Reading stopped the rot at Elland Road this afternoon as Modou Barrow’s late goal secured all three points against high-flying Leeds United.
Going into the game without a win in six matches in all competitions, Jaap Stam switched up his tactics and set his team out in a 4-4-2 formation, bringing in Jon Dadi Bodvarsson into the starting line-up.
The opening 45 minutes was filled with half chances for both sides, with Pierre-Michel Lasogga being the hosts’ biggest threat as nodded a header into Vito Mannone’s arms and curled an effort wide of the post. The Royals came closest to opening the scoring though - Bodvarsson and Sone Aluko both forcing good saves from Leeds debutant Andy Lonergan.
The game continued in much the same fashion after the break, becoming a tense affair as it appeared that one goal would be enough to claim victory. Mo Barrow was brought on for Reading and nearly made an instant impact by drilling the ball across the face of the goal, before Leandro Bacuna made a quite superb sliding tackle to Jay-Roy Grot at the other end.
The winning goal came in the 84th minute as Joey van den Berg picked up the ball in the middle of the park and made a Danny Williams-esque driving run forward, before sliding the ball through to Barrow who made no mistake in slotting the ball home against his former club. The final few minutes were not without drama though, as Leeds missed a big opportunity to snatch a point when Liam Moore tripped Samu Siaz in the box. Pablo Hernandez’s resulting spot-kick was a poor one however, and Vito Mannone gratefully made a fairly comfortable save.
Reading line-up: Mannone, Bacuna, Gunter, Moore, Ilori, van den Berg, Edwards, Aluko (Kelly 70’), Beerens (Barrow 65’), McCleary, Bodvarsson