Championship
ReadingReading1CardiffCardiff City1

Reading 1-1 Cardiff City: Meite levels late for Reading

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales
Curtis Nelson of Cardiff City and Lucas Joao of Reading compete for the ball
Cardiff had looked on course for their first away league win over Reading since November 2011 when they won 2-1 under Malky Mackay

Reading's hopes of a Championship play-off spot remain intact after Yakou Meite's late equaliser against Cardiff.

Meite headed in Sam Baldock's fine cross from close range in the fourth minute of stoppage time to make it 1-1.

It had seemed Cardiff would take all three points after Kieffer Moore's penalty with five minutes remaining.

The draw leaves Reading seventh, four points behind Barnsley who have a game in hand over the Royals, while Cardiff are eighth but out of contention.

Cardiff's hopes of a top-six finish have all but ended - a fact acknowledged by Bluebirds boss Mick McCarthy - with the Royals knowing anything less than a win would see them lose valuable ground in the fight for a play-off spot.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic made two changes from the side beaten 2-0 by Watford, with Omar Richards and top scorer Lucas Joao returning, while Cardiff made one change from the side held at home by Blackburn with Joe Ralls replacing Josh Murphy.

The visitors were certainly playing for lower stakes than Reading and with the pressure off they started brightly with Harry Wilson's run culminating in a shot that Rafael did really well to turn away.

The stakes seemed to be weighing on the hosts and it was 29 minutes before they produced a shot on target, but Meite's attempt at flicking the ball home audaciously was easily stopped by Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

Ovie Ejaria's shot from 20 yards on 51 minutes was the next time Smithies was tested in a contest full of niggle and tetchy fouls and short on quality and clear-cut opportunities.

Joao almost caught out Cardiff as he received a clever free-kick and fired at goal on the turn, but Smithies saved his effort at the near post in a costly incident as Joao injured his shoulder as he fell, with the striker unable to continue.

Reading's urgency increased in the second half and they began to look more of a threat thanks to increased possession higher up the pitch, with Meite wasting a great chance on 69 minutes when he shot over after being found unmarked in the penalty area.

Cardiff did not come close in the second half until they had two chances within a minute as Moore shot tamely at Rafael, before they almost pinched the lead when Harry Wilson broke clear and dinked the ball over the goalkeeper, but Andy Yiadom cleared the ball off the line.

The Bluebirds continued to soak up the pressure before a mistake seemed to have won them the contest as Richards switched off and fouled Moore, who fired the penalty into the roof of the net with five minutes remaining.

However, Reading were not to be denied and Meite headed home from sub Baldock's fine cross with Aden Flint unable to deflect the ball wide.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic said:

"The result is not what we wanted. We are unhappy about it. We played a very solid game and confronted and matched their team well throughout the match.

"In the past we have struggled against a direct approach unfortunately we conceded the penalty that changed the game. They blocked and defended very well.

"After we conceded, the reaction and the composure didn't crumble. We understood it was time to put more numbers in attack even before their goal.

"I see a group of people who are 100% committed to help the team secure the play-offs. One point is not what we wanted but it's something."

Cardiff City boss Mick McCarthy told BBC Radio Wales Sport:

"I'm raging," the manager said. "That's how I'm feeling. I'm sick of conceding goals at half-time, full time, full time today.

"I said on Saturday that Blackburn, with their performance, they deserved it, but I'm not bothered about people deserving it, we shouldn't let them off the hook and we did.

"We have done it today. We've been terrific, we've blocked stuff, defended, caught them on the break, we could have scored a couple more in the second half.

"We just let our guard down - again. And I'm raging."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 17YiadomSubstituted forBaldockat 90'minutes
  • 29Holmes
  • 6Moore
  • 3RichardsSubstituted forAlukoat 90'minutes
  • 8RinomhotaSubstituted forSwiftat 77'minutes
  • 28Laurent
  • 11Meite
  • 7OliseSubstituted forTetekat 90'minutes
  • 14Ejaria
  • 18Lucas JoãoSubstituted forPuscasat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Pontes Esteves
  • 9Baldock
  • 10Swift
  • 15Gibson
  • 22Southwood
  • 24Aluko
  • 30Semedo
  • 34Tetek
  • 47Puscas

Cardiff

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 12Smithies
  • 16NelsonBooked at 46mins
  • 5Flint
  • 30BrownBooked at 78mins
  • 28Sang
  • 21PackBooked at 50minsSubstituted forMurphyat 70'minutes
  • 6Vaulks
  • 38Ng
  • 23WilsonSubstituted forOjoat 81'minutes
  • 8Ralls
  • 10Moore

Substitutes

  • 1Phillips
  • 2Osei-Tutu
  • 11Murphy
  • 15Williams
  • 19Watters
  • 27Ojo
  • 29M Harris
  • 33Hoilett
  • 40Colwill
Referee:
John Brooks

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 1, Cardiff City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 1, Cardiff City 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 1, Cardiff City 1. Yakou Meite (Reading) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam Baldock with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Swift (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dejan Tetek.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Dejan Tetek replaces Michael Olise.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sam Baldock replaces Andy Yiadom.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Omar Richards.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Will Vaulks with a cross following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Thomas Holmes.

  10. Post update

    Goal! Reading 0, Cardiff City 1. Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  11. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Omar Richards (Reading) after a foul in the penalty area.

  12. Post update

    Penalty Cardiff City. Kieffer Moore draws a foul in the penalty area.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sheyi Ojo (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

  15. Post update

    Alex Smithies (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Sheyi Ojo replaces Harry Wilson.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

  18. Post update

    Ciaron Brown (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by John Swift (Reading).

  20. Post update

    Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich41279565283790
2Watford412410759273282
3Swansea412291050311975
4Brentford402013771403173
5Bournemouth4120111066402671
6Barnsley412181254441071
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall411416114140158
10Middlesbrough41169164845357
11QPR411511154850-256
12Stoke411413144546-155
13Luton40158173546-1153
14Blackburn421311185448650
15Bristol City41155214055-1550
16Nottm Forest411213163439-549
17Preston41146214155-1448
18Coventry411112183756-1945
19Birmingham411112183150-1945
20Huddersfield411111194362-1944
21Derby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham39116224153-1239
23Sheff Wed41118223454-2035
24Wycombe4189243064-3433
View full Championship table

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