ROYALS RELEGATED: Rangers draw ends Prem tenure
28th April 2013
Reading and QPR's relegation to the Championship was confirmed at the Madejski Stadium today, after both sides drew a blank on Sunday afternoon.
Royals boss Nigel Adkins named an unchanged team to the one that was beaten by Norwich last week, meaning Hal Robson-Kanu was still not fit enough to start. Reading have witnessed notable improvement under the stewardship of Adkins and started this game brightly. Towering defender Sean Morrison was unlucky not to connect with Danny Guthrie's free kick across on the right.
Adel Taarabt looked in the mood in the early exchanges and earned the visitors a dangerous free kick just outside the box and former Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero went close with his set piece. Redknapp's Rangers were getting a stranglehold of the game and Jay Bothroyd would have thought he had given them the lead, but his lob over on onrushing Alex McCarthy dropped just wide of the post.
There was no two ways about it, it was a poor game being fought out between two poor sides, who wouldn't look out of place in the Championship. Pavel Pogrebnyak almost lightened up the rather dull game, after Danny Guthrie's quickly taken free kick was headed into the path of the Russian, but his scuffed effort was clawed off the line by Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green.
Royals skipper Jobi McAnuff was next to try and break the deadlock, but his 20-yard effort was palmed away by Green, as the half time break approached. Into the second period, it was another enegetic start from the home side and Pavel Pogrebnyak had the best chance of the game so far. The forward was slipped in by McAnuff and turned inside of his man and with the goal at his mercy, curled his right-footed effort agonizingly wide.
Rangers had the odd venture forward, but similarly to the Royals, were to rue their lack of cutting edge in the final third. In the later stages of the game, Green was tested once again, as McAnuff's corner was attacked by defender Morrison, but the former England international did well to tip his header over. Substitute Adam Le Fondre also had a header over the bar, after a fine cross from the impressive Guthrie.
Royals keeper Alex McCarthy had rarely been worked in this game, but had to be about his wits to keep out Jay Bothroyd's low drive, as the young keeper grasped the ball at the second attempt. Both sides were going for it, knowing only three points would prevent relegation for a short while longer, but it wasn't to be for both sides. The final whistle blew and confined both sides to the dreaded Premier League drop.
Vital Reading verdict: A game that summed up both of seasons really, not good enough in front of goal and lacklustre at various points. Quite a few fans have slated our performance, but I was reasonably pleased and has shown the progress we have made under Adkins. Defensively we have become a lot more solid too, with two consecutive clean sheets at home. Now lets push for 19th place!
Reading - 4-2-3-1: McCarthy, Morrison, Gunter, Mariappa, Kelly, Karacan, Guthrie, McAnuff, Blackman, McCleary, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Harte, Carrico, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Le Fondre
QPR - 4-1-2-1-2: Green, Bosingwa, Onuoha, Hill, Traore, Granero, Jenas, Mbia, Taarabt, Remy, Bothroyd
Subs: Cesar, Ben-Haim, Fabio, Derry, Park, Hoilett, Mackie