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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Leeds back on top after comfortable win at Reading

Leeds returned to the top of the Championship with a ruthless display of first-half finishing in their 3-0 victory at Reading.
Mateusz Klich opened the scoring early on and Pablo Hernandez made it 2-0 midway through the first period.
Hernandez added a third goal before the interval, moving to double figures for the season, as Leeds climbed above Norwich.
Leeds had won four of their previous five matches, including the 1-0 victory at Bristol City on Saturday.
Reading had come into the game in a decent run of form, with only one defeat in their past eight outings.
Reading manager Jose Gomes gave a debut to 20-year-old midfielder Ryan East – the 50th academy graduate to play for the club’s first team.
And Gomes’ side had the better of the early exchanges, with right back Andy Yiadom forcing a good save from Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
Yiadom shot from an acute angle but Casilla did well to block it.
It proved invaluable to Leeds as they then struck twice in eight minutes to take control of the game.
In the 14th minute, defender Luke Ayling set up Klich for the calmest of finishes past an exposed home keeper Emiliano Martinez.
Reading replied with a low cross from Yakou Meite that Casilla bravely saved at the feet of the onrushing Danny Loader.
Leeds stretched their advantage in the 22nd minute and Ayling was again the provider, freeing Hernandez to turn sharply and fire home past Martinez via a touch off both posts.
Klich and Patrick Bamford wasted opportunities to increase the lead further but, two minutes before the break, Hernandez was not so wasteful.
Reading’s sloppy defence was again carved open as Hernandez lashed in a superb 10th goal of the campaign.
Although Reading made a spirited start to the second period, their final pass often lacked precision and the Leeds rearguard coped with ease.
Leeds appeared content to hold on to what they had and limited their attacking to quick breaks.
Reading did eventually begin to create openings but Casilla stood firm.
The Spaniard easily gathered a weak effort from former Leeds loanee Lewis Baker but then spectacularly tipped over a Yiadom header from Tyler Blackett’s cross.
Leeds did finish the stronger, finally showing some forward intent.
Unlike in the first half, though, they could not find the target, with Tyler Roberts, Bamford, twice, Hernandez and Jack Harrison squandering a series of chances.
But Leeds had long since sealed the most comfortable of wins.

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