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Leeds United Fans Verdict: Royals Hit By Late Sucker Punch

How the Loyal Royals reacted to some of the key talking points to come watching their team’s second 1-0 loss on the bounce.

I think everyone anticipated a very tough test on Tuesday night when Leeds United rolled into town, and a tough test is what Mark Bowen’s men duly got. Leeds are obviously a very, very good team and will certainly be challenging at the top end of the table come the end of the season, so Reading were always going to be up against the odds.

Reading did however nullify Leeds’ attacking quality very well up until the 87th minute when Jack Harrison nodded home from six yards to cap off a swift counter attack from the visitors after Reading squandered a free kick opportunity on the edge of Leeds’ box.

Our defensive performance is definitely something the players and Bowen will take a lot of confidence from; there is no doubt that we have been so much better defensively in recent games. But our attacking performance will also concern Bowen, because we never really looked like scoring all game.

If we are going to start climbing the table and looking up rather than down, our attacking woes are going to have to be solved sooner rather than later. The likes of George Puscas, Lucas Boye and the soon-to-return Lucas Joao are going to have to find their shooting boots.

Here’s some of the key talking points to come from the match, and how you Loyal Royals reacted to them on Twitter...

Chris Gunter

This was always one lineup decision that we all knew Bowen had to make - who was going to replace the suspended Andy Yiadom? A player who has been so valuable to our team ever since he joined in the summer of 2017.

Under Jose Gomes it would’ve more than likely been academy graduate Teddy Howe or maybe even moving Andy Rinomhota out to fill that position, but Mark Bowen opted for his compatriot Chris Gunter - another player he has brought back in from the cold.

It’s fair to say that Gunter has more than split the opinion of the Reading fanbase for a number of seasons now - but one thing you cannot doubt is his professionalism and commitment.

Some fans were happy to see him back, some not so much. However, most fans agreed on the fact that he actually had a pretty solid game and proved himself as a very good back up to Yiadom...

Ovie Ejaria

Another game, another Ovie Ejaria masterclass. There isn’t much to be said that hasn’t already been said about Ovie, but just watching him play football is an absolute privilege - and his performance on Tuesday had both the home and the away fans purring.

In a performance where we offered very little in the offensive third - for the second game in a row - Ovie was the one who always looked like the one who was going to create something or do something special, as he so often is.

He is a true fans’ favourite, and the love was pouring in from all angles yet again for Reading’s star man after the game...

Battling performance

Even though Reading ultimately lost the game and that’s really all that matters when you look at the league table, the Reading fans were quick to praise the overall defensive performance from the players.

It is something the Bowen has regularly stated, he wants this team to be a hard team to beat and become nastier and grittier which is something that has clearly happened - but everyone knows we still have a lot of work to do in the final third, the last two games have showed that in abundance.

Overall the fans were happy with the performance but were also left frustrated at the lack of attacking intent...

Conclusion

Another disappointing result ultimately and one that again highlighted where we need some more work. At the back we look very solid and organised, but sometimes when you come up against teams like Leeds - that alone isn’t enough.

A much more winnable game coming up on Saturday as we travel to Wigan Athletic.

URZ