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Reading 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Baggies clinch play-off berth

Hal Robson-Kanu of West Bromwich Albion has a shot during the Sky Bet Championship fixture between Reading FC and West Bromwich Albion
West Brom are targeting an instant return to the Premier League after relegation in 2017-18

West Bromwich Albion secured their place in the Championship play-offs with a bore draw at Reading, who are now all-but certain of survival.

In a low-key first half, the only real incidents of note were two enforced substitutions for the hosts - with first Nelson Oliveira and then Yakou Meite suffering injuries.

There was more enterprise from both sides in the second half, with Reading substitute Danny Loader forcing Sam Johnstone into a save.

Jay Rodriguez, Dwight Gayle and Matt Phillips all went close for the visitors with time running out, but it ended goalless.

With two games to play, West Brom now look destined for a play-off semi-final against resurgent Aston Villa, who earlier broke a club record by sealing a 10th consecutive league win.

But the issue of which side finishes higher in the league - and secures home advantage in the second leg of the potential tie - remains.

Victory for Reading would have guaranteed their Championship status, but a point, coupled with Rotherham's home defeat by Birmingham City, means Jose Gomes' team are almost certain to keep their place in the second tier.

The Royals are six points clear of the final place in the drop zone but with a far superior goal difference to that of the Millers.

Reading manager Jose Gomes:

"We haven't finished yet. My experience in football says that if it is not yet mathematically safe, then we cannot relax.

"We must keep the same energy and the same mentality until the end of the season.

"It was a fantastic game today. If I was watching this game from the stands, I wouldn't know which team was fighting at the bottom of the table and the team that was fighting for promotion.

"I think I would say it was Reading who was fighting for promotion. My players showed such strong personality and strong character."

West Brom caretaker boss James Shan:

"We always have an eye on the play-offs but (we also) look at each game in isolation and keep ticking them off.

"There are obviously still games to play, all we can do is keep focusing on our games.

"We'll see where that leaves us at the end of the season."

Line-ups

Reading

  • 26Martínez
  • 3YiadomBooked at 90mins
  • 19Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 24BlackettSubstituted forGunterat 57'minutes
  • 35Rinomhota
  • 16Baker
  • 21MeiteSubstituted forMcClearyat 13'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 17Barrow
  • 18Ejaria
  • 22OliveiraSubstituted forLoaderat 6'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 9Baldock
  • 12McCleary
  • 15Harriott
  • 28Walker
  • 43Loader
  • 46McIntyre

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 25Dawson
  • 5Bartley
  • 68HolgateSubstituted forPhillipsat 61'minutes
  • 34HarperBooked at 79mins
  • 28FieldSubstituted forBruntat 66'minutes
  • 14Townsend
  • 70Murphy
  • 4Robson-KanuSubstituted forGayleat 83'minutes
  • 19Rodriguez

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 10Phillips
  • 11Brunt
  • 12Mears
  • 16Gayle
  • 22Hoolahan
  • 23Bond
Referee:
Gavin Ward
Attendance:
17,255

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away14
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

Booking

Andy Yiadom (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).

Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dwight Gayle with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Dwight Gayle (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Phillips.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Chris Brunt.

Attempt missed. Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Emiliano Martínez.

Attempt saved. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dwight Gayle.

Ovie Ejaria (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. Modou Barrow (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Liam Moore.

Attempt missed. Danny Loader (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Booking

Garath McCleary (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Garath McCleary (Reading) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Dwight Gayle replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

Attempt blocked. Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

Attempt saved. Lewis Baker (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Booking

Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Modou Barrow (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ovie Ejaria.

Attempt blocked. Jacob Murphy (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Dawson.

Hand ball by Jacob Murphy (West Bromwich Albion).

Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).

Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Conor Townsend.

Attempt blocked. Modou Barrow (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Moore.

Attempt saved. Danny Loader (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Tosin Adarabioyo.

Foul by Andy Rinomhota (Reading).

Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt replaces Sam Field.

Attempt missed. Lewis Baker (Reading) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

Attempt saved. Ovie Ejaria (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich442513689553488
2Sheff Utd442510974393585
3Leeds442571270462482
4West Brom4422111184582677
5Aston Villa442015980582275
6Derby4318131263521167
7Middlesbrough441813134539667
8Bristol City431812135649766
9Sheff Wed441615135657-163
10Swansea43188176057362
11Nottm Forest441515145954560
12Preston441612166461360
13Hull44179186365-260
14Blackburn441611176165-459
15Brentford4415131669591058
16Stoke441120134350-753
17Birmingham441417136357650
18Wigan441212204963-1448
19QPR44139225169-1848
20Reading441016184864-1646
21Millwall431013204761-1443
22Rotherham44816205079-2940
23Bolton4488282976-4732
24Ipswich44416243373-4028
View full Championship table

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