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Reading vs. Sunderland: Final score 2-1, Royals get vital win

Mike Hewitt

Relegation-threatened Reading gave themselves a huge boost with a late win over Sunderland, following up their 2-2 draw against Chelsea by beating the Black Cats 2-1 thanks to a brace from Jimmy Kebe.

Jimmy Kebe gave the hosts a fine start, latching onto Jobi McAnuff cutback and taking a perfect touch around Titus Bramble before finishing sweetly past Simon Mignolet, but Reading's early advantage was cut short by a rather mad display from centre forward Pavel Pogrebnyak.

John O'Shea was moving away from goal, just inside the penalty area, but Pogrebnyak lunged into the challenge anyway and cut him down. There was no choice but to give the penalty, and Craig Gardner stepped up and picked out the bottom corner, beating Adam Federici easily despite the goalkeeper guessing the right way.

Pogrebnyak nearly redeemed himself just after Sunderland's equaliser only to see Mignolet produce a superb save to keep the score level. Reading would eventually draw ahead once more, of course, but it took them until the 86th minute to do so. Mignolet didn't come out for a corner and the ball virtually fell onto Kebe's head as the striker got his second, a goal that would prove to be a vital winner for the Royals.