Chelsea are top of the Premier League table after their second win of the season, but Wednesday's victory came in controversial fashion. Fernando Torres was well offside for his winner, but Chelsea added a fourth goal and were generally a better side than Reading during their 4-2 victory.
The Blues got off to an excellent start and won a stonewall penalty in the 18th minute. Chris Gunter tripped Eden Hazard in the box and the referee correctly pointed to the spot. Frank Lampard stepped up and buried the penalty, giving Chelsea a deserved lead.
Stunningly, Reading fought back and would take a lead into halftime. Pavel Pogrebnyak equalized with a brilliant header in the 25th minute, nodding a Gareth McCleary cross towards Pert Cech's far post, beating the Chelsea keeper. Cech had almost no chance to save that effort, but was completely at fault for Reading's second goal. That one was scored in the 29th minute by Danny Guthrie, whose free kick was completely mis-handled by Cech to the point where it was almost worthy of being called an own goal.
Chelsea dominated possession and kept the ball in Reading's half from then until the end of the game, but needed a bit of luck to score the eventual equalizer. Gary Cahill was the unlikely source of the goal in the 69th minute, involuntarily assisted by Reading keeper Adam Federici. Cahill hit what was a hopeful shot at best from long range right at Federici, and the Australian international inexplicably bobbled and deflected the ball into his own net.
Then came the controversy. Torres, offside by a mile, poked in a cross by Ashley Cole in the 81st minute to put the Blues back into the lead. How the linesman missed the call, no one will ever know. It was obvious at full speed that Torres was offside, and replays from the side angle only made it more obvious.
With Reading pushing everyone forward for a corner in stoppage time, including Federici, they were undone for Chelsea's fourth goal. They had no choice but to commit everyone to an attempt to equalize and Chelsea pounced after clearing the corner, with Hazard setting up Branislav Ivanovic for the empty-net finish.