Barnsley had two men sent off in a 2-0 loss at Reading on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds were easily the better side in the first half but had defender Michal Helik dismissed by referee Tim Robinson on his league debut three minutes before the break.

The hosts took the lead midway through the second half then Mads Andersen received a second yellow card seconds later and Reading cantered to victory. The Reds have now lost both their league games this season without scoring. 

Gerhard Struber made three changes to the side that lost the first league game of the season a week earlier at home to Luton Town. Helik made his Championship debut while striker Dominik Frieser was given his first league start for the club and Luke Thomas also came into the side, after all three impressed in the midweek cup win at Middlesbrough.

Dropping out of the team were the injured Elliot Simoes, last season's top-scorer Cauley Woodrow and Callum Styles. Thomas played in attacking midfield behind Conor Chaplin and Frieser while Marcel Ritzmaier partnered Alex Mowatt in the centre.

The visitors were the better side in the first half and almost took the lead but Frieser's header from a left-wing Ritzmaier cross was brilliantly clawed out by goalkeeper Rafael. Thomas then fired wide from 20 yards after Frieser touched a Jordan Williams cross to him.

The impressive Ritzmaier also saw two left-wing corners met by centre-backs at the back post but neither Michael Sollbauer or Mads Andersen could put their headers from tight angles on target.

In the 42nd minute, Barnsley worked the ball excellently on the left and – after a Williams cross was punched clear by the goalkeeper – Ludewig hesitated 15 yards out and saw his shot blocked. Reading then blasted a long ball down the pitch and Helik was judged by the referee to have pulled back Lucas Joao, which earned him a red card. There appeared to be minimal contact and the former Sheffield Wednesday striker threw himself to the ground.

Thomas was taken off at half-time to be replaced by Callum Styles, with the Reds using a 4-3-2 formation, then Patrick Schmidt replaced the impressive Frieser.

The hosts had more of the ball with their numerical advantage in the second half and got forward more then had their first shot in the 66th minute when substitute Yakou Meite headed John Swift's cross by Walton pushed it wide of the bottom right corner. The following corner was met by Meite and, after Liam Moore's effort was blocked, he headed in from close range.

The second red card came about a minute after the opening goal as Andersen handled the ball and was shown a second yellow card. The referee judged that he had stopped a pass to set up an attacking opportunity for the Reds.

The second goal came on 76 minutes when Michael Olise sent a sensational 30-yard volley into the bottom right corner after Ludewig only half-cleared a corner.

Substitute George Puscas forced another save out of Walton who pushed away a shot from the right of the penalty area. Alex Mowatt almost pulled one back but his header from a Ritmzaier corner was straight at Rafael. Walton did well to push wide a 20-yard Ejaria strike in injury-time. 

Reading (4-2-3-1): Rafael; Araruna, Moore, Morrison, Richards; Laurent (Meite 59mins), Rinomhota; Olise, Swift (Aluko 84), Ejaria; Joao (Puscas 80)
Unused: Southwood, McIntyre, Baldock, Aluko, Holmes.
Goals: Meite 66, Olise 76. 

Barnsley (3-4-1-2): Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Ludewig, Mowatt, Ritzmaier, J Williams; Thomas (Styles HT); Chaplin (Halme 68mins), Frieser (Schmidt 61)
Unused:, Woodrow, Miller, Adeboyejo, Collins.

Yellow cards: Andersen, Ritzmaier.
Reds cards: Helik, Andersen.
AS IT HAPPENED
  •  
  •  
    GAME UNDERWAY
  • 15:01pm
     
    Reading begin the game by building up from the back and passing around their penalty area. Barnsley enjoy playing teams like that, they believe their pressing can rattle them.
  • 15:02pm
     
    2 The first bit of action in the home half sees a long-range shot by Luke Thomas blocked. Reading then think they are clean through with John Swift running in on Walton but the flag goes up
  • 15:05pm
     
    6 Brilliant play by Dominik Frieser to jink past a defender and play the ball out to Chaplin who wins a corner on the left
  • 15:06pm
     
    7 Corner short to Ritzmaier whose cross is cleared
  • 15:07pm
     
    7 First big chance of the game. Ritzmaier crosses from the left and Frieser heads it. An excellent save by the goalkeeper to claw it wide for a corner
  • 15:07pm
     
    8 Ritzmaier's corner is back at the post by Sollbauer but the header from a really tight angle is cleared
  • 15:09pm
     
    9 Thomas tricks his way into the box brilliantly on the right. Cross turned behind for a corner which is taken by Jordan Williams and cleared
  • 15:11pm
     
    Barnsley have been by far the better side so far, spending most of the game in the home half and causing the defenders problems.. They just need to make it count with a goal
  • 15:15pm
     
    16 Jordan Williams' cross is touched by Frieser out to Thomas who shoots wide of the bottom right corner from 20 yards
  • 15:16pm
     
    17 Reading corner played short but they make a total mess of it and end up with a throw-in near the halfway line
  • 15:19pm
     
    20 Now Chaplin has a shot blocked from the edge of the box. That is after a good move down the right led to Ludewig pulling the ball back to him.
  • 15:19pm
     
    Barnsley seem to be the more alert and lively of the two sides, winning almost every loose ball and with a much clearer attacking plan, It's the total opposite of a week ago against Luton
  • 15:23pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    Mads Andersen is the first man on the book after tripping Olise on the break. The home side feel it could be a red card
  • 15:27pm
     
    Reading have had a little bit more possession in the last few minutes but have not done anything threatening with it
  • 15:27pm
     
    28 Conor Chaplin wins a corner on the left after a good back heel flick by Williams
  • 15:28pm
     
    29 Ritzmaier's left-wing corner is met at the back post by Andersen but seems to hit Helik and trickle wide
  • 15:29pm
     
    Corners to the back post are clearly a tactic for the Reds today, with Ritzmaier's delivery a lot more accurate than in some previous games
  • 15:33pm
     
    Approaching the final ten minutes of the first half. The Reds have been easily the better side but it has become slightly more even recently
  • 15:36pm
     
    Reading have created nothing at all so far, not a shot and barely an attack. The Reds have been by far the more expansive and energetic side. But the only really good chance was Frieser's header that was brilliantly saved
  • 15:38pm
     
    39 John Swift fouls Jack Walton in the area. The goalkeeper needs treatment
  • 15:39pm
     
    Walton now back up and will continue
  • 15:41pm
     
    RED CARD
    Debutant Michal Helik sent off for bringing down a Reading man who was through on goal
  • 15:42pm
     
    It was Joao who was brought down. No real complaints for the Reds
  • 15:43pm
     
    Disastrous moment for the debutant. And for his team who had been the better side
  • 15:45pm
     
    Suckerpunch for Barnsley who had been the better team until that point. It was pretty much Reading's first attack and came after the Reds could have taken the lead but Thomas hesitated in a good position in the box and saw his shot blocked
  • 15:47pm
     
    HALF-TIME: Reading 0, Barnsley 0. The Reds have been the better side but had debutant Michal Helik sent off on 39 minutes
  • 16:03pm
     
    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
  • 16:04pm
     
    Callum Styles has replaced Luke Thomas
  • 16:09pm
     
    Reading have edged the first five minutes of the second half, but are still yet to create a chance in this game or have a shot
  • 16:14pm
     
    Barnsley, even with ten men, are still passing the ball around well and pressing their hosts while also playing it out from the back
  • 16:17pm
     
    Reading's first change sees a central midfielder in Josh Laurent replaced by a striker and last season's top-scorer Yakou Meite
  • 16:19pm
     
    Patrick Schmidt is about to come on
  • 16:20pm
     
    Patrick Schmidt replaces Dominik Frieser
  • 16:21pm
     
    That's a positive change with ten men. Frieser has been very impressive today on his first Championship start
  • 16:24pm
     
    66 Reading's first shot of the game. Swift crosses from the left and Meite heads towards the bottom right corner but Walton pus it wide. Yakou Meite then taps in from the corner after Joao's shot is blocked
  • 16:27pm
     
    RED CARD
    Mads Andersen is now sent off. A disastrous few minutes for the visitors
  • 16:27pm
     
    Aapo Halme replaces Conor Chaplin
  • 16:30pm
     
    GOAL!
    So to recap. The hosts scored the opener from a corner after 67 minutes then, about a minute later, Mads Andersen was sent off for a second yellow card for handball
  • 16:30pm
     
    Barnsley might feel aggrieved with both of those red cards. They had played so well before the first
  • 16:39pm
     
    GOAL!
    Michael Olise made it 2-0 on 76 minutes with a stunning 30-yard strike into the top fight corner
  • 16:39pm
     
    Reading make their second change by bringing on George Puscas for Lucas Joao
  • 16:40pm
     
    This has been a really tough afternoon for the Reds, who played so well for 40 minutes but the match changed on the first red card
  • 16:41pm
     
    Reading did very very little until they had the numerical advantage but have scored one scrappy goal and one exceptional one
  • 16:41pm
     
    Aluko on for Swift in Reading's last change
  • 16:44pm
     
    86 Puscas shoots from a tight angle on the right but Walton beats it away
  • 16:45pm
     
    88 Ritzmaier corner from the left is met by Mowatt but he heads straight at the goalkeeper
  • 16:49pm
     
    90+1 Jack Walton again makes a good save, pushing Ejaria's 20-yard effort around the bottom left corner
  • 16:51pm
     
    FULL-TIME: Reading 2, Barnsley 0. The two red cards killed Barnsley's chances of their first Championship points of the season