Skip to main content

Yakou Meite and Michael Olise fire Reading to victory against nine-man Barnsley

Reading v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Madejski Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Reading made it two wins out of two in the Sky Bet Championship with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over nine-man Barnsley.

Barnsley had controlled most of the first half but were reduced to 10 men in the 42nd minute when Polish centre back Michal Helik received a straight red card for a foul.

Reading went ahead when substitute Yakou Meite nodded in from close range in the 67th minute, with Barnsley then losing Mads Andersen, another central defender, for a second yellow.

Reading secured the slightly fortuitous win when Michael Olise volleyed in from long distance in the 76th minute.

Reading had opened their Championship campaign with a surprise 2-0 win at Derby last Saturday while Barnsley were defeated 1-0 by Luton at Oakwell in their first league outing.

But a 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough in midweek took them into the Carabao third round, in which they will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Reading’s poor home record in 2020 had comprised only two wins in 16 outings in all competitions.

In the league, it was just one victory in 11 – 2-0 against Barnsley back in late February.

Barnsley began brightly and dominated early on with a high-pressing system that appeared to unsettle the hosts.

Marcel Ritzmaier, a growing influence in midfield, crossed from the left flank to find Dominik Frieser alone at the far post.

Frieser’s resultant powerful header forced a good sprawling save from Reading goalkeeper Rafael.

Reading had little answer to their opponents’ non-stop energy, with main striker Lucas Joao starved of any decent service up front.

For all their purpose, though, Barnsley were unable to create too many opportunities.

When Luke Thomas did find space on the edge of the home area, he drove weakly wide.

The visitors were then dealt a blow when Helik, on his league debut, received a straight red card shortly before half-time.

John Swift launched a superb long-range pass to Joao, who was clipped by Helik as he tried to race on to it.

The Portuguese would probably have reached the ball before keeper Jack Walton and referee Tim Robinson deemed it a last-man challenge, meaning Helik will miss the Chelsea cup tie on Wednesday.

Reading held most of the possession at the start of the second period but could not make their numerical advantage count, with Barnsley still working desperately hard.

But Meite, returning from a three-match ban, headed home following a goalmouth scramble having only been on the pitch for eight minutes.

Dane Andersen then, in an attempt to deny Reading an attack, deliberately handled when on the ground, picking up a second yellow and being sent off.

Reading secured victory 14 minutes from the end when Olise thundered home a superb 30-yard first-time strike.