Reading 1-2 Norwich: Mario Vrancic scores winner at the Madejski Stadium
Last Updated: 19/09/18 11:27pm
Reading slumped to a fourth successive Championship defeat at home this season as they lost 2-1 to Norwich.
The visitors, winning away in the league for the first time in 12 outings, opened the scoring early on through in-form striker Teemu Pukki.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson equalised with a scruffy effort in the 72nd minute but, less than a minute later, Norwich substitute Mario Vrancic grabbed the winner.
Reading had secured their first Championship win of the season, at the seventh attempt, with a 3-2 victory at Preston on Saturday, but they had not won at Madejski Stadium in the league since April 7, a barren run of five matches.
Norwich threatened first, after a scrappy opening to the contest, from a free-kick on the right of the Reading area; Moritz Leitner clipped the ball over neatly but Christoph Zimmermann, the Norwich centre back, nodded high and wide of the target when well placed.
Norwich stepped up the pressure, with Emi Buendia testing home 'keeper Sam Walker with a 20-yard shot, but in the 14th minute, Finland striker Pukki deservedly gave the impressive visitors the lead.
A series of defensive errors from Reading allowed Pukki a free run on Walker and he cleverly beat him from the edge of the area with a low, curling effort for his fifth goal of the season.
The Royals did respond, eventually, with Sone Aluko releasing Chris Gunter to the right byline, but the Wales international's poor attempt at a cross was easily blocked, while Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul made a superb save from Yakou Meite's angled piledriver.
After a poor first-half showing, Reading emerged in a more positive mood after the interval and they were denied an equaliser only by some stout Norwich defending, with Sam Baldock and Meite thwarted in quick succession.
Norwich were soon back on the attack, with Buendia blocked out at the last moment and left back Jamal Lewis shooting wildly over. But Paul Clement's men equalised 18 minutes from the end, after Liam Moore's header was jabbed on to an upright by Baldock for Bodvarsson to follow up and tap in from close range.
A minute later, though, Norwich regained their lead when Vrancic cut in from the left and beat Walker with a precise shot, but although Reading pushed for a second leveller, Norwich held on comfortably.
Paul Clement: "We came out with the right spirit in the second half and deservedly got back into the game but that's just pure naivety in the timing of Norwich's second goal. We'd got back in it, we'd got the momentum and then that goes in When they've got the ball, you've just got to keep it tight and don't make any mistakes.
"We're very disappointed not to have backed up our good performance on Saturday (a 3-2 win at Preston) with a good performance here. I thought that we were poor in the first half. We were second best in a lot of areas. Not compact enough, not tight enough and not competitive enough. Norwich are a decent side but we made them look even better than they are in the first half."
Daniel Farke: "Last season, in general, we were pretty good in our away games but it's also good to have your first away league win of the season. It's good for the mood and the self-confidence.
"It was good to add another win to our record, especially after the previous brilliant home win against Middlesbrough, who had been on fire. At the moment, we have a difficult situation because so many important players are out because of injuries.
"Then to go to Reading, whose mood had been lifted after their first win of the season at Preston, and we put in another good performance. We took our chances and we deserved to win in the end. It feels good to have six points out of these last two games."