McAnuff just the Job for Royals

Jobi McAnuff's first-half brace helped sink visiting Brighton 3-0 and fired Reading into the Championship play-off places on Boxing Day.

Last Updated: 26/12/11 at 17:32

McAnuff: Celebrates deadly double

McAnuff: Celebrates deadly double

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Last season's beaten finalists have their sights set on another trip to Wembley and made it three straight wins courtesy of McAnuff's second and third goals of the campaign.

The winger's deadly double, and a late own-goal from Adam El-Abd, condemned Gus Poyet's Brighton, who were the early-season pacesetters, to a third consecutive defeat.

The Seagulls improved after the break but squandered a host of chances with Billy Paynter and Craig Mackail-Smith the chief culprits.

Reading threatened from the first whistle with Casper Ankergren keeping out Jem Karacan's deflected shot and Lewis Dunk clearing a close-range effort from Jimmy Kebe.

Brighton's first chance fell to defender El-Abd, whose shot was too close to Royals keeper Adam Federici.

But Reading went ahead in the 17th minute when Kebe outstripped Brighton veteran Mauricio Taricco and swung in a cross to the centre of the area where McAnuff was on hand to sweep the ball past Ankergren.

The hosts almost doubled their lead three minutes later from a carbon-copy move but this time Mikele Leigertwood could not match McAnuff's finish as his shot flew wide.

Brighton came close to a leveller when Taricco's cross found El-Abd but the full-back's attempted lob came down on top of Federici's goal.

But instead they found themselves two down on the stroke of half-time, when McAnuff collected Andy Griffin's pass, cut inside El-Abd and fired a low shot past Ankergren and into the net.

Poyet threw on Leeds loanee Paynter after the break and the striker, who has yet to find the net for Brighton, spurned a good chance to pull one back when he volleyed Craig Noone's cross over the top.

The Seagulls thought they should have had a penalty moments later when Mackail-Smith was bundled over by Griffin but referee Simon Hooper was not interested.

Brighton were building up a head of steam and Federici was called into action again when he kept out Ryan Harley's shot and a header from Dunk.

Mackail-Smith then had two wonderful chances to make Reading sweat, but he took an air-shot in front of goal and then prodded Noone's inviting cross the wrong side of the post.

And Brighton's misery was complete a minute from time when the luckless El-Abd, attempting to clear Kebe's cross, succeeded only in turning the ball past Ankergren and into his own net.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Saturday, 25 October 2014
15:00
Birm'ham 0-8 B'mouth Report
Bolton 3-1 Brentford  
Brighton 1-1 Rotherham  
Derby 1-2 Wigan Report
Ipswich 2-2 Huddsf'ld  
Leeds 1-2 Wolves  
M'boro 1-1 Watford  
N Forest 1-3 Blackburn  
Reading 3-0 Blackpool  
Sheff Wed 0-0 Norwich  

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Derby 14 12 26
2 Watford 14 11 26
3 Wolves 14 6 26
4 B'mouth 14 14 24
5 M'boro 14 7 24
6 Norwich 14 10 23
7 N Forest 14 7 22
8 Blackburn 14 1 22
9 Charlton 14 1 22
10 Ipswich 14 4 21
11 Cardiff 14 1 19
12 Sheff Wed 14 0 19
13 Brentford 14 -3 19
14 Reading 14 -5 18
15 Millwall 14 -2 17
16 Rotherham 14 -3 17
17 Huddsf'ld 14 -6 17
18 Leeds 14 -4 16
19 Wigan 14 -1 15
20 Fulham 14 -6 14
21 Brighton 14 -3 13
22 Bolton 14 -11 11
23 Birm'ham 14 -16 11
24 Blackpool 14 -14 6

Updated Sat, 25 Oct 2014

Footer 365

La Liga: Carlo Ancelotti praises 'professional' Real Madrid after 3-1 Barcelona win

Carlo Ancelotti praised Real Madrid's "unique professionalism" after they came from a goal down to beat Barcelona.

Premier League: Mauricio Pochettino says Alan Pardew deserves more respect

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits it is tough not to feel sorry for Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew.

La Liga: Luis Enrique stands by Luis Suarez selection after Barcelona defeat

Luis Enrique defended his decision to start Luis Suarez against Real Madrid after his team slumped to a 3-1 defeat.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property