All square at Craven Cottage as Fulham frustrate Reading

Clyde Nash
May 16, 2017

Fulham equalised through Tom Cairney shortly after to make it a tense finish. Reading's game plan had worked out perfectly: stifle Fulham's free flowing style of play, sit back, and hit them on the counter.

"The red card itself, I've seen it back now. Home advantage doesn't guarantee anything, we will have to work hard".

Reading, though, will be without skipper Paul McShane for the second leg after he was sent off 10 minutes from time for catching Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald with a high foot. Tuesday is very close.

After a first period spent camped in their own half, Reading stunned the hosts when Obita fired them into the lead eight minutes after the interval.

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The England midfielder added: "I felt the balance was right and we didn't have to put too much pressure on ourselves". Arsene Wenger says that "some teams are on holiday" as the Premier League season draws to a close.

"Jordan twisted his ankle at the end too - he was stretching, trying to book a cross from Fredericks at the end, but there was no tension in the ankle and he twisted it as he landed".

Fulham felt Stefan Johansen was fouled in the build-up as McShane ploughed through the midfield and fed Obita on the left. The man advantage just about paid of for Fulham in the fifth minute of stoppage time, but Ryan Fredericks' angled effort flashed across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

"But as I say, we've got options - that's the good thing about having a big squad".

There was an immediate response from Fulham and they were level in the 65th minute.

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Scott Malone's cross was palmed out by Ali Al Habsi straight onto the head of Cairney, who nodded into an unguarded net for his 13th goal of the season.

"We can not be completely satisfied with what happens in the game", he told reporters. We're confident in what we can bring to the game.

"One hundred percent we believe we can win, and then go all the way".

The real shame is that their captain, one of their best players this season and one of football's real good guys is going to have to sit out the remainder of the campaign and watch on. We had many chances but we were not clinical enough. Win on Tuesday night at the Madejski and advance to the Play-Off Final at Wembley.

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"I think our away form has been brilliant all season and we'll go there full of confidence and maybe they'll come out more, especially at home, but they'll be a threat going forward and we need to be solid at the back so it could be end-to-end like it was a little bit in the second half".

Other reports by Info About Network

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