Reading FC Match Report: 2019/2020 Season - Championship
READING 0 BRENTFORD 3
Brentford: B Mbeumo (23), J Da Silva (64), J Valencia (90)
There was a worrying inevitability about this comprehensive defeat at the hands of promotion chasing Brentford. Make no mistake Brentford are a good side, but they hardly needed to get out of second gear to beat a toothless and predictable Reading side. In a nutshell, Reading never looked like scoring, and three currently typical glaring defensive lapses contributed to Brentford's three goals.
Just before the drinks break, Brentford hoisted a long looping corner way past the far post where Pinnock was allowed to drift out of the six yard area unmarked and rise unchallenged between Swift and Ejaria to nod back across goal. The Reading defence obligingly stood motionless as Mueumo nodded the ball past an unprotected Raphael. Similar in many ways in which Stoke scored from a corner to the back post. Morrison was the culprit on that occasion.
On sixty minutes Dasilva raced through the acres of space in the Reading midfield, thumped a shot which Raphael saved well but spilled, then proceeded to race past at least two stationary Reading defenders to slam in the rebound for the second and crucial goal. The Reading defence bearing a remarkable resemblance to statues, and Raphael didn’t exactly spring sharply back to his feet after making the save either.
The third goal also came from a Brentford player running through the centre of the Reading midfield, this time Valencia Castillo was the beneficiary of poor defending. Hopefully someone will have words with Obita about why it is inadvisable to give a player about five yards of space on the edge of the box, then back away before turning his back and limply dangling a leg as the ball flies past him. Last week Derby’s full back Wisdom made a similar run from his own half to create a goal for Lawrence. Bad habits are not just creeping in, they are becoming a regular feature which, I hope, will be addressed soon I hope.
The defence is leaking soft goals the situation is worsened by a toothless attack, which in the absence of Joao has absolutely no cutting edge. Baldock looked sharp but does not have the physical presence to play up front on his own and is invariably beaten in the air. Puscas is similarly ill-equipped for the role of sole striker. Neither, to be fair, have been provided with many good chances. Reading came closest to scoring when Olise’s goal bound volley from the edge of the box was defected wide by the outstretched leg of a Brentford defender. There is no doubt in my mind that Yiadom and Richards should be the first choice full backs but injury and squad rotation does not appear to allow that.
In midfield Ejaria has the ability to open up defences with his ability to go past players but has yet to produce an end product, and he often slows the pace of the attack by hanging on to ball too long. Olise links the play up well and often makes the correct choice of pass but he is still maturing as a player and is only playing a supporting role. Swift produces some superb passes but again his lack of pace reduces his impact. Rinomhota is totally reliable and worth a place in the starting eleven for his work rate alone. He is capable of making penetrating runs but is clearly expected to play a holding role.
In short, I would hope Mark Bowen will be thinking hard about how he might get the balance of his team right in the remaining fixtures. There should not be any concern about relegation but a defeat at Luton might begin to make things uncomfortable. These are difficult time for all teams but we have to make the best of it and Reading certainly need to raise their game if only for those of us who tune into ifollow. Talking of which, I wish they would allow us to watch the live action and save the excessive replays of previous incidents (and close-ups of the mangers) for times when there is an appropriate break in play.
This Championship game took place 148 days ago in the 2019/2020 season.