Chelsea 1-0 Reading Highlights

Michael Ballack’s first-half header helped Chelsea keep in touch with the leaders as Reading suffered their fifth successive Premier League defeat.

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Ballack headed in Paulo Ferreira’s right-wing cross in the 32nd minute as the Blues dominated the first half. They were unable to score again in a nervy second half while Reading failed to make the most of several set-pieces. The result meant Chelsea equalled a club record of nine successive wins in all competitions set in 2005. It also meant that Avram Grant’s record in his first 29 wins is exactly the same as Jose Mourinho’s. Claude Makelele, wearing a plaster over his left ear, needed to be alert within the first minute of the game as the fit-again John Oster swung a corner in towards the near post, but Chelsea’s stand-in skipper was able to clear.

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