Fine first half display earns Leeds win.
Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United 3 (Klich 14, Hernandez 22, 43)
Reading: Martinez, Yiadom, Moore, Swift, Baker, Barrow, Miazga, Meite, Blackett, East, Loader. Subs: Walker, Gunter, O'Shea, McShane, McCleary, Harriott, Olise.
Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Roberts, Bamford, Hernandez. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Douglas, Dallas, Berardi, Brown, Shackleton, Gotts.
Booked: Roberts, Ayling, Douglas (Leeds), Swift (Reading)
Referee: G. Ward
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 17,101 (2,071 Leeds)
Leeds United moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship after three first half strikes saw the Whites defeat Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute, former Leeds winger Modou Barrow put a low cross into the Whites box and Andy Yiadom turned superbly to create room for a shot, but he couldn’t get the better of Kiko Casilla from a narrow angle.
However, it was Leeds who took the lead three minutes later. Luke Ayling crossed low from the right, Patrick Bamford dummied with a fine step-over and Mateusz Klich slotted home.
The Whites nearly added a second from a Pablo Hernandez corner, he played the ball low to Jack Harrison who crossed and found Ezgjan Alioski at the back post, but his volley into the ground bounced over the crossbar.
Leeds doubled the lead in the 22nd minute, Ayling played the ball into the feet of Hernandez who turned into the Reading box, before brilliantly firing home low in off the post, to send the travelling Whites support wild.
Klich then struck just inches wide with an effort from 20 yards, before Bamford forced Emi Martinez into a good save with a shot from the edge of the box.
Two minutes before the break, Leeds made it three. Bamford played the ball to Hernandez, who took a touch to control, before hitting a wonderful strike into the top corner from 25 yards, rounding off a brilliant first half for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Half time: Reading 0-3 Leeds United
After the break, Leeds looked to kick on once more, Hernandez played a corner out to Roberts, but he saw his strike from the edge of the box well blocked.
Hernandez then did well on the right flank, his low cross was met by Ayling who had an effort blocked, before Harrison struck wide.
At the other end, Reading tried to get back into the game, first former Leeds loan man Lewis Baker drove forwards, but his strike was easily saved, before Casilla was at his best to deny Yiadom once more following a Tyler Blackett floated cross.
Tyler Roberts forced Martinez into a decent stop from the edge of the box, before substitute Stuart Dallas played Bamford through on goal, but he dragged an effort well wide from a narrow angle.
In the 77th minute Alioski played a low ball into the box, Bamford scuffed his shot, before Hernandez, on a hat-trick fired just inches wide.
A minute later, fellow Leeds substitute Jamie Shackleton then played Bamford through on goal once more, but his strike went just a whisker off target.
Late on, Leeds nearly made it four when Harrison showed great footwork before striking on goal forcing Martinez into a fine save, with Hernandez unable to take advantage of the rebound.
The win was Leeds’ first at the Madejski Stadium since 2015 and the Whites have now won three Sky Bet Championship games in a row, scoring eight goals and conceding none, climbing back to the summit.
Full time: Reading 0-3 Leeds United