Reading 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Joao and Morrison send Royals up to second in the table
Lucas João celebrates opening the scoring for Reading against Nottingham Forest Photo: Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Image

Reading moved into the top two of Championship table with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Lucas João and Michael Morrison in either half secured all three points for the Royals as they move into the automatic promotion places.

  • Story of the game

The first real chance of the game came on eight minutes for Reading when Yakou Meite forced Brice Samba into a smart save with a thunderous drive from the edge of the box, at the other end, Lyle Taylor met a free-kick at the back post and forced Rafael into a good save.

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The first goal of the game came on 16 minutes, Ryan Yates was sent off for handball on the line after a mix-up in the area, Reading were awarded a penalty, João stepped up and sent Samba the wrong way to give the Royals the lead.

Reading should have been 2-0 up four minutes later, Michael Olise picked apart the visitors defence to find Meite, he turned Yuri Ribiero well, however, he fired wide from 10-yards.

Omar Richards went close for the hosts on 26 minutes, forcing Samba to punch clear his first-time effort away from the edge of the area, just before the break, Olise was unmarked in the area and met Richards' dinked ball into box, his header was weak and into the arms of Samba.

Meite then produced a low ball into the area, should have been a easy claim for Samba, but the Forest keeper fumbled the ball and then managed to reach the ball, before it trickled over the line.

Just before the break, Liam Moore's low drive almost found Joao whose effort goes just wide of the target.

Half Time: Reading 1-0 Nottingham Forest

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The Royals started the brighter in the second period and got their reward as Olise's corner found Morrison shrugged off Tobias Figueiredo in the area and guided an header beyond Samba who had no chance to stop his effort.

Reading almost got a third when Meite latched onto a ball over the top and set up the onrushing Ovie Ejaria on the edge of the area, his effort deflected wide but the corner was poor and Forest cleared.

João saw his header loop over the bar and behind for a goal-kick, however, the hosts have been the better side since the opening goal of the game.

Morrison could have had his second of the afternoon, however, his effort was blocked on the line with the Royals pushing forward trying to extend their lead.

The Royals could have made sure of the victory when Sone Aluko got  down the left well and crossed low towards Sam Baldock who saw his effort go wide.

  • Takeaways

Paunovic's Royals didn't need to work hard to get the win 

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic's side didn't even have to get out of second gear to claim the victory.

Following João's penalty on 16 minutes it was all one way traffic with the Royals piling on the pressure on the Forest defence and from there on in performed magnificently well throughout the game and saw the game out well despite getting a second goal.

  • Teams

Reading: Rafael, Holmes, Morrison, Moore, Richards (Gibson 86), Rinomhota, Laurent, Meite (Semedo 74), Olise (Aluko 81), Ejaria (Esteves 81), João (Baldock 86).

Substitutes (not used): Southwood, McIntyre, Tetek, Onen.

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Worrall, McKenna (Figueiredo 46), Ribeiro, Yates, Arter (Sow 60), Cafu, Knockaert (Ameobi 60), Taylor (Swan 71), Lolley.

Substitutes (not used): Smith, Jenkinson, Guerrero, Dawson, Ioannou.