READING FC slumped to a fourth defeat in five Championship games on a miserable return to South Wales for boss Paul Clement.

Ollie McBurnie scored late in each half to send Swansea up to seventh and leave Royals in the bottom three and deep in a relegation battle.

Clement’s men had their chances at the Liberty Stadium, but the hosts possessed the cutting edge led by the outstanding Dan James, who won a penalty for McBurnie’s 37th minute opener and set up the other six minutes from time.

Reading have now won three and lost nine of their 15 league games as the pressure mounts on Clement to quickly turn things around.

Swansea fans taunted their former boss with chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ after another depressing afternoon for the visitors.

The Reading hierarchy remain behind Clement, but their patience will surely run out unless results dramatically improve.

A home victory over Millwall a week ago temporarily lifted spirits, but losing at Birmingham on Tuesday and now at Swansea in the space of a few days are enormous setbacks.

Clement made three changes from the side that lost at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night.

Sam Baldock, John O'Shea and Garath McCleary came in for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Josh Sims and Tiago Ilori, who were all named on the bench.

But there was no return to South Wales for former Swan Mo Barrow following a breach of club discipline.

The hosts started the brighter and went agonisingly close to taking a fifth minute lead when McBurnie was a whisker away from poking home a James cross-shot.

Royals replied two minutes later when Yakou Meite collected Liam Kelly’s pass but saw his shot from a tight angle saved by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Then Kelly fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box from Leandro Bacuna’s subsequent corner.

Back came Swansea as Mike van der Hoorn missed the target with a free header from a Bersant Celina flag-kick.

But the hosts wasted a gilt-edged chance on 14 minutes when Jay Fulton sent James scampering clear only for the Swans youngster to lift his shot over the bar with only Anssi Jaakkola to beat.

Van der Hoorn had another opportunity soon after with a shot from distance that flew over and Royals had to dig deep to defend a dangerous free-kick that Liam Moore eventually cleared off his own line.

Royals, though, thought they had broken the deadlock on 31 minutes when O’Shea flicked on Bacuna’s corner for Baldock to convert at the fast post, but the offside flag went up.

And while the visitors were still cursing their luck, Swans went close at the other end, James leading the counter-attack before his shot was superbly blocked by Moore.

But the lively Swansea youngster played a crucial role in the opening goal just moments later.

He ghosted past Andy Yiadom before being brought down by the Royals full-back in the box. Keith Stroud pointed to the spot and McBurnie fired the penalty down the middle for a 1-0 lead.

It nearly got worse for Clement’s men four minutes later, Jaakkola saving Celina’s effort with his legs before Yiadom blocked another shot from James.

Despite having some decent chances of their own, half time couldn’t come soon enough for the visitors.

They regrouped and created the first chances of the second half when Meite volleyed wide from a Tyler Blackett cross before McCleary tested Nordfeldt with a long-range drive.

They almost grabbed an equaliser just before the hour when Meite’s header flew agonisingly wide from a Bacuna flag kick.

Yet Swans remained a threat and it needed another fine Jaakkola save to prevent Celina from doubling their lead.

Clement turned to his bench in the 64th minute and threw on Bodvarsson for the tiring McCleary.

Jaakkola was equal to a Matt Grimes shot soon after, but Reading could have levelled on 68 minutes when Meite’s glancing header drifted wide of the far post following a Baldock assist.

It was an open contest and the chances continued to come at both ends.

Jaakkola made terrific save from point-blank range to deny McBurnie 14 minutes from time.

A minute later Bodvarsson watched his header loop over Nordfeldt but land on the roof of the Swansea net after a fine Blackett cross.

However, Jaakkola was bailing out his side more and more and the Finn produced another vital save to thwart Connor Roberts in the 83rd minute.

Then came a dramatic moment in the 84th minute that could have turned the match either way.

Baldock, unmarked and 12 yards out, could only find the hands of Nordfeldt with a volley into the ground when he should have at least worked the home keeper.

And less than a minute later Swansea scored their second to seal al three points.

Once again Royals failed to deal with James’ blistering pace before McBurnie was left with the simplest of tap-ins from close range.

Clement’s men kept on probing with Meite and Swift going close, but it was too little too late for the relegation-threatened visitors.

Royals have a week to recover before hosting Bristol City next Saturday (3pm ko).

Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Rodon, Van der Hoorn (c), Olsson (Carter-Vickers 78) Fulton (Fer 62), Grimes, Celina, Roberts, James (John 88), McBurnie. Subs not used: Mulder, McKay, Asoro, Baker-Richardson. Booked: McBurnie 54, Nordfeldt 66.

Reading: Jaakkola, Yiadom, O’Shea, Moore, Blackett, Swift (Sims 88), Bacuna, Kelly, Meite (Aluko 90), Baldock, McCleary (Bodvarsson 64). Subs not used : Walker, Gunter, Ilori, Rinomhota. Booked: Baldock 81.

Referee: Keith Stroud.

Attendance: 18,785.