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Reading vs Brentford. Sky Bet Championship.

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Reading 0

    Brentford 3

    • B Mbeumo (23rd minute)
    • J Dasilva (64th minute)
    • J Valencia (90th minute)

    Reading 0-3 Brentford: Bees close on automatic-promotion spots

    Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at the Madejski Stadium

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    Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Brentford.

    Brentford moved to within two points of the Championship's automatic promotion places with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Reading.

    Bryan Mbeumo gave Brentford the lead midway through the first half, stooping to nod home his 15th goal of the season.

    Josh Dasilva increased their advantage just past the hour mark and Joel Valencia added a third goal in the 90th minute to secure a fourth successive league victory for the west London side.

    Brentford had won their previous three matches without conceding a goal - including victories over Fulham and WBA since the Championship schedule resumed.

    Second-placed West Brom, without a win or a goal in four games, were not due to play until visiting Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.

    Image: Brentford won 3-0 at Reading on Tuesday night

    Mid-table Reading had picked up just one point from a possible six post-lockdown, losing 2-1 at Derby on Saturday.

    Before kick off, a minute's silence was held as a mark of respect for the three men who died in a stabbing incident in Reading town centre 10 days ago.

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    Home captain Liam Moore had also laid a wreath in the centre circle.

    Brentford made a sluggish start and were unable to make any significant headway in the final third of the pitch.

    When they did manage to, Christian Norgaard's tame header - from an Emiliano Marcondes corner - was easily gathered by home goalkeeper Rafael.

    Sam Baldock had earlier created Reading's first opportunity but drove wastefully wide from 20 yards out.

    Brentford gradually eased themselves into the game and were rewarded when going ahead in the 23rd minute.

    Another Marcondes corner from the left was headed back at the far post by the unmarked Ethan Pinnock.

    Mbeumo nipped in to nod home from close range - on his first start since having to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus.

    Brentford assumed control until half time, with 23-goal top scorer Ollie Watkins twice shooting wide from decent positions.

    Watkins had a third opportunity in the early stages of the second period but again failed to trouble Rafael from distance.

    Reading then probed earnestly for the equaliser, mainly through the hard-working efforts of winger Yakou Meite.

    But the Brentford defence held firm and keeper David Raya - as per most of the first half - had little to do.

    Reading playmaker John Swift could have tested Raya but he dragged a poor shot off target.

    Brentford effectively sealed the win in the 64th minute, when Rafael made a fine save but could only parry Dasilva's powerful 25-yard drive.

    Dasilva was allowed to follow up on the loose ball to slot in his ninth goal of the campaign.

    Substitute Valencia then made it 3-0 near the end with another well-struck Brentford effort from long range that, this time, Rafael was unable to stop.

    What the managers said...

    Reading's Mark Bowen: "I'll have to choose my words carefully. In every department, I thought that Brentford were much stronger than us. They looked more brighter than us, they had more intelligence on the ball and made more right decisions than us. Brentford took their confidence, after two fantastic results, into this game.

    "They looked a yard quicker than us and they were a yard quicker. And that was right from the off. We've got to look at how we may have to freshen things up in the team. We've got to get back to the training ground and work on it all. And get back to doing the things that we're good at. I expected much more from my side. You expect them to put in a good performance. Yes, that's one point from three games - that's the bottom line. Did we lack fight and character? We've just got to address that."

    Brentford's Thomas Frank: "Bryan had to work in his flat. And he did everything to stay as fit as he could. He had no symptoms so, in that way, it didn't affect him. When you can't train properly, that's not the best. So we did what we could. As long as he was in a safe place, that was the most important thing.

    "This was a very good performance going away from home. We maintained another high level, especially on the defensive side of our game. That is a most important side of the game to be focused on. You have to be disciplined and stick to your structure. It is my now responsibility to make sure that we maintain our focus."

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