MX23RW : Friday, April 26 19:08:18| >> :600:355609:355609:
Apr 22, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Madejski Stadium (Reading, Berkshire)
Attendance: 17,255
Reading
0-0
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
FT

Result: West Bromwich Albion clinch Championship playoff spot with Reading draw

Result: West Brom clinch Championship playoff spot with Reading draw
© Reuters
Hal Robson-Kanu and Jacob Murphy were denied by home goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the first half.

West Brom cemented their place in the Championship play-offs despite being held to a goalless draw by lowly Reading.

In a first half of few chances, Albion enjoyed the better of it but Hal Robson-Kanu and Jacob Murphy were denied by home goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Reading, still mathematically in the relegation mix, dominated much of the second period but found visiting stopper Sam Johnstone in fine form.

West Brom began the day six points off an automatic promotion slot but with a 10-point cushion to seventh-placed Bristol City in the play-off race.

Reading were unbeaten in three games and sat five points clear of the last relegation spot, occupied by Rotherham United.

West Brom opened cautiously in the bright sunshine but were unable to build on promising approach play.

Reading were dealt a double blow early on, with strikers Nelson Oliveira and Yakou Meite both having to be replaced due to injury.

Oliveira, on loan from Norwich, looked to have suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem and left the action after just six minutes.

Top scorer Meite, who appeared to have a knee issue, tried to struggle on after treatment but departed seven minutes later.

West Brom failed to take advantage of Reading's predicament and it was the home side who forced the pace.

Substitutes Danny Loader and Garath McCleary combined well up front, with the latter twice having shots blocked as he cut in from the right flank.

West Brom were gifted a half-chance when Ovie Ejaria's intended backpass seemed to be falling short of Martinez.

But Martinez raced out to clear the danger as Robson-Kanu – the former Reading winger – prepared to pounce.

Martinez was called on soon after to make smart saves to keep out efforts from Robson-Kanu and Murphy.

In response, Ejaria fired across the face of the Albion goal after a clever Reading move.

The hosts started positively in the second period, with Loader finding space on the edge of the Albion area.

The 18-year-old found the target with a fierce rising drive but Johnstone produced a superb finger-tip save.

Albion responded immediately but Robson-Kanu headed weakly wide when finding himself unmarked in the home area.

Rakeem Harper then crashed a 20-yard attempt against the crossbar, with Martinez looking on helplessly.

As the end-to-end action continued, Reading were next to threaten.

But Ejaria miscued a volley straight at Johnstone and then Loader did the same with a stooping header from an Andy Yiadom cross.

Reading kept up the pressure in the closing stages, with Johnstone again having to be at his best to tip over a well-struck Lewis Baker free-kick as the spoils were shared.

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Royals boss Jose Gomes during the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester United and Reading on January 5, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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