EFL Sky Bet Championship
Reading 1 (Kermorgant 21) Leeds United 0
Yann Kermorgant’s first half strike secured Reading victory at the Madejski Stadium, as the Royals leapfrogged Garry Monk’s side in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Chris Wood who flew home early from international duty with a knock was fit enough to start, but Pontus Jansson missed out with a hamstring injury. Kalvin Phillips also returned to the squad following suspension.
Pablo Hernandez had a great opportunity inside five minutes, catching the Reading defence out, he picked up the ball in the area and was through on goal, but his effort was weak and Ali Al Habsi made the save.
Less than a minute later the home side had a good chance of their own. Roy Beerens played in John Swift, but he could only fire his effort over the crossbar.
Leeds went close from a set-piece, Hernandez delivered and Al Habsi missed the cross, but Kyle Bartley at the back post could only head into the side netting.
Alfonso Pedraza then fired just wide from the edge of the box after Charlie Taylor’s low cross fell nicely for the Spaniard.
Reading took the lead in the 21st minute, a clearing header from Taylor fell to Kermorgant who drove his effort into the back of the net.
Leeds almost hit back five minutes later, Hadi Sacko did well on the flank before crossing low into Pedraza who got a flick on it, forcing Al Habsi into a decent save.
Roy Beerens had a fine chance to extend Reading’s advantage, he went through on goal, controlling, before unleashing a volley, but he couldn’t find the target.
Garath McClearly then found himself one-on-one with Rob Green after being played in, but he couldn’t get the better of the United stopper who made a fantastic save.
From Green’s save Leeds countered, Pedraza played in a wonderful cross, but Hernandez at the back post couldn’t find the target.
On the stroke of half time, Kermorgant nearly doubled Reading’s lead, his shot from the edge of the box was only denied by the post.
Half Time: Reading 1-0 Leeds United
Ten minutes into the second half Beerens should have extended the Royals lead, he found space in the box, but took too many touches and Green pounced to make the save.
Hernandez then tested Al Habsi, forcing the Reading stopper into a good save with an effort from the edge of the box.
Leeds then had an opportunity from a corner, Hernandez whipped in, Bartley headed down, but Cooper could only put his effort over the crossbar.
Substitute Souleymane Doukara then tried his luck from long range 11 minutes from time, his effort was parried by Al Habsi onto the post and out for a corner.
Charlie Taylor put a good cross into the box after doing well down the left flank, Ronaldo Vieira fired at goal from the back post, but he couldn’t get enough power on the shot and Al Habsi made the save.
United continued to press in the closing stages, but were unable to find an equaliser, as Reading held on for the victory as Leeds slipped to fifth in the division.
Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Beerens (Grabban 60), Swift, Obita (Oxford 70), McCleary, Moore, Kermorgant, Williams, Blackett, Kelly (Mutch 67). Subs not used: Meite, Popa, Watson, Legg.
Leeds: Green, Taylor, Cooper, Bartley, Berardi, Bridcutt, Vieira (Roofe 86), Sacko (Doukara 60), Hernandez, Pedraza (Phillips 67), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Dallas, O’Kane, Barrow.
Booked: Swift, Williams Kermorgant (Reading)
Referee: K. Stroud
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 23,055 (3,546 Leeds)