Championship
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Swansea City 2-0 Reading: Oli McBurnie brace sees Swans down Royals

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at the Liberty Stadium
Oli McBurnie's penalty against Reading was his first goal for Swansea since the start of September
Oli McBurnie's penalty against Reading was his first goal for Swansea since the start of September

Reading manager Paul Clement made an unhappy return to the Liberty Stadium as his struggling side were beaten by Swansea City.

Oli McBurnie's penalty gave the vibrant hosts a 1-0 half-time lead which did not reflect their domination.

Reading almost made them pay for their profligacy but striker Yakou Meite twice headed wide.

Apart from those scares, Swansea were in control and sealed victory with McBurnie's late strike from close in.

A second win in a week lifts the Swans up to seventh in the Championship table - two points from the play-off places - while Reading remain in the relegation zone.

This was Clement's first visit to the Liberty Stadium since he was sacked by Swansea last December, midway through a season which ended with their relegation from the Premier League.

The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich assistant coach had steered the club to safety in remarkable fashion in the previous campaign, and he appeared to have rediscovered that survival instinct when he helped Reading preserve their Championship status last term.

However, that position looked precarious as the Royals entered this match in the bottom three, with only Preston having conceded more goals in the division this season.

Swansea manager Graham Potter and Reading boss Paul Clement
Reading boss Paul Clement (right) made his first return to the Liberty Stadium since being sacked by Swansea in December 2017

Despite early chances for Meite and Liam Kelly, the visitors were soon on the back foot as their opponents dominated possession and repeatedly found themselves in the Reading penalty area.

Swansea academy graduate Daniel James was a live wire on the left wing, frequently beating his marker Andy Yiadom but squandering opportunities to open the scoring, blasting one particularly promising chance over the bar.

He made amends with another darting run into the box, getting past Yiadom who then pulled the young winger to the ground, prompting referee Keith Stroud to point to the spot.

McBurnie drove his penalty low and hard into the bottom corner for his first goal since Swansea's 2-1 win over Millwall on 1 September.

The home side continued to cut Reading open at will, playing with a panache which will have delighted manager Graham Potter - as much as their failure to add to their lead will have frustrated him.

There were warning signs that Swansea's wastefulness could prove costly, as Meite missed with a free header from a corner and then did the same from open play soon afterwards.

Reading's efforts on goal were fleeting, however, and Swansea continued to press for a second goal, which McBurnie almost found when his close-range shot was smothered by Royals goalkeeper Anssi Jaakola.

Swansea eventually got their reward with five minutes left as a quick counter-attack freed James on the left, and his inviting low cross was turned in by McBurnie.

Swansea manager Graham Potter told BBC Radio Wales:

"I'm delighted for the players, they put such a lot into the game.

"It's not easy, the third game in a week, but we had good control first half, attacked well and it's not so easy to do against a defensively organised team like Reading.

"It's back-to-back wins for us I think for the first time this season and so it's another tick in the box."

Reading manager Paul Clement told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"In the first half we played poorly, we struggled to pin them down and something had to change, but we did have a disallowed goal that should have stood.

"We got back into in the second half and had 14 shots away from home, so I was pleased with the spirit and performance in the second half.

"It's been a really disappointing season so far. I understand that with each defeat, the pressure grows, but I said to the players that while I feel you are with me, I will continue to fight.

"This league is a marathon, and you've got to slog, grind, and show resilience. I haven't worked for 20 years to get a fantastic job like this to give up and walk away when it gets tough."

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1NordfeldtBooked at 66mins
  • 26Naughton
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 22Rodon
  • 3OlssonSubstituted forCarter-Vickersat 78'minutes
  • 27FultonSubstituted forFerat 62'minutes
  • 21Grimes
  • 23Roberts
  • 10Celina
  • 20JamesSubstituted forJohnat 88'minutes
  • 9McBurnieBooked at 54mins

Substitutes

  • 8Fer
  • 16Asoro
  • 17Carter-Vickers
  • 19McKay
  • 24John
  • 25Mulder
  • 46Baker-Richardson

Reading

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Jaakkola
  • 3Yiadom
  • 4O'Shea
  • 6Moore
  • 24Blackett
  • 38Kelly
  • 7Bacuna
  • 10SwiftSubstituted forSimsat 88'minutes
  • 12McClearySubstituted forBödvarssonat 64'minutes
  • 21MeiteSubstituted forAlukoat 90+2'minutes
  • 9BaldockBooked at 81mins

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 14Aluko
  • 19Sims
  • 20Ilori
  • 23Bödvarsson
  • 28Walker
  • 35Rinomhota
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
18,785

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamReading
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home25
Away14
Shots on Target
Home9
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home5
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 2, Reading 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 2, Reading 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Leroy Fer (Swansea City).

  4. Post update

    Leandro Bacuna (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kyle Naughton.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kyle Naughton.

  7. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Yakou Meite.

  9. Post update

    Delay in match Bersant Celina (Swansea City) because of an injury.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Josh Sims replaces John Swift.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Declan John replaces Daniel James.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yakou Meite (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tyler Blackett with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Swift (Reading) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jón Dadi Bödvarsson.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Swansea City 2, Reading 0. Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel James with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sam Baldock (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Liam Kelly with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Anssi Jaakkola.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Connor Roberts (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leroy Fer.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Daniel James tries a through ball, but Bersant Celina is caught offside.

  19. Booking

    Sam Baldock (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Matt Grimes (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sheff Utd159242718929
2Leeds1576226121427
3Middlesbrough15762178927
4Norwich158342017327
5West Brom1574433231025
6Derby157442216625
7Nottm Forest155822216623
8Swansea156541711623
9Birmingham155821914523
10QPR157261519-423
11Bristol City156451815322
12Blackburn155731820-222
13Stoke155551920-120
14Wigan156271822-420
15Sheff Wed155462126-519
16Brentford154652320318
17Aston Villa154652223-118
18Millwall154471923-416
19Bolton154471120-916
20Preston153572429-514
21Rotherham153571121-1014
22Reading153391925-612
23Hull153391221-912
24Ipswich151681125-149
View full Championship table

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