READING breezed past a poor Bristol City side on Tuesday evening (February 16) as they returned to winning ways following two-home defeats on the bounce. 

The Royals cemented their place in the top six with a comfortable 2-0 win at Ashton Gate, which came thanks to goals from forward Lucas Joao and defender Michael Morrison. 

In their previous two games, home losses to Brentford and Millwall, Reading lost on both occasions to quick-fire strikes from their opponents. 

This time it was the turn of the Royals to hit Bristol with two goals in quick succession, as a dominant first half was capped off with strikes in the 42nd and 45th minutes. 

And it was talisman Lucas Joao who Reading will be thanking as they head back to Berkshire.

READ MORE: Player ratings as Reading beat Bristol City 

The Portugese frontman scored with a clever controlled finish to open the scoring before turning provider for a wandering Michael Morrison minutes later. 

The game was not consistently eventful, however, as a dull start to the game generated no chances from either side despite some good play from Reading in and around the Bristol City box in the opening quarter of an hour. 

The best chance of the opening quarter of the match fell to Tomas Esteves, who found the ball at his feet following some shocking defending from Bristol City at a Reading corner. 

Unfortunately for the Royals, the Portugese teenager’s shot was straight at the ‘keeper and was cleared. 

Veljko Paunovic’s men had another good chance to take the lead on the 33rd minute after Andy Yiadom did well to drill a low cross into the Bristol box. 

Ovie Ejaria connected with the cut-back, but the wideman’s shot was deflected behind for a corner. 

Moments later the former Liverpool man turned provider after getting into the Robins’ penalty area. 

A pullback to Omar Richards was cleared off the line from Bristol, who managed to survive a dangerous few attacks from the Royals. 

Reading’s pressure paid off on the 42nd minute, however, when a floated free-kick evaded the Bristol defenders and fell to the feet of Lucas Joao. 

The frontman had time to control and shoot into the net from five yards out following some sub-par Bristol defending. 

AS IT HAPPENED: Live updates from Reading's match versus Bristol City

Michael Morrison doubled his team’s lead on 45 minutes with a marvellous goal. 

The centre-half collected a clearance from the halfway line and played a one-two with Lucas Joao on the edge of the Bristol box. 

Morrison powered past the Bristol defence to get to the stray ball first before exquisitely chipping it over Robins’ ‘keeper Daniel Bentley. 

Bristol emerged from the interval with their first chance of the game. 

Fortunately for the Royals, two Robins defenders got in the way of each other and Rafael comfortably caught what was a weak header. 

The Royals responded well from this rare Bristol attack with half-chances for Esteves and Semedo. 

Esteves had another opportunity on the 66th minute having been sent through on the right by Olise from a good Reading counter-attack, but his effort was blocked. 

Tom McIntyre met Michael Olise’s cross from the resulting corner and almost scrambled the ball in at the near post, but Bentley managed to push the strike away. 

The next chance fell to Ovie Ejaria on the 77th minute. The winger was sent through on goal but a number of poor touches allowed Bristol to catch up with him before he could get a shot away or find a teammate. 

Reading comfortably saw the game out, sending on four substitutes in the last quarter of an hour to secure the victory. 

The Royals remain fifth in the table, six points from second-placed Brentford and eight points from seventh-placed Cardiff. 

Reading XI: Rafael; Yiadom, Morrison, McIntrye, Richards; Semedo, Rinomhota; Esteves (Holmes), Olise (Tetek), Ejaria (Gibson); Joao (Puscas). 

Goals: Joao (42’) & Morrison (45’)