Chelsea vs. Reading Score: Biggest Takeaways from Blues' Shaky Win

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IAugust 22, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Mikele Leigertwood of Reading battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Reading at Stamford Bridge on August 22, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Chelsea has six points and is alone at the top of the Premier League for the first time since late 2010.

Yes, the Blues have played one more match than 90 percent of the league and their 4-2 win over newly-promoted Reading on Wednesday afternoon was less than ideal, but that doesn't matter.

What matters is that the Blues are perfect. Well, sort of. 

Let's take a look at both the good and bad from Wednesday's odd matchup. 


Eden Hazard Is a Star

You might not remember, but there was quite a bit of press regarding Hazard's transfer this summer. The former Lille star flip-flopped between the Manchester squads more than a 14-year-old girl choosing a boy, but then something happened.

Chelsea won the Champions League. Not only did it earn a fancy trophy when it beat Bayern Munich that day, it also earned Hazard's respect. And the rewards are already paying off in bunches.

On Wednesday, Hazard (courtesy of racked up five shots, six key passes, drew four fouls, completed 94 percent of his 78 passes and dished out two timely assists. He also drew a penalty for the second straight week en route to being named the Man of the Match.

I'm pretty sure that's the definition of playmaker. 

Oh yeah, and remember all that talk about Hazard being selfish? Well, his second assist came during the 95th minute when Chelsea had a five-on-one break, with Reading's one not being the keeper. The 21-year-old easily could have scored but dumped it off to Ivanovic for the much easier finish. 



Reading Isn't a Bottom-Three Club

Chelsea deserved this win. It controlled 72 percent of possession and reeled off 27 shots to Reading's seven. 

Still though, the Blues got a little lucky.

Gary Cahill's equalizer in the second half came off a painful mistake by keeper Federici, Fernando Torres was about 17 yards offside on his game-winner, and Ivanovic's cherry on top never would have happened if the game was still equal.

Reading was outclassed and had to play at Stamford Bridge, yet it controlled a good part of the first half and easily could have left with a positive result. That's incredibly encouraging for its first year back in the EPL. 


Chelsea's Back Four Must Be Better

The Blues dominated possession, but Reading still created a good amount of solid chances for the limited time it had the ball. 

Pavel Pogrebnyak's equalizing header was an absolute world-class goal, but it highlighted the lack of coverage in the middle of Chelsea's back line.

The second goal, of course, which came off Petr Cech's hands, is something you can expect to never see again. (That being said, the free kick was created by a terrorizing run from Jobi McAnuff right through the middle of Chelsea's defense.)

Still, Chelsea will have to be better in the back when it faces top clubs.