90min: FULL TIME. Chelsea win, 4-3.
88min: The high press is still on and Mount intercepts the ball, finding Michy with a lovely first-time pass. Michy’s backheel is almost perfect, but is a bit behind the onrushing Pedro, who has to check back. He lays the ball back to Kovacic, but his shot is wide.
87min: Chelsea’s latest corner finds Abraham, his touch to control is good, but his shot is rush and goes well over.
86min: Michy twists and turns in the box but holds on to the ball for too long and loses it. Reading break the other way, until David Luiz practically rips off someone’s shirt to stop the play. A clear yellow, but apparently those aren’t being given today.
84min: Tammy holds the ball up well, turns, and tries a 1-2 with Pedro, but the return ball is mistimed. Nice idea.
82min: Chelsea continue to probe for a fifth goal, but the urgency has gone out of the game. Mount goes for goal from 25 yards, but he gets his shot all wrong and pulls it well wide.
78min: Batshuayi doing a bit of holding up and almost finds Pedro running through. Reading clear, but Chelsea come again and win a corner.
76min: A couple corners in quick succession leads to a half-chance for Abraham. He’s frustrated with himself for not doing better.
72min: GOAL! Reading. Chelsea’s turn to gift a goal, as a giveaway in the defensive third is turned into a goal, Olise with a nice through ball for Baldock. 4-3.
69min: Reading corner as Cumming’s down to make the save on a wide-angle shot; Chelsea again make a mess of defending the set piece, but fortunately Reading miss their header as well.
67min: After a bit of risky play at the back, Kovacic gets on the ball and starts Chelsea moving forward. Nice passing leads to Mount cutting back for Pedro in the box. He shows some quick feet to poke a shot towards goal, which almost surprises Walker, but he makes the save.
64min: Reading chance as a cross is not defended well and Novakovich can turn and shoot. He just misses. Chelsea had switched goalkeepers as well, with Jamie Cumming on for Caballero.
61min: Chelsea keep up the pressure and Emerson’s cross is headed just wide by David Luiz, steaming in.
60min: GOAL!!! MOUNT!! This one’s an absolute gift, as the goalkeeper plays straight to Michy, whose interception falls to Mount and he makes no mistake with the empty net. 4-2, CHELSEA!
57min: GOAL!!! MOUNT!! Kovacic starts the move with some silky skills, then finding Abraham running the right channel. He lays the ball across the top of the box, looking for Michy but finding Mount, who slams home Chelsea’s third goal. 3-2, CHELSEA!
54min: A typical long ball from David Luiz almost finds Pedro, save for a last ditch intervention from the defender. Mount takes the corner, Reading fail to clear and David Luiz finds the ball at the top of the box. He spins and hits a wonderful shot with his left, but it smacks into the crossbar instead of going in. Unlucky!
52min: Azpilicueta gives the ball away and Reading work it left to right. A deep cross looks harmless, until it bounces off the crossbar!
51min: Mount wins a free kick wide left. He takes and delivers a decent ball to Batshuayi, but he can’t quite control it and Reading clear.
49min: GOAL! Reading’s Olise dribbles through the entire defense, but Caballero stands tall to make the save. Reading have a corner however, and Charlie Adam’s deliver is perfect for Morrison to tap in at the far post. Terrible set piece defending. 2-2!
48min: A cross from deep just misses Abraham’s head and Walker collects. Reading hit it long and Zouma clears for a throw.
KICK-OFF: Both teams make 10 changes, and Reading get the ball rolling. Matt Miazga on for the home side, as is Sam Walker, former Chelsea youth goalkeeper.
Caballero | Emerson, Zouma, David Luiz, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Pedro, Mount | Batshuayi, Abraham
HALF-TIME: Chelsea finish the half better than we had started it, and lead 2-1.
45min: Reading make a late push for a goal, but Swift is closed down by four after Alonso was beaten out wide, and his shot is easily collected by Caballero.
42min: GOAL!!! KENEDY!! Out of nowhere, Kenedy hits a 35-yarder, which seems to take a slight nick off of a player and catches out the goalkeeper. 2-1, CHELSEA!
41min: Kenedy pinches the ball and finds Barkley in the area. Everyone expects a shot, but he lays if back to Kenedy. His shot however is deflected just wide. Pulisic takes and Reading struggle to clear. The ball eventually comes out to Drinkwater and he tries an ambitious volley, which misses by a country mile.
39min: Reading break the high press and try to burst up the left side, but Christensen keeps up with the pace of Barrow to shepherd the ball out of play.
36min: Alonso wins a free kick as he’s hacked down left-central. Barkley takes and this time chips towards the far post. Giroud’s in for a free header as Reading’s defensive line breaks down, but the big man makes a big hash of it and it goes well wide. You would’ve put money on him there to score.
33min: A sliced clearance gifts Chelsea a corner. Pulisic takes, but Giroud can only head it up in the air and Reading clear.
31min: Alonso gives the ball away in the final third and Reading break right to left. Bakayoko covers well as Swift makes the supporting run.
29min: Reading’s Tyler Blackett down with a right leg injury and the match is stopped for a few minutes as he receives treatment and the players take on some fluids. Blackett eventually is replaced by Richards.
27min: Reading break through midfield again. Tomori’s poor clearing header falls to Loader, who smashes one towards the top corner, but misses by a fair margin.
25min: Chelsea build again on the left, but Pulisic’s header doesn’t quite find Giroud. Chelsea maintain possession until a Kenedy layoff goes awry.
22min: GOAL, BARKLEY!!! After a bit of possession, Giroud wins a free kick dead central, as he’s pushed over. Barkley, Alonso both line up. Barkley takes, and scores! 1-1!!!
18min: Swift with another excellent set piece delivery, flicked on at the near post but Christensen clears for another corner at the far. Swift takes another good corner; this time Meite heads over at the far post.
17min: Bakayoko blasts Zappacosta’s cutback well over the bar after the right back was found with a very nice Drinkwater pass. At the other end, Reading have a corner.
15min: Chelsea look to respond and put together the best move of the game yet, but Alonso’s cross is blocked for a corner with Pulisic waiting for the tap-in. The corner’s wasted.
13min: Goal, Reading. Chelsea’s midfield breaks down and Reading break 3-v-2. Zappacosta closes down Barret and blocks his first attempt on goal, but the rebound goes straight back to him and he volleys it with his left over Caballero. A bit of luck, a bit of skill; poor play from Chelsea. 1-0.
12min: Christensen misplays a long ball, but Tomori covers and Chelsea build again.
11min: Alonso’s called for a foul near the corner flag. Swift takes and Loader wins the header at the far post, but his header trickles wide of the post. A bit too close for comfort.
8min: Chelsea enjoying plenty of possession, with Pulisic dropping deep, but very little quality in the final third so far. Drinkwater loses the ball briefly in midfield, but Alonso and Tomori cover well.
4min: Pulisic involved in a couple 1-2s, first with Barkley, then with Giroud, but the return passes are not quite up to snuff, and Reading close down in both cases.
1min: Barkley loses the ball in midfield and Reading break down the right. Christensen on hand to clear the low cross.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea in yellow (from last season!), Reading in their blue-white stripes. Chelsea get the match underway.
DELAY: The match has been delayed 15 minutes due congestion and delays outside the ground. Apparently, the line to collect tickets is ridiculous.
Absolute joke! If you haven’t got your tickets yet and you’re late to the game, I would turn home. Shambles from @ReadingFC - Fans are fuming, Kids are sad that they miss the game. What a wonderful Sunday this is #CFC pic.twitter.com/TwuosSbKDV— George Benson (@MrGeorgeBenson) July 28, 2019
It’s the fifth (of seven) preseason matches for Chelsea, as we take on Championship side Reading, for whom this will be final preparations — their season starts a week before the Premier League.
The quality of opposition may be a step down from Barcelona earlier in the week, but their fitness and intensity probably won’t. This will be a good test.
Here we go.
Reading starting XI:
Virgínia | Moore (c), Barrow, Rinomhota, Swift, Loader, McIntyre, Yiadom, Méïté, Blackett, Barrett
Substitutes from: Walker, Howe, Morrison, Miazga, Richards, Adam, East, Olise, Holsgrove, Baldock, Novakovich, Watson
Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1)
Caballero (c) | Alonso, Tomori, Christensen, Zappacosta | Bakayoko, Drinkwater | Pulisic, Barkley, Kenedy | Giroud
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Cumming, Azpilicueta, Zouma, David Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kovačić, Mount, Pedro, Abraham, Batshuayi
Date / Time: Sunday, July 28, 2019, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading, England
Forecast: Warm but overcast
On TV: none
Streaming online: Chelsea TV (£10.99 for the entire preseason on the website; not prorated) or the 5th Stand app (£1.99 per game, back to previous silly pricing after the £3.99 extreme silliness against Barcelona). If you had a Chelsea TV subscription last season, the games should still be available to you for free. In the UK/Ireland, all 7 preseason games will be available on Chelsea TV. Globally, the rights for the games against Kawasaki Frontale, Barcelona, RB Salzburg, and Borussia Mönchengladbach might belong to other rights-holders and thus might not be available through Chelsea TV.
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.