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Reading 0-2 Middlesbrough: Match Report
Saturday, 20th Feb 2021 16:59 by Phil Spencer

Middlesbrough showed that their play-off push is far from over after securing a big 2-0 win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium

It was a lively start with both sides looking to catch their opponent on the counter in the early stages of the match.

Reading had the first real opportunity of the game as Andy Rinomhota swept his effort wide of the mark before the Teessiders took the initiative.

A deep free-kick from Paddy McNair found Dael Fry in the box who rose above his marker to square the ball to Ashley Fletcher who had the simple task of slotting home to give Neil Warnock's side an early lead.

Middlesbrough doubled their lead not long after when some excellent work from Sam Morsy found Marc Bola who rifled a left-footed effort into the roof of the net.

The Royals were rocked by the Teessiders who were clearly brimming with confidence, with McNair going very close with a late effort from inside the area.

The second half started in much the same manner with Reading showing intent as they looked to find a way back into the game, however Middlesbrough counter-attacking play almost caught them offguard once against as Neeskens Kebano set Duncan Watmore on the break only to be crowded off the ball before unleashing his effort.

The Royals probed the Middlesbrough defence but a stern display from Dael Fry and Paddy McNair in particular ensured that the home side were unable to carve out many clear-cut opportunities.

Andy Yiadom had a decent opportunity midway through the half but the chance went way wide of the post.

Middlesbrough held firm and looked dangerous going forward as substitute Marvin Johnson broke free of the midfield and nearly allowed Fletcher to grab a crucial goal to wrap up the win.

Reading pushed for a way back into the game but an excellent save from Marcus Bettinelli kept out Michael Morrison's effort from range.

However the Teessiders also had chances in the closing stages as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired a volley wide of the mark with a few minutes left.

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