Reading 2-1 Stoke City: Lucas Joao scores twice on 29th birthday to send Royals back to second

Reading climbed back into the automatic promotion places and denied Alex Neil his first win as Stoke boss with a 2-1 victory at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Sunday.

The Royals took the lead after less than 120 seconds when Lucas Joao capitalised on poor defending to fire in his second of the season (2), but Stoke hit back before the break through Ben Wilmot’s deflected effort (40).

Lucas Joao scored twice to secure Reading's fourth straight home victory

Joao then restored the lead for the home side with a powerful penalty (57), to which the Potters could find no sufficient response.

Paul Ince’s Reading climb back into second as a result of their fifth win of the season – and fourth straight victory on home soil – while Stoke continue to hover down in 19th, with eight points from eight games so far.

Alex Neil has taken a point from his first two games in charge of Stoke

How Ince’s Royals continue to exceed expectations

Before the game could even begin to settle into a rhythm in Berkshire, Reading had the ball in the back of the net.

Joao ghosted through the middle of two Stoke defenders and drew goalkeeper Jack Bonham inexplicably from the box, before firing a shot goalwards that Aden Flint swiped at and failed to prevent from crossing the line.

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Lucas Joao gives Reading the lead after a mix-up at the back for Stoke City in their Championship match.

Stoke saw a lot more of the ball thereafter, but an organised Royals defence restricted them to shots from distance, with Joe Lumley holding onto hopeful efforts from Lewis Baker and Jacob Brown, while at the other end, Shane Long fired over from eight yards out.


Title: Reading 2-1 Stoke City: Lucas Joao scores twice on 29th birthday to send Royals back to second
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Published Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2022 14:00:00 BST

THE BEST GOAL SO FAR THIS SEASON?!???? Natalie Sawyer was left shocked after Ivan Toney bags free-kick!

Has VAR hit an all-time low?! ???? Newcastle United fan left FURIOUS after questionable decision! ????