What an enjoyable Saturday lunchtime that turned out to be. We were dominant from minute one against Bristol City and it was a performance that, hopefully, proved our electric start to the season wasn’t just a fluke.
Even in the first half when both teams struggled to get going in an attacking sense, we looked like the only side that were ever going to score - proven by the fact that the visitors failed to even have a shot until midway through the second half.
That was when Pauno’s machine really clicked into motion though. Three superb goals, created by three fantastic assists sealed all three points for the first time since the end of October - despite a brick wall in the shape of David Bentley denying us on numerous occasions.
It was hard to narrow it down to three key talking points, because we were so good all over the pitch in every single aspect, but here’s the best bits of the Loyal Royals’ reaction. I think it’s fair to say they were rather happy...
As we all know, we had a fantastic start to the season. However, as Pauno always insisted throughout the brilliant start, performances had to improve.
Our best display of the season until yesterday was, funnily enough, our last victory - at Ewood Park. Saturday’s performance is the only one that rivals the one against Blackburn Rovers in terms of domination.
We were better than the visitors in every aspect of the pitch and I'm sure it’ll be hugely satisfying for Pauno to see his team play like that. It certainly was for the fans...
Excellent performance all round today. Defended very well . Had enough chances to win that twice over. Daniel Bentley man of the match by a mile! #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) November 28, 2020
Fantastic performance and result #readingfc. Completely outplayed Bristol City in every area of the pitch and could (and probably should) have won by more. Back four kept it solid first half, front 4 turned it on second. Meite and Joao with confidence is so exciting to watch.— Matt Williams (@mattwilliams100) November 28, 2020
What a result for Reading today, by far the best performance since Paunovic has taken charge. Olise showed why he is going to play at the highest level that pass for Meite's goal is world class. 3-1 didn't reflect how dominant Reading were #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) November 28, 2020
By far our best performance of the season. Happy days this weekend! #readingfc— SimundoTheGr8 (@simundo1110) November 28, 2020
Wow what a performance and what a result. Look like we’ve woken up again #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) November 28, 2020
Absolutely delighted with that #ReadingFC performance today. A dominant win live on Sky which made a change! Other results have gone our way too, looking good 2 points off the top. Lots of salty Bristol City fans on Twitter this afternoon!— Steve Poole (@TheRealStavioni) November 28, 2020
Superb performance today. Definitely our strongest team bar Swift. You feel there is more gears to go through as well in time. Front four are scary, bit of everything. Holmes excellent again. How good is Lucas Joao? #readingfc— Jimmy Coulson (@Jimmy_Coulson) November 28, 2020
So impressed with our performance today, real quality all over the park desire cant wait for our next game this one's gone now, consistancy please now urz. Not many teams will love with us on that form @ReadingFC #readingfc— Paul Penny (@ppenny1362) November 28, 2020
He did it on Wednesday against Millwall, and he did it again on Saturday. There was debate after the game about which one was better, but I think the fact that this one should be put in an art museum makes it just that little bit better.
It was an instinctive, outside-of-the-foot pass, weighted perfectly so Yakou Meite didn’t have to break stride before slotting home. Genius. This kid is a serious, serious talent and we should just appreciate him whilst we can.
The fans loved it, and argued that surely now Olise should be one of the first names on the team sheet...
We need to enjoy Michael Olise whilst we have him. 18 years of age, and by far the most talented player we’ve had since Gylfi. Destined for greatness. #readingfc— Alex Stone (@alexgstone) November 28, 2020
Everything good going through Olise. Great to watch him and how often he gets involved in all areas of the pitch #readingfc— Michael Dakin (@youvebeen_miked) November 28, 2020
The vision from Olise today has been incredible. What a future he has #ReadingFC— Mark Apsey (@mark_apsey) November 28, 2020
#readingfc have to do everything in our power to tie Michael Olise down long term. Give him what he wants. Kidnap his nan. His barber. Whatever it takes. Just make him sign with a £30m release clause.— Imran Escőbar (@razor5edge) November 28, 2020
Just play Olise's assist over and over please. Dont need to see anything else #readingfc— Dan Gabriel (@DanG188) November 28, 2020
The Fantastic Four
Ovie Ejaria, Michael Olise, Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite - that is some front four. With the protection of Harper and Sidwell v2 behind them, they have the license to cause havoc to the opposition defence, and that’s exactly what they did.
All of the goals involved at least two of the four, which just shows how dangerous they were all afternoon. The creativity and magic of Ejaria and Olise, combined with the power and destruction of Joao and Meite, is incredibly exciting. And how about this - we’ve got John Swift to come back into the fold yet. Frightening.
They scared the life out of Bristol City, but had the fans frothing at the mouth on Twitter after the game at how good they were...
Richards was quality.— Stanley Staines (@Stainsey95) November 28, 2020
Olise and Ejaria took the piss.
Meite and Joao doing what they do⚽️.#readingfc
Joao, Ejaria, Meite and Olise were all top class today. Great win. #readingfc— John Norris (@JohnNorris23) November 28, 2020
Great team performance but Meite, João and Olise all superb! #readingfc— Ben (@BenParsons89) November 28, 2020
⚽️ Ejaria : Goal— Jon Gould (@JonG0uld) November 28, 2020
Olise : Assist
⚽️ Meite : Goal and Assist
⚽️ Joao : Goal and Assist #ReadingFC
Meite x Olise x Ejaria x Joao is the tekkiest front four in England. So much sauce #readingfc— Adam Goodwin (@AdamGoodwin__) November 28, 2020
In Joao and Meite we have two of the best finishers in the league and in Olise, Swift and Ejaria we have the players to create for them. Our front 4 is so so exciting. #Readingfc— Matt (@lines_aviation) November 28, 2020
Meite the determination. Joao the composure. Great team performance and exactly what we needed #readingfc— Zac Colón (@ZacLONDON_31) November 28, 2020
Our front 4 came to life 2nd half, particularly Meite who was a real handful, but Ejaria much better today too and João always a threat. Olise some brilliant passing and movement. Defensively back to put best today too only an offside goal getting past us #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) November 28, 2020
Get in there, big win! Joao, Meite, Olise and Ejaria definitely our best front four. Bella Joao Joao Joao #readingfc— Melvir (@Melvir88) November 28, 2020
Up there with Blackburn away as the best performance of the season. Sensational from start to finish.
However, it's all about the next game now - we can’t celebrate victories for too long, just like we can’t dwell on defeats. Sheffield Wednesday away, and hopefully this result is more of a sign of things to come.