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Yakou Meite double helps keep unbeaten Reading flying high

Reading v Rotherham United – Sky Bet Championship – Madejski Stadium
(Image credit: Steve Parsons)

Championship leaders Reading stretched their unbeaten run since the start of season to seven games with a 3-0 victory over Rotherham at Madejski Stadium.

Rotherham dominated the first half, without creating any real chances, and were punished when Yakou Meite fired the hosts ahead in the 41st minute.

The South Yorkshire side were also impressive after the interval but Reading added further late goals from Meite and Lucas Joao to claim a somewhat flattering win.

Reading had moved to the top of the table with a hard-earned 1-0 win over struggling Wycombe on Tuesday.

Rotherham had been unbeaten on the road, after securing a win and two draws on their travels, but had not won in their past five matches.

Reading began sluggishly and allowed the visitors plenty of possession going forward.

Wes Harding made a surging run along the right wing and cut into the home area only to see his attempted cross deflected behind.

Rotherham continued to press, with full-back Joe Mattock particularly influential when raiding down the left flank.

And from a well-struck low cross from Mattock, home goalkeeper Rafael had to make a smart stop at his near post to snuff out the danger.

Mattock then had the first shot of the game by either side – in the 24th minute – but his effort from the edge of the box was blocked.

Michael Smith also nodded wide from a Harding cross.

Reading at least defended solidly, and they were rewarded when they went in front four minutes before the break.

Ovie Ejaria crossed from the left and Meite, after chesting the ball down, drove through the legs of Rotherham goalkeeper Jamal Blackman.

It was Reading’s first attempt on goal.

Rotherham, as they had earlier in the game, started brightly in the second half.

Florian Jozefzoon should have done better when he tricked his way into the Reading area.

But instead of taking a clear shot when the chance arose, he decided to pass the ball and failed to find a team-mate.

Reading immediately showed more attacking intent than they had in the entire first period.

But they were still unable to create much up front and were fortunate not to concede a Rotherham equaliser through substitute George Hirst.

With his first touch after coming on, Hirst sent a firm shot goalwards, only for home skipper Liam Moore to clear it off the line.

Reading then as good as sealed their sixth win of the campaign in the 79th minute.

Moore helped on a Michael Olise corner and Meite pounced with a spectacular overhead kick to beat Blackman.

In stoppage time, Rotherham defender Michael Ihiekwe brought down Lucas Joao in the area and Reading’s top scorer notched his seventh goal of the season from the spot.