World News – UK – Blues Player Ratings vs Reading: Toral comes alive when Dean sees red

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Birmingham City celebrated their second straight win with a brace from Jon Toral, but ended the game with ten men after Harlee Dean was sent off

Jon Toral turned the clock back with two goals in the first half that brought back memories of him in his 2016 pomp.

The 25-year-old beat his first two since returning to Birmingham City that summer – when Blues won on the streets for the second time in four days.

But they had to oppose a fight against Reading and the sacking of their captain Harlee Dean for some quick bookings in the second half.

For the first time in weeks, Aitor Karanka kept selection changes to a minimum, with only injured George Friend being replaced by Kristian Pedersen.

And the continuity paid off when the blues started on the forefoot and scored two goals by half time.

The first came just before half an hour when Toral spread the game to the left where Jonathan Leko was feeding Pedersen.

The left defender climbed the wing before selecting Toral in the middle, where the Spaniard cut off a shot from the inside of the post.

Scott Hogan forced a save from Rafael a minute later and seconds later Reading was grateful that Michael Olise was on the line to clear Leko’s ride.

The delay was short-lived as Toral picked up the ball in the right corner of the area eight minutes before break, took a few steps in the infield and selected the bottom corner.

You lost possession in the middle. Reading attacked right through Rinomhota, who came to Meite to bundle up home.

Scott Hogan missed a golden chance to make it 3-1, but shot wide.

Ten minutes later the hosts should have been at eye level when Dean was sent off for apparently polluted areas in the area.

Lucas Joao stepped forward, but Neil Etheridge lunged right to knock the ball away. v

A spectator in the first half didn’t have a big chance on the first goal, but scored a super save to deny Lucas Joao – more points for the Blues.

Well connected to Sanchez in the first half, much more defensive in the second – and sometimes difficult to find. Great energy.

A number of important interventions were made in a rather comfortable first half. Should have done better on the Reading goal despite having recovered well to play his part in a nervous finish.

Started the game with such confidence, trying not only to keep the back door closed but also to trigger attacks. . His parting looked tough because he had done well on Meite.

A great pass for Toral’s first goal – and really solid defensively in the first 45. This was probably his best game of the season overall.

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Could have assisted in the first half, but Hogan was offside. Another combative and effective performance by the Croat who is starting to look like the player who arrived from Dinamo Zagreb over a year ago.

I got away with Michael Olise, but covered huge stretches of land again and kept the ball moving well. His radar went slightly wrong after the break – but he never stopped running.

He was a real threat to Richards in the first half but couldn’t quite unlock the door. In the end, the transformation is interrupted.

An inexplicable difference from the form he’s shown so far this season. The precision of his finish was outstanding, but his work on the ball also had an advantage. Highest.

A late call, but you wouldn’t have known. He nudged himself well into the left wing, and while he threatened to unlock the door at times, his tracing back was arguably more impressive.

Looked to run away from Morrison in the first 45 and followed a few times just to get the flag up. Also a good save by Rafael with a header down in the half hour. A blatant mistake in the single game – but otherwise he did his job well for the team.

READ (4-2-3-1): Rafael, Holmes (Esteves 60), Morrison, Moore, Richards; Laurent, Rinomhota, Meite, Olise (Semedo 58), Ejaria (Aluko 72); Joao. Not used: Southwood, McIntyre, Baldock, Gibson, Tetek, Onen

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Read F. . C.. . , Birmingham City F. . C.. . , EFL Championship, Jon Toral, Aitor Karanka

World News – UK – Blues Player Ratings vs Reading: Toral comes alive when Dean sees red

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