Well, that was a lot of fun. A fantastic overall performance securing the first win of what could be a very exciting season.
Every player to a man were brilliant. The defence was solid and commanding, Swifty and Ejaria absolutely ran the show in midfield and the front two scared the life out of the Cardiff back line all afternoon - especially a certain George Puscas.
The change to 5-3-2 has been a stroke of genius from Gomes, the players we now have suit the system down to a tee and it showed with how we dominated Cardiff.
I can’t remember the last time the mood around the club has been this optimistic. The amount of quality in this team is something we haven’t seen for a long, long time at the Madejski Stadium.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points from what was a wonderful Sunday afternoon in Berkshire...
THAT Puscas goal
This guy is special. He is a serious player and one we need to cherish while we can. He’s a player that can make something out of absolutely nothing, as shown by his incredible first goal.
The pace and power to take the ball from deep in our own half, the skill to get past Will Vaulks and the presence of mind and killer instinct to finish devastatingly past Smithies - simply wonderful. Maybe even a goal worthy of winning his namesake competition.
It was a wonderful goal, and one that got the whole of Reading fanbase talking on Twitter after the game. The love for that goal was pouring in from all angles, and quite rightly so because it was a special moment...
What?!?!?!?!? That’s outrageous!!!!!!— Chris Cooks 'n' Eats (@ChrisCooksNEats) August 18, 2019
A certain Puskas award contender— Daniel (@daniel_breen123) August 18, 2019
That Puscas goal was sex for my eyes #readingfc— Jack Tindall (@jacktindall1) August 18, 2019
In that build up and goal. George puscas has done more to justify his price tag then aluko did in all his time at Reading . Unreal goal. #readingfc— cameron macken (@ronniemac93) August 18, 2019
George Puscas what a goal.— Leachy (@leachjakee) August 18, 2019
Joe Bennett got sent for a bag of chips. #readingfc
Great goal. Hope Puscas does that every match! #readingfc— Sarah Cody (@ScarletSarah89) August 18, 2019
Puscas WHAT A GOAL #readingfc— Mikey (@mikeyh1430) August 18, 2019
Oh my!!!! What a goal Pușcaș!!! #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) August 18, 2019
A complete performance
It wasn’t just the fact that Reading managed to get three points on the board that has pleased the Loyal Royals, it’s also the way we did it.
Every player was fantastic. Morrison won everything in the air, Moore and Miazga were back to there dominating best, Joao was a nuisance and held the ball up extremely well and Ejaria and Swift were an absolute joy to watch.
This is also a team nowhere near in full swing yet, even though we were very, very good - this team can also get better and how exciting is that?
The performance got the fans talking and got them very excited for what’s to come in the coming weeks and months, as you can tell by the following tweets...
What a performance from everyone today! Class game! Ejaria is absolutely levels above #readingfc— vitooo (@v1to__) August 18, 2019
Oh my. Grinning from ear to ear. Incredible team performance. Thank you #readingfc— Pete Marshall (@Lefty_Pete) August 18, 2019
Great vibe at the Mad today, one of the best performances I've seen, couldn't fault a single player today. Defence was solid, midfield magical, and what a signing George is looking to be #readingfc— LIVE FAST DAI YONGGE (@rfcjezza) August 18, 2019
What a performance. Hopefully a good following on Wednesday.#readingfc— Ali (@ali_sutton10) August 18, 2019
Really enjoyed that game today, great performance from the boys, first if many I hope, and how good is Puscas......you live to see it #readingfc— Simon Edwards (@Madstad109) August 18, 2019
The performance was spot on today from everyone. We have 2 strikers that look threatening, we don't have to rely on yaks everytime. Ejaria was stand out today. The guy didn't put a foot wrong. The defence was solid. Bombarded all day with long throws and balls. #readingfc— smudger (@smujjii87) August 18, 2019
Congratulations 2 @liammoore93 & his #readingfc team. I must say today's performance must be one of the best from the last 3/4 seasons. U boys have now set the bar at the performance height required to climb the table. Consistency is now the name of the game. You can do it. Fact.— Sir Dodger Royal (@SirDodgerRoyal) August 18, 2019
It's now 8PM, and I'm still buzzing from this afternoons match. Puscas, Swift and Ejaria were unplayable today, and tore Cardiff apart,and the whole team put in one of the best performances I've seen in years. This could be a special team.... #readingfc #ImOnToSomethingGood— RoyalRobin (@RoyalRobin18) August 18, 2019
There were 11 individual performances that had the fans talking on Twitter after the game, but arguably none more so than John Swift.
Puscas will grab the headlines with his two goals, but Swift - coupled with Ejaria in midfield - absolutely ran the show. The quality that this lad has is way too good for this league, but he has always had problems with consistency and getting a solid run in the team.
However, from the get go when Gomes came in it was obvious that Swift was going to be his man, and the former England U21 International is repaying the faith that Portuguese has showed him.
This new system suits him very well and he truly deserved his goal - and the Loyal Royals certainly agree with me on that one. We all hope that Swift can keep up this form because if he does, he will be an incredible player for us this season...
Not being dramatic or anything but John Swift is literally the best player in the world #readingfc— Rob Knight (@robknight95) August 18, 2019
How good was Swift today?! Will get even better with the quality around him now.— Kevin Cox (@Kevlar_12) August 18, 2019
We look class ⚽⚽⚽#Readingfc
Last season we would of missed from that sort of position. You could see Swift’s determination to run the entire way and bang it in. Class player. #readingfc— Alex Lane-Kieltyka (@alex_elkay21) August 18, 2019
Swift looked back to his best today too, confident and making us tick, always wanting the ball and getting stuck in too. When he's playing like this there aren't many better at this level. Just needs to find it consistently #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) August 18, 2019
Swift is they key player in this Gomes team #readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) August 18, 2019
Puscas rightly gets plaudits and MOTM but thought Swift was excellent today, worked seriously hard and deserved his goal #ReadingFC— Frank Maguire (@fsmaguire) August 18, 2019
Just look at his face after he scores..... Lat season swift would not have ran like that, let alot shot, the best is yet to come from swift and I'm so glad it's at #readingfc, fantastic from him today https://t.co/KX4tFgRHYX— Olly_URZ (@OllyURZ) August 18, 2019
@JohnSwift8 edit today for a great performance. Defo man of the match today for me.— Kieran Challis (@RKezza25) August 18, 2019
If you see this swifty I dibs you're shirt for the west brom game ⚽️ #urrzz #readingfc pic.twitter.com/JNC4m1L11y
It feels so good to be a Reading fan right now and I when was the last time we could say that?
This team has serious potential and have sent out a statement to the rest of the league with a fantastic win and performance over the Bluebirds.
Good times are heading to Berkshire, and I for one cannot wait for them.