Chelsea 4-2 Reading

Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea saw off a nail-biting match from a determined Reading side to clinch all three points and put them top of the table.

An early Lampard penalty was cancelled out by a Pogrebnyak header, but the game was truly turned on its head when Cech allowed Guthrie’s free-kick to squirm past him.

Adam Federici had a moment to forget for himself, when Gary Cahill’s long-range drive equalled the tie, and then Fernando Torres put Chelsea in front in his 150th Premier League appearance, with a wonderfully engineered team goal. Branislav Ivanovic wrapped it up late on, as Reading pressed.

With Ramires back to full health, it was Bertrand who had to make way, and the Brazilian had the best chance of the early stages, when he was clean through, but he opted to shoot with his weaker foot, much to the anger of Torres, who was free in the centre.

Chelsea looked to go offensive from the off, and it was a case of deja vu when Hazard won another penalty, neatly cutting inside and being felled. Lampard did the rest, smashing the ball home.

It was Hazard’s third assist in a Chelsea shirt, and he was already warming to the Chelsea crowd.

It could have gotten even better for him had he managed to control a Mata ball, but his lay-off to Torres was miscued and wide.

For all Chelsea’s dominance, they were defensively susceptible, and Reading found this out, when Pogrebnyak got in front of Gary Cahill to loop a Drogba-esque diving header past Cech.

And it got worse for Chelsea when Guthrie’s powerful drive somehow creeped into the back of the net when Cech was behind it.

Fernando Torres could not really impact on the match, and was a mere spectator, watching in awe of the sublime skills of Mata and Hazard.

It was left to a defender to show Torres how it was done, but Brian McDermott will surely be angry with his goalkeeper, who failed to keep out a straight, low Gary Cahill hit.

Daniel Sturridge came on in the 68th minute as Chelsea chased for the winning goal, but his first real contribution was a shot that flew high and wide, typical of the Englishman last season.

But Torres was not to be denied, and joined in the fun with nine minutes left, and the pressure paid off. Lampard, Mata and Hazard all squirmed around the box and the ball found its way to Ashley Cole, who showed the composure and experience to square to an offside Torres to tap in.

Five minutes stoppage time brought Reading a corner, and as Federici went up to redeem himself after the Cahill clanger, he left an open goal, and Hazard unselfishly passed to Ivanovic, to score his second goal in two games.