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Yakou Meite’s double helped Championship leaders Reading move five points clear after seeing off Rotherham to secure a sixth win in seven league matches.

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Rotherham were marginally more threatening for most of a humdrum first half, but the Royals went ahead with their first attempt on goal, Meite controlling and scoring with a low shot after a fabulous piece of skill and pass by Ovie Ejaria.

The hosts, who have still only conceded one goal in their first seven league fixtures under their new boss Veljko Paunovic, made the points safe with just over 10 minutes left.

Meite was again the scorer, chesting the ball up in the air from a corner and smashing in a sensational 18-yard volley.

Lucas Joao wrapped up the win in injury-time, netting from the spot after he was felled by Michael Ihiekwe.

The Millers, who had boss Paul Warne back in the dugout after missing two games because of a positive Covid-19 test in his family, have now not won since an injury-time success against Wycombe in their first fixture of the season.

They were once again miserly and well organised and also posed the greater goal threat for much of the game, but managed just one attempt on target. 

Substitute George Hirst came closest to grabbing an equaliser with an effort which was heading into the bottom corner before it was cleared by Royals skipper Liam Moore.

Freddie Ldapo also forced a brilliant save from home keeper Rafael Cabral.

The Royals were unconvincing in attack for 75 minutes, but could have increased their winning margin late on.

Andy Rinomhota headed wide and a 30-yard strike from Tomas Estevez was well tipped over by keeper Jamal Blackman before Meite’s stunning second goal and Joao’s spot-kick gave the scoreline a slightly flattering feel.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic: 

“What we saw in our team was the consistency of getting the job done, doing your job for the team.

“You also have to be patient, have a strong mentality and not get frustrated if our game plan is not working. And don’t ever give up.

“All these things are super important and, when the moment comes, that’s what brings you your opportunity and the advantage to score, to change the game.”

Rotherham manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“We were away from home against top of the league and had lots of possession first half and we were the only side that played on the front foot.

“We passed the ball really well without creating enough clearcut chances and obviously for them to score the first time they were in our box was a massive sucker punch.

“Overall I’m really pleased with the performance but it’s hard to create clear cut chances and away from home those half chances need to go in.”