Championship
Middlesbrough2Reading1

Middlesbrough 2-1 Reading

Adama Traore looks on during Middlesbrough's game at Fulham
Adama Traore has scored three goals in his past five games

Play-off chasing Middlesbrough held on to beat struggling Reading and raise the pressure on Royals boss Jaap Stam.

Adama Traore put the hosts ahead when he cut inside from the right and fired past Vito Mannone with his left foot.

Traore's powerful strike doubled the lead, but Chris Martin's shot pulled a goal back for Reading after the break.

Middlesbrough could have won by more, but Britt Assombalonga lifted a late penalty high and wide after Traore had been tripped by Dave Edwards.

Reading have now won only once in their past 11 league games, leaving last season's play-off finalists only four points above the relegation zone.

Martin's goal was his first since joining the club on loan from Derby on transfer deadline day, but it was one of only two shots on target for Stam's side.

Middlesbrough closed to within four points of the play-off places, extending their division-best record of 14 successive wins in games when they have scored first.

The result also saw the hosts claim a third consecutive victory against Reading for the first time in the club's history, while it was only the second win in nine attempts against the Royals for boss Tony Pulis.

Boro boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"We were desperate to take that monkey off our backs. We have played well in most games this year apart from taking chances in the final third.

"We missed a penalty, Patrick Bamford missed from six yards and Grant hit the inside of the post. We could easily have had four or five goals.

"Two-nil is always a tough scoreline as if the team you are playing against get one goal it gives them a lift psychologically.

"There is a quarter of a season to go and no-one is talking about us. There's no pressure on us."

Reading manager Jaap Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"If you see how we conceded the two goals, by giving them away, it makes it hard to get back in the game.

"They played in a very physical way in the first half and it was not easy to defend at times.

"Chris gave us a certain belief to go forward but we had to be careful of them on the break. We could have got more out of it but unfortunately we didn't.

"Everybody finds the run frustrating and hard to take. The players are working hard but when you have the ball you have to attack and keep taking the initiative."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3FriendBooked at 73mins
  • 16Howson
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 19DowningSubstituted forCranieat 90+1'minutes
  • 37Traoré
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forAssombalongaat 79'minutes
  • 11BamfordSubstituted forClaytonat 66'minutesBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison
  • 27Besic

Reading

  • 1Mannone
  • 2GunterBooked at 83mins
  • 20Ilori
  • 6Moore
  • 19BacunaBooked at 87mins
  • 16Edwards
  • 4van den BergBooked at 60mins
  • 14Aluko
  • 38KellySubstituted forClementat 63'minutes
  • 12McClearySubstituted forKermorgantat 74'minutes
  • 23BödvarssonSubstituted forMartinat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 18Kermorgant
  • 22Clement
  • 24Blackett
  • 27Martin
  • 31Jaakkola
  • 50Richards
  • 55Smith
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
23,491

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamReading
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home14
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.

Offside, Reading. Chris Gunter tries a through ball, but David Edwards is caught offside.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Adama Traoré tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tiago Ilori.

Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Martin Cranie replaces Stewart Downing.

Attempt blocked. Sone Aluko (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pelle Clement.

Booking

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Leandro Bacuna (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Leandro Bacuna (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter tries a through ball, but Adama Traoré is caught offside.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot is too high. Britt Assombalonga should be disappointed.

Penalty conceded by David Edwards (Reading) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Middlesbrough. Adama Traoré draws a foul in the penalty area.

Booking

Chris Gunter (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Attempt blocked. Chris Martin (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sone Aluko.

Joey van den Berg (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Britt Assombalonga replaces Rudy Gestede.

Goal!

Goal! Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1. Chris Martin (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pelle Clement following a corner.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Attempt blocked. Yann Kermorgant (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Gunter.

Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).

Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Leandro Bacuna (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Yann Kermorgant replaces Garath McCleary.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Jonny Howson.

Booking

George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Reading. Conceded by George Friend.

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves31225456233371
2Derby311610548242458
3Aston Villa30168646271956
4Cardiff30167745271855
5Fulham311410752361652
6Bristol City31141074536952
7Preston31121363830849
8Sheff Utd31154124437749
9Middlesbrough311461140291148
10Brentford31111194340344
11Leeds31135134239344
12Ipswich31135134341244
13Norwich31128113134-344
14Millwall31912103634239
15QPR3199133344-1136
16Nottm Forest31112183550-1535
17Sheff Wed31713113238-634
18Reading3188153441-732
19Bolton3079142847-1930
20Birmingham3086162241-1930
21Hull31611144247-529
22Barnsley31610153045-1528
23Sunderland31511153455-2126
24Burton3167182458-3425
View full Championship table

Top Stories