Match Report: Fulham 0-0 Reading
Fulham were held to a 0-0 draw by EFL Championship side Reading in their second pre-season friendly against Aldershot Town on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Slavisa Jokanovic made four changes to the team that beat Crawley Town 4-2 the previous weekend as Moritz Jenz, Matt O’Riley, Mattias Kait and Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson made way for Tim Ream, Neeskens Kebano, Tom Cairney and new signing Maxime Le Marchand.
However, the Cottagers were forced into a change just 12 minutes into the game, with Ream being forced from the field of play following a cut to the head, to be replaced by Steven Sessesgnon, with Le Marchand shifting from left-back to the heart of the defence.
Fulham stopper Marek Rodak was forced into a tremendous save in the 15th minute when Andy Yiadom got a low effort away, and a quick shot off the rebound then forced a goal-line clearance from full-back Cyrus Chrisite.
Soon after, Yakou Meite broke free down the middle for the Royals but Christie showed an impressive turn of pace to get back and make a perfectly timed tackle on the edge of the Fulham box, relieving the danger.
Ryan Sessegnon showed some nice footwork to cause troubles to the Reading defence close to the half-hour mark but his right-footed shot was stopped by a Liam Moore clearance. Five minutes later, Aboubakar Kamara got on the end of Sessegnon’s cross but the ball trickled wide for a goal-kick.
A poor pass from Tiago Illori saw Kamara capitalise and tee captain Cairney up but the Scotsman failed to test Vito Mannone in the Reading goal. Close to the half-time, the Royals threatened again, with Meite being left one-on-one with Rodak but the Fulham keeper made another assured stop to keep the score intact.
Fulham made two changes at the break, with Jenz and Ibrahima Cisse replacing Le Marchand and Stefan Johansen. They started to show bright sparks in the attack, with Kebano setting Ryan Sessegnon free through the middle. But the latter’s shot took a deflection and hit the side-netting six minutes after the break.
Five minutes later, Kebano was again involved, as he had an effort blocked by Mannone after a brilliant counter, and Luca de la Torre failed to keep his attempt down from the rebound.
Jokanovic made a host of changes at the hour-mark with Marcelo Djalo, Marlon Fossey, O’Riley, Kait, Thorsteinsson, Tyrese Francois and Fonte replacing Denis Odoi, Christie, Cairney, de la Torre, Kebano, Kamara and Ryan Sessegnon. Reading also rung in a horde of substitutions at the same time.
Fulham had another chance seven minutes later when Jenz’s header from an O’Riley corner drifted just wide before Cissé forced Mannone into an unexpected save in the 75th minute. Pelle Clement fired for the Royals in the last ten minutes, while Fonte also saw his effort miss by inches, as full-time arrived.
There were a lot of positives from the Cottagers’ performance, as they embark on a trip to France on Monday to continue their preparations for next season.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the performance.
Fonte is wearing 17. Hope this means Mitrovic will be wearing the 9 shirt very soon.
— Chris P. (@Tiger1787) July 14, 2018
— Will Gardner (@willgardner21) July 14, 2018
— Sam (@samcpsmith) July 14, 2018
Arsenal & Everton running up cricket scores against minnows is fine, but I'd argue Fulham's competitive 0-0 with Reading is a much more beneficial exercise. #FPL
— FPL Chancer (Dan) (@fplchancer) July 14, 2018
F/T: Fulham 0-0 Reading. Decent intensity for a friendly, second half ebbed after mass substitutions
— Dan Billingham (@D_Billingham) July 14, 2018