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Match Reports

10-man Royals empty handed at Hillsborough

Blackett sent off as Wednesday run out 3-0 winners

21 April 2018

It was a frustrating afternoon on the road for Reading, coming away from Hillsborough with a 3-0 defeat.

  • Fernando Forestieri opens the scoring for Wednesday with a half-volley
  • Boyd taps in to add second for the hosts
  • Forestieri adds a spectacular third 
  • Blackett sent off for the Royals

The Royals started with two changes following a draw against Sunderland last weekend, with Tyler Blackett and Joey van den Berg starting against the Owls at Hillsborough.

Wednesday started the brighter of the two sides, with Fernando Forestieri - only recently back in the first team fold after a long-term injury - making space and curling a left-footed effort at goal, but not troubling the Royals as it went high and wide.

Both sides struggled to break the other down in defence early on, with the back-lines well organised with both sides in need of points to secure Championship safety.

The first 25 minutes were devoid of clear-cut chances for either side, the closest the game came to a goal in that period was a cross from the left from George Boyd headed by Jordan Rhodes, which trickled five yards wide.

Reading soon started to exert their influence on proceedings, with Mo Barrow used as the primary attacking outlet on the left. He got forward and played in several crosses in quick succession, but the Wednesday defence were equal to his efforts to eventually clear.

Joey van den Berg then spread play to Chris Gunter on the right, who played back for Liam Kelly to cross. 

Jón Daði Böðvarsson beat the goalkeeper to head down, he shot from a tight angle and only the shin of Frederico Venancio stopped a certain opener.

However, the hosts then went down the other end and opened the scoring themselves. Forestieri got possession in the area, swivelled and fired into the far corner on the volley, with the help of a deflection.

The remainder of the half didn't provide much else for either team in front of goal, with the Royals going into the break a goal behind at Hillsborough.

Half time | Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Reading

The Royals had the first sight at goal after the break, Böðvarsson beat the offside trap and tried to tee up Barrow in the area, but Venancio was there again to clear the danger from the Royals.

The hosts capitalised and added a second. Forestieri worked tirelessly to keep the ball in on the far side, before playing in Reach who in turn crossed low to the waiting Boyd, who tapped in and doubled the Royals' deficit.

Reading fought to get back into the game, with Gunter latching onto a loose ball that rebounded off Forestieri into his path. He crossed for Böðvarsson to glance, but he couldn't guide his header on target.

A Reading corner was then played back out to Barrow, who dropped a shoulder and beat two Wednesday shirts before driving low across goal - without a Royal to provide the crucial touch from a yard out.

The cross didn't go out of play either, with Sone Aluko gathering from the corner flag, dancing past three defenders before unleashing a shot - blocked by Boyd and the Owls cleared.

Reading broke quickly again, with Böðvarsson sliding into Aluko in the box, whose shot was blocked before his attempted pass to Swift in the area fell just behind the playmaker's feet.

Despite the Royals carrying the greater attacking threat at that point, Forestieri added a spectacular third for the hosts. He evaded the tackle of Blackett from 20 yards, and didn't hesitate as he powered a driven shot into the top corner.

Things went from bad to worse for the Royals as Blackett received his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident 15 minutes from time, a straight red meaning he will miss the rest of the season through suspension.

Reading tried in vain to reduce the deficit before the full-time whistle, substitute Pelle Clement crossed for Swift to head at the near post, which bounced wide.

It was ultimately a frustrating afternoon for the Royals, who play Ipswich Town in the final home game of the season next weekend.

Full time | Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Reading

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Pudil, Lees (c), Hunt (Nuhiu 68), Boyd, Venancio (Kirby 78), Reach, Pelupessy, Bannan, Forestieri, Rhodes (Joao 68).
Subs: Wildsmith, Jones, Matias, Nielsen.
Goals: Forestieri 34, 73; Boyd 52

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (c), Blackett, Moore, Ilori, Van den Berg (Kermorgant 58), Kelly, Swift, Aluko (Clement 82), Barrow, Böðvarsson (Richards 78).
Subs: Jaakkola, Edwards, Martin, Rinomhota.
Red: Blackett


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