Reading 1-2 Blackburn Rovers: Royals fall to third consecutive league defeat

Reading fell to their third consecutive Championship defeat after goals from Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack clinched the points for Blackburn despite John Swift’s second half goal.

Blackburn Rovers took an early lead with the first opening of the match as Armstrong curled in a superb strike before Dack’s deflected effort doubled their lead just after the break.

Swift got the Royals back into the game just ten minutes after Rovers’ second goal but the hosts were unable to find an equaliser as they were condemned to a third consecutive league defeat.

John Swift tried to take advantage with a quickly taken free-kick to try and catch out the Rovers defence as he attempted to find George Puscas with a long ball over the top of the defence but it was collected by goalkeeper Christian Walton.

Blackburn then took the lead with the first chance of the match. A ball from Stewart Downing found Adam Armstrong who beautifully finessed the ball into the top right hand corner out of the reach of Rafael from 25 yards out to put the visitors in front.

Having gone behind early, Reading searched for a leveller as Puscas and Andy Yiadom exchanged quick passes on the right-wing before the Romanian striker blazed a shot just over the bar from an acute angle.

The away side came close to doubling their tally as Sam Gallagher found some space in the box, cutting the ball inside of Liam Moore’s attempted tackle before firing his effort just a few inches over Rafael’s crossbar.

Rovers continued to have the better of possession as Reading struggled to find any consistent spell of possession as Downing saw his tame effort comfortably saved by the Reading goalkeeper.

Yiadom picked up the first caution of the game as he flew in to a tackle on Greg Cunningham, and despite winning the ball cleanly, the referee deemed the tackle worthy of a yellow card.

The Royals frustrating half continued as Swift and Pele hit several wayward passes in the midfield, while Puscas and Lucas Joao spent much of the half chasing their poor first touches.

The hosts then had a shout for a penalty as Joao hit a goalwards shot before going down under a challenge as he tried to follow up on the rebound. Puscas failed to cut the ball back for his strike partner before unleashing a shot well off target.

Pele tried an effort from distance before Liam Moore shot from 25 yards, but both attempts fell wide of the Blackburn as Reading’s disappointing opening 45 minutes came to an end with Blackburn a goal to the good.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to double their advantage after the break as Bradley Dack bagged his fourth goal of the season.

Blackburn split open the Royals defence with a clever through ball before a failed clearance led to Dack finding space in the box and he was afforded too much time and he swivelled and found the back of the net courtesy of a deflection.

With Reading desperately trying to find a way back into the game, they were unlucky not to pull a goal back as Swift’s shot bounced back off the post. Yiadom stretched his legs down the wing before Swift hit a low strike from distance which cruelly stayed out courtesy of the woodwork.

Jose Gomes made an attacking change with Reading two behind as forward Yakou Meite replaced young defender Tom McIntyre as the Royals changed their shape.

Moments after hitting the post, Swift found the bottom corner with a similar chance as he reacted quickly to hit the loose ball beyond Walton in the Blackburn goal to put the Royals back into the contest.

The Royals began to find some confidence as Ejaria danced through two tackles before seeing his shot blocked. Swift then delivered a dangerous low ball across the box but Joao put his first time effort wildly over the bar.

Blackburn should have punished Reading in the 77th minute as they stole possession deep in the Royals half but former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby sent his effort way off target after he was fed by Dack.

With the hosts still in search of an equaliser, Ejaria played a clever lofted ball out to Yiadom who cut inside the box and hit a shot inches wide of the post with his left foot.

Puscas glanced a header just wide from a Yiadom cross as the right-back continued to press forward and provide Reading’s most dangerous outlet.

A late free-kick saw Swift find the skipper Moore in the box but his header was stopped by Walton.

Despite the five minutes of added time, the hosts were unable to grab an equaliser as they drop to 21st in the Championship table.

The Royals now face two consecutive away trips as they face Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup before a league match against high-flying Swansea City.

Reading: Rafael, Morrison (Blackett 65′), Moore (c), McIntyre (Meite 56′), Yiadom, Obita, Pele, Swift, Ejaria, Joao (Boye 86′), Puscas.
Subs: Rinohmota. Boye, Meite, Virginia, Blackett, Adam, Richards.

Blackburn Rovers: Walton, Williams, Cunningham, Armstrong (Holtby 70′), Gallagher, Downing, Dack, Lenihan, Travis, Evans, Bennett (c).
Subs: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Bell, Johnson, Graham, Holtby, Buckley.

Goals: Armstrong 8′, Dack 48′, Swift 58′

Attendance: 16,909, Visitors- 990

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