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Reading 3-3 QPR: Swift nets hat-trick but Rangers snatch late point in thriller

Reading v QPR

John Swift’s hat-trick wasn’t enough to give Reading victory as Stefan Johansen snatched a point for QPR with a stoppage time equaliser.

The Royals thought they had done enough to deliver QPR their first Championship defeat of the season but had to settle for a point in an entertaining spectacle at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Queens Park Rangers went ahead, but Swift netted to equalise before half-time.

Swift then added two more in the second-half, before Andre Gray replied instantly to put QPR back in the contest.

But with the game headed for stoppage time, Rangers found a sixth and final goal of the afternoon as Johansen smashed a shot in on the rebouuhnd.

Veljko Paunović made three changes to his team as Alan Halilovic and Baba Rahman came into the side for their first Reading starts.

There was a superb atmosphere in the Select Car Leasing Stadium prior to kick-off with the Rangers fans travelling in their numbers to pack out the away end.

And the away fans had plenty to shout about as their side took the lead with the first big chance of the game in the 11th minute.

Chris Willock swung a free-kick into the back post and QPR were first to the ball to head back across the box and Dominc Ball was on hand to find the net as his shot deflected off Michael Morrison and found its way in.

Reading looked to hit back as George Pușcaș got in behind only to be denied by the offside flag having already had his effort blocked by a defender.

The Romanian forward then had another sight of goal as he opted to shoot from a tight angle but he blasted his shot high and wide.

Andy Yiadom got the home crowd fired up as he flew into a crunching sliding tackle to win the ball back fairly.

Josh Laurent picked out the run of Ovie Ejaria with an excellent cross field ball, but as he looked to trick his way past two defenders instead of opting to pass to John Swift, he lost possession in a promising area.

QPR threatened to get a second as they won back-to-back corners but Jordy De Wijs headed over the bar.

In the 35th minute, Reading’s main main got them on the scoresheet and back on terms as Swift bagged his fourth Championship goal of the season.

New signing Alan Halilović found the run of Swift with a pinpoint clipped through ball and Swift made no mistake as he took a touch to cushion the ball in his stride before he guided the ball into the corner past Seny Dieng.

The visitors could have restored their lead as Charlie Austin looked to get on the end of a low cross but Yiadom flew in to make a crucial block to prevent the forward from having a tap in from close range as the half ended all square.

The Royals started the second 45 positively as Swift saw an effort blocked before Halilović unleashed a decent looking effort that just missed the target.

Mark Warburton’s side also had their chances early in the half as Chris Willock danced his way into the box from the left but couldn’t pick out a teammate in the middle as Reading cleared from danger.

Pușcaș had a brilliant opportunity to put Reading in front as he had a one-on-one with defender Rob Dickie, but the former Royal perfectly timed a sliding tackle to dispossess the striker.

The action continued as Rangers had a golden chance of their own just moments later as Rafael Cabral reacted quickly to make a save from Austin’s shot.

Reading took the lead in the 64th minute as Swift bagged his second of the game and fifth of the season.

He turned on the edge of the box and drove a shot into the bottom left corner out of the reach of Dieng.

With a well placed free-kick on the edge of the box, it looked perfectly placed for Swift to strike to try and get his hat-trick but instead Halilović stepped up and had an effort on target that was comfortably saved.

The Royals extended their lead in the 76th minute as Swift completed his hat-trick as he got on the end of a cross from Liam Moore and dispatched the ball neatly into the corner.

But QPR hit back with an instant response as Andre Gray latched onto the end of a cross into the middle from Alber Adomah and finished from close range.

The frantic action continued as Reading swung a cross into the box to find the head of Pușcaș who made contact but agonisingly headed inches wide.

But with the match headed into the final minutes, QPR snatched a point as Stefan Johansen fired in a shot on the rebound to score a dramatic leveller.

Rafael made a stunning save from close range to keep out an effort but Johansen was on hand to meet the follow up and fire the ball into the net.

Reading are at home to Peterborough United on Tuesday evening.

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Moore, Morrison, Rahman, Dele-Bashiru, Laurent, Halilović, Swift, Ejaria, Pușcaș

Subs: Southwood, Bristow, Holmes, Tetek, Hoilett, Ehibhatiomhan, Clarke

QPR: Dieng, Odubajo, Dickie, De Wijs, Barbet, McCallum, Ball, Johansen, Chair, Willock, Austin

Subs: Archer, Kakay, Dunne, Admoah, Dozzell, Thomas, Gray

Goals: Morrison 11’ (og), Swift 35’, 64’, 77’, Gray 79’, Johansen 90+1’

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