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Reading 2-0 Nottingham Forest

If midweek, where The Royals played against ten men for an hour, didn't harbour any real insight for more general play, then there's probably even less to glean playing a Forest side who were a man down within fifteen minutes. This time Reading were awarded both the penalty they were consistently denied on Wednesday and the red card that wasn't given against Bristol City.

Taylor manages to get himself into space

But before any of that, Rafael came up big. Reading fans' two favourite players combined, Anthony Knockaert's free-kick was volleyed toward goal by Lyle Taylor but Raf's well-positioned arms (it was too close to properly react) saved a certain goal. Holmes had a bit of a ropey game defensively, and it was his failure to properly track Taylor that allowed the chance.

At the other end, Brice Samba was at it again. Olise's freekick was overhit and should have been gathered by the keeper. Except he palmed it onto Holmes' head, and the ball looped toward goal. Ryan Yates' save cost his side the match, allowing Lucas Joao to score from the spot and Forest were never in the game after that point.

A frankly unbelievable ball from Olise

Olise, always involved in the action, bagged another assist, this time from a corner. Morrison managed to get in front of his marker and didn't even need to jump to turn it in. And Olise probably should have had another assist too. A sumptuous pass gave Meite a chance to get a shot off. Instead of letting rip first time, he allowed a Forest defender to make a fool himself but fired miles wide on the swivel.

Reading had the better of the chances

Again, if you wanted to be critical, Reading have played 135 minutes against ten men in the last two matches and scored a penalty, a freekick, and a corner. They've had chances from open play, but unusually failed to convert any. You would put your house on Meite burying his chance. It seemed to be summed up by Joao deflecting Moore's ball back in the box from a corner (or maybe it was a shot) agonisingly wide. The sort of chance that would have ended up in the back of the net in the first eight games. But crucially the same chance creation needs to be carried into matches at even strength.

If there's one image people remember from this game it's bound to be Laurent and Rinomhota embracing after double-teaming Sammy Ameobi. It perfectly encapsulated both how their partnership works, and one of the reasons why Reading have been so defensively solid. If one doesn't get it quite right, the other is so often there to clean up.

Maybe seeing Liam Moore take the first attacking free-kick will live in the mind too. Not unsurprisingly he hit the wall. I assume it was just to mix things up, and I'm sure there's background as to why he took it, but it felt a waste with Olise also stood over the ball.

An easy and deserved 2-0 win, without too much to learn overall. It feels like almost every win at the moment has to be backed up, and the opportunity to move into the automatics should be a real incentive.


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