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Match Reports

Report | Rovers return with all three points

Quickfire goals early in each half earned Blackburn victory on the road this afternoon

21 September 2019

Tony Mowbray's men earned victory at a sun-drenched Madejski Stadium this afternoon courtesy of goals from Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack - John Swift's reply not enough to earn a lacklustre Reading anything from the encounter.

The pre-match preamble had all been about the return of Jordan Obita after nearly two years out from league football, but Blackburn were focused on attack from the off and a floated Dack free kick was glanced harmlessly wide of the far post by Sam Gallagher early in proceedings.

And with only seven minutes on the clock, Adam Armstrong broke the deadlock. A pulled back cross from the right found the Rovers midfielder and he had time to control the ball before brilliantly picking out the top right corner to give the visitors the lead.

Reading looked to respond quickly and Pușcaș combined well with Yiadom to collect a one-two and race into the Rovers box from the right side. He whipped a shot towards goal from a difficult angle and it sailed just over the bar with Christian Walton flailing an arm at it to make sure it wasn't going to dip under his crossbar.

Gallagher had an opportunity to make it 2-0 just after the quarter hour mark, cutting onto his right foot to fizz a shot just over the bar from the edge of the Reading area.

Rafael got behind a low drive from Stewart Downing ten minutes later, denying the man who scored the first ever Premier League goal at Madejski Stadium from a narrow angle.

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Blackburn were playing a high-tempo game, full of energy and Reading were not able to to contol possession or find any sort of fluency. Obita charged down the left and crossed low, looking for Pușcaș but it was calmly cut out, then Joao had an effort charged down before seeing appeals for a penalty waved away as he tumbled in a crowded box as he looked to swoop on an uncleared Pușcaș pull back.

As the half neared an end, Reading began to build a little pressure. Joao and Ejaria combining but the latter unable to find Swift with his throughball, then Pelé driving at goal from 25 yards out but arrowing over.

Liam Moore even took aim, darting forward and sweetly striking his shot that whistled wide of the right post from range. But the Royals went in behind at the break.

Half-time: Reading 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

The second half couldn't have started much worse. A second goal for the visitors came via a break down the left. The low cross was squared, McIntyre did just enough to repel the advances of Dack, but the playmayer recovered the ball and shot on the pivot - the ball taking a deflection off McIntyre to sent it bobbling wide of a wrongfooted Rafael.

Yiadom jinked his way into the box at the other end and won a corner as the ball was taken off his toes just as he was about to take aim. Swift's near post delivery was sliced by a clearing Rovers defender and the ball flashed across goal and away to safety.

And Reading came even closer to beating Walton soon after; Yiadom's bursting run down the right saw the ball fall to Swift who swept a first time effort past the Rovers keeper and against the inside of the left upright.

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Next, Pușcaș was played in but Walton calmly saved his driven right-footed effort from a difficult position. 

The hosts did, however pull one back before the hour. Again Yiadom provided the impetus and a ball cut back to Ejaria saw the midfielder shoot but his effort was charged down. It fell back to Swift on the edge of the box who picked out the bottom corner brilliantly to make it 1-2.

McIntyre had made way for Méïté before Morrison was forced off with a knock - allowing Tyler Blackett a return from injury and his first involvement of 2019-20.

Ejaria skipped through the Rovers defence quite superbly but saw his shot from the edge of the box charged down. Yiadom recycled it on the right but Swift's low cut back was arrowed high over the bar by Méïté.

Rovers continued to pose a threat and Holtby found a nice ball into Gallagher in space - but good covering from Moore saw the ball out for a corner before he could pull the trigger. Holtby himself could have put the reult beyond doubt when Dack fed his late run into the box - but the substitute couldn't hit the target.

A little magic from Ejaria allowed Joao to stride forward into the Rovers area but his throughball towards Puscas was just cut out by the last Blackburn defender and a chance went begging.

The visitors were becoming a big ragged as we entered the final ten minutes and Ejaria picked out Yiadom on the right who cut inside to drive wide of the target. And time was beginning to run out for the Royals.

Yiadom delivered a cross into the box that Puscas got his head to, glancing a downward header just wide of the bottom left corner.

Five minutes of injury time were signalled but Blackburn kept the ball very well to take the sting out of the final throes and left the Madejski with all three points.

Deep in injury time a Swift set piece was floated into the box and Moore met it, but Walton was equal to it, saving it low to his right in what was the last chance of the game.

Full-time: Reading 1-2 Blackburn Rovers

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Obita, Morrison (Blackett 65), Moore (c), McIntyre (Méïté 57), Pelé, Swift, Ejaria, Pușcaș, Joao (Boyé 87).
Unused subs: Virgínia, Richards, Adam, Rinomhota.
Yellow: Yiadom. Morrison.
Goals: Swift 57

Blackburn Rovers: Walton, Williams, Cunningham, Armstrong (Holtby 70), Gallagher (Graham 77), Downing, Dack, Lenihan, Travis, Evans (Johnson 73), Bennett (c).
Unused subs: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Bell, Buckley
Yellow: Graham
Goals: Armstrong 8, Dack 48

Attendance: 16,906 (990 away)

Referee: Mr M Donohue


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