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Reading vs. West Brom: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

READING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Romelu Lukaka of West Bromwich Albion battles with Adrian Mariappa of Reading during the Barclays Premier League match between Reading and West Ham United at the Madejski Stadium on January 12, 2013 in Reading, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIJanuary 12, 2013

With West Bromwich Albion enjoying a surprising amount of success and Reading struggling this season, there was little surprise that the Baggies held a 2-0 lead 80 minutes into the match.

But the English Premier League rarely offers predictable storylines, and the Royals stormed back with three goals in the final 10 minutes to earn a 3-2 victory. 

Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku has shown his exciting talent for West Brom this campaign, and that continued in this match. He opened the scoring in the 19th minute before doubling his team's lead in the 69th minute. 

But his efforts were ultimately in vain, and Jimmy Kebe's goal in the 82nd minute flipped this game on its head. The French midfielder continued to torment West Brom in the closing moments of the match, and he earned a penalty in the 88th minute. 

Adam Le Fondre coolly converted the opportunity, but Reading refused to settle for a single point. Pavel Pogrebnyak's stoppage-time strike gave his club just its third victory of the season while continuing a disappointing run for West Brom

 

Grades

Jimmy Kebe, Reading: A

Kebe was the driving force behind this remarkable comeback. Without his threatening play down the right flank, this match likely would have ended 2-0. 

But with a header to start the scoring and a run that resulted in a penalty to tie the match, Kebe certainly deserves high marks for this memorable performance. 

 

Romelu Lukaku, West Bromwich Albion: A

Lukaku is supposed to score goals, and that is exactly what he did in this match. The blame for this disastrous defeat does not lie on his shoulders. 

The 19-year-old once again displayed his strength and striking ability. He has a bright future, and he will hope that his defense can perform better in future fixtures. 

 

Pavel Pogrebnyak, Reading: B+

While Pogrebnyak could have had more of an impact on this match, he did a striker's duty and did not miss the most important opportunity of the day. 

When the ball fell to him at close range in the final minutes, he delivered the game winner. Due to this, he cannot receive a poor grade. 

 

James Morrison, West Bromwich Albion: B+

The West Brom attack performed well for the first 80 minutes of the match, and Morrison was another player who had a productive day. He earned the assist on both of Lukaku's goals. 

Both of the creative forces behind Reading's offense will be able to look back on their individual performances in a positive light, but the back line will not remember this day fondly. 

 

Adam Le Fondre, Reading: B+

After scoring 12 goals in the Championship last season, Le Fondre has seen a reduced role this season with Pogrebnyak's arrival. But he has shown his prowess from the penalty spot in previous matches, and he remained cool under pressure once again. 

Coming on as a substitute and then taking a penalty kick to tie the match is no easy task, but he delivered when his team was counting on him. 

 

What's Next?

Reading still sits in danger of relegation, but this victory puts it in position to climb out of the bottom three. It will try to continue its success next Saturday at Newcastle. 

The Baggies will have an FA Cup match against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday before returning to Premier League action on Saturday against Aston Villa. 

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