Reading were left frustrating on Wednesday evening, as they fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City at the Madejski Stadium.
The Royals fell behind on the night, as Jon Toral’s deflected strike beat Rafael in the Reading goal. The Blues then doubled that lead as Toral fired home clinically from the edge of the penalty area.
Veljko Paunovic’s side halved their deficit just after the hour mark as Yakou Meite bundled the ball in from close-range to give them hope.
The Ivorian then won a penalty after being brought down in the box, which resulted in Harlee Dean being sent-off for Aitor Karanka’s men.
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Lucas Joao stepped up and saw his penalty saved by Neil Etheridge though, as the Blues held on to take an important three points back to Birmingham.
Joao had been in hugely impressive form heading into the game, with the forward having 14 goals in 16 appearances, but he simply couldn’t get into the game against the Blues, which resulted in them struggling to carve out a notable chance on the night.
He also was seen clutching his hamstring towards the end of the game, which will have been a worrying sight for the Madejski Stadium faithful.
Plenty of Reading supporters took to social media to issue their verdict on Joao’s recent performance.
Take a look at the best of the reaction from Twitter below….
#readingfc were not good enough, thought Joao had a shocker and struggled to get into the game 😬
— Matteo Giacobbe (@Mxtteo01) December 9, 2020
Got what they deserved tonight. Abysmal for 96 minutes. Joao’s penalty summed up his lacklustre performance. Not a player above 4/10 #ReadingFC
— LordCKS (@LordCKS) December 9, 2020
Joao has had an absolute shocker tonight. #readingfc
— Dan Hindmarsh (@DanHindmarsh9) December 9, 2020
Joao is allowed one bad game, don't hammer him if we end up losing this. #readingfc
— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) December 9, 2020
Will be a huge blow if Meite and João are out, that will be by far the worst thing to come out of tonight if they are #readingfc
— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) December 9, 2020
If Reading lose Joao they will really struggle as they did last season. But he looked really tired tonight, touch was poor not at the races at all.
— Chris Smith (@cjlsmith87) December 9, 2020
Dear god Lucas João has been bad tonight. I'll let him off given how good he usually is, but still…
— Finley Crebolder (@FinCrebolder) December 9, 2020
Big blow if they're injured long-term but both looked like they need a rest tonight. Seriously lacking energy with the amount of games being played, would like to see squad rotation even if the back ups haven't been great so far.
— Will (@guillermo__j) December 9, 2020