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Report | Clinical Swans despatch Royals

Swansea run out clear winners at Madejski Stadium

1 January 2019

Clinical finishing from Swansea City saw them put four past the Royals on New Year's Day.

Oli McBurnie's brace was supplemented by strikes from Mike van der Hoorn and Connor Roberts as the Swans ran out comfortable winners at Madejski Stadium.

Callum Harriott came off the bench and notched what was to be a late consolation on a tough afternoon from a Reading point of view.

The Royals played with an unchanged line-up following a clean sheet at QPR at the weekend - with Harriott back among the substitutes and hoping to make his first senior appearance for two years.

But with only 100 seconds on the clock at Madejski Stadium, Swansea had the lead. A deep cross from the right by Kyle Naughton was met by McBurnie 12 yards out, who guided a header into the bottom corner to immediately put Reading on the back foot.

Reading almost responded quickly after Mo Barrow was brought down cynically 30 yards out. John Swift eyed up the free-kick, striking over the wall towards the bottom corner - with Erwin Mulder forced into a flying save to his right to parry.

Sone Aluko did well to turn away from his marker on the right wing, setting himself on a forward run into shooting range 20 yards out. He put his foot through it, but travelled wide of the upright as the Royals looked for a quick equaliser.

The similarity in playing styles from both teams saw plenty of build-up from the back in the early stages, but the lively Barrow drew another foul on the right of the Swansea area. Swift hung up a free-kick for Yakou Méïté to head - but he couldn't direct it goalwards and it looped over the bar.

Unfortunately for the Royals, Swansea would double their advantage on the half-hour mark. A chipped ball into the area was nodded on by skipper Leroy Fer, McBurnie missed the header, Jaakkola could only parry into the path of Connor Roberts six yards out, who duly tapped in to give Swansea their second.

Up the other end, the referee had to consult goal-line technology as Reading looked to pull one back. Having played around the Swansea area, Swift almost caught Mulder out with a lobbed effort. The goalkeeper tracked back, caught it on the line and was a matter of inches away from getting Reading back into the game.

Instead of a Reading reply, Swansea were to score their third before the interval. A low free-kick towards the far post from Matt Grimes saw Mike van der Hoorn run onto the loose ball and tuck in from close range to cap a difficult half for the Royals. 

Half-time | Reading 0-3 Swansea City

Swansea started the second half gunning for a fourth, and it took a last-ditch block from Omar Richards to stop McBurnie in space. A throw-in came in after O'Shea's clearance from Richards' block, but Dyer was brought down in the area and the referee didn't hesitate in pointing straight to the spot.

McBurnie stepped up, sent Jaakkola the wrong way and notched his fourth goal against the Royals this season, across both fixtures.

Reading tried everything to get on the board in RG2, with a chipped cross from McCleary finding Méïté, he nodded into the ground and Mulder was able to gather comfortably.

The Swans were taking their time on the ball while holding a healthy advantage at Madejski Stadium, with Jón Daði Böðvarsson and Danny Loader both introduced to try and aid Reading's attacking efforts in the final half hour.

Reading had the Swans penned into their half as the visitors looked content to sit behind the ball. Swift picked it up on the edge of the box and curled an effort just wide of the far post.

One positive of the day was seeing the introduction of Harriott with 15 minutes remaining, marking a long recovery from injury that has seen him out of action since the start of 2017.

And it was Harriott who pulled one back for the Royals, just four minutes after coming on. Some neat interplay with Loader saw the winger power through on goal and rifle into the bottom corner with a precise finish.

Reading came close to a quick second soon afterwards, Böðvarsson feeding Loader on the edge of the box. The young striker turned and shot, with a small deflection taking it narrowly wide of the post.

An afternoon to forget from a Reading perspective.

Full-time | Reading 1-4 Swansea City

Reading: Jaakkola, Yiadom, Ilori, O'Shea, Richards, Rinomhota, Swift, Aluko (Loader 61), Barrow, McCleary (c) (Harriott 73), Méïté (Böðvarsson 61).
Subs: Walker, Moore, Kelly, Osho.
Goals: Harriott (77)
Yellow: Ilori

Swansea City: Mulder, Roberts, Routledge (Carter-Vickers 88), Grimes, Rodon, Van der Hoorn, Naughton, Fer (c), Dyer (Fulton 85), Celina, McBurnie (Baker-Richardson 73).
Subs: Nordfeldt, James, Montero, McKay.
Goals: McBurnie (2, 48), Roberts (30), Van der Hoorn (45)
Yellow: Roberts

Attendance: 15,644 (1,980 away)
Referee: Tim Robinson

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