ON TUESDAY evening, Reading travelled to Ashton Gate to face Dean Holden’s under-performing Bristol City team. 

Goals from Lucas Joao and Michael Morrison proved to be the difference as the Royals earned a clean sheet in a 2-0 away win to return to winning ways. 

An in-depth look at the statistics tells us exactly where Veljko Paunovic’s side excelled against the Robins.

Reading piled on the misery for Bristol City; the home side have now lost six successive games in the league and following last night’s performance, Holden was relieved of his duties as manager.

The hosts appeared shy in possession, completing 361 passes over the course of the 90 minutes, as opposed to the Royals’ more dominant 476. Reading performed well in the final third, taking nearly three times as many shots (14) as Bristol City (five) who created the majority of their chances (three) through set-piece plays.

READ MORE: Paunovic offers positive news on key man's return after Bristol win

Once again, Reading seemed to operate mainly on the left-flank. The return of Omar Richards to the starting line-up helped the fluidity of play and influenced the focal point for the visitors. The young full-back completed the most tackles on the pitch (four) and also took more shots (three) than any other player, including seeing his driven effort cleared off of the line by Jack Hunt in the first half.

Furthermore, Richards registered the most touches (85) for his third consecutive game, perhaps explaining why most of Reading’s attacks (39 per cent) came from the left side rather than any other pitch zone.

The Robins’ disappointing display certainly made things easier for Paunovic. The Serbian’s side took 86 per cent of their shots from inside the 18-yard box, as opposed to significantly lower percentages in recent weeks. The ability to find space for a shot in the box made all the difference at Ashton Gate, where both away goals came from close-range.

READ MORE: Player ratings as Reading beat Bristol

Michael Morrison played his 2700th minute of the season, scoring his third goal this term in the process, but it was the other half of the Reading fans’ beloved centre-back duo who shone brightest: Tom McIntyre’s brave performance earnt him the man of the match award with the highest rating on the pitch (8.18), shortly followed by another homegrown talent in Michael Olise (8.11).

Olise did his market value no harm as he notched up five key passes against Bristol City, more than double the entire opposition put together (two). The young Frenchman was ever-present in the heart of midfield for Reading, taking 84 touches before making way for Dejan Tetek late on. Olise’s assist for Joao’s opening goal was his ninth of the season, taking him joint top in the Championship.