Reading 2 - 0 Birmingham

Danny Guthrie scored twice as Reading continued their good run with victory over a comfortable win over Birmingham, who were brought back to earth with a bump following their midweek heroics in knocking holders Swansea out of the Capital One Cup.

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Royals too strong for Birmingham

Birmingham failed to capitalise on their early superiority and Reading responded with a series of swift breaks. Garath McCleary released Pavel Pogrebnyak inside the Birmingham area but the Russian's fierce shot was well saved by Darren Randolph.

Reading's pressure finally paid off in the 32nd minute as they took the lead, albeit with a goal that was tinged with good fortune.

Chris Burke was penalised for handball and Guthrie's free-kick from wide on the left did not appear to carry too much danger. Yet it somehow found its way through a mass of bodies in the area and nestled in the far corner of Randolph's net.

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Reading go fourth in Championship

Both of Guthrie's goals come from free-kicks - the first unintended, as it flew through a packed Birmingham penalty area, and the second an accurate set-piece that found the net via a post.

Those goals helped Reading make it 13 points from their last five league games and leave Birmingham unable to cap a memorable week with a third successive victory.

Lee Clark's men beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 in the league last time out and then followed that up with a 3-1 cup win over Swansea, and buoyed by those successes they started brightly.

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