Date: 2nd January 2012 at 5:45pm
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Cardiff City stormed to a three nil lead over Reading today and despite a goal for former Bluebird Jobi McAnuff – the points always looked safe as City recorded a brilliant win.

The vast majority of the chances in the game fell to Cardiff, with some slick passing opening up the Royals on numerous occasions. Whittingham’s early sighter went just wide and Joe Ralls went close only to scuff his shot before later shooting just over with an audacious volley.

It was the other young Joe who did open the scoring as Mason burst forward, only to seemingly be crowded out. He then slipped, also wrongfooting Gorkss for Reading and was able to fire across Federici and into the corner. It didn’t take long for the lead to be doubled as Aron Gunnarsson nodded home from a corner.

Two become three when Kenny Miller netted from 12 yards after another excellent Whittingham pass. Reading had shown moments of danger, but only troubling David Marshall with a few swinging crosses. However, the Royals did grab a goal on the stroke of half time when Jimmy Kebe seized on a rare Whittingham mis-pass and drove directly down the flank, pulling back for McAnuff from 15 yards.

After the break, Reading enjoyed their most dominant and dangerous spell, playing with a high tempo. City did look nervous at times, but stood up manfully to block and clear. David Marshall didn’t have any meaningful saves to make with Hudson especially strong at the back and making several sliding stops.

I’ll never know how City failed to score in the second half with Reading pushing for a goal at the other end. Royals keeper Federici was at full strength to deny Ralls from the edge of the box. The Aussie stopper then produced two point balnk saves to deny Gestede at close range with a shot and header. Miller had two efforts while Whittingham was off target with a free-kick.

A very pleasing three points for Cardiff City who showed tremendous heart and appetite to go with the precise passing that saw a very strong Reading defense breached with regularity. Hudson, Ralls and Whittingham shone but this was a tremendous team effort from Malky’s boys.