Stoke made a stuttering start to Championship action as they trailed Reading 1-0 by half time at the Madejski Stadium.
Lucas Joao’s seventh minute strike gave the lead to the Royals who generally looked the more threatening as Championship action returned for the first time in three months.
Our Stoke City reporter Martin Spinks had his say as a disappointing first half became a worrying one for Stoke when Ryan Shawcross had to have treatment for what seemed like a muscle strain just before the break.
Martin said: “Stoke can have few complaints at that half-time scoreline.
“They’ve had plenty of ball at times, but often when Reading have been sitting in on their 1-0 lead.
“The visitors have to produce more cut and thrust in the final third because it’s too easy for Reading so far.
“Only once, that Ince chance, were they left in any kind of sweat.
“At the other end, by contrast, Reading have been allowed to deliver far too much from out wide, the goal coming that way, while Butland was forced into the only save by a shot from a more central area.
“The injury to Shawcross is obviously a big worry and you wouldn’t be surprised if they bring him off as a precaution.”