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2-2
25 April 2021 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Reading travel to East Anglia and Carrow Road for final away trip of campaign

29 April 2021

After last weekend's draw at home to Swansea City confirmed our season wouldn't end with a shot at promotion, we're understandably hurting, but it's time to look to finish the campaign and our final two games strongly, starting with a trip to face league leaders, Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Saturday's hosts are already promoted, but there'll be no let up for Daniel Farke's side who will no doubt be keen to finish with as higher points tally as possible, with the chance to secure the title theirs on Saturday.

A result for the Royals in East Anglia would if little else confirm a seventh placed finish going into our final outing at home to Huddersfield the following week. 

How to watch

Saturday's visit to Carrow Road is available for supporters to watch via iFollow.

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Royals fans can grab their Match Pass to watch proceedings unfold, by clicking here ahead of our 3pm kick-off.

The opposition

From the very word go, Norwich have been there or there abouts, and since the festive period have established themselves as top dogs, which led to them being promoted in early April with games to spare. 

The Canaries stuck by Daniel Farke following relegation from the top tier last season, and that faith has been repaid by the German who has taken the Yellows to within three points of being crowned champions, with an instant return already secured. 

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Norwich have lost just twice in their last 15 league outings, and last time out they eased past Queens Park Rangers with a convincing 3-1 win over the R's at Loftus Road. Defenders Xavi Quintilla and Max Aarons were on the scoresheet alongside their midfield star Emi Buendia, who tops the assists charts with 16 this season.

One to watch: Teemu Pukki

Norwich's Finnish forward has again found form for the Canaries this season, and with 25 goals to date, he's the division's second top scorer, four behind Brentford's Ivan Toney. 

The 31-year-old striker has been pivotal to Norwich's instant return to the Premier League, and now has almost 70 goals to his name across just three seasons at Carrow Road. His performances this term have quite rightly put him in the running for the EFL's Championship Player of the Season award.

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Pukki began his career in the youth set up of FC KooTeePee back in 2005, but his most notable spells in terms of his goalscoring exploits came with HJK Helsinki, where he netted 18 goals in 34 appearances in 2011, and with Brondby, from whom he signed for Norwich. 

The Finland international, who has 30 goals in 90 appearances for his home nation, has also turned out for Scottish giants Celtic, German outfit Schalke 04, and Spanish side Sevilla. The front man, who recently helped his country to their first ever international tournament, is a constant danger and an impressive finisher. 

Head-to-head

The Royals have not tasted victory over the Canaries since December 2016, and have earnt just one point from their last six clashes with Norwich.

Last time the two sides met, Teemu Pukki converted from the penalty spot to seal three points for Norwich at the Madejski, following a Michael Olise strike for the Royals. Our last win over Saturday's hosts came on Boxing Day almost five years ago, as goals from Yan Kermorgant, Callum Harriott and Garath McCleary sealed us a 3-1 win on home soil.

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Our last visit to Carrow Road had a happier ending, when midfielder Andy Rinomhota grabbed his first Reading goal in the 97th minute of play to earn his side a 2-2 draw in East Anglia. 

We have won 29 and drawn 19 of a total 78 meetings between the teams, dating back to our first contest over 100 years ago, a 0-0 draw back in January 1909.

Pre-match chat

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Ref watch

Oliver Langford will be the man with the whistle in Norwich on Saturday afternoon, for his third Reading game of the season.

Linington last took charge of a Royals fixture back in mid-February, when he officiated our 2-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. He was also the man in the middle for our our December visit to Hillsborough, during which we played out a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

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Assistant referees Adrian Waters and Rob Smith will be on hand to help out Langford in East Anglia, while Sam Purkiss will be the fourth official on this occasion.

During his 29 league games to date, Langford has brandished 103 yellow cards and six additional red cards.

Royals part of weekend-long social media boycott

Reading Football Club will be joining in with a social media switch off across the whole English football landscape, which will see us refrain from posting on our social media channels between 3pm on Friday 30th April and 11.59pm on Monday 3rd May 2021.

Club News

❎ Enough is enough | Why the Royals are joining the social media blackout

26 April 2021

This coordinated effort is a unified reaction to a series of wholly unacceptable incidents of abuse which have arisen recently across various social media platforms. That regrettably includes one appalling incident which was directed towards our club captain Liam Moore earlier this month. One incident of this nature is too many, and this was sadly one of many comments which have been aimed at professional footballers in recent weeks and months.

Reminder

A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to Carrow Road.

We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.

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Match Reports

📝 Match Report | A point not enough for a top six finish

Reading led and fought to the very last second of injury time, but couldn't convert it into the three points they needed this afternoon

25 April 2021

Nothing more than victory would do for the Royals, but a first half lead was turned around by a Swansea side who confirmed their place in the play-offs with a draw that will deny Reading a top six finish.

With the game less than two minutes old, Swansea came close to opening the scoring. A free kick was taken short and Jamal Lowe delivered a tasty cross to the back post where Ben Cabango arrived late but couldn't direct his header inside the upright.

It took some good defending from Moore to deflect a Wayne Routledge effort over the crossbar moments later as the Swans started the game strongly.

At the other end, Swift nearly unlocked the visitors' defence with a threaded pass thatjust had too much power on it for Joao to control inside the City box.

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Yellow cards were shown to Marc Guehi and then Tom Holmes soon after, the latter bringing down the lively Cullen to concede a free kick.

A powerful run from Andy Yiadom saw him collect a one-two from Meite and then chip a cross towards Joao at the back post - but Freddie Woodman was off his line to pluck it out of the air and keep the game goalless.

But with half an hour played, he could do nothing to prevent Meite breaking the deadlock. A delightful inswinging cross from John Swift found the head of Meite who directed a downward header perfectly inside the bottom left corrner for 1-0.

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It could have been 2-0 before half-time when a loose pass back to the keeper was intercepted by Joao and he forced a very good save from the Swans stopper, diving low to his left to push the ball wide.

Reading were pressing hard for a second and Meite appealed for a penalty when he cut inside from the left and took a tumble - but nothing was given.

Then Rinomhota's drive was deflected behind for a corner which Swift swung into the box - Moore connected but a Swansea boot hacked the captain's downward header away from danger as it headed goalwards.

The whistle for the interval came at the wrong time for the Royals who we enjoying a very good spell, but they led 1-0 at half-time.

Half-time: Reading 1-0 Swansea City

Swansea came close to levelling early in the second half - a deflected cross from the left sailed kindly onto the lad of Cullen, but he placed his header just wide of the right post from a central position.

Swift's creativity came to the fore once more when he took a free kick, just inside the Swansea half, and clipped a clever ball into the run of Meite across goal. Yakou looked to stab the ball goalwards at first time of asking but didn't get enough on it and a difficult chance went begging.

Fulton nearly created an opportunity from nothing, robbing Laurent of possession on the D of his own box, but Rafael was sharp to respond, racing off his line to gather it in before Fulton could truly take advantage.


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Moore had to hurriedly clear a cross-shot from Guehi when a recycled corner found the defender in space to the left of goal.

A triple substitution from the visitors worked. Andre Ayew's first input in the game was to cleverly flick the ball into the path of Fulton who drove into the Reading box. He drilled a shot at goal, Rafael saved well low to his left, but Lowe was on hand to turn it home from close range.

Reading looked to respond immediately and a good pass from substitute Olise found Ejaria - who was dragged down 22 yards from goal. Olise lined up the set piece but the wall did its job and deflected his left-footed effort behind for a corner.

From the resultant corner, Ejaria delivered a deep cross from the left and Joao appealed for a penalty as he seemed to be bundled over at the back post. Nothing came.

Reading pushed and pressed, pressed and pushed for a goal they now needed. But as they did, gaps appeared at the back and Lowe nearly toed the ball past Rafael for a Swansea second. The ball bobbled wide of the right post though.

But Swansea clinched victory when Bidwell got away down the left and cut the ball back for Ayew to smash home from close range.

Reading were desperate now and more changes were made in an attempt to throw the kitchen sink at the final stages, but Swansea were in control and as Olise's hooked effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar with two minutes remaining, it looked beyond the hosts to find a dramatic response.

Lowe nearly rubbed salt into the wounds when he rifled an effort past Rafael and flush against the left post. instead though, an injury time drive from Esteves levelled matters to set up one last push.

But shortly after, the final whistle sounded and faint hopes of a top six finish had finally been dashed.

Full-time: Reading 2-2 Swansea City

Reading: Rafael, Richards (Aluko 87), Yiadom (Esteves 82), Moore (c), Holmes, Laurent, Rinomhota, Ejaria (Puscas 82), Swift (Olise 65), Meite (Semedo 65), Joao.
Unused subs: Southwood, Baldock, Gibson, Tetek.
Yellow: Holmes
Goals: Meite 31, Esteves 90

Swansea City: Woodman, Guehi, Fulton, Grimes (c), Lowe, Hourihane (Smith 86), Routledge (Whittaker 64), Cullen (Ayew 64), Bidwell, Naughton (Roberts 64), Cabango.
Unused subs: Hamer, Bennett, Dhanda, Latibeaudiere, Roberts, Cooper.
Yellow: Guehi
Goals: Lowe 67, Ayew 83

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