Reading 3-0 Blackburn Rovers: Royals enjoy emphatic home win

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Championship leaders Blackburn lost their 100 per cent record when they were soundly beaten 3-0 at lowly Reading.

It was the hosts who dominated most of the first period, with defender Tom McIntyre nodding them in front in the 14th minute.

Rovers improved slightly after the break but were undone again in the 61st minute when Junior Hoilett drove home from the acutest of angles.

And 12 minutes from time, Reading substitute Lucas Joao secured a surprise victory with a smart turn and finish, condemning Rovers to their first defeat of the season.

Blackburn had won all their opening four matches in the league and Carabao Cup, scoring 10 goals in the process and conceding only one.

Reading had lost three of their four outings, including a 4-0 defeat at Rotherham on Saturday.

Manager Paul Ince also had to contend with persistent injury problems, with seven senior players missing.

Rovers began sluggishly but forged the first chance of the game, when Ben Brereton Diaz found space on the edge of the home area, only to drag his shot well wide.

It came as a relief to Reading, who had conceded a goal in the opening 10 minutes of each of their four fixtures.

Four minutes after that mark had passed, Reading went ahead.

Tom Ince slung over a corner from the right and centre-back McIntyre timed his run to perfection to nod powerfully past goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.

Blackburn appeared stunned and, as Reading upped the first-half pressure, could have fallen further behind.

An on-target effort from Tyrese Fornah was blocked on the goalline by Daniel Ayala – and a Tom Holmes header was also hacked off the line by Harry Pickering.

Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson was clearly unhappy with his side, bringing on three substitutes – Bradley Dack, Ryan Hedges and Sam Gallagher – after the interval.

It produced an improved display, with the visitors seemingly unfortunate not to win a penalty when Ashley Phillips was brought down by Shane Long.

But referee Keith Stroud decided that it was no foul by Long and no spot-kick.

Reading responded quickly and extended their lead just past the hour, when Hoilett cut in from the right flank.

The tight angle seemed against the Canada winger but he unleashed a superb drive that flew in past Kaminski via the underside of the crossbar.

Rovers had little reply and Joao effectively settled the issue in the 78th minute, capitalising on excellent build-up skills from Fornah with a clever low shot.

What the managers said…

Reading’s Paul Ince: “Listen, let’s not get carried away. Yes, the performance was very good, but you’re not going to play like that every week. As a manager, you hope that you do, but it’s not always the case. It doesn’t work like that.

“I’m just pleased that we bounced back from Rotherham, which was obviously very disappointing. I said to the players before this game: ‘Look, we need a response, we need a reaction, we need a performance’. Good performances don’t always get you wins but you know that you’ve gone out there and you’ve given it your all.”

Blackburn’s Jon Dahl Tomasson: “It was a disappointing night. We’ve been excellent so far but, today, it was not a good performance. We didn’t play with our normal intensity and we didn’t make the right choices on the ball and in the duels. In that way, it was not positive at all. I hate losing, the players hate losing, our fans hate losing. I feel sorry for all the fans, more than a thousand, who took the journey down here.

“They kept supporting us but the performance was not good. We have made a lot of good steps forward this season but today was a step backwards. We now need to stick together and get a good reaction on Saturday (away to Sheffield United). You can learn from winning games and you learn from losing games. We have made some great steps in the past couple of months but today was not great. We need to deal with that and we need to do it better.”

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