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Reading 1-0 Watford: George Puscas strikes as Royals sting the Hornets

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reading 1 0 watford george puscas strikes as royals sting the hornets

The last time Reading won their first four league games they were promoted. It is early days but things are certainly heading in the right direction under Veljko Paunovic.

Yes there was a touch of fortune to the win here but Paunovic could not have wished for a better start to life in English management. Watford have ambitions of bouncing straight back to the Premier League and consigning the Hornets to their first league defeat of the season signalled Reading’s own intentions this season.

It was the visitors who started the brighter and a man who has been heavily linked with a move to the English top flight who showed the most threat early on. Within minutes of the first whistle Ismaila Sarr found himself in behind the Reading defence. 

Reading continued their strong start to the season with a 1-0 home victory over Watford

Reading continued their strong start to the season with a 1-0 home victory over Watford

Reading continued their strong start to the season with a 1-0 home victory over Watford

The striker's shot took a fortunate deflection from Craig Cathcart on its way into the net

The striker's shot took a fortunate deflection from Craig Cathcart on its way into the net

The striker’s shot took a fortunate deflection from Craig Cathcart on its way into the net

Joao Pedro, fresh from his first goal for the club last weekend, released his strike partner, who in turn found Jeremy Ngakia. The marauding full back whipped in a delightful cross but Tom Dele- saw his header blocked.

Moments later and this time it was down the left where Watford posed the threat. First Dele-Bashiru, who looked lively on his first start before being forced off through injury, teased a low cross across the face of the goal before wing back Kiko Femenia found his counterpart.

Ngakia arrived at the back post but the 20-year-old almost had too much time and scuffed his effort wide.

Watford were intent on pressing Reading high up the pitch and Sarr almost broke the deadlock after intercepting the ball by doing just that. Driving into the box, Liam Moore did well to get back and put the pressure on. Sarr found the side netting.

There comes a risk with a high press and in the 18th minute Reading exposed it. Yakou Meite found space in between the midfield and defence and fed Michael Olise. One on one with Craig Cathcart he shifted the ball to the left but fired just over. A sign that Reading could have some joy.

However it was Watford who were just inches away from taking the lead. Joe Garner curled a free-kick with venomous pace onto the crossbar from the edge of the box. Another good opportunity gone.

The hosts had a touch of fortune to the win but Veljko Paunovic's perfect start continues

The hosts had a touch of fortune to the win but Veljko Paunovic's perfect start continues

The hosts had a touch of fortune to the win but Veljko Paunovic’s perfect start continues

Vladimir Ivic will know the importance of taking chances in this division and his side were punished for lacking a clinical touch just before the break.

The Hornets had been warned with Meite calling goalkeeper Ben Foster into action moments before. Although there was a huge slice of luck with George Puscas’ first goal of the season. Tom Holmes zipped the ball into the man who replaced Lucas Joao in attack. After a sharp touch and turn he unleashed his effort. It found the net after taking a massive deflection.

Reading showed grit and steel as Watford tried to find the equaliser in the second half. Tom Cleverley and Glenn Murray were introduced but the Royals stood firm and Rafael Cabral was not tested. Frustration almost boiled over for Watford but Nathaniel Chalobah saw yellow for a rash challenge in injury time.

Reading have been away from the Premier League for seven years but after their strong start they might not be too far away from a return. 

MATCH FACTS

Reading XI: Rafael, Holmes, Richards, Moore, Morrison, Laurent, Rinomhota – Aluko (Tetek 84′), Olise (McIntyre 61′), Meite, Puscas.

Unused Subs: Southwood, Watson, Joao, Gibson, Azeez.

Goals: Puscas 41′.

Watford XI: Foster, Ngakia, Cathcart, Kabasele, Wilmot, Femenía (Cleverley 69′), Chalobah, Garner, Dele-Bashiru (Sema 37′), Sarr (Murray 82′), Joao Pedro.

Unused Subs: Bachmann, Pussetto, Quina, Troost-Ekong.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cristiano Ronaldo was ‘a millimetre’ away from Arsenal transfer as Wenger reveals failed deal still ‘makes him sweat’

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cristiano ronaldo was a millimetre away from arsenal transfer as wenger reveals failed deal still makes him sweat scaled

CRISTIANO RONALDO was really close to making a move to Arsenal – and former boss Arsene Wenger says its failure to materialise still haunts him

In an interview with magazine FourFourTwo to be released in November, Wenger claims that he nearly completed the signing of the Portugese ace when Thierry Henry was still at the club, and the thought of them playing together still makes him sweat.

Wenger still rues missing out on Ronaldo

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Wenger still rues missing out on RonaldoCredit: PA:Press Association

He said: “When I had Thierry, I could have signed (Cristiano) Ronaldo.

“Can you imagine what they could have done together?

“That makes you sweat a little bit, and I was very close to doing it. I thought it was all done.”

When probed on how close it was to happening he held his index finger and thumb within a millimetre of each other and said: “It was that close.”

The Gunners had even got Ronaldo a shirt and welcomed his mother to the stadium.

Wenger exclaimed: “He had the shirt of Arsenal – I had lunch with him and his mother at the training ground!”

But just when the transfer seemed to be a formality, Wenger’s adversary, former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his newly-appointed assistant swooped in and stole Ronaldo from Arsenal.

The ex-Gunners boss recalled the moment it happened and revealed that United financially out-muscled them from the deal.

VP SPORT GRAPHIC YOUNGEST MANAGER ARSENAL COMP 1

He said: “We had an agreement with Sporting and Man United took Carlos Queiroz as assistant coach, and they just outbid us quickly and took Ronaldo.

“But we had an agreement basically.”

Ronaldo’s star rose meteorically at United and he helped them win three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup.

His impressive performances caught the eyes of Madrid who signed him for £80million in 2009.

He became known as arguably the best player in the world while in Spain, and was regularly pitted against rival Lionel Messi for the coveted title.

Ronaldo then went on to join Juventus and represented his national team Portugal throughout his career.

His list of achievements are endless and he has won five Champions League titles and been named Ballon d’Or winner five times, as well as winning four Club World Cups and domestic titles in England, Spain and Italy.

The 35-year-old has scored 641 career goals at club level plus another 101 on the international stage as Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Arsene Wenger says competition is real and that he’s realised he was a monster

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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David Coote DROPPED from referee role for first time this season after gaffe in Pickford’s horror tackle on Van Dijk

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PREMIER LEAGUE official David Coote has been dropped from referee and VAR duties this weekend after his blunder in the Merseyside derby.

Coote failed to check whether Jordan Pickford’s season-ending tackle on Virgil van Dijk should have been a red card in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday.

David Coote has been dropped from ref and VAR duties this weekend

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David Coote has been dropped from ref and VAR duties this weekendCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Coote failed to check if Jordan Pickford should have been sent off for his horror tackle on Virgil Van Dijk

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Coote failed to check if Jordan Pickford should have been sent off for his horror tackle on Virgil Van DijkCredit: PA:Press Association

And he has now been given the boot for the first time this season.

Coote will be on fourth official duties instead where he will be on the touchline for Manchester City’s visit to West Ham.

MORE TO FOLLOW…

Shaun Custis wants VAR to be scrapped, after yet more controversy in the Premier League

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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3pm Arsenal news LIVE: Ozil AXED from Gunners squad, Joelson Fernandes £17m transfer bid, Aubameyang blasts critics

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3pm arsenal news live ozil axed from gunners squad joelson fernandes 17m transfer bid aubameyang blasts critics
ozil joelson

MESUT OZIL has been left out of Arsenal’s Premier League squad in an incredible fall from grace for the playmaker.

Meanwhile the Gunners reportedly made a £17m transfer bid for Sporting striker Joelson Fernandes, 17, in the summer window.

Follow all the latest Arsenal transfer gossip, news and updates below…

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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