if we play the same way that we played against Arsenal and Man City we can win this 2-0 with Benteke and N'Zogbia on the scoresheet."

The Royals are marginal favourites at 11/8 with our friends @SkyBet to beat Villa, who are 15/8, while the draw is a 12/5 shot. Adam Le Fondre is favourite to bag the first goal at 6/1 while Noel Hunt is 13/2 For both players to score it's a 8/1 gamble. Jobi McAnuff is 14/1 while Hal Robson-Kanu is 16/1 to score a brace. For the visitors, Christian Benteke is 11/2 to score first and 9/1 to bag a brace. Andreas Weimann is 7/1 while Gabby Agbonlahor is the same price. Charles N'Zogbia is 3/1 to score in 90 minutes if he gets an opportunity off the bench. Villa have conceded a worrying amount of goals (17) in their last five away league games, which is why the Royals are favourites, but I'm hedging my bets and going for safety first. I reckon it's going to end up as a high-scoring 2-2 draw today, which is priced at 12/1 if you fancy a flutter. Right-click here: SKYBET and open in a new tab so that you can place your bets on this match while following my commentary.

READING TEAM NEWS: The Royals make just one enforced change with Hal Robson-Kanu coming in for injured winger Jimmy Kebe.

VILLA TEAM NEWS: Paul Lambert hands January signing Yacouba Sylla his first league start for the crucial clash. Sylla has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League since arriving from French second-tier side Clermont but comes in as one of three changes from the team beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Monday night. Skipper Ron Vlaar returns from a calf injury while Barry Bannan is drafted in to replace the suspended Fabian Delph in midfield.

READING: Taylor, Pearce, Mariappa, Kelly, Harte, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, McAnuff, Akpan, Hunt, Le Fondre.

SUBSTITUTES: Shorey, Karacan, McCleary, Morrison, Guthrie, Blackman, Henly.

ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Bannan, Sylla, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Benteke.

SUBSTITUTES: Given, N'Zogbia, Holman, Dawkins, Carruthers, Bowery, Bennett.

REFEREE: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire). He has taken charge of 15 matches this season, showing 46 Yellows and 1 Red, which works out at an average of 3.13 cards per game according to my calculations.

Here come today's teams...

George Baines is first to write in today and he says: "From a Reading fan this is the season decider as we have to go away to Manchester United and Arsenal next."

Reading and Villa supporters, do you agree with your respective manager's words and what are your feelings ahead of today's mighty match? Where will the points be heading by 5.45pm? Please send me your views. Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the very best.

Meanwhile, his opposite number Brian McDermott believes the relegation battle could well come down to the final day of the season. "You have to make sure you get the details right, it is so close. It could go down to goal difference." With 10 matches left to secure their hard-earned top-flight status, McDermott is confident they can do it. "I know we are going to finish strong. We generally finish strong. We have players that won a league last year and came from nowhere. We have that sort of experience and this is a similar sort of thing for us. For us it is a 10-game season now. We know what it's about, we know what is required. We did what we had to do last year and will aim to do what we need to this year."

Villa boss Paul Lambert knows exactly how important this afternoon's clash is going to and summed things up in his pre-match press conference by saying: "You'd like to think everyone has got fight in them to win a game and it's okay to be aggressive. But it will take a lot of courage. You need a lot of courage to take the ball as well. You need to go and play football and not get caught up with the occasions. In the last few performances, we certainly don't look like a team that is playing under pressure. We will try and play the game and not the occasion. I do believe we will be fine if keep playing the way we are."

Word cannot describe how important this afternoon clash at the Madejski is. Basement battle, proverbial six-pointer, make-or-break and squeaky bum time are some of the best I can come up with for now. If you know anymore, then let me know! A win for either team could lift them out of the relegation zone with Wigan in FA Cup action right now at Everton.

If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary of this Premier League crunch clash between Reading and Aston Villa from the Madejski Stadium.

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