A close-range strike from Queens Park Rangers left the Royals tasting defeat at home on Tuesday night, losing 1-0 at the hands of Steve McClaren's side.
- Leistner scores midway through second half
- Méïté hits the post as Royals try to equalise
- Two Royals booked for simulation after penalty appeals
- Reading create flurry of late chances but cannot convert
The Royals started with a late change to their line-up, top scorer Jón Daði Böðvarsson pulled out injured in the warm-up and Yakou Méïté took his place, with teenage striker Danny Loader promoted to the bench.
QPR started brightly, immediately keeping control of the play and making Reading chase possession in the opening few minutes of the game. But the Royals broke forward with Aluko on the right, who played in Kelly in the box - shooting first time but a deflection took the ball wide of goal.
Steve McClaren's side carried plenty of nous going forward, committing players in numbers into the Reading attacking third. A neat combination between Nahki Wells and Jake Bidwell saw the latter hang up a cross for Jordan Cousins in the area - who had a free header land on the top of the net.
A heart-in-mouth moment for Reading soon followed, Angel Rangel finding room for a low cross on the right. Liam Moore looked set to deal with it comfortably but slipped as he adjusted his body, getting an unwanted toe on it and only just diverting around Sam Walker's post.
Reading brought a save from Joe Lumley at the other end with half an hour played, Bacuna spreading the play to Barrow - who laid off for Yiadom. The full-back split the defence with Kelly the recipient in the box, jinking away from his man on the turn and firing at goal, but Lumley got down to save comfortably.
Méïté had to bide his time for a chance up front, but a ball over the top left him tussling with Leistner into the box, he managed to shoot off-balance under the QPR captain's challenge - but only into the side netting,
Rangers then broke quickly, catching the Royals by surprise. An incisive ball through midfield left Eberechi Eze advancing on goal with Moore and Ilori in hot pursuit. The nippy forward managed to get his bearings and square for Wells, who shot across goal and brought a fine save out of Sam Walker.
It was an even half of football on balance, with the teams going in level at the break.
Half-time | Reading 0-0 QPR
The second period started in the same vein as the first ended - neither side able to establish themselves in dangerous positions to threaten the opposing goal.
Then came a big shout for a penalty from the Royals. Kelly burst forward at pace and slid Méïté through in the box. Leistner cut across, the attacker went down but the referee pointed the other way - booking the Royals striker for apparent simulation instead.
Walker was called into action again after a QPR corner which found its way to Cousins on the edge of the box. He rifled a strike through the Reading shirts and Walker saved brilliantly at his left-hand post.
However, from the resulting corner, the visitors took the lead. It was swung in, the Royals failed to clear their lines as a scramble ensued in front of goal - with QPR skipper Toni Leistner getting involved and powering home from six yards out.
Josh Sims and John Swift were both introduced immediately after conceding, to try and inject fresh impetus into the Royals as they begun their fight to get back into the game.
Saeid Ezatolahi managed to dribble his way through a cluster of pink shirts into the area, being brought down but the referee again blew and pointed the other way - with the Iranian receiving a yellow card for his troubles.
Then for the second time in the space of three minutes, Reading had another penalty claim waved away after Yiadom went down under the loose arm of Rangel - nothing doing according to the referee.
Méïté soon had the best chance for the Royals so far in the game. Barrow did brilliantly to work his way into the box, squaring for Méïté who shot quickly out of his feet - with his shot agonisingly striking the post.
And he almost equalised with a second golden chance inside a minute, but he could only glance the cross from the right wide of the post.
Reading threw everything in their attempts at a late equaliser, a Swift corner headed wide by Moore as the Royals committed players forward - with QPR retreating behind the ball.
Swift eyed up a free-kick in added time from all of 30 yards out. He struck it well, dipping over the wall but only into the grateful gloves of Lumley - who quickly sank to the ground to eat up some of the remaining seconds.
A frustrating night for Reading in the end, with QPR leaving RG2 with all three points.
Full-time | Reading 0-1 QPR
Reading: Walker, Gunter, Yiadom, Moore (c), Ilori, Bacuna, Ezatolahi (McNulty 79), Kelly (Swift 65), Aluko (Sims 65), Barrow, Méïté.
Unused subs: Mannone, Blackett, Rinomhota, Loader.
Yellow: Méïté, Ezatolahi, Sims
QPR: Lumley, Bidwell, Cameron, Rangel, Leistner, Cousins (Wszolek 82), Freeman, Luongo, Lynch, Eze (Scowen 80), Wells.
Unused subs: Ingram, Hall, Smith, Osayi-Samuel.
Goals: Leistner 64
Attendance: 13,568 (1,400 away)
Referee: Mr A Davies