The Premier League high-flyers rise to third and condemn the Royals to the bottom of the table as the Chelsea loanee puts Brian McDermott's team to the swordPremier League high-flyers West Brom have won their first three home games of the season for the first time since 1954 after a Romelu Lukaku goal saw Reading beaten 1-0 at the Hawthorns.
The result leaves Brian McDermott’s side still waiting for their first win of the season since their return to the top flight while Steve Clarke’s impressive start in his debut season in charge at the Hawthorns continues to gather momentum.
The home side were dominant early on and could have scored when James Morrison, who was the main orchestrator of chances for the Baggies, interplayed with Zoltan Gera inside the box but ended up skewing his effort wide on 28 minutes.
The Scotland international, who pulled the strings all afternoon, hit a 30-yard drive to force a brilliant save from keeper Alex McCarthy and threatened again, volleying towards the bottom-left corner after Alex Pearce headed clear Chris Brunt's cross.
The Baggies could have taken the lead a minute before half time when Jonas Olsson was unlucky with a header that struck the crossbar following a Brunt cross as the home side looked worthy of the lead at the break.
Reading struggled throughout the first half, yet two minutes after the restart they almost snatched a goal through Adam Le Fondre, whose header from McAnuff’s cross was punched clear by Ben Foster.
McAnuff was frustrated at referee Chris Foy when he was the subject of two challenges that should have seen the Royals punished, the winger also saw penalty appeals dismissed just before the hour after tumbling under Billy Jones' challenge after having been denied after a similar challenge in the first period.
Morrison was replaced by former Reading striker Shane Long on 65 minutes, who plied his trade at the Madejski Stadium for six seasons.
Long's introduction had the desired effect, as he headed the ball into the path of his strike partner Lukaku, who slammed the ball through a crowd of players on 71 minutes to give the Baggies a well-deserved lead.
Reading were unable to find an equaliser and sit bottom of the Premier League, while West Brom have risen to third, joint on points with Everton.