Sometimes, all that matters is the three points. It doesn’t matter how you get there, it just matters that you’re three points better off at the end of the night than you were at the start. Tuesday night was one of those nights.
Furthermore, sometimes those types of wins are just as, or even more, pleasing than a dominant 4-0 win. For want of a much better word, it shows real character. How many times have we ended up on the losing end of ‘ugly’ games in the last few seasons? It’s a sign of a very good team when you don’t play that well, but still get the result.
As much as you have to give credit to Wycombe Wanderers, and how well they pressed us and slowed the game down, Pauno’s men were really, really sloppy in that opening 45. The likes of Omar Richards, Yakou Meite and Lucas Joao - who have all impressed so far this season - were well off the pace, with Ovie Ejaria looking like our only real source of attacking threat. Again.
In the second half though, particularly after the introductions of Alfa Semedo and Tomas Esteves, the Royals started to find their feet a little bit more, and after Joao’s moment of magic, the players saw out the game really well.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the hot topics to come from the 1-0 win...
He didn’t have his best night. Not by any means. His hold up play was, frankly, pretty awful in the first half, and his performance was summed up when he picked up a yellow card for a really rash challenge just before half time.
However, he’s one of those players who can produce a moment of magic from absolutely nowhere. We’re lucky to have a few of them in the squad, with the likes of John Swift and Ejaria too. But it was the Portuguese frontman who produced the goods against Wycombe.
Big players produce big moments to get you big results, no matter how well or how bad they are playing, and Joao is one of those big players. Credit also to Pauno, who could’ve easily taken him off as early as half time.
The fans are certainly loving his form so far this season, and were left drooling at his winning goal...
Gol Gol Gol Gol Gol Gol!!!!!! Joao you beauty!!!!! #ReadingFc— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) October 20, 2020
Joao couldn’t stand upright in the first half then goes and does that #readingfc— Jack (@jacktindall1) October 20, 2020
I take everything back I've said tonight against Joao. I love Joao. Xoxo #readingfc— Tim Patten (@TimRobinPatten) October 20, 2020
That’s the quality Lucas Joao has. Hasn’t been immense tonight but when a good chance came he has the quality and composure to bag a very good goal. Becoming one of my favourite players in a long time. And definitely one of our best. What a man. #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) October 20, 2020
Another superb goal from Lucas Joao too. He's so important to this Reading side. Keeping him fit is the key for a potential promotion push. Early days, but the Royals are flying at the moment! #readingfc— Andy Preston (@AndyPreston96) October 20, 2020
Top quality goal from Joao. Been missing that quality in front of goal for a long time. So vital keeping him fit this season! #readingfc— Bertie Murch (@bertie_murch) October 20, 2020
This was a definitely the phrase on the lips of the Reading fans on Twitter after the game. Like I said previously, it’s a sign of a really good team and something that you need to do a few times during the season to maintain momentum and keep that engine running.
Imagine, if we’d ended up losing that game, at home to second bottom after the start we have had, it would’ve definitely soured the mood at least a little. But, we won, and the performance ends up not mattering at all.
Although the performance may have disheartened the fans a little, we ultimately got three points on the board, and they can't be unhappy about that...
Don't get me wrong overall that was a poor performance but as the saying goes if you can win when you aren't playing well then that is a sign of a good team #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) October 20, 2020
This result shows a great deal about us as a team, following up a shocking first half with a superb second and showing the giet to grind out a 1-0 win against a physical Wycombe side #readingfc https://t.co/jHlRKDzybt— Lewis Radbourne (@lewisradbourne1) October 20, 2020
A win today is massive, shows we aren’t the same team as we have been for a few years, but we do still need to be beating teams like this more than 1-0 #readingfc— Dan (@ding_dan_18) October 20, 2020
Not our best performance today whatsoever surprised we didn’t win by more tbh. But +3 points and a clean sheet can’t complain! #readingfc— AdamRFC (@AdamH1871) October 20, 2020
I ugly wins! Keep defending like this and the season could be special. 3 more points on Saturday, boys! Urz #ReadingFC— Scott from the States (@American_Royals) October 20, 2020
Top of the league!
Now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and whisper it very, very quietly... but we’re top of the league by three points.
I know it’s very early on in the season, only six games in in fact, but it’s still pretty nice to see us at the top end of the table rather than what we’ve become accustomed to in the last couple of seasons, isn't it?
We should enjoy it, yes. But we should also stay extremely cautious because we all know the Championship by now and how quickly it can turn very quickly. Let’s just keep taking it game by game.
But definitely do enjoy it, like these Loyal Royals...
What did I tell you? Top of the league baby #ReadingFC— Eddie Wallbank (@EddieRFC7) October 20, 2020
Can’t believe we’re top of the league. 5 wins in 6. 1 conceded. Undefeated.. what?!??? COME ON URZZZ #readingfc— Francis Siberini (@FrancisSiberini) October 20, 2020
#ReadingFC now clear top of the Championship.— Rob North (@Scotracing) October 20, 2020
Will presumably wake up soon, Covid gone, Reading mid-table...
As good as the start has been, I still feel there is a huge amount this team can improve on. We’re 24th in the league for shots for one...
If we can just iron out those creases and really get kicking, I’m sure we’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season. In Pauno I trust.