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Summary

  1. Joseph Mendes scores twice for Reading
  2. Lewis Grabban adds the third with a penalty
  3. Reading move up to fourth place in the Championship
  4. Defeat ends Villa's five-match unbeaten run
  5. Steve Bruce's side remain 12th in the table

Live Reporting

By James Law

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye for now

FT: Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Well that wasn't actually too bad considering we only had one match.

There'll be plenty more on Easter Monday though, with a full round of EFL fixtures to get excited about.

We'll be back then for more thrills and spills.

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Joseph Mendes
Rex Features

Joseph Mendes scored twice as Reading ended Aston Villa's five-game unbeaten run to tighten their grip on a play-off spot.

Joseph Mendes

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Joseph Mendes scores twice as Reading end Aston Villa's five-game unbeaten run to tighten their grip on a play-off spot.

Read more

'Grabban worked his socks off'

FT: Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Mick Gooding

Ex-Reading player/manager on BBC Radio Berkshire

It was as comfortable as Reading's manager could've hoped. Grabban worked his socks off and I'm well pleased for him to get his first goal."

FT: Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

All the stats pre kick-off pointed towards a home win, but Reading were the team with something to play for and it showed.

The Royals were in cruise control at times, such was their dominance, and they're now closing in on that play-off spot.

FULL-TIME

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Alan Hutton's cross is headed away by the Readling back-line and the home supporters leave en masse.

It's been a limp second-half display from Villa, who conceded less than a minute after the interval.

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Bouncebackability - anyone remember that word.

Well, either way, that's precisely what Jaap Stam's Royals have shown at Villa Park to earn a memorable and highly-deserved away triumph.

They're not done yet either - John Swift striking over the bar from range as four added minutes are signaled.

YELLOW CARD

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Reading's John Swift takes one for the team, hauling Alan Hutton down as he springs forward.

The challenge came moments after the Royals had a handful penalty shout turned down.

Liam Kelly now comes off for the visitors, with George Evans entering the field of play.

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Conor Hourihane skews Villa's latest effort well off-target, which sums up the home side's finishing this afternoon.

Their shots have either lacked accuracy or been blocked by some determined Reading defending.

The Royals do need to be careful though as Danny Williams, already on a booking, has made some risky challenges.

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

Lewis Grabban
Rex Features

It's a first league goal since November 2015 for Reading forward Lewis Grabban, and that may well seal the points for the visitors.

Liam Kelly was fouled by Villa's Leandro Bacuna in the box after receiving Yann Kermogant's exquisite pass and Grabban, on loan from Bournemouth, slotted home the resulting penalty.

GOAL (Grabban pen)

Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

PENALTY (Reading)

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Jack Grealish comes on for the hosts - the man with so much promise that is yet to be fulfilled.

He takes the place of Nathan Baker - that's a very attacking change from Steve Bruce's side.

More than 30,000 fans have had the privilege of watching this match 'in the flesh'.

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Perhaps Scott Hogan is still finding his feet, having just come on, but he really should have stuck that one away.

From around eight yards out, the Villa striker is off target after Mile Jedinak's pass with the goal gaping.

Meanwhile, Reading's goal hero Joseph Mendes makes way for his fellow countryman Yann Kermogant, who also knows how to score.

YELLOW CARD (Obita)

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

A second booking for Reading, as Jordan Obita goes into the book after a lunge on the advancing Alan Hutton.

Villa then have an appeal for a penalty waved away - they're turning the heat up.

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Yes, Villa have little to play for on the face of it, but these stats show how big a victory this would be for Reading.

The hosts have won 10 of their 11 league meetings with with the Royals, including each of the past five. 

Jaap Stam's side are also looking for their first ever away victory at Aston Villa, having lost each of the previous five to date.

Meanwhile, the visitors eventually bring on Garath McCleary in place of Adrian Popa.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Unsurprisingly, considering they trail, the hosts make the first change of the afternoon.

Striker Scott Hogan, who cost Villa £12m, comes on for the rather disappointing Jordan Amavi.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce
Rex Features

GREAT SAVE!

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Jonathan Kodjia, who's been rather quiet, heads onto the roof of the net from a Villa set-piece.

At the other end, Reading's Lewis Grabban powers a shot which is smothered very impressively by keeper Sam Johnstone.

There's definitely another goal or two in this...

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

If the game were to end now (please don't, we're having too much fun) Reading would be just a point behind third-placed Huddersfield, and have a six-point cushion over Fulham in seventh.

Joseph Mendes is covering every blade of grass and surely won't last the 90 minutes, but then again he'll now be looking for a hat-trick.

Villa win a corner as they attempt to respond again.

Mick Gooding

Ex-Reading player/manager on BBC Radio Berkshire

This is where Reading just need to pop the ball about and frustrate Villa."

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Joseph Mendes
Rex Features

Wow, the Royals certainly didn't waste any time there.

Adrian Popa sets Lewis Grabban away down the right and he outstrips the Villa defence with his pace before whipping a beautiful ball into the area, which Joseph Mendes sweeps home.

It's the Frenchman's second league goal of his career and second of this match, believe it or not - some great movement at the near post.

GOAL (Mendes)

Aston Villa 1-2 Reading

Second half

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

The Royals probably had the better of the first 45 minutes, but will the scoreline be in their favour at the end?

No changes for either side at the interval, so Garath McCleary has some more warming up to do yet.

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#BBCEFL

Paul on Twitter: Yes, yes, yes....we lost SEVEN-ONE last week... how many more times in the second half will you need to mention it!?

Hopefully none, Paul. After all Reading only conceded once in the second half last week.

Looking ahead...

Easter Monday's Championship action

Chris Hughton
Rex Features

I've had a little look at the Championship table, and here are a couple issues that could be decided after Easter Monday's fixtures:

  • Brighton will be promoted if they beat Wigan and Huddersfield fail to beat Derby
  • Huddersfield will confirm their play-off place if they beat Derby and Fulham lose to Aston Villa

Towards the bottom Ipswich, Wolves and QPR can mathematically secure their status for next season, while second-bottom Wigan could find themselves as many as eight points from safety ahead of their final three games.

Much better for Reading

HT: Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Norwich
Rex Features

Sorry to bring this up again, Reading fans, but that first half was certainly a whole lot better than what happened at Carrow Road this time last week.

After 45 minutes at Norwich, the Royals trailed 6-1 - yes, that's really how bad it was.

At Villa Park today Jaap Stam's side have more than held their own, and their need to get the points may well get them over the line.

HT: Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

If you discount his goals in the EFL Trophy this season, Joseph Mendes' goal was his first in almost a year.

It put Reading ahead, but James Chester nodded home an equaliser in what was a highly entertaining 45 minutes of football.

HALF-TIME

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Lewis Grabban
Rex Features

Leandro Bacuna makes an error and Lewis Grabban is presented with a big chance, but he dribbles the ball into the body of Villa goalie Sam Johnstone.

Grabban really ought to have done better after the home defence had made a meal of things.

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Can we expect to see Reading winger Garath McCleary at the start of the second half?

He's certainly been going through a very rigorous warm-up on the sidelines.

On the pitch, Conor Hourihane dinks in a Villa free-kick which is expertly cleared by Chris Gunter.

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

A lull in the game is suiting Jaap Stam's visitors, who had been on the back foot.

Although nothing is decided in this match yet, one impressive Villa record has come to an end.

The hosts had won their last five league games at Villa Park without conceding a goal, and now have to defend a corner.

Jaap Stam
Getty Images

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Villa are playing an expansive style here, with their full-backs flying forward at every opportunity.

This time Alan Hutton surges down the flank and crosses towards Leandro Bacuna, who gets underneath the ball and can't quite meet it.

Should we blame the hairstyle?

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

He's already scored his first Reading league goal this afternoon, but Joseph Mendes has just missed a sitter to double his tally.

It all comes after some great work from his strike partner Lewis Grabban, who puts the ball on a plate for Mendes to somehow sidefoot over the bar.

Not a good moment for the visitors, but they were 4-0 down this time last week, so it's not all bad!

GREAT SAVE!

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

It's a corner straight from the Reading training ground.

John Swift looks harmless stood outside the box, but springs into action to receive a short corner and his powerful strike is parried away well by Sam Johnstone.

A first meaningful save for the home stopper.

Sam Johnstone
Rex Features

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

After a frenetic start, the game seems to have lapsed into a bit of a midfield battle.

Reading will move back above Leeds into fourth as things stand, but there's far too long left here to be thinking about that.

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Bored with your haircut? Here's a tonsorial tip courtesy of Villa's Leandro Bacuna.

It matches the claret of the home side's kit, which I guess may help his team-mates pick him out...

Leandro Bacuna
Rex Features

YELLOW CARD (Williams)

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Two goals, and now we have our first yellow card of the game.

Danny Williams mistimes his tackle in midfield and the Royals man goes into the book.

It's his ninth caution of the season, to go with a red card received in December.

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

James Chester
Getty Images

Ali Al-Habsi goes from hero to zero for the away side.

First he makes a fantastic save from a Mile Jedinak effort, pushing the ball clear for a corner.

But from the resulting set-piece the Reading keeper comes rushing out and gets nowhere near the ball, with Villa captain James Chester heading home a leveller.

GOAL (Chester)

Aston Villa 1-1 Reading

Aston Villa 0-1 Reading

Joseph Mendes is looking incredibly dangerous for the visitors, brimming with confidence after his first league goal.

Villa are having their moments too, with Jonathan Kodjia volleying wide from a half-decent position.