The Warmdown: Reading denied point on opening day by late Stoke goal
 Reading FC celebrate as Liam Moore scores during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Reading at Bet365 Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

A late debut goal from Sam Surridge meant that Reading suffered defeat in their first game of the season as they lost 3-2 to Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium.

The Royals will feel hard done by not to have taken at least a point back to Berkshire, after coming from behind twice in the game.

Nick Powell got on the end of a cross to give the Potters the lead, before a nicely tucked finish from John Swift levelled things a minute after Stoke took the lead. 

A couple of minutes later and the hosts regained the lead through man of the match Jacob Brown, calmly finishing through the legs of Liam Moore and Rafael.

It took until the second half for Reading to bounce back, with a thumping header from a corner for Moore, his first Championship goal for over a year.

But Stoke came back late on when substitute Sam Surridge, who signed only three days ago, capped his debut off with a late winner, tucking home a low ball from Tommy Smith to give Stoke a winning start to their 21/22 season.

Here is our warmdown of the game, where we go over the key talking points.

Reading need signings - and fast

Reading are one of three sides this season that are yet to make a signing, and the game showed.

The Royals only named five substitutes on the bench out of a possible seven, with seasoned pros George Puscas, Tom Holmes and youngster Dejan Tetek being brought on.

Reading really could have used some good options off the bench, with them having to take off stars Swift and Lucas Joao due to minor injuries. But the players who came on provided little to no impact, with Holmes even being brought on and put straight upfront, as they were lacking attacking options.

Mario Vrancic makes an instant impact

The summer signing from Norwich City had an excellent performance for Stoke, making the most crosses and accurate crosses, the most tackles and the most key passes.

He also made an excellent dummy for the match-winning goal, leaving  Smith's cross so Surridge could get on the end of it and put it in the back of the net.

The Bosnian was released by Norwich after two promotions with the club, so he clearly has the ability to compete in this division, and he certainly showed it today.

Zonal marking doesn't work 

Both teams conceded goals because of zonal marking, and both will be disappointed with how bad the marking was for each goal.

Stoke's first goal came through Powell, and poor zonal marking from Reading allowed him to run to the back post and prod home unmarked into the net.

Meanwhile Reading's second goal, from Moore, also came from bad zonal marking. the captain started his run from the edge of the box, following the cross to the back post where he ran in and used his speed to power home from close range.

Had Stoke put someone on him at the edge of the box, the goal may have never happened.