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Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

You can't have too many complaints when the side have won three on the bounce. Especially when doing so without conceding.

Paunovic stuck with the diamond that provided Blackburn's downfall, but without Ejaria there was a reshuffle. Laurent moved to the left of the diamond with Tom McIntyre sitting just in front of the back four.

McIntyre tries an outside-of-the-foot pass, rather than attempting an easier ball with his right foot. SW player manages to intercept the underhit pass.

McIntyre received many of the plaudits for his performance, and rightly so. He was fairly static in front of the defence, though did venture forward during periods of sustained possession. Perhaps his best moment came in the build-up to Joao's goal with a couple of nice touches in midfield before possession found its way to Yiadom to set-up the striker. The academy grad will have more difficult afternoons and was protected well by those next to him. His few moments needing improvement tended to be down to his lack of a right foot causing him to make passes more difficult, or forcing him to turn inefficiently. Only time will tell how problematic that will actually be in the long run.

Replacing Ovie with Laurent actually gives Reading a slightly more direct threat, and gives The Royals two similar players on either side of the diamond. Both athletic, defensively solid players but with good ball carrying and passing. Even in a game at 11 vs 11 you'd be confident the opposition won't create easy chances, but we obviously do lose what Ovie brings to the table. There's not going to be quite as many defenders sat on their backside.

Both fullbacks were in the box for both goals from open play, with them helping to create five 'forwards' in possession - particularly after the away side were reduced to 10

Holmes and Yiadom gave an excellent demonstration of why they play in their respective positions. Reading pushed the full backs high and wide - both full-backs were in the box for the two goals from open play - relying on their ability 1v1 and subsequent delivery in. Holmes is an excellent passer of the ball, but beating players and crossing are not his strengths.

The red card certainly helped the home side. The game was fairly even before Julian Börner brought down Puscas, but after that point, Reading dominated the game. Olise stepped up to copy Joao's trademark penalty, and the team never looked like relinquishing the lead.

And it may have an impact further down the line too, as Paunovic seemed more comfortable in replacing those players who have played large amounts of the season so far. Whether that was the plan before the sending off, we'll never truly know, but given his decision making so far this year, it seems unlikely. Joao was replaced the moment he put the side two-up, and even Olise had ten minutes rest. 

Sheffield Wednesday get players into the right channel, and Harris' run ensures Richards can't press out to the open man.

There are obviously downsides to any formation, and the diamond is no different. Wednesday were able to create overloads in wide positions but were often too slow to fully take advantage. There were also Banan's switches that opened up the opposite side, but as with everything in this game, that became much less of an issue post-thirty minutes.

Reading are beating what's in front of them, and hopefully can take that momentum into tougher matches.


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