Benitez baffled by Chelsea draw with Reading

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has admitted he does not quite know how his side managed to give up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Premier League strugglers Reading, the Daily Mail has reported.

Goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard had put daylight between the visitors and the hosts, with Reading only getting back into the contest in the 87th minute with a strike from substitute Adam Le Fondre.

Five minutes into injury time, though, Le Fondre struck again, taking advantage of lax Chelsea marking from a free-kick to put a second goal past Ross Turnbull. The brace brought Le Fondre’s ninth and 10th goals of the season, six of which have come as a substitute – while the point was enough to take Reading out of the bottom three.

The draw was Chelsea’s third in a row after a goalless draw with Swansea City in the League Cup semi-final – Chelsea losing 2-0 on aggregate after a first-leg defeat – and a 2-2 draw with Brentford in the FA Cup.

Benitez said: “Everyone could see the game was under control for us until the last minute. It is difficult to explain. The last free-kick we made too many mistakes. We had chances to kill the game.

It changed because they were playing long balls. We can say we have to be more clinical, and more aware of this situation with these mistakes defending set-pieces.

They had their first shot after 78 minutes. It’s difficult how to explain how we drew this game. We all take responsibility. It’s for us to analyse why we didn’t kill the game off, and to work to stop the mistakes.

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