Pablo Hernandez scored two magnificent goals to steer Leeds United back to the top of the Championship with a confident victory against Reading.

With pre-match leaders Norwich City not in action until Wednesday, Marcelo Bielsa’s side leapfrogged the Canaries at the summit with a performance of class and ruthlessness to quell a resurgent home side, who were unbeaten in three.

Mateusz Klich rolled Luke Ayling’s cutback in from 10 yards to put Leeds in front inside quarter of an hour, and Hernandez took a slide rule pass on the edge of the box, spun and curled the ball off the post for the second.

The Spanish midfielder settled the contest just before the break when he thrashed the ball across goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from the edge of the box for the third.

As expected with such a comfortable lead, the second half was a more pedestrian affair, and Leeds were able to see the game through to full-time untouched.

While it is far too early to compare the current Leeds side to the legends of their early-1970s heyday, there were shades of their DNA in this performance.

Tyler Roberts was booked early on for a lunge on John Swift that was akin to a Norman Hunter challenge, while by contrast some of their one-touch football around the edge of ’ box on occasion was reminiscent of the brand synonymous with Don Revie’s greats.

The lead was so comfortable that Patrick Bamford could afford to waste a treble of chances, while Hernandez’s bid for a hat-trick fell short when his shot seared wide of the post.

While Leeds’ attacking football was sharp and slick, there were a few vulnerable moments at the back which Reading threatened to punish, particularly when Andy Yiadom spun into space and forced a smart narrow-angle save from Kiko Casilla.

Yakou Meite had another chance but Casilla was again sharp enough, and the Spanish keeper was alert to tip a fierce header over the top when a rare opportunity fell to Yiadom in the second half.

Overall, though, Leeds were untroubled, while Reading boss Jose Gomes handed a senior debut to academy product Michael Olise with the game well gone.

Line-ups

Reading

  • 26Martínez
  • 3Yiadom
  • 19Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 24Blackett
  • 16Baker
  • 42EastSubstituted forHarriottat 63′minutes
  • 21Meite
  • 10SwiftBooked at 82mins
  • 17BarrowSubstituted forOliseat 69′minutes
  • 43LoaderSubstituted forMcClearyat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 4O’Shea
  • 5McShane
  • 12McCleary
  • 15Harriott
  • 28Walker
  • 48Olise

Leeds

  • 33Casilla
  • 2AylingBooked at 29minsSubstituted forDallasat 56′minutes
  • 18Jansson
  • 6Cooper
  • 10Alioski
  • 23Phillips
  • 19Hernández
  • 11RobertsBooked at 9minsSubstituted forShackletonat 69′minutes
  • 43KlichSubstituted forDouglasat 75′minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 22Harrison
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 3Douglas
  • 15Dallas
  • 28Berardi
  • 37Brown
  • 46Shackleton
  • 53Gotts
Referee:
Gavin Ward
Attendance:
17,101

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home9
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 0, Leeds United 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 0, Leeds United 3.

Attempt missed. Callum Harriott (Reading) left footed shot from long range on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Michael Olise.

Liam Cooper (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

Offside, Reading. John Swift tries a through ball, but Garath McCleary is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Olise.

Attempt blocked. Matt Miazga (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Pontus Jansson (Leeds United).

Yakou Meite (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Booking

Barry Douglas (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Barry Douglas (Leeds United).

Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tyler Blackett (Reading).

Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

Booking

John Swift (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Garath McCleary replaces Danny Loader.

Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael Olise (Reading).

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jamie Shackleton with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stuart Dallas.

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).

Matt Miazga (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Barry Douglas replaces Mateusz Klich.

Attempt missed. Danny Loader (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum Harriott with a cross.

Foul by Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United).

Callum Harriott (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Michael Olise replaces Modou Barrow.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Jamie Shackleton replaces Tyler Roberts.

Attempt saved. Tyler Roberts (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Tyler Roberts (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Harriott (Reading).

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kiko Casilla.

Attempt saved. Andy Yiadom (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Tyler Blackett.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Callum Harriott replaces Ryan East.