The Wokingham Paper

Blackburn Rovers 2-4 Reading: Ruthless Royals put Rovers to the sword with early goals

Reading v Rotherham Reading's first goal.

Yakou Meite netted after just nine seconds in an incredible start to the match with four goals scored in the opening 18 minutes as the Royals continued their winning run in a six goal contest at Ewood Park.

The frantic start to the evening continued as Adam Armstrong equalised within two minutes before a quickfire double from Michael Olise and Josh Laurent to restore Reading’s advantage.

Armstrong scored again in the second half as Rovers searched to make a comeback, but the Royals wrapped up the points through Lucas Joao.

The Royals are now seven points clear at the top of the Championship after their seventh win in eight matches.

The game started in bizarre but brilliant circumstances for the Royals as astonishing they took the lead after just nine seconds.

Liam Moore hit a long ball from kick off which took a bobble off a Blackburn defender and with the goalkeeper out of his goal, Lucas Joao played in Yakou Meite who was left with a tap in to score one of the quickest goals in English league history.

But the lead lasted all of two minutes as Blackburn struck back quickly. Adam Armstrong nipped ahead at the near post and diverted the ball past Rafael with a clever finish to get the game off to a frenetic start. 

The Royals were put under the cosh despite taking such a fast lead as Tomas Esteves made a vital headed clearance at the back post to prevent the visitors from going behind.

Reading took the lead for the second time on fifteen minutes through Michael Olise.

The young French midfielder skipped forward through the midfield and showed his pace before he rode a sliding tackle to break into the box and finished precisely into the corner past Pears.

And the early goals kept coming as Josh Laurent scored his first goal for the club to continue a remarkable opening to the match.

20 yards from goal, Laurent took aim and produced a superb curling effort which kissed the post on its way in.

Reading had another good chance in the 29th minute when Lucas Joao made his way into the box and fizzed the ball across goal which was begging for a touch from a red shirt to place into the net. 

After a frantic opening 45 minutes, the Royals went in with two goal lead to show for their ruthless attacking instinct.

The hosts came out in the second half looking the stronger of the two sides as they searched to get back into the contest.

And they did exactly that when Armstrong bagged his ninth goal of the Championship season when he met Rankin-Costello’s excellent delivery and dived low to guide the ball past Rafael with his head in the 66th minute.

Reading were on the back foot for much of the second half with Rovers hunting an equaliser.

Sone Aluko replaced goalscorer Meite was just over 15 minutes left in the contest.

Reading came close to a fourth when Andy Rinomhota ventured into the box and guided a ball across the box which Williams almost diverted into his own net had it not been for the smart reactions of Pears.

Lewis Holtby then tried an effort at goal that was parried behind for a corner by Rafael who flew to his left to make the save.

But Reading sealed the points in the 82nd minute as Lucas Joao scored his fifth Championship goal of the season. He sprinted forward into the box and despite being tracked by two defenders, he showed immense footwork and then provided a finish to match to guide the ball into the corner.

Veljko Paunovic’s side face a trip to struggling Coventry City on Friday evening.

Blackburn: Pears, Rankin-Costello, Lenihan, Williams, Douglas, Trybull, Holtby, Evans, Elliott, Brereton, Armstrong
Subs: Stergiakis, Nyambe, Wharton, Davenport, Buckley, Dolan, Gallagher.

Reading: Rafael, Esteves, Moore, Morrison, Richards, Rinomhota, Laurent, Semedo, Olise, Meite, Joao
Subs: Walker, McIntyre, Gibson, Watson, Aluko, Tetek, Puscas

Goals: Meite 1’, Armstrong 3’, 66′, Olise 15’, Laurent 18’, Joao 83′

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