Championship
ReadingReading0StokeStoke City3

Reading 0-3 Stoke City: Royals suffer third straight defeat

Stoke striker Steven Fletcher celebrates his goal against Reading
Stoke striker Steven Fletcher (middle) netted his fourth goal of the season

Championship leaders Reading suffered a third straight defeat as Stoke City capitalised on defensive errors at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals dominated possession but were 2-0 down at half-time following clinical finishes from Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher.

Potters keeper Angus Gunn had saved two early headers from Alfa Semedo, while Lewis Gibson missed a chance to pull one back before the break.

Tomas Esteves and Sam Baldock shot narrowly wide for Reading in the second half, before substitute Jacob Brown added a third for the visitors deep into stoppage time.

Reading were the early pacesetters in the second tier, winning seven of their first eight games to establish a seven-point lead at the top of the table, but Veljko Paunovic's men have seen their advantage cut to just one point after their defeat and victories for Watford and Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.

Potters make most of Royals slip-ups

Reading started brightly and created two chances for Semedo in the first six minutes.

The midfielder could have done better with his first header, sending it down into the ground and straight at Gunn, but his second was a powerful effort which the on-loan Southampton keeper tipped over the bar.

Stoke took the lead midway through the first half when Campbell pounced on a loose clearing header from Esteves and found the bottom left-hand corner with Royals keeper Rafael Cabral unsighted.

The visitors doubled their lead 10 minutes before half-time when a clearing kick from Cabral was headed back into the box by right-back Tommy Smith and Fletcher sent a first-time finish past the Brazilian.

Gibson could not divert a free-kick from Esteves towards goal at the back post and Reading then had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Keith Stroud after Michael Morrison went down under the challenges of Danny Batth and Nick Powell following a corner.

Reading continued to enjoy more of the ball after the break as Stoke sat back, but it was the visitors who came closer to scoring another goal when Campbell's curling effort came back off the post.

And the Potters did wrap things up in the fifth minute of added time when Brown capitalised on a weak backpass from Gibson and rounded Cabral before slotting in.

Stoke's first win in 16 league trips to Reading - a run stretching back to December 1992 - lifted Michael O'Neill's men up to eighth in the table and a point off the top six.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic

"The game started very well for us and we had [two] very good opportunities. We have to learn that those moments are crucial in a game. You have to take advantage of it.

"This is a serious league in which mistakes - in both boxes - can kill you. There is a mix of immaturity in some moments and a mix of fatigue, accumulation of games and injuries that we are going through.

"I have to say, though, that there were still a lot of positives. Our doubters will now have negatives but we will fix this."

Stoke manager Michael O'Neill told BBC Radio Stoke:

"We were disappointed to come away with nothing at Watford and it was important to react well to that and we did that today.

"We had to dig in at the start of the game but once we got ahead we looked capable of scoring again.

"Second half we knew we'd come under pressure and we showed great spirit to deal with that and nicked a second goal on the break."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 17YiadomSubstituted forAlukoat 74'minutes
  • 4Morrison
  • 15Gibson
  • 3Richards
  • 2Pontes EstevesSubstituted forOliseat 62'minutes
  • 8Rinomhota
  • 28Laurent
  • 30Semedo
  • 47PuscasSubstituted forBaldockat 63'minutes
  • 18Lucas João

Substitutes

  • 5McIntyre
  • 7Olise
  • 9Baldock
  • 22Southwood
  • 24Aluko
  • 34Tetek
  • 43Watson

Stoke

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Gunn
  • 14Smith
  • 36Souttar
  • 6Batth
  • 3Fox
  • 26CampbellSubstituted forBrownat 82'minutes
  • 13Obi
  • 34ThompsonBooked at 4mins
  • 11McCleanBooked at 86mins
  • 21FletcherSubstituted forCollinsat 72'minutes
  • 25PowellSubstituted forOakley-Bootheat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Ince
  • 9Vokes
  • 18Brown
  • 20Oakley-Boothe
  • 35Tymon
  • 37Collins
  • 40Nna Noukeu
Referee:
Keith Stroud

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home7
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 0, Stoke City 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 0, Stoke City 3.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 0, Stoke City 3. Jacob Brown (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by Morgan Fox.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by Harry Souttar.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sone Aluko (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Olise.

  7. Post update

    Michael Olise (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Collins (Stoke City).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Olise (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Andy Rinomhota following a set piece situation.

  10. Booking

    James McClean (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Michael Olise (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by James McClean (Stoke City).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by John Obi Mikel (Stoke City).

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sam Baldock (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lucas João with a headed pass.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Stoke City. Morgan Fox tries a through ball, but Tommy Smith is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Morgan Fox (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tashan Oakley-Boothe.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Andy Yiadom.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Nathan Collins replaces Steven Fletcher.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Baldock (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Olise.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Reading117131712522
2Watford11632149521
3Norwich11632138521
4Bournemouth11551159620
5Bristol City116231511420
6Swansea11542137619
7Middlesbrough1146195418
8Stoke115331512318
9Millwall11452108217
10Luton11524911-217
11Brentford114431712516
12Blackburn114252114714
13Huddersfield114251213-114
14Preston114161514113
15Cardiff113441211113
16Barnsley113441213-113
17Birmingham11344911-213
18QPR113441115-413
19Rotherham113351012-212
20Nottm Forest11335912-312
21Coventry112271223-118
22Wycombe11218619-137
23Sheff Wed11335610-46
24Derby11137516-116
View full Championship table

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