Championship
Reading2Middlesbrough0

Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough

Adam Le Fondre's 14th goal of the season and a George Friend own goal helped Reading climb back into the play-off places as they brushed Middlesbrough aside.

The Royals recorded only a second win in seven matches to move into sixth, a point ahead of Brighton with two games of the regular season remaining.

Nigel Adkins' side surged into a comfortable two-goal lead inside 15 minutes, and should have won with more to spare as they outclassed mid-table Boro.

Reading top scorer Le Fondre bundled home the opener from close range after nine minutes following good work by Jordan Obita and Garath McCleary.

Before the visitors had time to recover, they were two goals down, defender Friend heading Obita's cross into his own net.

After Hal Robson-Kanu went off with a nasty head wound following an accidental first-half clash with Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, the visitors gained more of a foothold.

Midfielders Emmanuel Ledesma and Albert Adomah both went close to pulling a goal back for Aitor Karanka's side.

But Reading were soon back on top after the break, as Middlesbrough struggled to keep pace in their bid to record a third consecutive away win.

Only a good save from busy goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos prevented Le Fondre from doubling his tally as the hosts dominated.

The Royals striker hit the bar late on, with substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak also going close to making it three.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"Our destiny is in our own hands. We were excellent: we had passion, we had hunger, we had walking wounded out there again and all credit to them.

"We started well, got two great goals and played some good football. You saw the togetherness of the team.

"Middlesbrough are a good side so it's an excellent result and it puts us in a play-off position with two tough games to come.

"We are still in the race and everyone knows when you get to the play-offs it's anyone's game."

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:

"One team was playing for the points, the other team was playing for nothing.

"If Reading had needed more goals they could have scored them.

"It was my fault. It's difficult when you don't play for points but I didn't choose the right players and I couldn't motivate them. As a player I was competitive and I want competitive players."

Line-ups

Reading

  • 21McCarthy
  • 2Gunter
  • 37Obita
  • 23Williams
  • 15Morrison
  • 5Pearce
  • 12McCleary
  • 20GuthrieSubstituted forAkpanat 50'minutes
  • 19Robson-KanuSubstituted forPogrebnyakat 29'minutes
  • 9Le Fondre
  • 11McAnuffBooked at 67mins

Substitutes

  • 1Federici
  • 7Pogrebnyak
  • 8Leigertwood
  • 10Drenthe
  • 16Akpan
  • 24Cummings
  • 35Hector

Middlesbrough

  • 13Konstantopoulos
  • 8VargaBooked at 41mins
  • 3FriendBooked at 72mins
  • 18WhiteheadBooked at 33mins
  • 25Omeruo
  • 22Gibson
  • 27Adomah
  • 24ChalobahSubstituted forLeadbitterat 45'minutes
  • 14Williams
  • 9Graham
  • 11LedesmaSubstituted forTomlinat 64'minutesBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 1Steele
  • 6Butterfield
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 10Tomlin
  • 23Main
  • 26Ayala
  • 39Woodgate
Referee:
James Adcock
Attendance:
17,228

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home16
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.
Attempt missed. Chris Gunter (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Booking

Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Albert Adomah.
Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).
Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Albert Adomah.
Attempt saved. Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dean Whitehead.
Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough).
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Danny Graham (Middlesbrough).
Sean Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff.
Adam Le Fondre (Reading) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross.

Booking

George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff with a cross.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin tries a through ball, but Danny Graham is caught offside.

Booking

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).
Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin replaces Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.
Attempt saved. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Gunter with a cross.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Kenneth Omeruo.
Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).
Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).
Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Hope Akpan replaces Danny Guthrie because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Danny Guthrie (Reading) because of an injury.

Second Half

Second Half begins Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter replaces Nathaniel Chalobah.

Half Time

First Half ends, Reading 2, Middlesbrough 0.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Jobi McAnuff (Reading) because of an injury.
Foul by Danny Guthrie (Reading).
Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Adam Le Fondre (Reading) because of an injury.
Foul by Sean Morrison (Reading).
Luke Williams (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

József Varga (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).
Attempt saved. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Luke Williams.
Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Williams.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester4429963796
2Burnley44251453489
3Derby44249113081
4QPR442210121576
5Wigan432010131570
6Reading441813131267
7Brighton441715121266
8Nottm Forest44161711765
9Ipswich44171413665
10Blackburn44161612564
11Bournemouth44171215-163
12Watford431515131760
13Middlesbrough44141614758
14Bolton44131615-355
15Sheff Wed44131417153
16Leeds4415821-1053
17Huddersfield44131120-850
18Charlton43111220-2345
19Doncaster44111122-2844
20Millwall44101420-2944
21Birmingham43111022-1343
22Blackpool44101321-2743
23Barnsley4491223-3039
24Yeovil4481323-2637
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you:

For more ideas, information and inspiration, visit bbc.co.uk/getinspired