Reading 0-0 QPR
Queens Park Rangers 0
A goalless draw at Madejski Stadium condemned both Reading and Queens Park Rangers to relegation from the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
With Wigan and Aston Villa due to face off on the final day of the season, at least 35 points will now be needed for survival - a tally which is unattainable for both the Royals and Harry Reknapp's R's.
Jay Bothroyd came closest for the visitors in the first half, lobbing Alex McCarthy only to see his effort bounce narrowly wide of the post.
At the other end a quickly taken free-kick caught Rangers napping as Danny Guthrie whipped a ball into the box, but somehow the away side managed to scramble away off their own goalline.
The second period saw plenty of endeavour but the golden opportunity didn’t quite fall for either side – who are now left to contemplate Championship football next season.
Reading (4-2-3-1): McCarthy; Gunter, Kelly (Harte 75), Mariappa, Morrison; Karacan, Guthrie; McCleary (Le Fondre 65), McAnuff (C), Blackman (Robson-Kanu 55); Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Taylor, Harte, Pearce, Carrico, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Le Fondre.
QPR: Green, Bosingwa (Da Silva (73), Onuoha, Hill, Traore, Granero, Jenas, Mbia (Mackie 88), Taarabt (Hoilett 68), Remy, Bothroyd.
Subs: Cesar, Derry, Park, Mackie, Fabio, Ben Haim, Hoilett.
Booked: Granero (foul 73)
Attendance: 23,388 (1,572)
The Sky Sports cameras descended on Madejski Stadium on Sunday afternoon, knowing that one team would be losing their Premier League status.
It was a bright early start from the Royals, Blackman firing over before Danny Guthrie’s free-kick was inches away from connecting with the sliding Sean Morrison.
Jermaine Jenas lashed over from long range for the visitors inside ten minutes, before Esteban Granero whipped a free-kick narrowly off target.
Jay Bothroyd broke then broke the offside trap before lobbing over the on-rushing Alex McCarthy, but the ball bounced wide of the goal with Morrison ready and waiting to clear away if needed.
Jobi McAnuff then came close to catching out Robert Green as the R’s ‘keeper had to deal with a under hit back pass, but a strong challenge from the Reading captain saw the ball fly over the England international’s head and into the stands.
Adel Taarabt then bent a first time shot wide after the Royals failed to deal with a long punt up field, as the game became increasingly end to end.
Hearts were in mouths, a quickly taken free kick caught QPR napping and as Guthrie whipped the ball in – a huge goalmouth scramble somehow ended with the away side clearing their lines.
There were then two penalty shouts in quick succession for Nigel Adkins’ men; first Blackman tumbled in the box, before Stephen Kelly galloped forward onto Guthrie’s raking pass before going down under the weight of Bosingwa. Both were waved away.
McAnuff then stung the palms of Green from 20 yards out, as Reading finished the half in the ascendancy.
With both teams in need of a result, the second period had an open feel to it –with openings easily found in the initial exchanges.
Adel Taarabt was guilty of spurring to decent opportunities for the visitors, mis-cueing from 10 yards on both occasions.
But Reading had their tails up too. McAnuff dashed forward before sliding in Pogrebnyak, who cut back inside and saw a right footed shot slide agonisingly wide.
Hal Robson-Kanu and Adam Le Fondre were both introduced as Nigel Adkins went desperately in search of three points, whilst set piece specialist Ian Harte was also given an opportunity to impact the game as he replaced Stephen Kelly.
Jermaine Jenas then fired wide twice inside a minute, slamming a volleying off target from 25 yards before slicing wide from Bothroyd’s cutback.
At the other end Le Fondre’s header also failed to test the ‘keeper, after a beautifully flighted right wing cross from Guthrie.
Morrison’s towering header was then brilliantly tipped over the bar by Green, as the home side cranked up the pressure with five minutes remaining.
McCarthy then did well to save a skidding drive from Bothroyd, pouncing on the rebound with plenty of red shirts ready to take advantage of any error.
There effort was there – but it just wasn’t to be. Three mintues of stoppage time passed and relegation was confirmed for both sideswho will now aim to build for their return to the Football League.