Reading rise to beat Birmingham in Carabao Cup

Reading secured their first victory of the season when they eased past Sky Bet Championship rivals Birmingham 2-0 in the Carabao Cup first round.

Yakou Meite gave Reading a half-time lead with a thumping drive and John Swift’s clever free-kick secured the win against a hugely understrength Birmingham team.

Reading, who are bottom of the Championship after losing their opening two matches, went ahead in the 11th minute at Madejski Stadium.

Marc McNulty flicked through a superb pass and Meite ran on to it before unleashing a fierce shot past goalkeeper Lee Camp from the edge of the area.

Birmingham manager Garry Monk made 11 changes to his starting line-up, with the home league game against Swansea on Friday clearly on his mind.

His side lacked cohesion and failed to threaten until near the half-hour mark, when Connor Mahoney forced a smart save from Sam Walker.

Birmingham improved after the break and Viv Solomon-Otabor should have done better when directing over a close-range header.

Reading could also have increased their lead, with Sam Baldock missing a sitter from McNulty’s precise cross.

However, Reading did extend their advantage in the 72nd minute, when Swift curled home an excellent 20-yard free-kick past Camp.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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