Championship
Middlesbrough2Reading1

Middlesbrough 2-1 Reading: Boro' keep play-off hopes alive

Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga.
Britt Assombalonga has now scored 13 goals in the Championship this season.

Middlesbrough came from behind to keep their play-off hopes alive while Reading's safety was confirmed despite defeat.

Teenager Danny Loader bent in from 20 yards early on for his first senior goal to give the Royals an early lead.

But Boro, who hit the woodwork twice either side of Loader's strike, responded when Lewis Wing netted and Britt Assombalonga's penalty, after a foul on George Saville, proved to be the winner.

Reading, though, were able to officially celebrate survival after Rotherham lost at West Bromwich Albion.

It would have taken an unlikely goal-difference swing for Jose Gomes' side to have been in trouble, even if Rotherham had won their final two games, but they can now start planning for life in the Championship next season.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, briefly looked as though they were surrendering the final play-off spot to Derby when they trailed to England Under-19 international Loader's opener.

They remain in contention for a top-six place after Wing and Assombalonga turned the match around - but could do with a favour from Swansea City, who host the Rams on Wednesday.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"We played some fantastic football, especially on the right-hand side. I thought [Jonny] Howson, [Paddy] McNair and [Lewis] Wing were absolutely fantastic down that side.

"I was really pleased for Wingy. We kept it as quiet as we possibly could- we didn't want anyone to know he was going to be fit. I apologised to him because I kept him on for 90 minutes, and I shouldn't have done. He's been the find of the season. He's got a good character, a good attitude and he wants to improve. That's what will take him further.

"If Derby win their two games, they win their two games, but we've kept the pressure on them, and that's what we wanted to do today."

Reading manager Jose Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"We deserve it. It's the result of the work of a lot of people, from the owner of the club to the players and the technical staff. Now, I feel everyone is working like a family and everybody wants to help the first team. In the beginning, I didn't feel this.

"A special word to our fans, who were suffering and suffering and waiting for good results but never gave up. A lot of the points we got were the result of their support.

"From the beginning, I really believed we would achieve our target. [With] the way that the players work and the way they accept ideas, it was only a matter of time. Hopefully the last game on Sunday will be like a beautiful party."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 17McNair
  • 24Flint
  • 5Shotton
  • 16HowsonBooked at 55mins
  • 26Wing
  • 2Mikel
  • 37BesicSubstituted forClaytonat 68'minutes
  • 22SavilleBooked at 90mins
  • 18FletcherSubstituted forTavernierat 81'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forHugillat 86'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 8Clayton
  • 11Hugill
  • 19Downing
  • 25Wood-Gordon
  • 28Tavernier
  • 39Gestede

Reading

  • 26Martínez
  • 3Yiadom
  • 19Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 2GunterSubstituted forOliseat 74'minutes
  • 35Rinomhota
  • 16Baker
  • 43Loader
  • 18Ejaria
  • 9BaldockSubstituted forHarriottat 63'minutesBooked at 66mins
  • 12McClearySubstituted forBarrettat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Harriott
  • 28Walker
  • 32Ezatolahi
  • 38Kelly
  • 39Barrett
  • 46McIntyre
  • 48Olise
Referee:
John Brooks
Attendance:
22,003

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamReading
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home18
Away12
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.

Booking

Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Attempt missed. Ovie Ejaria (Reading) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Matt Miazga (Reading).

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Jonny Howson.

Booking

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

Callum Harriott (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

Michael Olise (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Aden Flint.

Attempt saved. Callum Harriott (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

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

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jordan Hugill replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Marcus Tavernier replaces Ashley Fletcher.

Attempt saved. Josh Barrett (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Yiadom.

Attempt missed. Callum Harriott (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Danny Loader.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Josh Barrett replaces Garath McCleary.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Michael Olise replaces Chris Gunter.

Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

Foul by Danny Loader (Reading).

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Andy Rinomhota (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Gunter.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Ovie Ejaria.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Clayton replaces Muhamed Besic.

Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).

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

Matt Miazga (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

Booking

Callum Harriott (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich452613691563591
2Sheff Utd452610976393788
3Leeds442571270462482
4West Brom4523111186592780
5Aston Villa442015980582275
6Derby4419131265521370
7Middlesbrough451913134740770
8Bristol City441812145651566
9Sheff Wed451616135960-164
10Nottm Forest451615146054663
11Swansea44189176259363
12Preston451613166764361
13Hull451710186567-261
14Blackburn451611186267-559
15Brentford4415131669591058
16Stoke451121134350-754
17Birmingham451418136458651
18Wigan451213205064-1449
19QPR45139235170-1948
20Reading451016194966-1746
21Millwall441014204761-1444
22Rotherham45816215181-3040
23Bolton4488282976-4732
24Ipswich45416253375-4228
View full Championship table

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