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Swansea sweat on Michu injury

Thursday, 27 December 2012 - 3:49pm IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph
On a dismal afternoon hardly conducive to fluent football, Swansea at least attempted to settle into their customary hoarding of the ball, and should have taken the lead on the half-hour.

Heston and Delia: one is a name synonymous with experimentation and flair; the other with honest English fare. Reading - sponsored by the supermarket to which both chefs lend their name - are an honest English football team. What they lack is flair and creativity: too much Delia, not enough Heston.

On a dismal afternoon hardly conducive to fluent football, Swansea at least attempted to settle into their customary hoarding of the ball, and should have taken the lead on the half-hour. Reading right-back Chris Gunter attempted to chest a tame Dwight Tiendalli cross back to keeper Adam Federici, but succeeded only in teeing up Michu, six yards from goal.

It was a simple chance, but Michu half-volleyed high and wide. A post took a booting in frustration.

Chances remained scarce until the 65th minute, when Wayne Routledge clipped a cross on to the head of Nathan Dyer. The winger connected with a -diving header but Federici was equal to it, acrobatically palming the ball to safety.

But for all the visitors' dominance of possession, it was Reading who came closest to breaking the deadlock, twice, through Adam Le Fondre. First, the diminutive striker appeared to head home from an inswinging Ian Harte free-kick, only for the goal to be rightly chalked off for a blatant handball. He went closer 10 minutes from time - his volley bravely headed off the line by Chico Flores with Michel Vorm beaten.

It was, at least, a welcome second clean sheet of the season. But Reading looked plain, bland, and survival will depend on an injection of colour and flavour. More Heston, less Delia.

Reading manager Brian McDermott admitted he would look to strengthen his side in January with "two or three players" - and heralded the psychological importance of stopping their run of seven consecutive defeats.

"It's important we are off the bottom," he said. "We've got a point and clean sheet today."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was pleased with his side's performance, if not the result, and the Dane was also relaxed about the second-half ankle injury suffered to leading scorer Michu. "The physio says it shouldn't be a ligament [injury]," he said. "We don't know if he can play on Saturday - we will have to wait 24 hours - but it is not a muscle injury."
 




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