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3-1
04 April 2017 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

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Match Reports

Rovers undone as Royals stride on

Reading complete seasonal double over Blackburn

4 April 2017

Reading stormed to a 3-1 home win over Rovers this evening to take another big step towards securing a top six spot at Madejski Stadium.

The Frenchman opened the scoring with a well-placed header, directing Tyler Blackett's delivery back across the face of goal and past the dive of Jason Steele. And Yann had a second when he capped off a superb passing move that started at the back and ended with Kermorgant powering a downward header into the bottom left corner. 

Blackburn came back strongly in the second half after a change of personnel and shape and a wonderful strike from Elliott Bennett reduced the deficit with a quarter of an hour gone. But minutes later, Garath McCleary arrowed rifled home a third with a fine finish. 

Royals boss Jaap Stam handed a first start to loanee defender Reece Oxford at the back as Jordan Obita missed out through injury. Adrian Popa earned only his second start of the season while Tiago Ilori returned to the squad to take a place on the bench after a lengthy spell out. Garath McCleary dropped to the bench and Danny Williams joined the substitutes after turning his ankle towards the end of the win over Leeds at the weekend - Jordon Mutch coming into the eleven to replace the midfielder. 

The Royals enjoyed the early moments and within the opening quarter of an hour Jaap Stam's side had the lead. Tyler Blackett strode into space down the left and floated a superb cross towards Kermorgant at the back post. The Frenchman directed his header back across Jason Steele's goal and into the back of the net, with the keeper only getting a fingertip to the well-placed header. 

Blackburn had a fleeting chance to bite back soon after when Craig Conway was found in space charging through on goal, but he took his shot early and arrowed harmlessly over from the edge of the area. 

But Kermorgant got his head to a knock down minutes later to set up a very difficult chance for Beerens who smashed the ball high into the stands from a narrow angle. 

The lively Popa drilled an effort wide with his left foot as he took aim while off balance, then soon after Popa fed the overlapping Gunter whose cross looked to seek out Swift in the middle but the ball was headed off the midfielder's forehead by a Rovers defender. 

And before the half hour mark, Reading had a second with a superb passing move from the back. Reece Oxford started the move by threading a ball into the feet of Mutch in midfield, and he found Beerens on the left. He passed it on to Swift who delivered another brilliant cross onto the head of Kermorgant. And the in-form striker made no mistake, powering a superb downward header past a helpless Steele and into the bottom left corner. 2-0. 

Reading were in total control it seemed although the visitors thought they'd pulled one back in first half injury time. Conway's inswinging free kick was bundled in at the back post, but the offside flag cut the travelling fans' celebrations short and the hosts went in two goals to the good at the break. 

Half-time: Reading 2-0 Blackburn

Tony Mowbray used up all of his substitutions at the break, bringing on Marvin Emnes and Lucas Joao at half-time after Tommi Hoban had replaced the injured Charlie Mulgrew earlier in the opening forty-five. 

Joao drew a foul from Blackett soon after the restart and then dragged an effort wide of the bottom left corner as Rovers looked for a route back into the game. 

And Blackburn were looking threatening when a cross from the left was volleyed into the ground and onto the roof of the Royals net by Emnes. Moments later a great tackle from Gunter was enough to stop Joao in his tracks as he burst into the box. 

At the other end, a Reading counter attack ended with Liam Kelly arcing a shot just over from 22 yards out. But it took a fantastic save from Al Habsi to deny Gallagher who looked to bundle home a tantalising inswinging cross from the left. 

Reading had a chance to make it 3-0 when Al Habsi gathered a corner and set Swift away on the counter attack just after the hour. He found McCleary bursting through on goal but the winger couldn't get the ball out from under his feet as he bore down on the goalkeeper and the chance disappeared almost as quickly as it had presented itself. 

But Blackburn had been threatening to come back into this one and they halved the deficit with a stupendous strike from Elliott Bennett that flew into the top right corner from 25 yards out. 

Reading responded. Within seconds of the restart, Kermorgant slid in to force a fine reaction save from Steele who was caught unawares by Yann taking aim so early. 

And from the resulting corner, Reading restored their two goal cushion. A corner was cleared only as far as Williams and Kermorgant, both who had shots charged down on the edge of the box. But the ball was recycled once more out to McCleary who fizzed a fine right-footed strike low inside the right post for 3-1. 

On the counter, it was nearly four. Beerens raced onto a flick in behind the Rovers line and he picked out Swift in the middle unmarked. He aimed a right-footed hook at goal but Steele saved well. 

McCleary squandered a chance to put it to bed with two minutes left, scuttling in behind the Blackburn back line once more but completely scuffing his effort wide when in a good position. 

Seconds later, Kermorgant set up another chance in front of the Rovers goal, sweeping the ball into Beerens on the edge of the box who deftly flicked the ball into the path of Williams. But Steele came off his line to smother the ball well as Williams looked to pass it under him. 

But Reading had taken another three point step towards a play-off place with a win that was thoroughly well deserved once more. 

Full-time: Reading 3-1 Blackburn

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter (c), Blackett, Moore, Oxford (Ilori 73), Kelly (Williams 62), Mutch, Swift, Popa (McCleary 55), Beerens, Kermorgant. 
Subs: Jaakkola, Watson, Grabban, Mendes. 
Yellow: Blackett 
Goals: Kermorgant (14, 29), McCleary (79) 

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Williams, Lowe (c), Feeney, Mulgrew (Hoban 10), Gallagher, Akpan, Nyambe, Bennett, Lenihan (Emnes HT), Conway (Joao HT). 
Subs: Raya, Brown, Guthrie, Mahoney. 
Goals: Bennett (76) 

Att: 15,353 (480 away) 

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