Championship
ReadingReading0MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2

Reading 0-2 Middlesbrough: Boro inflict third straight home loss on Royals

Having gone on a five-game run without a win, Middlesbrough have now won two games in a row
Having gone on a five-game run without a win, Middlesbrough have now won two games in a row

Middlesbrough kept up their pursuit of a Championship play-off place as they condemned Reading to a third consecutive home defeat.

Boro took the lead midway through the first half when Dael Fry headed on for Ashley Fletcher to slot home.

The hosts took just seven minutes to double their advantage as Marc Bola fired home from outside the box.

Visiting goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli made a fine save to deny Michael Morrison late on as Boro held on for all three points.

The result means Boro move within three points of the play-off places in eighth, level on points with seventh-placed Cardiff, who beat Preston.

Reading came into the game with an inconsistent record against Boro, having lost seven of their previous eight league meetings with the Teesside club.

The Royals made that eight from nine, this time with their second league defeat in their past three games, yet they remain fifth and six points off second-placed Brentford.

A fine first half saw the visitors earn their victory, with their second goal coming following good work from Duncan Watmore and Sam Morsy to tee up Bola's cool finish.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"It's not a good day. We didn't start the first half well. We didn't impose high tempo and ball movement and possession with a clear idea of getting in the final third as soon as possible.

"We cannot afford to lose focus and concentration. This is something we need to look at. The reaction in the second half was full of positives but I wish we started like that.

"We cannot lose points at home. At this point of the season we cannot be casual for a single second."

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:

"I thought it was a good performance and I thought we were in the mood before the game, even in the hotel I felt good.

"We had some great chances as well as the goals we scored. I thought tactically we were very good today.

"Duncan [Watmore] once again covered every blade of grass today and cracked his front teeth for the cause. It was as good a performance against a good side since I've been here."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 17Yiadom
  • 4Morrison
  • 5McIntyre
  • 3RichardsBooked at 43minsSubstituted forGibsonat 45'minutes
  • 8RinomhotaBooked at 59mins
  • 28Laurent
  • 7OliseSubstituted forAlukoat 86'minutes
  • 30SemedoSubstituted forPontes Estevesat 45'minutes
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forPuscasat 78'minutes
  • 18Lucas João

Substitutes

  • 2Pontes Esteves
  • 6Moore
  • 9Baldock
  • 15Gibson
  • 22Southwood
  • 24Aluko
  • 29Holmes
  • 34Tetek
  • 47Puscas

Middlesbrough

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 6Fry
  • 17McNair
  • 5Morsy
  • 20FisherSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 78'minutes
  • 16HowsonBooked at 71mins
  • 21KebanoSubstituted forSavilleat 78'minutes
  • 27Bola
  • 11FletcherBooked at 90mins
  • 18WatmoreSubstituted forJohnsonat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Johnson
  • 4Hall
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 10Akpom
  • 13Archer
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 22Saville
  • 24Spence
  • 33Coulson
Referee:
David Webb

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 0, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tom McIntyre (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rafael Cabral.

  5. Booking

    Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Michael Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sone Aluko with a cross following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Andy Rinomhota (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Middlesbrough).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Michael Olise.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marc Bola.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Tom McIntyre (Reading).

  16. Post update

    Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Morrison (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Rinomhota.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Rafael Cabral.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marvin Johnson.

  20. Post update

    Lewis Gibson (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich31197542241864
2Brentford31169656342257
3Watford31169640211957
4Swansea29168537191856
5Reading31156104436851
6Bournemouth311310845301549
7Cardiff311371146331346
8Middlesbrough31137113631546
9Stoke31111283733445
10Barnsley30136113435-145
11Millwall3191573027342
12Blackburn30116134334939
13QPR29109103034-439
14Preston31123163442-839
15Bristol City31123162942-1339
16Luton30107132334-1137
17Nottm Forest3199132631-536
18Huddersfield31106153845-736
19Derby3097142232-1034
20Coventry31810132942-1334
21Birmingham31710142237-1531
22Rotherham2985163340-729
23Sheff Wed3097142132-1128
24Wycombe3048182251-2920
View full Championship table

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