2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Mario Vrancic (14')
  • Grant Hanley (26')
  • James Maddison (37' PEN)
  • Liam Kelly (32')
  • Sam Smith (51')

James Maddison scores again as Norwich beat Reading

James Maddison's 14th goal of the season helped Norwich get back to winnings way with a well deserved 3-2 victory that piled the pressure on Jaap Stam's Reading.
The Canaries scored three times in an exciting first half in a victory that followed a run of just six points from seven games.
Mario Vrancic and Grant Hanley both headed home from corners to put Norwich 2-0 up before Liam Kelly pulled one back, only for Maddison to restore Norwich's two-goal advantage from the spot after 37 minutes.
Sam Smith reduced the arrears early in the second period but it was not enough to prevent the Royals slipping closer to the Championship drop after a run of just one win in 18 matches.
Norwich were on top form the word go and got their noses in front in the 14th minute. Maddison's corner was flicked on by Hanley and Vrancic was left with the simple task of heading into an unguarded net.
Another corner produced the second City goal after 26 minutes. This time Maddison sent the ball in deeper and Hanley outmuscled his marker to nod home.
Reading hit back six minutes later. Angus Gunn produced a fine reflex save to deny Sone Aluko but the ball then fell nicely to Kelly who drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.
Norwich still looked dangerous every time they moved forward and duly restored their two-goal advantage.
A quick break saw Josh Murphy pick out an unmarked Maddison in the area but before he had a chance to shoot he was fouled by goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, who received a yellow card for his clumsy challenge. City's top scorer sent him the wrong way from the spot.
Norwich had beaten Reading 7-1 in the corresponding fixture last season, after being 6-1 ahead at the break, but it was the Royals who struck early in the second period to keep themselves in the game.
Kelly followed up his goal with an excellent assist, sending in a inswinging cross from the left that was guided home by Smith for his first league goal for the club.
The Canaries almost scored a fourth on the hour mark, with Onel Hernandez's shot hitting the upright after taking a big deflection off Tiago Ilori, but Reading were still in it.
Smith came close to a second when he steered the ball just wide after a cutback from substitute John Swift.
Dennis Srbeny should have put the game to bed for the hosts with quarter of an hour to go but he screwed his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
It was becoming an end to end game in the closing stages, with Gunn producing a smart reaction stop to keep out a flick from substitute Yann Kermorgant from a corner while Jaakkola did well to keep out a Murphy snapshot in the closing minutes.

English League Championship Standings

1 West Bromwich Albion 13 +9 26
2 Leeds United 13 +9 24
3 Sheffield Wednesday 13 +8 23
4 Queens Park Rangers 13 0 23
5 Preston North End 13 +10 22
6 Nottingham Forest 12 +6 22
7 Swansea City 13 +4 22
8 Charlton Athletic 12 +6 21
9 Bristol City 12 +2 20
10 Fulham 12 +8 19
11 Birmingham City 13 -3 19
12 Brentford 13 +4 18
13 Cardiff City 13 0 18
14 Blackburn Rovers 13 -3 15
15 Derby County 12 -3 15
16 Millwall 13 -5 15
17 Luton Town 12 -2 14
18 Wigan Athletic 12 -6 14
19 Hull City 12 -3 13
20 Reading 13 -5 12
21 Middlesbrough 12 -6 10
22 Huddersfield Town 12 -6 9
23 Stoke City 13 -10 8
24 Barnsley 13 -14 8