skip to content
Ashley Westwood challenges Jobi McAnuff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Guthrie restarts play with the free kick.
Nick Blackman sends in a cross, Adam Le Fondre takes a shot.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jobi McAnuff on Andreas Weimann. Jobi McAnuff shown a yellow card. Charles N'Zogbia produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Christian Benteke takes a shot. Save by Stuart Taylor.
Shot from just outside the area by Hal Robson-Kanu misses to the left of the target.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hal Robson-Kanu by Joe Bennett. Ashley Westwood is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour. Stephen Kelly restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Westwood by Hal Robson-Kanu. Ciaran Clark takes the direct free kick.
Effort on goal by Charles N'Zogbia from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
The ball is delivered by Garath McCleary, clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
Hal Robson-Kanu sends in a cross.
A cross is delivered by Nick Blackman, Matthew Lowton manages to make a clearance.
The referee blows for offside against Andreas Weimann. Danny Guthrie replaces Mikele Leigertwood. Adrian Mariappa restarts play with the free kick.
Joe Bennett on for Nathan Baker.
Jobi McAnuff delivers the ball, save by Bradley Guzan.
The ball is swung over by Ian Harte, comfortable save by Bradley Guzan.
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ian Harte, clearance made by Nathan Baker.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
Shot from 30 yards from Nick Blackman. Bradley Guzan makes a save.
A cross is delivered by Charles N'Zogbia, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.
Foul by Nick Blackman on Charles N'Zogbia, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ashley Westwood.
Shot from 20 yards from Charles N'Zogbia. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in.
Charles N'Zogbia joins the action as a substitute, replacing Barry Bannan.
Centre by Hal Robson-Kanu.
A cross is delivered by Stephen Kelly, clearance by Ashley Westwood. The ball is delivered by Hal Robson-Kanu, clearance by Ciaran Clark.
The ball is crossed by Garath McCleary, Nick Blackman takes a shot. Save made by Bradley Guzan.
The ball is crossed by Stephen Kelly, Matthew Lowton makes a clearance.
Adrian Mariappa fouled by Christian Benteke, the ref awards a free kick. Booking for Christian Benteke for unsporting behaviour. Stuart Taylor restarts play with the free kick.
Drilled right-footed shot by Andreas Weimann. Stuart Taylor makes a save.
Stephen Kelly delivers the ball, Hal Robson-Kanu produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Garath McCleary produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.
Andreas Weimann takes a shot. Stephen Kelly gets a block in.
Long range effort by Yacouba Sylla goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Nick Blackman concedes a free kick for a foul on Nathan Baker. Indirect free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.
(Reading) makes a substitution, with Garath McCleary coming on for Hope Akpan. Nick Blackman is brought on as a substitute for Noel Hunt.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Noel Hunt. Noel Hunt is cautioned by the ref for dissent. Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.
Yacouba Sylla takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the right by-line, Nathan Baker has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
Shot from 20 yards by Christian Benteke. Alex Pearce gets a block in.
Gabriel Agbonlahor grabs a goal from just outside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Reading 1-2 Aston Villa.Barry Bannan provided the assist for the goal.
Barry Bannan produces a drilled left-footed shot from the edge of the area and hits the post.
The ball is sent over by Andreas Weimann.
The ball is sent over by Nathan Baker, clearance by Ian Harte. Barry Bannan has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
Corner from left by-line taken by Ian Harte.
Ian Harte takes a shot. Bradley Guzan makes a save.
Hal Robson-Kanu challenges Christian Benteke unfairly and gives away a free kick. Barry Bannan takes the direct free kick.
The ball is delivered by Jobi McAnuff.
Centre by Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke fires in a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Reading 1-1 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Andreas Weimann.
The ball is swung over by Jobi McAnuff. Hope Akpan takes a shot. Nathan Baker scores an own goal. Reading 1-0 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Hope Akpan.
Centre by Ian Harte.
Jobi McAnuff sends in a cross, Bradley Guzan makes a save.
Corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff to the near post, clearance by Matthew Lowton.
Andreas Weimann produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
Unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff by Yacouba Sylla results in a free kick. Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Barry Bannan by Stephen Kelly results in a free kick. Ashley Westwood crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save made by Stuart Taylor.
Gabriel Agbonlahor delivers the ball.
Effort from outside the box by Hal Robson-Kanu goes wide right of the target.
Alex Pearce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christian Benteke. Free kick crossed left-footed by Barry Bannan from left channel.
The official flags Noel Hunt offside. Ron Vlaar restarts play with the free kick.
Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, save by Bradley Guzan.
Centre by Hal Robson-Kanu, Ciaran Clark makes a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Andreas Weimann.
Noel Hunt produces a cross, Bradley Guzan makes a save.
Centre by Nathan Baker, Christian Benteke takes a shot.
Foul by Matthew Lowton on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded. Matthew Lowton is shown a yellow card. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, save by Bradley Guzan.
Barry Bannan fouled by Hope Akpan, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Westwood delivers the ball, Header on goal by Ciaran Clark from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Unfair challenge on Hal Robson-Kanu by Nathan Baker results in a free kick. Stephen Kelly takes the free kick.
Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, Ron Vlaar manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Adam Le Fondre.
The ball is delivered by Matthew Lowton, clearance made by Alex Pearce.
Jobi McAnuff takes the inswinging corner, save made by Bradley Guzan.
Hal Robson-Kanu produces a cross, Adam Le Fondre takes a shot. Bradley Guzan makes a save.
Adrian Mariappa fouled by Christian Benteke, the ref awards a free kick. Mikele Leigertwood takes the free kick.
Taylor retains Reading place
Third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor will again take his place between the posts for the visit of former club Aston Villa.
Taylor made his first Barclays Premier League appearance since 2008 in last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Everton after Adam Federici sprained an ankle.
Federici is still at least a week away while Jimmy Kebe is also a doubt for the relegation clash.
Pavel Pogrebnyak serves the second of his three-game ban while fellow striker Jason Roberts (hip) and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) are still absent.
Reading skipper Jobi McAnuff has warned he is not prepared to let his Barclays Premier League dream go willingly.
McAnuff has had to wait until this season, and after his 30th birthday, to finally taste life in the top-flight of English football.
In the preceding years McAnuff, who began his career at Wimbledon, has endured more than his fair share of near misses.
The midfielder suffered a hat-trick of play-off exits with Crystal Palace, Watford and Reading - before last season leading his side to the npower Championship title and, most importantly, the Premier League.
"I've really enjoyed it, it's a challenge,".
"Like with anything in life if things come too easy then do you really appreciate it as much?
"Of course it is a difficult season but it's the best league in the world.
"From our point of view we've been written off before the season even started by pretty much everybody outside Reading Football Club.
"That drives me on."
Despite being parked in the bottom three for the majority of the season, Reading could go clear of danger with victory.
Reading were faced with a similar scenario a fortnight ago, only to suffer a 3-0 reverse at Wigan and left the Madejski Stadium to jeers from the home fans.
This time around McAnuff is keen to play down the fans' expectations - which have only been heightened by a fixture list that shows away trips to Manchester United and Arsenal next up.
"The extra significance that people are putting on that outside the game - it's understandable given we're playing Villa and they're right next to us in the standings," he said.
"At the end of the day all we can do is go out there and try and win the game. There is only three points on offer.
"We know we need to perform and get a result. We feel capable of doing that."
Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out through suspension.
Delph serves a two-game ban after collecting his 10th yellow card of the campaign during Monday's 1-0 home defeat against Manchester City.
Villa boss Paul Lambert is hopeful captain Ron Vlaar will recover from the calf injury that has ruled him out of the last two games, but striker Darren Bent (foot) is again set to miss out.
Paul Lambert has challenged his players to show courage and "play the game and not the occasion".
Villa are in the bottom three and approaching a vital week in their battle to stay in the top flight with a home match to follow against bottom placed QPR next weekend.
But Lambert senses no fear in his squad about the battle to survive and admits he thrives on the pressure.
He said: "You'd like to think everyone has got fight in them to win a game and it's okay to be aggressive.
"But it will take a lot of courage. You need a lot of courage to take the ball as well. You need to go and play football and not get caught up with the occasions.
"In the last few performances, we certainly don't look like a team that is playing under pressure.
"We will try and play the game and not the occasion. If you get caught up in the occasion it can certainly hurt you - but we are not lacking in confidence or any courage to compete with teams.
"I do believe we will be fine if keep playing the way we are."
Lambert added: "If you win these two games, you are right up there but a lot of teams will be saying that. We are certainly playing well enough to win them.
"The situation remains so tight between the middle and the bottom part of the table.
"I feel we've got some momentum to be honest. The confidence is there. I don't need to lift them. I can see it in training and the last few games.
"It doesn't look like a team that is frightened of the situation. That is the pleasing thing."
Reading 1-2 Aston Villa: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Villa rock Royals
Aston Villa recovered from a calamitous Nathan Baker own goal to haul themselves out of the relegation places with a 2-1 victory at fellow strugglers Reading.
The Royals were gifted the lead on the half-hour when Baker made a complete hash of a routine clearance but on a day when neither defence was convincing it was not decisive.
Instead, Villa were level two minutes later when Christian Benteke fired in before Gabby Agbonlahor grabbed the winner in first-half injury time.
Both goals appeared preventable, especially Agbonlahor's strike, after a goalmouth melee that saw third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor scoop the ball to the winger after Barry Bannan's deft touch hit a post.
Victory was just Villa's second in their past 12 league games and moved them three points clear of danger.
Reading's defeat - their second in succession at home against a relegation rival after they lost 3-0 to Wigan a fortnight ago - left them above last-placed QPR on goals scored only.
Villa boss Paul Lambert handed January signing Yacouba Sylla his first league start since his move from French second-tier side Clermont as he made three changes. Skipper Ron Vlaar and Barry Bannan also returned.
Reading made one enforced change with Hal Robson-Kanu coming in for the injured Jimmy Kebe.
During the week Reading boss Brian McDermott called for his side to make a fast start and they threatened twice inside the first five minutes.
Adam Le Fondre forced Brad Guzan to claw a header away after he peeled off his marker at the back post before delivering a cross that an unmarked Robson-Kanu mis-controlled.
Villa full-back Matthew Lowton was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Jobi McAnuff but for all Reading's early promise they almost fell behind after 12 minutes when Benteke rattled the crossbar with a header.
It was an entertaining start when caution might have been expected given the game's relevance to the relegation fight.
It became clear, however, why both teams were reticent to sit back as both were guilty of horror defending before the first half finished.
Reading's opener after 31 minutes will be consigned to the blooper reel as Baker was left red-faced by his bumbling generosity.
There appeared little danger, despite Hope Akpan helping McAnuff's low cross on, but defending close to his line Baker horribly rushed his clearance.
It meant he completely missed the ball and watched on as it bounced off his standing leg and over the line.
Reading's lead lasted barely two minutes though as they showed why they have conceded more goals than any other club in the Barclays Premier League this term.
The industrious Andreas Weimann was given acres of space down the right but instead of marking Benteke the home defenders rushed to the goal-line.
The Belgian astutely sat back for the pass and lashed in a shot that took a deflection off Stephen Kelly to ensure Taylor was beaten.
It got worse for the Royals, however, as they conceded in first-half injury time for the second successive game at home.
Again the goal looked preventable as first Kelly failed to properly clear following a patient build-up by Villa.
Lowton headed the ball across the six-yard box and while Bannan's deft touch rebounded off the post Taylor could only help the loose ball to Agbonlahor to thump home.
Reading thought they were level 10 minutes after the re-start only for a marginal offside call to go against them.
Noel Hunt poked home at close range but if he was not offside Le Fondre, who was just in front of him, appeared to have just strayed.
McDermott then made a double substitution, bringing on Garath McCleary and Nick Blackman for Hunt and Akpan.
The changed was met with boos by the home fans but Blackman almost immediately levelled only to fire wide after first controlling with his chest.
The striker then headed over from a McCleary cross - Villa's defence guilty of affording him too much space - as Reading began to step up a gear.
Villa were now content to attack on the break and Agbonlahor fizzed a shot just wide while substitute Charles N'Zogbia lashed over when well placed.
Reading kept pushing, with six of their past seven league goals having come after the 84th minute, but there was no late rally on this occasion as Robson-Kanu wasted the best of their late chances.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk