Reading FC Match Report: 2020/2021 Season - Championship
READING 1 WYCOMBE 0
Reading: L Joao (63)
A moment of inspired forward play from Lucas Joao in the sixty-fourth minute was enough to see off a resilient Wycombe. The Reading striker controlled a long ball from Liam Moore on the edge of the Wycombe box, held off two defenders, and rifled a low shot past Allsop. It was Reading's first shot on target but it proved to be sufficient to lift Reading to the top off the Championship with a clear three point lead over second placed Bristol City. It was great result for the Royals but a far from convincing performance.
Wycombe started the game looking understandably low on confidence after five consecutive league defeats but Reading’s sluggish start gave them time to settle into the game. Wycombe pressed hard and made things difficult for Reading, and with Joao looking disinterested and off form, Reading were unable to gain any momentum going forward. Wycombe visibly grew in confidence as the game progressed. It was a scrappy first half to say the least with very little action in either attacking third of the field. Wycombe managed one tame shot on target. On the stroke of half time, Meite missed an absolute sitter for Reading when a cross from Ejaria found him unmarked at the far post. All that was required was decent contact on the ball, but with an open goal Meite glanced his header wide.
Meite was not having one of his better games. Immediately after the interval, whilst standing in an offside position got in Ejaria’s way as he ran onto to through ball on the edge of the box to deny Reading a scoring opportunity. Paunovic didn’t wait too long before making two decisive changes. Twelve minutes into the second half, off came Meite and Holmes (who had played extremely well) to be replaced by new recruits Sameda and Esteves. The substitutes made an immediate impact. Their pace, touch and movement provided a much needed injection of urgency, fluency and creativity going forward. Ironically Reading took the lead from a route one ball (albeit a very good one) from Liam Moore and a superb finish from Lucas Joao. Joao had burst into life for about ten minute following the substitutions but overall he had, to say the least, a quite a poor game by his recent standards. For a spell Reading looked as if they might over run Wycombe but to their credit they dug in and went looking for an equaliser with some conviction.
The enormous Akinfenwa was liberated from the bench and, although lacking in mobility, showed some nice touches without looking particularly dangerous. The last fifteen minutes and stoppage time were far from comfortable for Reading as they conceded some unnecessary free kicks allowing Wycombe to launch the ball into the Reading box. It took a very good save by Raphael from Odyedinma in the additional time to retain their fragile lead, but once again the Royals managed to keep a clean sheet and pick up three points. Reading have had an excellent start to the season and the new signings certainly appear to offer greater attacking potential, but they will need to be more dominant in games against the likes of Wycombe to be considered serious promotion contenders. For now things are certainly moving in the right direction.
This Championship game took place 131 days ago in the 2020/2021 season.