Reading 2-3 Bristol City: Robins hold on for victory in five-goal thriller
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Reading and Bristol City at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as Andreas Weimann scored twice for the Robins in a game they eventually held on to win.
Tuesday 17 August 2021 23:37, UK
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Bristol City’s 13-match run without a win, extending back to last season, was brought to a halt with a hard-earned 3-2 Championship victory at Reading.
City started brightly and were two goals to the good within 14 minutes – Andreas Weimann and Chris Martin both striking from close range.
But Reading gradually recovered and were rewarded when Femi Azeez hammered home in the 19th minute.
Weimann added his second goal seven minutes into the second period and although Reading skipper Liam Moore reduced the gap nine minutes from the end, City held on.
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City’s last victory had come at Birmingham in mid-March when they triumphed 3-0. Manager Nigel Pearson had overseen only two wins in 17 games in charge since succeeding Dean Holden in February.
After exiting the Carabao Cup first round on penalties to League Two Forest Green last week, City lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough in the Championship on Saturday.
Reading also fell at the first hurdle in the League Cup, a young side losing 3-0 to Swansea.
But they bounced to claim their first victory of the season – at the third attempt – by defeating Preston 2-1 at home on Saturday.
City began strongly and were 2-0 ahead shortly before a quarter of an hour had passed.
With only five minutes on the clock, Martin flicked on a long throw from the right and Weimann pounced to nod home.
Nine minutes later, it was 2-0. Matty James clipped a free-kick into the home area and Reading’s defensive marking was again non-existent. Cameron Pring headed on and Martin volleyed in from close range.
But Reading reduced the deficit in the 19th minute when Josh Laurent’s left-wing pull-back seemed to have evaded everyone in the City box.
Azeez, however, lashed the ball into the roof of the net for his second goal in as many games.
The game then became more even towards the interval, with home keeper Rafael saving from Tomas Kalas and Reading’s Tom McIntyre seeing a shot blocked at the other end.
City were also fast out of the traps in the second half and increased their lead in the 52nd minute following a quick break.
Weimann again took advantage of slack marking in the Reading area, twisting cleverly before firing past Rafael.
Reading attempted a fightback and appealed for a penalty when an effort from George Puscas appeared to be handled.
But referee Andy Woolmer remained unmoved and booked Reading manager Veljko Paunovic for protesting too vigorously in his technical area.
Paunovic seemed happier when Moore rifled in from 20 yards but, despite a frenzied rally from the home side, City kept them at bay and even struck a post late on through substitute Kasey Palmer.
What the managers said…
Reading’s Veljko Paunovic: “It was tough that we conceded two very early goals. We expected that City’s plan was going to be direct play, looking for the second balls to get set-pieces from and long throw-ins. We were preparing for that but, obviously, City had a little bit of the ‘luck’ factor with their first goal – the rebound from the throw-in goes towards their player.
“But when that happens, what we say is that this is a red flag. It was too late, though, because City now had the control. We conceded too many throw-ins in the final third in the first half. It’s the play that City always have and we were preparing for that. Unfortunately, when it got to that point, they controlled us. But the reaction from the team at 2-0 down was good and we kept pushing right to the end.”
Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson: “Yes, it was really good to get over the line. It’s important to point out that we probably played better than that against Blackpool [drew 1-1] and were unfortunate to concede late on. In fact, we’ve conceded late goals in all our three previous games this season so there’s going to be a bit of a build-up of anxiety.
“It’s just good to get over that line. I thought the lads showed a lot of commitment tonight and some good play, too. We also looked good on the break and we created some good opportunities. Andi [Weimann] probably thinks he should have had a hat-trick. It’s good to get the first win of the season and it’s been a long time since we had a win. All those things together are really positive.”
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