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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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16 February 2021 Venue Ashton Gate Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

🔜 Ahead of the game | Royals face the Robins at Ashton Gate

Trip to Bristol next on the agenda for the Royals

16 February 2021

Following successive home defeats, the Royals will be hoping to get back to winning ways on the road as they travel down the M4 to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City this evening.

With this now our third game in six days, tonight's meeting with the Robins is an instant opportunity to put the disappointment of Saturday's loss to Millwall behind us, against a side who themselves come into the game on the back of defeat, with Watford putting six past Dean Holden's men on Saturday.

The Royals will be hoping for a repeat performance of the last time the side's met, during which Veljko Paunović’s side coasted to a 3-1 win at the Madejski. Three points at Ashton Gate would see us strengthen our grip on our top six spot, with the prize a chance to go 11 points clear of seventh.

How to watch

Our midweek encounter with the Robins is available for supporters to watch via iFollow.

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Royals supporters can grab their Match Pass to watch proceedings unfold, by clicking here ahead of our 7.45pm kick-off.

The game is also available for Sky Sports subscribers to watch via the red button.

Please note that as things stand, there will be no audio commentary available on the iFollow video stream for this fixture. BBC Radio Berkshire commentary will be available as audio-only.

The opposition

Since manager Dean Holden's arrival at Ashton Gate, the Robins have remained in the hunt for a play-off spot, despite a dip in form of late. City have won just once in their last five outings, and sit 10th in the table with 17 games to go. 

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Last time out, tonight's hosts fell to a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of promotion hopefuls Watford on an afternoon to forget for the Robins at Vicarage Road. The South West outfit sit 13th going into their visit from Reading.

During the January transfer window, City attempted to boost their hopes of sneaking into the top six by signing Henri Lansbury on a short-term contract following the mutual termination of his time at Aston Villa, and by recalling midfielder Kasey Palmer from promotion hopefuls and division rivals, Swansea City.

One to watch: Famara Diédhiou

Senegalese international striker Diédhiou could claim his 50th Robins goal in 150 appearances against the Royals on Tuesday night. The ASM Belfort youth product has again been ever-present for the Robins, in what is his fourth season in Bristol, and currently has eight goals to date in all competitions.

Prior to signing for the Robins in June 2017, Diédhiou had played exclusively in France, and rose through the leagues, from the Championnat National 2 to Ligue 1, before eventually being snapped up by City.

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While in France, Diédhiou performances for Clermont and Angers in particular caught the eye as he registered an impressive goalscoring return while at both clubs. 

The 28-year-old forward has represented his country on 10 occasions, and has already netted five international goals. Diédhiou was recently at the double as he helped his side to a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town. 

Pre-match chat

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Head-to-head

The Royals have had plenty of joy against the Robins in years gone by, and have won nine of the last 15 meetings between the two sides, including the reverse fixture against Dean Holden's side back in November. 

Reading last took home three points from Ashton Gate in January 2017, as a Liam Kelly strike and two late goals from Yann Kermorgant completed a complete turnaround in Bristol to seal a 3-2 win for the Royals. 

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The last time the two sides met, Ovie Ejaria, Yakou Méïté and Lucas João got themselves on the scoresheet to secure a 3-1 victory at Madejski Stadium. The Royals have won 40 and drawn 20 of a total 99 meetings between the clubs.

Ref watch

Oliver Langford will be the man in the middle on Tuesday evening, for what will be his second Reading game of the season.

Langford took charge of a Royals match back in December 2020, during which Lucas Joao scored against his former club to secure a point in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough. 

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Robert Merchant and Adam Crysell will assist Langford at the weekend, while Daniel Middleton will be the fourth official on this occasion.

During Langford's 21 league games to date, he has issued 80 yellow cards and four additional red cards.

Reminder

A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to Ashton Gate Stadium.

We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.

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Match Reports

📝 Match Report | Joao and Morrison earn comfortable win in Bristol

Reading returned to winning ways at Ashton Gate this evening - and the result never looked in doubt

16 February 2021

A commanding away performance earned the Royals a fine away win at Ashton Gate, scoring twice at the end of the first half and the margin of victory could very easily have been much larger.

Both teams began tentatively - Esteves looking to thread a ball into Joao but not finding feet, then the hosts finding some space down the right only for the cross to be far too deep for anyone in the middle.

Olise delivered a cross from Reading's right, seven minutes in, but although Joao wrestled with his marker at the far post in trying to get his head to it, the ball curled wide and behind for a goal kick.

The Royals threatened again when a low cross from Esteves was nearly met by Joao in the middle. The ball was recycled by Ejaria and then Olise arced a delicate ball over the top to find Semedo arriving into the City box. He chested it down and hooked the ball over the onrishing Bentley from a narrow angle, but a Bristol head got to it first to clear their lines.

Some lovely skill from Olise on the right wing led to a counter attack that ended with a right-footed drive from Richards that cannoned into a City head and span wide. The resultant corner saw Esteves take aim when a half-cleared Olise delivery fell to him ont the edge of the box - again a Robins body got in the way before Bentley was forced into a save.

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The game became a little scruffy with neither team able to earn meaningful periods of possession nor create in front of goal. Both Vyner and Olise delivered wayward crosses from promising positions as the game remained goalless.

Reading came so close to making it 1-0 just after the half hour - Esteves and Yiadom combined down the right and the latter crossed low into the box where Ejaria arrived onto it. His sidefooted shot deflected off a Bristol leg and bobbled just wide of the bottom right corner.

And it took Hunt to hack the ball off his goalline moments later when Ejaria did brilliantly to jink his way into the box along the byline and pull the ball back for Richards, who drilled a shot at goal only to see it cleared by the City defender.

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The goal was coming...and then it came. Four minutes before the break, Yiadom won a free kick on the right. Olise delivered a beautiful inswinging set piece and Joao ghosted into it, brought it down and stabbed it home from seven yards out.

And before half-time came, it was 2-0! And what a goal by captain Michael Morrison. The centre-half stepped in to win the ball in midfield and he drove forward. Laying the ball into the feet of Joao he continued his run into the area and Joao's clever flick saw the ball find Morro bursting into the box. Two men still to beat, he bundled his way past Vyner and then toe-poked the ball goalwards, off a sliding Mariappa, and over a helpless Bentley.

The away bench certainly enjoyed that goal and after a few defensive headers at the other end, the referee sounded his whistle and Reading went into the interval two goals to the good. A deserved lead.

Half-time: Bristol City 0-2 Reading

Dean Holden's men came out with more intent from the very off - Famara Diedhiou driving a low effort on target and winning a corner. That corner was delivered deep and two red shirts rose to aim a header at Rafael's goal - the Brazilian calmly plucking it out of the air on his goalline. 

Reading were looking to capitalise on gaps at the back as City pressed higher, and Joao latched onto a loose ball 25 yards out. He lost his footing a little as he looked for an angle to shoot so laid it off for Esteves who swept a first time shot across the face of goal and wide.

Olise took aim from 25 yards out but his speculative effort sailed harmlessly wide. Then, Richards counter attacked down the left and fizzed a low centre for Semedo to slide onto - but he couldn't get enough on the ball to direct it at goal.

Olise whipped in a free kick from the right which Ejaria so nearly got a foot to arriving at the back post, but Reading had to stay alert to the threat of a goal that might open up the game again and Taylor Moore thundered a powerful header wide from a corner on the hour.

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The hosts made three changes with 25 minutes remaining, but Esteves nearly made it 3-0 when Rinomhota won the ball in midfield, Olise darted forward and teed up Esteves for a low drive that deflected off a sliding City defender and skidded just wide.

Bentley needed to shovel a Tom McIntyre volley around the base of his left post to prevent a Reading third - the centre-half connecting with an Olise corner.

Diedhiou got a snapshot away from the edge of the area but a sliding challenge from Morrison did enough to deflect it off target and over the crossbar. 

From the resultant corner, Reading broke when McIntrye thumped a clearance into Ejaria in acres of space and with the whole City half to run into. He couldn't bring a bouncign ball down quick enough to capitalise on that space though and City hurried back in their numbers to crowd him out.

Reading were seeing the game out comfortably and as five minutes of additional minutes were signalled, Veljko Paunovic prepared his fourth substitute to wind the clock down as Dejan Tetek replaced Olise.

And the final whistle followed soon after to signal victory for the Royals on the road.

Full-time: Bristol City 0-2 Reading

Bristol City: Bentley, Hunt, Nagy (Massengo 80), Diedhiou, Paterson (Semenyo 65), Lansbury (Bakinson 67), Mariappa, Wells, Kalas (c), Moore, Vyner (Palmer 65).
Unused subs: O'Leary, Pearson, Bell, Towler, Massengo, Sessegnon.
Yellow: Hunt, Lansbury, Moore, Bakinson.
Goals:

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Richards, Morrison (c), McIntyre, Esteves (Holmes 76), Rinomhota, Semedo, Ejaria (Puscas 86), Olise (Tetek 90), Joao (Gibson 86).
Unused subs: Southwood, Moore, Onen, Aluko, Baldock.
Yellow: Richards, Ejaria, Olise.
Goals: Joao 42, Morrison 45
 

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