Full-time - 90'
0 - 1
16:15 +00:00, October 14, 2006
Madejski Stadium, England
Referee: M Riley
It's all over and what an extraordinary end. Chelsea lose two goalkeepers to serious concussion knocks but hang on for a gritty three points. The game had it all with two sendings-off, a fluke goal, John Terry putting on the keeper's gloves and scuffles on the benches thrown in for good measure. But it's Chelsea who join Manchester United at the top of the Premiership.
FULL TIME: READING 0-1 CHELSEA
We're back underway and Reading push everyone forward. It's all kicking off on the bench now and predictably Jose Mourinho is at the centre of it all. Words and pushes are exchanged as the game ends on a sour note.
The clock is up to 100 minutes now due to the injury and there are still two minutes left to play.
There's a big discussion on the middle of the pitch with Terry at the heart of it. They're working out a plan of how to deal with the keeper's absence. More worryingly, Cudicini is in a bad state, worse than his team-mate Cech. The paramedics are on and so too is the golf buggy.
Captain Terry pulls on the keeper's jersey with Cudicini concust off the pitch. It's bizarre scenes at the Madjeski as the Chelsea centre-back takes his place between the sticks.
Little does well to win his side a corner and Hahnemann comes forward. As the cross comes over Cudicini is poleaxed by Sonko. It was accidental but it means that Chelsea are left without a keeper with two minutes to play.
Four minutes are added as Reading continue to come forward. Cudicini has had little to do and Reading look out of steam now.
Whereas Chelsea got the rub of the green in the first half, Reading are having none of it at that end this half. Goal scrambles are cleared and Chelsea are digging in to protect their lead.
But just when Reading create a half chance James Harper steps up and balloons an effort over the bar.
Reading camp themselves in the Chelsea box and aren't finished just yet. Sidwell and Little try to orchestrate an attack.
Mike Riley has been waiting for an opportunity to even the numbers and Bikey obliges with a pull on the shirt of Drogba. That puts Reading's hopes of an equaliser in tatters.
RED CARD: ANDRE BIKEY (READING)
It's the Dutchman's last contribution to the game as Salomon Kalou comes on for another appearance.
Robben is allowed a shooting chance and winds up to deliver a stinging low drive. Hahnemann gets his ample frame behind it and Reading clear.
But composure and quality in the final third is something Reading lack and they'll have to throw the kitchen sink at the Blues if they want to grab a point.
Chelsea's squad is worth an estimated £250m compared to Reading's that is worth just under £4m. But on today's evidence, there's little between them, just one goal in fact.
Substitute Andre Bikey is the latest to see yellow. A clumsy challenge on Drogba gives Mike Riley no alternative. There has been more cards than shots so far.
Reading look tight at the back and the towering Sonko is keeping all-comers at bay.
They're huffing and puffing but the final ball is poor so far. Chelsea are playing their usual game of boring, stubborn, possession play and it's working again.
Reading are playing with increased urgency and vigour now and Sidwell unleashes a crisp pea-roller that sneaks past the post. The confidence is there now, but the quality is still absent.
Hahnemann has to be alert and quickly comes off his line to deny the onrushing Drogba. It's end to end and not much between the two sides.
Neither side can piece together a passage of play with tackles flying in left, right and centre. There could well be more cards yet.
It's heating up now and getting very fiesty. Once again the Chelsea players are complaining to the referee and getting involved in unneccessary battles. Boulahrouz the major culprit.
The Nigerian rightly picks up his second card for a blatant pull on Sonko. He can have no qualms whatsoever about the decision but for some reason it takes him a good three minutes to leave the pitch. He's incensed and is literally dragged off the pitch by Drogba.
RED CARD: JON OBI MIKEL (CHELSEA)
Essien leaves the field temporarily. A slight touch on the chin from Doyle sends the Ghanaian theatrically falling to the deck. Comedy from Essien. He returns to the field with not a blemish on his Chevy Chase.
A speculative effort for Steve Sidwell fails to trouble Cudicini. It's their first effort of the half but it needs to be better than that to worry Chelsea.
It's a disjointed start to the second half and Chelsea have yet to find their rythmn - not that it was flowing in the first half, mind.
Robben hasn't hit the line too often but this time he gets beyond his marker and whip in a cross that Lampard controls for Mikel. But the Nigerian never looked comfortable and his shot bobbles past the post.
At last John Terry finds himself in the referre's book. It's his second show of dissent and he's rightly carded by Mike Riley. He may be the England captain but that doesn't mean he is immune from the officials.
John Terry steams out of defence and bulldozers his way into the Reading half. He lays it off to Shevchenko who takes a heavy touch and the move collapses.
Confusion in the Reading ranks. Robben's persistence unsettles Sonko who is forced into a rash clearance.
Chelsea get the second half underway.
+ 2 minutes. For all Reading's efforts they're behind to a cruel piece of luck. They could have even gone ahead had Kevin Doyle's effort not crept inside of the post instead of hitting it dead on. It could be a tough second half for the Royals.
HALF-TIME: READING 0-1 CHELSEA
Because of the two injuries there's five minutes of added time and Reading are trying to ease the pressure on their goal.
Another huge slice of fortune for Chelsea and another slice of luck for Frank Lampard. His low, driven free-kick deflects off the unfortunate Ingarmarsson and into the Reading net. Just before the break and Chelsea move ahead, but they won't get a more gifted goal again this season.
GOAL: READING 0-1 CHELSEA
Mikel gets his three names taken by the referee taken for a cynical trip on Hunt. His booking is closely followed by Sonko for a rash lunge on Shevchenko.
Pressure is growing on the Reading goal and a barrage of crosses is well defended.
A lucky escape for Reading. Hahnemann bowls the ball out only for Arjen Robben to nip in and take possession. He feeds Drogba who blasts a left-foot shot from an acute angle straight back at the American.
Reading are holding their own and penning Chelsea back when they can. They haven't seen much of the ball mind, but Steve Coppell won't worry too much if they rech the half way mark with a clean sheet.
A free-kick from 25 yards gives Drogba his first sight on goal. Luckily for Hahnemann it flies five feet over his bar and into a fan's hot dog in row F.
Reading skipper Greame Murty trudges off. He's not been sent off, he's aggravated his troublesome hamstring injury and the dejection on his face is there for all to see.
A superb move almost hands Reading a shock lead. Stephen Hunt's trickery takes him past three Chelsea players and into the box. A cute pass in to Kevin Doyle and a turn to match fashions a shot that strikes the upright. Liquid football!
Injury update on Petr Cech and it's not good news for the Chelsea keeper. He's off to the Royal Berkshire hospital for a check-up on his concussion.
Sonko's centre-back partner Ingarmarsson could learn a thing or two about timing tackles from his pal. A late, awkward tackle from behind leaves the ref no option to produce the first card of the match.
Ibrahima Sonko is certainly relishing the test of facing the prolific Didier Drogba. He crunches into the striker taking ball and man and stopping the Ivorian in his tracks - classic defending.
England skipper John Terry gets away with a telling off from referee Mike Riley after berating the official after a dubious free-kick is awarded against him.
There's a lull in the game now and that's due to Reading disrupting Chelsea's rythmn.
Another stoppage and another injury to a Chelsea player. This time it's Ferreira who needs medical attention. It was an awkward fall but nothing more, he'll carry on.
Chelsea have had 64% of the possesion so far and they are showing no signs of being rattled by the injury to their keeper.
Chelsea are upping the ante now and a host of corners is followed by a chance for Arjen Robben who skips past Graeme Murty and drags his shot narrowly past the post.
Let off for Reading. Ivar Ingimarsson can breath a huge sigh of relief after his header flicks over his own goalkeeper's header on to the bar. It was a great run from Paulo Ferreira down the right that fashioned the chance.
Reading are working really hard and rattling into every challenge. They may not possess the skill and technique that their opponents do but their workrate is second to none so far.
Two corners in quick succession for the Champions but nothing comes of them.
Shevchenko is taking up some very bright and deep positions and he hits a tame left-foot drive from distance that is easily gathered by Marcus Hahnemann.
Encouragment for Reading, they win a corner. It's only the second time Reading have been down the Chelsea end and Leroy Lita makes contact with the set-piece, but not a firm enough header to trouble the Chelsea goal.
Chelsea won't mind Reading giving them the ball as much as they are at the moment. The home side can't get near a black shirt and when they do, they're giving the ball away far too easily.
It's keep ball at the moment. Chelsea put together about 25 passes before Readign break up the play.
Not unnerved by the inury, Chelsea press forward and try to stamp their authority on the match early doors.
Cudicini wouldn't have thought he would have seen too much action today but he's thrown in at the deep end and will have to adapt quickly.
Cech can't continue. Carlo Cudicini hastily puts on his jersey and replaces Cech who leaves the field on a stretcher. It looks like he's suffered concussion and it's a tragic start for the keeper and Chelsea.
Drama inside the second minute as Stephen Hunt clatters into Petr Cech and the tall keeper is flat out on the ground. Play stops for Cech to receive treatment and Jose Mourinho looks worried. It doesn't look like he'll be able to continue.
We're underway. With Chelsea in their changed strip of black shirts, black shorts and white socks, while reading remain in their usual blue and white stripes.
The teams are out for the first league meeting between the two sides for 76 years. It's the clash of the 2006 champions - Premiership winners Chelsea against Championship top dogs Reading.
John Mikel Obi