Championship
ReadingReading3CoventryCoventry City0

Reading 3-0 Coventry City: Lucas Joao & John Swift lead Royals to victory

By James LawBBC Sport
Lucas Joao scores for Reading
Lucas Joao has scored eight goals in his past eight Championship games

Lucas Joao and John Swift produced a goal and an assist apiece as Reading's attacking firepower proved too much for 10-man Coventry.

The Sky Blues started the stronger, with Callum O'Hare's low shot lacking conviction and Leo Ostigard glancing a free header wide before Joao held off a defender to slam home his 17th goal of the season and put the hosts ahead.

Veljko Paunovic's Royals then took control with Ovie Ejaria hitting the post after a mesmeric dribble and Portugal striker Joao diverting Tom Holmes' cross wide - but Andy Rinomhota doubled their lead straight after the break with a drilled effort from just outside the box.

Ostigard went close with two more headers for Coventry but Kyle McFadzean's sending off for two yellow cards halted their momentum and from the subsequent free-kick John Swift wrapped things up for Reading with a fine, dipping 30-yard strike.

Victory for Reading moved them above Brentford and Bournemouth - who lost at Derby - and to within three points of an automatic promotion spot, while Coventry slip below their tenants Birmingham into 18th.

Joao's opener came against the run of play, the front man taking Swift's lofted through ball on his chest before showing strength to ease Dominic Hyam out of the way and finish with aplomb.

Former Liverpool and Rangers midfielder Ejaria beat four players with amazing footwork on his way to hitting the inside of the near post and it was his air-kick from Joao's cutback that allowed Rinomhota to find the bottom corner on his 100th Royals appearance.

Ejaria also drew the foul from McFadzean which saw the visiting skipper dismissed and Swift's powerful free-kick past Ben Wilson was to be his last touch before being replaced.

Reading should have had a fourth, with substitute Sam Baldock slotting just wide after sprinting through on goal, while Max Biamou headed against the post as Coventry chased a consolation.

Michael Olise was forced off with a shoulder injury just after the hour mark but that was the only dampener on an exciting display by the home side.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic:

"Huge credit to the team, huge credit to the players, for the efforts that they put in. It was a very good performance.

"I wasn't entirely happy how we started the game. We conceded some unforced mistakes and gave Coventry some opportunities. That could have cost us much more.

"The reaction was our first goal. Great play, a great pass, from Swift to Joao. And he produced his usual way of scoring goals. We got where we wanted to be. We had the lead, which was very important to us."

Coventry manager Mark Robins:

"First of all, we played against a very good team. But you can't give them the goals that we gave them. All three of them, we've given them away. That's something that we've got to stop now.

"Obviously, losing McFadzean didn't help. But we kept giving Reading opportunities. We also had chances ourselves but we didn't take them. And we can't really let that happen again over the second half of the season.

"We keep saying the same things but we've just got to be more clinical. When you're playing against better opposition, we have got to be better ourselves. That's where we're at."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 29HolmesBooked at 29minsSubstituted forPontes Estevesat 45'minutes
  • 4MorrisonBooked at 90mins
  • 5McIntyre
  • 3Richards
  • 8RinomhotaSubstituted forBaldockat 78'minutes
  • 28Laurent
  • 7OliseSubstituted forAlukoat 64'minutes
  • 10SwiftSubstituted forSemedoat 73'minutes
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forTetekat 78'minutes
  • 18Lucas JoãoBooked at 87mins

Substitutes

  • 2Pontes Esteves
  • 9Baldock
  • 22Southwood
  • 24Aluko
  • 30Semedo
  • 34Tetek
  • 44East
  • 46Onen
  • 50Camara

Coventry

Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Wilson
  • 2ØstigardBooked at 80minsSubstituted forThompsonat 87'minutes
  • 5McFadzeanBooked at 71mins
  • 15Hyam
  • 23DaboSubstituted forDa Costaat 79'minutes
  • 38Hamer
  • 25JamesSubstituted forSheafat 79'minutes
  • 21McCallum
  • 11O'Hare
  • 12GyökeresSubstituted forBiamouat 59'minutes
  • 26ShipleySubstituted forBapagaat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Allen
  • 9Biamou
  • 14Sheaf
  • 20Bakayoko
  • 22Camp
  • 27Thompson
  • 29Da Costa
  • 33Kastaneer
  • 41Bapaga
Referee:
Dean Whitestone

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamCoventry
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home12
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 3, Coventry City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 3, Coventry City 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Callum O'Hare (Coventry City).

  4. Post update

    Omar Richards (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Gustavo Hamer with a cross following a set piece situation.

  6. Booking

    Michael Morrison (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Michael Morrison (Reading).

  9. Post update

    Gustavo Hamer (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Tetek (Reading).

  11. Post update

    Ben Sheaf (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Tetek (Reading).

  13. Booking

    Lucas João (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Coventry City. Will Bapaga replaces Jordan Shipley.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Coventry City. Jordan Thompson replaces Leo Østigard.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Josh Laurent (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Leo Østigard (Coventry City).

  18. Post update

    Sam Baldock (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Gustavo Hamer (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Tetek (Reading).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich24155433211250
2Swansea24137429131646
3Watford24127528171143
4Reading2413473728943
5Bournemouth25119538211742
6Brentford22118336211541
7Stoke2591063026437
8Middlesbrough2310672819936
9Bristol City2311392524136
10Barnsley25104112732-534
11Blackburn2496939281133
12Luton249692126-533
13Preston24102123033-332
14Huddersfield2494112834-631
15Cardiff2385103027329
16Millwall2351172024-426
17Birmingham2468101829-1126
18Coventry2468102234-1226
19Nottm Forest2467111927-825
20QPR235992230-824
21Derby2457121525-1022
22Rotherham2255122332-920
23Sheff Wed2367101523-819
24Wycombe2336141635-1915
View full Championship table

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