Reading 0-4 Ipswich: Royals still in relegation trouble
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 28/04/18 7:27pm
Reading's bid for Championship safety will go to the last match of the season after they fell to a miserable 4-0 defeat at home to Ipswich Town.
Although Reading had spells of pressure, they missed a series of chances that allowed mid-table Ipswich to strike four times in the second half.
Leading goalscorer Martyn Waghorn broke the deadlock 19 minutes from time with Jordan Spence adding a second eight minutes later. Substitute Freddie Sears and Callum Connolly made it 4-0 with a goal apiece in stoppage time.
To avoid the drop, Reading may need at least a draw at Cardiff City on the last day of the season next weekend. The hosts knew before kick-off that victory over Ipswich would guarantee their Championship safety, regardless of results elsewhere.
The managerless visitors, with Bryan Klug in caretaker charge after Mick McCarthy quit prematurely on April 10, had won only one of their previous nine games.
Ipswich opened in enterprising fashion, with Mustapha Carayol escaping along the left flank and seeing his fierce cross palmed away by home goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Reading started, unusually, with a twin strikeforce of Yann Kermorgant and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson but they were unable to make any headway in the early exchanges.
Mo Barrow enjoyed better success on the left wing but - after a surging run from his own half - he wasted his efforts with a poor cross.
It did, though, signal a spell of concerted pressure from Reading. Kermorgant had a close-range attempt blocked, after a Sone Aluko corner, and Bodvarsson saw a well-struck shot deflected wide.
Reading should have gone ahead shortly before the half-hour mark when Barrow crossed low to the edge of the Ipswich six-yard box. But the onrushing Bodvarsson, with the goal at his mercy, miscued his contact with the ball.
Reading made a bright start to the second half, with John Swift seeing a firm shot deflected wide for a corner.
From Aluko's subsequent set-piece, Bodvarsson's clever near-post flick was smartly saved on the goal line by Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
Ipswich were forced to defend in numbers as Reading pushed forward strongly - but they did so successfully. And when Barrow did manage to find space at the far post, he was unable to keep his effort down and the ball flew over the crossbar.
Bialkowski then saved superbly from Swift before Ipswich went ahead against the run of play in the 71st minute.
A quick break led to Spence releasing the unmarked Waghorn, who tucked home his 15th goal of the season from close range.
Spence then cut in from the left to beat Mannone at his near post, Sears charged down a Mannone clearance to make it 3-0 and Connolly completed the rout after charging through unchallenged.
Paul Clement: "At the end, we got what we deserved. We were not professional for the entire game. I can't ever remember a situation where I've had to speak about a performance like that.
"It was shameful and embarrassing from the point where Ipswich got their first goal to the end of the game. It was completely unacceptable and I'm very disappointed and sorry for our fans. They came here to see us get over the line, to ensure our status at this level, but they didn't get that."
Caretaker manager Bryan Klug: "That was for everyone involved in our club, right through the staff to the players. The players have responded well after the massive disappointment of last weekend [a 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa].
"It's obviously a better feeling today and I thought that we played quite well."
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