Chelsea survive Royals scare

A controversial late goal from Fernando Torres helped Chelsea recover from a half-time deficit to beat Reading 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Last Updated: 22/08/12 at 21:56 Post Comment

Torres: Late tap-in to secure victory

Torres: Late tap-in to secure victory

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Torres appeared a yard in front of play when he completed his side's comeback in an early-season Premier League thriller but his finish was allowed to stand by Lee Mason and his assistants.

It was harsh on Reading, who brilliantly battled back from Frank Lampard's penalty to lead at half-time through Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie.

Guthrie's goal came courtesy of a Petr Cech howler and opposite number Adam Federici had a nightmare of his own - his second in five days - in conceding Gary Cahill's equaliser.

Branislav Ivanovic scored into an empty net in the final minute of stoppage-time after Federici bombed forward in search of a draw.

The victory put Chelsea top of the table for the first time since November 2010, a fact pointed out by manager Roberto Di Matteo ahead of a fixture brought forward due to the European champions' involvement in the UEFA Super Cup.

But the Italian will be concerned at how hard his side made it for themselves against the npower Championship winners, who had several other chances to score.

For 25 minutes, it was the Chelsea show, with Eden Hazard showing the skills that yesterday saw Di Matteo dub him an "artist".

The Belgian had taken less than two minutes to make his mark on his league debut at Wigan and it could have been the same story tonight had he not screwed Juan Mata's through ball wide.

Hazard, Mata and Ramires were constantly on the move behind Torres and more fine football saw the latter force a good stop from Federici.

Torres went close to a superb solo goal before Chelsea inevitably took the lead in the 18th minute, the skills of Hazard again the inspiration.

The £32million man tormented Chris Gunter to distraction and when the leg was dangled, he hit the deck, giving Mason no choice but to award the penalty, Lampard giving Federici no chance from the spot.

If Chelsea thought the floodgates would open, they were given the rudest possible awakening as Reading amazingly turned the game on its head in the space of four minutes.

Pogrebnyak equalised with a brilliant header, getting in front of Cahill to glance home Garath McCleary's cross.

But the visitors had an almighty howler from Cech to thank for going in front, the goalkeeper embarrassingly allowing Guthrie's powerful free-kick to spin off his body and into the net.

John Terry powered over a header from Mata's free-kick and Hazard's blockbuster was also too high but Chelsea had lost the initiative and had lost their way at the back.

Terry was being given a torrid time on his 550th club appearance and conceded a free-kick that Ian Harte whipped in and Alex Pearce somehow failed to connect with.

Torres could also have done better than glance wide a pinpoint Hazard cross on the stroke of half-time.

Ivanovic blazed over after the restart but Chelsea were struggling to penetrate a wall of yellow as Di Matteo sent on Oscar for Ramires before the hour mark.

Jem Karacan became the first player booked for upending Mata and Pogrebnyak quickly followed for tripping Ashley Cole but the home side were just as ragged.

They were rushing what few shots they had, Hazard's blocked effort typical of their floundering, and Di Matteo took action again when he threw on Daniel Sturridge for John Obi Mikel in the 68th minute.

It immediately paid off in unexpected fashion thanks to another goalkeeping howler from Federici, who palmed Cahill's swerving 25-yarder into his own net.

Reading sent on Adam Le Fondre for Karacan and Noel Hunt for Pogrebnyak but the force was with Chelsea and Mata screwed wide before they completed their own comeback thanks to a huge slice of luck.

The build-up was the equal of anything they had produced all evening but Torres appeared clearly offside tapping home Cole's low cross.

Reading went for broke late on, with Hal Robson-Kanu replacing McCleary and Federici bombing forward and they were caught out when Hazard squared for Ivanovic to tap home.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 18 August 2014
20:00
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea Report
Sunday, 17 August 2014
16:00
Newcastle 0-2 Man City Report
13:30
Liverpool 2-1 Southampton Report
Saturday, 16 August 2014
17:30
Arsenal 2-1 C Palace Report
15:00
Leicester 2-2 Everton Report
QPR 0-1 Hull City Report
Stoke 0-1 A Villa Report
West Brom 2-2 S'land Report
West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Report
12:45
Man Utd 1-2 Swansea Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 1 2 3
2 Man City 1 2 3
3 Arsenal 1 1 3
4 Liverpool 1 1 3
5 Swansea 1 1 3
6 A Villa 1 1 3
7 Hull City 1 1 3
8 Tottenham 1 1 3
9 Everton 1 0 1
10 Leicester 1 0 1
11 S'land 1 0 1
12 West Brom 1 0 1
13 C Palace 1 -1 0
14 Man Utd 1 -1 0
15 Southampton 1 -1 0
16 QPR 1 -1 0
17 Stoke 1 -1 0
18 West Ham 1 -1 0
19 Burnley 1 -2 0
20 Newcastle 1 -2 0

Updated Tue, 19 Aug 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: West Brom boss Alan Irvine feels Southampton are still dangerous

Alan Irvine will take his West Brom side to Southampton fully aware their much-changed side still has plenty of threats.

Hillsborough Justice Campaign sceptical of Lib Dems' pledge to introduce safe standing

The Lib Dems' pledge for safe standing in England has been met with scepticism from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Premier League: Leicester boss Nigel Pearson vows to attack Chelsea on Saturday

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson has no intention of playing defensive football when his side takes on Chelsea on Saturday.

Mail Box

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property