Bournemouth regained their five-point lead at the top of the tournament with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Reading at Select Car Leasing.

Although it was the hosts who started the game brighter, the Cherries quickly found their feet and took the lead shortly before the break, when Dominic Solanke (43) scored his eleventh league goal of the season.

Substitute Jamal Lowe (59) doubled his lead after the start of the second half with a superb finish just three minutes later and ultimately put the match beyond Reading’s reach.

The win in Berkshire means Scott Parker’s men are the first team in the tournament since Brighton in 2015/2016 to be undefeated in their first 15 matches. Meanwhile, members of the royal family sit in 16th place.

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Solanke is being congratulated by his teammates for putting Bournemouth ahead

How Bournemouth took another step in the right direction

Reading was, at first, fearless in their approach to visiting league leaders. Their high pressure meant they started with the front foot and tested their opponents on a number of occasions, with Josh Loren firing a long shot and George Puskas across the face of the goal after a daring Rabona cross from Jon Swift.

But in the blink of an eye, Bournemouth was beginning to settle into its own rhythm. Their pressure was strong and constant, but Ryan Christie’s shot over the bar, after a defensive ball from Philip Billing, was the only real chance they scored.

Even the dying embers in the first half were that. Danny Drinkwater received a cheap corner kick, and among them an unmarked Gary Cahill drifted into space and headed to the far post, where Solanke was on hand to head a past Luke Southwood.

Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke celebrates scoring against Reading
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Solanke celebrates his goal in the 43rd minute

There were promising signs to read after the break, but their momentum took a hit when Lowe – who had replaced Jaydon Anthony just moments earlier – got a pass from Billing, drove into the penalty area and fired a superb shot into the bottom right corner. .

Billing and Solanke both tried their luck with shots from distance, but Veliko Paunovic’s men looked more menacing in the final minutes.

Andy Yadom was denied a penalty even though Lloyd Kelly grabbed it, and with one of the finishing touches in the match, Scott Dunn pulled off a superb save from Mark Travers, who kept a clean sheet.

Man of the Match – Gary Cahill

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Man of the Match Gary Cahill urged his Bournemouth teammates to “keep on” after a difficult 2-0 win over Reading.

Lee Hendrie of Sky Sports on Sky Sports Football:

“He’s one of my old teammates who was brilliant tonight and worked hard again. He helped Bournemouth get a clean sheet and set up Solanke’s goal as well. I thought he’d come off in the first half, but knowing what he was about, he wanted to stay on the field.”

What then?

Reading is back in action at 7.45pm on Tuesday when they travel to The Den to face Millwall, while Bournemouth returns at 7.45pm the next day, when they host Preston at Vitality Stadium. Both matches will be available to watch Sky Sports Football Red Button.

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