Championship
Luton0Reading5

Luton Town 0-5 Reading: Four-goal Yakou Meite deepens Hatters relegation fears

Yakou Meite
Yakou Meite has now scored 16 goals for Reading this season

Luton saw their Championship survival hopes severely dented as four goals from Yakou Meite helped Reading to a first win in four games.

The Hatters remain rooted to the foot of the table after their six-match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt conclusion.

Two goals in the space of two minutes for Meite put Reading in command before he completed his hat-trick in the space of just 18 minutes before half-time.

George Puscas headed in a fourth early in the second half before laying on Meite for his fourth and Reading's fifth soon after, the Ivorian scoring with a well-taken finish.

Reading's biggest Championship victory since January 2014 eased any lingering relegation concerns they may have had after losing two of their three games since the season resumed.

But the chastening defeat for Nathan Jones' side and results elsewhere, left Luton five points adrift of safety with five games to play.

Their fate may well be determined by the outcome of their next two fixtures, against fellow relegation contenders Barnsley and Huddersfield, starting at home on Tuesday against the Tykes before a trip to west Yorkshire three days later.

Jones will have his work cut out to lift morale after seeing his side fall to a heaviest home league defeat since May 2007.

Meite's memorable afternoon

The afternoon belonged to Ivory Coast international Meite, who almost opened his account inside the first 10 minutes, only to be denied by Dan Potts' goalline clearance after the rebound fell to him following a Simon Sluga save.

Luton were twice out of luck when James Collins headed Harry Cornick's cross against the bar and Matty Pearson had an appeal for a penalty turned away when he appeared to be brought down by Ovie Ejaria.

Shortly after, Reading and Meite punished them twice as he first slotted in a Puscas through ball and then capitalised on Luton goalkeeper Sluga and right-back Pearson's failures to clear a Gabriel Osho cross and a Puscas shot.

Meite did not have to wait long to complete his first Reading hat-trick as Ovie Ejaria threaded a pinpoint ball through the defence for him to finish from the edge of the six-yard box.

Chances continued to come the visitors' way after the break as John Swift had a shot inside the penalty area turned behind for a corner but Puscas grabbed the fourth after Michael Morrison's header back across goal.

And Meite completed the rout when set free 30 yards out for a one-on-one with the keeper.

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones:

"That performance was totally out of character and some of the worst defending I have ever seen in my time in management, certainly in my two spells here.

"It's very difficult for me to have a go at my players today, because these are unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, but these home games were opportunities we needed to take.

"The intensity around our press and around the ball were nowhere near what they needed to be.

"It's going to be all about recovery and maintenance between now and Tuesday (against Barnsley). It's as big a week as this football club's had in a long time and we have to take points from those next two games because if we don't, our fate could be sealed."

Reading manager Mark Bowen:

"We made some changes from the defeat by Brentford and for me, today was about being more pro-active than reactive to things, being on the front foot.

"While winning 5-0 is fantastic, the more pleasing thing for me is keeping concentration right to the end and ensuring we didn't switch off and we held on to a clean sheet.

On Meite: "He came to see me yesterday in my office, putting a case across for him to play more as a number nine and a central striker, but I said to him I feel he can find more space in the wide areas and create more chances.

"He looked across at me in the changing room afterwards with a wry smile and a grin so maybe I won that particular argument this time."

Line-ups

Luton

  • 12Sluga
  • 6Pearson
  • 18Carter-Vickers
  • 5Bradley
  • 3Potts
  • 14CornickSubstituted forCranieat 70'minutes
  • 17MpanzuSubstituted forShinnieat 82'minutes
  • 4TunnicliffeSubstituted forBerryat 45'minutes
  • 10LeeSubstituted forHyltonat 70'minutes
  • 24BrownSubstituted forBreeat 45'minutes
  • 19Collins

Substitutes

  • 2Cranie
  • 7McManaman
  • 8Berry
  • 9Hylton
  • 11Shinnie
  • 20Moncur
  • 26Bree
  • 29Butterfield
  • 36Shea

Reading

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 34Osho
  • 4Morrison
  • 16McIntyre
  • 24Blackett
  • 8Rinomhota
  • 10SwiftSubstituted forRichardsat 78'minutes
  • 19MeiteSubstituted forMcClearyat 70'minutes
  • 29Tuncará GomesBooked at 15minsSubstituted forMasikaat 61'minutes
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forOliseat 70'minutes
  • 47PuscasSubstituted forBaldockat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Walker
  • 2Gunter
  • 6Moore
  • 9Baldock
  • 12McCleary
  • 18Boyé
  • 21Olise
  • 25Masika
  • 27Richards
Referee:
James Linington

Match Stats

Home TeamLutonAway TeamReading
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home5
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away10
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Luton Town 0, Reading 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Luton Town 0, Reading 5.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Danny Hylton (Luton Town).

  4. Post update

    Foul by James Collins (Luton Town).

  5. Post update

    Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Luton Town. Luke Berry tries a through ball, but Dan Potts is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Tyler Blackett.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tom McIntyre (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Olise.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Luke Berry (Luton Town).

  10. Post update

    Michael Olise (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dan Potts (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Collins.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Luton Town. Andrew Shinnie replaces Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

  13. Post update

    Foul by James Bree (Luton Town).

  14. Post update

    Tyler Blackett (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Andy Rinomhota.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Hylton.

  17. Post update

    Luke Berry (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Sam Baldock (Reading).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sam Baldock replaces George Puscas.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Omar Richards replaces John Swift.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds41239963342978
2West Brom402014667382974
3Brentford412191173334072
4Fulham4120101155441170
5Nottm Forest411814954411368
6Cardiff41161695851764
7Derby411613125653361
8Millwall411417104844459
9Preston411610155250258
10Swansea401415115047357
11Blackburn411511155653356
12Bristol City411510165360-755
13Reading411410175348552
14Sheff Wed401410164954-552
15QPR40148185966-750
16Wigan411311174553-850
17Birmingham411213165164-1349
18Stoke41137215461-746
19Charlton411210194655-946
20Huddersfield411210194963-1446
21Hull40129195468-1445
22Middlesbrough401014164052-1244
23Barnsley411011204566-2141
24Luton41117234678-3240
View full Championship table

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