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Boring, Boring Reading

A first win in eight as Reading beat a surprisingly dull Leeds side. In many ways the story was not so different to matches within our winless run, but thankfully we came up against a far more profligate outfit.

Much like against Norwich the first half was excellent. There was much more cohesion going forward, although there weren't many chances. The best coming from Aluko, who forced a good save down low to the keeper's right. It must be said, at times Leeds made Beerens seem like Messi, but the final ball was often lacking. Perhaps surprisingly with only four at the back, Reading excelled defensively. The most complete performance at the back that I have seen in quite a while - Leeds basically didn't have a sniff. There were a couple of chances that they managed to get behind, but Ilori and Bacuna managed to get back and make the tackle.

Bacuna was particularly impressive all game, after half time there was a chance where three Leeds players were bearing down on Manone and he somehow managed to get a last ditch tackle to avert the danger. And, it must be said, Gunter down the left was incredibly solid. Personally I quite like Blackett, although his tendancy to switch off is a big issue, but Wales' player of the year brought much needed rigidity.

The second half saw the home side come into the game much more, and I think they'll be disappointed not to get something from the game - but in truth they rarely tested. Jansson smashed a good chance into the proverbial Row Z. Barrow's introduction helped - he really has been missed. At a not dissimilar angle to where he got his goal he stung Lonergan's hands, and a really well taken finish for the winner meant that we were bagged our first victory in 49 days. And on that note the pass, and celebration, from JVDB were incredible.

That said, I think that at the end if Hernandez had converted the penalty it would be a very similar story to the Norwich game. A very promising half in the end cancelled out by stupid defensive mistakes. There is no way that Sáiz should have been allowed to get the ball in the first place, let alone then attack further into the box and draw the foul. The only comfort was how atrocious the penalty was.

Stam did change the approach. Bodvarsson came back in, and linked up well with the midfield - which has been missing - although he didn't offer much in terms of goal threat. We also went, on the whole, more direct. We attempted almost 350 less passes than against Hull, which says a great deal. I think in part that's because we were playing more defensively. I think it's worth pointing out that we did, in fact, play very well in spurts against Norwich when trying a more possession based approach, although we had fewer key passes in the entire game.

I also think that Leeds probably have a point in regards to the referee not being at his best. There were a couple of instances where I thought Joey was on thin ice. As a caveat, his first was ridiculous, having been warned seconds earlier about booting the ball away before he did it again. There also seemed to be a lot of inconsistency around the fouls given. The situation that got their fans really riled though wasn't really the ref's fault; he blew for an offside and they thought he'd given a foul to them. So when Reading took the free kick they were outraged. Perhaps he could have more clearly signalled in Reading's favour.

In the end a good win. It was Leeds' first defeat at Elland Road of the season and, while they haven't played anybody of particular note there, it's always a difficult place to go. Bramall Lane next week will be no less tough, but fingers crossed.

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