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07 March 2020 Venue St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

🚙 Ahead of the game | Back on the road to face Blues

Royals make the journey to St Andrew's to face in-form Birmingham this Saturday

6 March 2020

After going to extra time in the Emirates FA Cup in midweek, Reading have been focussing on their recovery as they get back to league action against an in-form Birmingham City side...

Interviews

🔂 Bowen | "We must be ready to go again and again"

5 March 2020

Birmingham City vs Reading
Saturday 7th March, 3pm

Sky Bet Championship
St Andrew's

The Royals travel to St Andrew's on Saturday to face a Birmingham City side who have gone unbeaten in their last 13 Sky Bet Championship matches.

Blues were also involved in the FA Cup in midweek, though, and fought hard but suffered late agony after conceding eight minutes from time against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night.

Both sides will have the league to focus on for the remainder of the season, though, with 10 Sky Bet Championship fixtures left to make a difference to the teams' fortunes before the campaign ends at the start of May.

The Royals have a pair of in-form forwards at the moment, with George Pușcaș scoring his fourth goal in five matches in midweek, and Yakou Méïté with five goals in 11 games from a wide position. Both are now on 11 goals for the season as the race for Reading's top scorer gong heats up.

The main focus for both, however, will be to help ensure Reading take all three points home with them from St Andrew's at the weekend.

A win could see the Royals move into the Championship's top half on Saturday, along with the guarantee of moving above their opponents with victory in the Midlands at the weekend.

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Pre-match chat

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Tickets

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For full ticket information, including prices and how you can buy online, head here.

You can also visit our Ticket Office during opening hours or ring 0118 968 1313.

Weather

BIRMINGHAM WEATHER

It's due to be cloudy but reasonably mild at St Andrew's tomorrow, decent conditions for football on the day.

Travel

Don't forget, coach travel booked through Supporters' Trust at Reading (STAR) is FREE for STAR members for this fixture. Check the STAR website here for booking details, STAR membership options and coach travel availability.

Officials

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Andy Davies will be overseeing proceedings at St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon, in his third Reading match of the season so far.

He was in the middle when the Royals overcame Cardiff at Madejski Stadium back in August, and visited RG2 once again as Reading played out a 1-1 draw against Hull City in February.

Daniel Leach and Sam Lewis will be assisting Mr Davies on Saturday afternoon, with Mark Pottage between the benches as fourth official.

iFollow

UK subscribers to iFollow will be able to listen to this match, either with an Audio Match Pass for the cost of £2.50, or with an Audio Monthly Pass, where you can listen to every Reading match for £4.49 per month. If you are a Royals supporter based outside of the UK, you will be able to watch this match live with an iFollow Match Pass, for just £5. Click here for all your options.

Please note, this match will not be available to watch live for UK subscribers on iFollow.

Reminder

We wish to politely remind supporters that the football club is responsible for their conduct at all matches (home or away) and any person committing a football-related offence or involved in serious misconduct at any match will result in a club ban. Examples of serious misconduct include discriminatory, offensive or abusive chanting, entering the pitch, persistent standing and throwing a missile. Supporters witnessing any incidents of serious misconduct are encouraged to report this to the football club by texting 80800, beginning your message with the word SAFE.

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Match Reports

📝 Second-half turnaround secures brilliant win for Reading!

Report of the action from St Andrew’s

7 March 2020

Reading completed a fantastic turnaround in the second half at St Andrew’s to take the points away at Birmingham City’s expense.

Scott Hogan netted a fortuitous opener for the Blues, but Matt Miazga lashed in an equaliser early in the second period – and then Yakou Méïté put Reading ahead moments later.

Pelé’s first goal for the Royals came in the final few minutes, sealing a fantastic afternoon for the travelling players, staff and support.

There was just one amendment to the starting XI after the valiant midweek effort against Sheffield United – in came Omar Richards at left-back, replacing Jordan Obita. Michael Morrison, formerly a long-serving captain of Birmingham, continued to skipper the Royals side with Liam Moore available on the bench.

The hosts threatened first; Dan Crowley was sharp into the tackle to dispossess Ovie Ejaria and whipped a near-post towards Hogan, who was just beaten to the ball by goalkeeper Rafael.

But just after the five-minute mark, Hogan would get the better of the Royals stopper, owing to a mix-up at the back. A long ball forward bounced through, and Matt Miazga’s header back to his goalkeeper was underhit and allowed Blues forward Hogan to continue his fine goalscoring form by prodding a looping effort past Rafael.

Reading looked to react and could have levelled through George Pușcaș, who tried to steal in down the left channel and scamper onto a neat pass with the outside of John Swift’s right boot. The angle wasn’t favourable, so the Romanian went for power – and ended up firing over the frame of goal.

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Inexplicably Hogan missed a chance to score his and Birmingham’s second. There was an element of luck about the way the ball was turned over in midfield, but Gary Gardner scampered through, threaded wide to Lukas Jutkiewicz, who crossed to the back post for Hogan. Miazga did well to cover the angle and forced the Villa loanee to fire over.

The home side looked dangerous on the counter; Ejaria dwelt on the ball a moment too long in the centre circle and was robbed by Hogan, who unselfishly laid with to Ivan Sunjic on the edge of the area. The midfielder could only find side netting.

Birmingham had goalkeeper Lee Camp to thank to keep their lead intact when a bit of persistence by Andy Yiadom opened things up; he won the ball high on the right flank and slid in Yakou Méïté, who was denied by the goalie at full stretch. Olise picked up but was wayward with the rebound, as blue-shirted bodies swarmed to try to block.

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Then Méïté went for an acrobatic effort, but couldn’t test Camp. Olise was the one to wiggle into space on the left and deliver a cross for the striker to attack, and his overhead effort cleared the crossbar.

Hogan replied in kind as Crowley sent over a deep delivery, and the Blues forward was off target from his bicycle kick. Just before the ref blew up for half-time, Jude Bellingham rode a challenge down the left and Rafael had to be alert to pounce on a dangerous cross-shot as the teenager entered the area.

Half-time | Birmingham City 1-0 Reading

Blues had scored early in the first half; it was the Royals who levelled early in the second. Reading had bodies forward to attack a corner; Birmingham cleared the initial threat but Rinomhota picked the ball up on the right, beat Sunjic and dinked in to the centre where Miazga, of all people, found space to lash in a volley from eight yards.

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And four minutes after, the turnaround was complete. Olise won a free-kick as he threatened to counter, and Swift delivered a perfectly-weight ball for Méïté to arrive at first and glance past Camp. 2-1 Reading!

With the advantage suddenly in Reading's favour, Birmingham had to look for a route back - and a risky ball out of defence by Marc Roberts was picked off by Olise. Cutting infield, his through-ball was just overhit for Pușcaș.

Gary Gardner forced Rafael to tip around his post with a 25-yard effort, and then the Birmingham man was almost shown up as Rinomhota's bold run out of defence almost resulted in a wonder-goal. Gardner tried to track the Royals man as he burst from just outside his own area to the corner-flag - Rimonhota beat him on the byline but a low cross was fielded well by the goalie.

Garath McCleary and Pelé came on to shore things up at the back as Birmingham pressed to level things up - and eventually Moore joined the fray as a third centre-half to help deal with the aerial threats.

Pușcaș had hassled and harried all afternoon - and after nipping possession down the left, he jinked past a defender and tried to lay in McCleary through the middle... not quite enough pace on the pass and it was cut out.

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It was the sheer tenacity in defence that kept the advantage in Reading's favour as a Sunday League-style scramble saw bodies being thrown into the line of fire to protect Rafael's goal.

And moments later, it was Reading who grabbed the match-sealing goal. Pușcaș again was strong in the hold-up play, eventually threading in McCleary, who then played wide to Pelé - who sized up his marker and curled beautifully into the far corner.

Méïté squandered a chance to put more polish on the scoreline, deep into added time. It mattered little; the day belonged to Reading!

Full-time | Birmingham City 1-3 Reading

Birmingham City: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Dean (c), Gardner, Crowley, Bellingham (Mrabti 72), Sunjic (Kieftenbeld 84), Hogan, Jutkiewicz.
Unused subs: Trueman, Harding, Clarke-Salter, Montero, Boyd-Munce.
Goal: Hogan (6).
Yellow: Bellingham. 

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Morrison (c), Miazga, Richards, Rinomhota, Swift (Moore 81), Ejaria (Pelé 73), Olise (McCleary 73), Méïté, Pușcaș.
Unused subs: Walker, Blackett, Masika, Adam.
Goals: Miazga (52), Méïté (56), Pelé (87).
Yellow: Swift.

Referee: Mr A Davies

Attendance: 19,525 (1,259 away)

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