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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Glenn Whelan (49' OG)
  • Modou Barrow (55')
  • Conor Hourihane (87')

Reading 2-1 Aston Villa

Aston Villa's poor start to the Sky Bet Championship season continued when they lost 2-1 against Reading at Madejski Stadium.
Villa rarely ventured forward in the first half and Steve Bruce's side were undone by two goals in six minutes early in the second period, as they remained without a win after three games.
Glenn Whelan deflected an Adrian Popa cross into his own net, via an upright, and then Modou Barrow struck from close range for his first goal for Reading.
Conor Hourihane got Villa back into it when scoring with three minutes left but the visitors could not find a leveller.
Villa, who finished in 13th place last season, picked up only one point from their opening two matches - from a 1-1 draw at home to Hull. They lost 3-0 at Cardiff on Saturday.
Reading, on a 13-match unbeaten streak at home stretching back to January, also collected only one point from their opening two games - from a 1-1 home draw against 10-man Fulham on Saturday.
Former Villa utility player Leandro Bacuna, who signed a four-year deal with Reading on Sunday, started on the substitutes' bench.
Reading had the better of the opening stages but Villa hit back. Andre Green, with only Vito Mannone to beat, shot tamely at the home goalkeeper.
Reading responded with a swift move themselves, Barrow finding full back Chris Gunter free on the right flank. But the Wales defender's cross was poor and failed to trouble Villa keeper Sam Johnstone.
As the momentum shifted in Reading's favour, John Swift twice went close to making the breakthrough.
First, Swift's 20-yard effort drifted just wide of Johnstone's right-hand post; then his far-post header from a Barrow cross was deflected behind for a corner.
Johnstone then twice had to make good saves from the lively Popa - one from long distance, one from close range - in the space of a minute.
Villa held out until the break - but were behind four minutes after it.
Popa's low cross-cum-shot took a wicked deflection off Villa midfielder Whelan and looped on to the far post.
Despite Johnstone clawing the ball back, goal-line technology confirmed it had crossed the line and Whelan was credited with an own goal.
Reading increased their lead in the 55th minute, when Liam Moore drilled a pass into the Villa area and Barrow, the former Swansea winger, opened his Reading account with a tap-in.
It drew loud jeering from many of the 4,000 travelling Villa fans.
Hourihane gave Villa hope, when volleying home after Gabriel Agbonlahor's chest-down in the 87th minute, but it was too little and too late.
ends

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Norwich City 33 +23 63
2 Sheffield United 33 +24 61
3 Leeds United 32 +17 61
4 West Bromwich Albion 32 +24 57
5 Middlesbrough 32 +12 54
6 Bristol City 31 +10 53
7 Derby County 31 +7 51
8 Nottingham Forest 33 +8 47
9 Birmingham City 32 +9 46
10 Aston Villa 33 +4 44
11 Preston North End 33 +3 44
12 Hull City 32 +3 44
13 Swansea City 32 +3 44
14 Blackburn Rovers 33 -7 43
15 Sheffield Wednesday 32 -11 41
16 Brentford 31 +7 40
17 Stoke City 33 -7 40
18 Queens Park Rangers 31 -8 39
19 Wigan Athletic 32 -14 34
20 Millwall 31 -11 31
21 Reading 33 -15 29
22 Rotherham United 33 -20 29
23 Bolton Wanderers 33 -30 26
24 Ipswich Town 33 -31 20