Section: Reading

FA Cup: Reading 1-2 Arsenal (AET)

Holders Arsenal reached a record 19th FA Cup final after two goals from Alexis Sanchez sealed victory over Reading in extra-time.

Sanchez gave the Premier League side a 39th-minute lead from close range before Garath McCleary volleyed home an equaliser shortly after the break.

Reading needed the post and keeper Adam Federici to keep the scores level as the game required an extra 30 minutes to decide the outcome.

The Australian keeper was at fault as Sanchez’s effort spilled through his grasp and rolled in and although Reading pushed for an equaliser Arsenal held on.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Reading 0-1 Bournemouth

Callum Wilson’s 22nd goal of the season edged Bournemouth closer to the Premier League after a tense win at Reading.

Wilson tapped home from close range after Andrew Surman’s initial shot had bounced back off the post.

Bournemouth needed a stunning one-handed save by Artur Boruc from Jamie Mackie’s volley to help seal a vital three points.

The Cherries have a one-point lead and superior goal difference at the top of the Championship with three games left.

Norwich stay second, although Watford can join them on 82 points if they beat Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

Middlesbrough also have not given up the chase for automatic promotion, with their victory over Wolves moving them to 81 points.

The race for the top flight remains extraordinarily tight and although victory confirmed a place in the play-offs at the very least for Bournemouth, manager Eddie Howe’s side have their sights set on the league title.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Reading 3-0 Bradford

Bradford’s fairytale run was brought to an end as Reading sealed their first FA Cup semi-final appearance for 88 years.

A Hal Robson-Kanu header and deflected Garath McCleary shot in the opening nine minutes set the Championship side on the way to a sixth-round replay win.

Bradford’s Filipe Morais was sent off for a high challenge on 63 minutes and Jamie Mackie scored Reading’s third shortly after with a neat low finish.

The Royals will face FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley on 18 or 19 April.

Reading took control straight from the first whistle, nine days after the sides battled out a 0-0 stalemate at Valley Parade.

Robson-Kanu gave them an ideal start, rising to score with a near-post header from McCleary’s sixth-minute corner.

The impressive McCleary – later the alleged victim of racist abuse by a supporter – doubled the lead three minutes later with Phil Parkinson’s side still attempting to regroup.

The winger cut in from the right to beat keeper Ben Williams from just inside the area with a shot that took a big looping deflection off Andy Halliday.

A fine save from Williams prevented Reading’s Dan Williams from adding a long-range third before half-time.

League One Bradford, who made six changes to the side that drew with Notts County on Saturday, retained hope of a second-half comeback, after recovering from two goals down in round four to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in one of the competition’s greatest-ever shocks.

But 48 hours after their last game, the tired-looking Bantams never appeared capable of a repeat of their heroics, which had also seen them knock out Premier League Sunderland and Championship side Millwallduring a memorable run.

Their task was made even harder when Morais was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Nathaniel Chalobah – the Portuguese winger’s foot connecting with the on-loan Chelsea midfielder’s midriff as they contested a high ball.

Reading, who had rested all of their starting 11 in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat by Watford, pressed home their numerical advantage, Chalobah releasing Mackie to fire past an exposed Williams.

Home fans celebrated on the pitch after the final whistle, having had time to savour the success in a one-sided contest.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford and Reading must wait to make history after the two lowest sides left in this season’s FA Cup clattered out a goalless lunchtime draw at Valley Parade.

League One side Bradford had the best of a fractious affair but Phil Parkinson’s men could not quite summon the spirit which had swept them past Chelsea and Sunderland in the two previous rounds.

And despite the Bantams dominating for long periods Championship outfit Reading almost snatched it at the death when Oliver Norwood’s free-kick eluded everyone in the box and struck the base of Ben Williams’ right-hand upright.

Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and Bradford’s Gary Liddle also hit the woodwork in the first period in a game big on intent but clearly suffering from the pressure of the momentous prize at stake for both clubs.

A winner would have sent Bradford into the semi-finals for the first time since they won the trophy in 1911 while the Royals were bidding to end their own 88-year wait.

The bustling tempo was set in the opening minute as Bradford midfielder Billy Knott barged over Jamie Mackie and moments later a Nathaniel Chalobah challenge left James Hanson stretched out on the turf.

If such a game was always bound to be short on quality the early tempo was breathtaking with both sides clearly keen to make a mark in front of two sets of raucous supporters in the lunchtime sunshine.

The urgency even extended to the sidelines where Parkinson reacted with fury to an Alex Pearce foul on Hanson which went unpunished by referee Neil Swarbrick who called the game back for an earlier foul throw.

Bradford had the first shot on target in the 12th minute but it was a simple save for Adam Federici after Hanson only half-connected with a deep cross from the left by James Meredith.

Perhaps mindful of their status as favourites in many people’s eyes given their heroics of previous rounds, it was the hosts who seemed to be feeling the pressure most as Steve Clarke’s men began to take a grip on proceedings.

Pogrebnyak missed a great chance to snatch the lead for the visitors in the 27th minute when he was put through by Mackie only to fire his low right-foot shot against the post.

But the home side came equally close nine minutes later when a half-clearance fell to Liddle whose cross from wide on the left eluded everybody in the box and struck the base of Federici’s right-hand post.

Keen to keep up his record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition, Jon Stead was close to connecting with another Meredith cross as the first half nudged to a rather gruelling conclusion.

Bradford looked a better team from the start of the second period, pinning the visitors back and coming close within seconds of the re-start when Filipe Morais got behind the Reading defence to reach a Hanlon cross only to scuff his effort from a tight angle.

Clarke skewed an effort wide after a neat one-two with Stead on the edge of the box, then Stead himself wriggled through a group of Reading defenders before Stephen Kelly denied him a shooting opportunity with a fine sliding tackle.

Reading were barely in the game as it ticked past the hour mark and they were lucky to stay on level terms in the 71st minute when Hanson fired just wide from point-blank range after a cross from Stead.

Bradford came close again four minutes later when the excellent Morais flung in another cross from wide on the right and found the head of defender Andrew Davies, who powered his shot just over Federici’s bar.

Then came Norwood’s late free-kick which sprang through a crowded box and sparked a mighty goalmouth scramble as the visitors missed their chance to snatch a place in the last four by a lick of paint.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Derby 1-2 Reading

Yakubu guides Reading into FA Cup quarterfinals

Former Everton and Middlesbrough striker Ayegbeni Yakubu showed his class in front of goal as Reading swept into the last eight of the FA Cup at the expense of a Derby side reduced to 10 men for 50 minutes.

Derby looked the better side until full-back Stephen Warnock was sent off for a second yellow card in the 39th minute but Reading made the advantage count.

Hal Robson-Kanu’s goal was cancelled out by Darren Bent but Yakubu, who was signed as a free agent during the January transfer window but has cost English clubs a total of more than 25 million pounds in transfer fees, netted the winner.

Derby’s promotion ambitions dictated seven changes but there was no lack of cohesion from them and it took a good save from Adam Federici to keep out winger Simon Dawkins snap-shot within 90 seconds of the kick-off.

Next, Rams defender Richard Keogh was inches short of stabbing home a free-kick from Omar Mascarell but after a quarter of an hour Reading hit back to win a free-kick that let in Simon Cox for an angled shot that rattled the near post.

Derby swept back upfield for Dawkins to lay on a shooting chance that Jeff Hendrick fired over the bar and then Federici turned away a blistering low shot from Jesse Lingard, making his debut on loan from Manchester United.

The keeper then produced an even better reflex stop to beat away a powerful point-blank effort from Bent as Derby continued to press.

A long-range shot from Mascarell was drilled straight into the goalkeeper’s hands but a rapid break caught Derby undermanned at the back and Cox latched on to a header from Pavel Pogrebnyak to fire a thunderous shot just too high from the right of goal.

After so much Derby pressure, the odds turned in Reading’s favour when Warnock was sent off in the 39th minute for a lunge that left Jamie Mackie rolling in pain and produced a second yellow card from referee Craig Pawson.

It could have got worse for Derby when a shot from Danny Williams bounced up against Keogh’s raised hand off his thigh to prompt penalty claims but the referee waved play on.

Cox had a powerful shot blocked as Reading tried to make their advantage count and their extra man paid off in the 53rd minute when a rapid counter-attack ended with the same player escaping on the right to deliver a clever pass for Robson-Kanu to curl left-footed inside the far post.

Reading, who had previously lost to Derby in the Championship and the Capital One Cup this season, stayed in front for only seven minutes and it was the in-form Bent who scored.

A right-wing cross was just too strong for Bent to meet but the ball was crossed again from the left by Craig Forsyth and this time the England striker made no mistake from close range – his fifth goal in as many games since joining the Rams on loan from Aston Villa and his ninth in his last 10 FA Cup appearances.

Mackie fired wide from 12 yards after in what was becoming a rip-roaring cup tie and nine minutes from time Reading got back in front when a Derby attack fizzled out and left them short-handed at the back.

Cox swept the ball straight through Derby’s floundering back line and there was substitute Yakubu to underline his quality by powering forward and firing home a clinical left-footed shot from the edge of the box.


FA Cup: Cardiff 1-2 Reading

Hal Robson-Kanu struck a late winner as Reading beat fellow Championship side Cardiff in the FA Cup fourth round.

The home side built up a spell of pressure before taking the lead when a Peter Whittingham corner was headed in by striker Kenwyne Jones.

Reading were frustrated by Cardiff until Oliver Norwood equalised when he fired in a 20-yard free-kick.

Robson-Kanu had a header excellently saved before he swept in a shot to secure Reading’s progress.

There were a smattering of boos from the home crowd at the final whistle as Reading avenged a 2-1 league defeat in Cardiff in November.

Going into the tie, both of these sides had endured faltering campaigns which had left them in the bottom half of the Championship.

Reading were the first to threaten when Nathaniel Chalobah found fellow midfielder Norwood, but his first-time shot from just outside the area flew over.

The home side responded with a Jones shot being palmed wide by goalkeeper Adam Federici before they turned their growing threat into a goal when Jones nodded in.

Cardiff held their rivals at arm’s length until they conceded a free-kick and paid the price when Norwood beat keeper Simon Moore with a low effort.

Royals boss brought on Robson-Kanu and it proved an inspired substitution as he latched on to Jordan Obita’s cross to score.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Huddersfield 0-1 Reading

Nick Blackman’s goal gave Reading a narrow win over their Championship counterparts Huddersfield.

After a scrappy first half James Vaughan spurned the game’s best chance, heading over at the back post from Jack Robinson’s cross from the left byeline.

Blackman finished low into the corner after Hal Robson-Kanu’s pass with the game’s only shot on target.

Jonathan Hogg picked up a late second yellow card as Huddersfield fell short.

With just a point separating the two sides in the middle of the Championship it was always likely to be a tight match and the first period saw no goalmouth action.

In a contest short of chances Vaughan should have tested Royals goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen when he was picked out by Robinson’s back-post cross.

But Royals boss Steve Clarke replaced Jamie Mackie, who had been booked on the stroke of half-time, with Blackman at the break and the change proved crucial.

Reading moved the ball quickly from a throw-in and Robson-Kanu played in Blackman, whose low left-footed shot beat goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

Hogg received a second yellow card following an altercation with Danny Williams in the closing minutes as the lacklustre hosts failed to threaten Reading’s goal.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Reading 2-1 Norwich

Reading won for the first time under Steve Clarke to dent Norwich City’s play-off hopes.

The hosts went in front when Hal Robson-Kanu slotted home from the penalty spot after Bradley Johnson was adjudged to have fouled Michael Hector in the area.

Simon Cox made it 2-0 before half-time when he converted Glenn Murray’s cross.

Johnson pulled one back for the visitors with a fine strike but the hosts held out.

Clarke replaced the sacked Nigel Adkins earlier this month but had taken just one point from his first two matches as Royals boss.

Reading had won just one of their previous seven matches and could have fallen behind when Gary Hooper blazed over for the Canaries.

Murray forced a good save from Norwich keeper John Ruddy before Hector went down in the box under Johnson’s challenge and Robson-Kanu stepped up to send Ruddy the wrong way from the spot.

Cox doubled the home side’s advantage nine minutes later when he controlled a Murray cross before firing in a crisp shot.

Cameron Jerome almost connected with a low Jonny Howson cross to pull one back before Johnson hit a controversial goal for the visitors.

Reading winger Garath McCleary left the pitch injured but referee James Linington restarted play without allowing Reading to replace him and, with the hosts temporarily reduced to 10 men, Johnson lashed home a superb 20-yard shot.

The Royals had blown a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Brighton on Friday but held out on this occasion to move nine points clear of relegation danger.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Steve Clarke: Reading set to appoint ex-West Brom manager

Championship side Reading are set to appoint former West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke as their new manager.

Clarke, 51, will replace Nigel Adkins, who was sacked on Monday following Saturday’s 6-1 defeat by Birmingham.

The ex-Chelsea assistant boss has been out of work since leaving West Brom almost exactly 12 months ago.

Reading, who have lost nine of their last 15 matches in all competitions, are 16th in the Championship table.

The Royals won four of their first seven league matches this term but Adkins came under increasing pressure during a poor run of form, culminating in a heavy defeat at St Andrew’s on Saturday.

Clarke took over at The Hawthorns in June 2012, replacing Roy Hodgson at the Black Country club following the 67-year-old’s appointment as England manager.

It was the Scot’s first managerial role, having previously been assistant boss at Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool.

Clarke’s appointment is expected to be announced on Tuesday in time for him to be in place for Saturday’s visit of Watford.

A Thai consortium took Reading over in September after former owner Anton Zingarevich left the club in June 2014.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Cardiff 2-1 Reading

Cardiff moved to within three points of the Championship play-off places courtesy of a win over 10-man Reading.

It was a miserable night for Royals defender Alex Pearce, whose own goal gave the home side the lead.

The 26-year-old was then sent off for a trip on Adam Le Fondre in the box that allowed Peter Whittingham to double City’s advantage from the penalty spot.

Michael Hector’s late strike gave the 10 men of Reading hope of a point but Cardiff held on for the victory.

The win is the Bluebirds’ second in five games and their fifth in a row at home.

The Royals remain without an away win since a 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough on 30 August, with them losing six of the last seven on the road.

They were always up against it from the moment Pearce was shown a straight red for his foul on Le Fondre just before half-time.

The Royals already trailed after Pearce had accidentally deflected Whittingham’s cross into his own net, and the Cardiff midfielder made the away side’s task even harder by firing his spot-kick past Adam Federici.

However, Nigel Adkins’ side battled back and were rewarded when Hector’s low drive found its way into the goal through the legs of home goalkeeper David Marshall in the 81st minute.

But Cardiff, assisted by their numerical advantage, were able to see out the remainder of the game to move up to 11th in the Championship table, three places and five points ahead of their opponents.

Read more at BBC Sport