Reading remain anchored to the foot of the Premier League table after being defeated 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium by Southampton.
Jay Rodriguez’s opportunistic strike gave the Saints a first-half lead and Adam Lallana struck after the interval to condemn a dejected-looking Royals side to a home loss.
After a cagey start punctuated solely by Sean Morrison’s powerful header over Artur Boruc’s bar, the Saints gradually began to exert influence, with Ramirez firing over from 20 yards before nearly prising open the home side’s back four with a cute back-heeled pass.
However, a moment of comedy Southampton defending presented Adam Le Fondre with a golden opportunity to put Reading one up. However, after the ball dropped to him just outside the six yard box, he could only fire wastefully over with his left foot.
The home side was made to rue its inability to capitalize though, as a rogue Saints foray forward ended with Rodriguez chasing down Rickie Lambert’s through-ball and bundling past Federici’s soft challenge to put the visitors ahead.
Southampton periodically threatened to extend the lead after the break yet Steven Davis spurned a fine opportunity after he was unable to match the quality of Lambert’s exquisite through-ball, firing straight at Federici.
As the match seemed destined to run away from Reading, Rodriguez fizzed a ball across the box that narrowly evaded Lambert’s late run into the six-yard area, while Morgan Schneiderlin miscued from a similar scenario from the opposite side.
A crucial Morrison interception thwarted Rodriguez’s attempts to bare down on goal, though the Reading center half was unable to prevent Lallana doubling Southampton's lead in the 72nd minute, as the substitute strode on to Rodriguez's chipped pass to coolly slot past Federici.
An unlikely response from the home side was quick to materialize, with the Majedski faithful incredulous that the referee's assistant failed to award Reading a goal after Boruc appeared to cross his own goal-line after collecting Le Fondre's flicked header.
Davis was again denied by Morrison and Guly do Prado missed a prime chance to make it 3-0 in injury time as the home side's status as a Premier League outfit took another step toward extinction.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Adam Lallana
- Jay Rodriguez
- Sean Morrison
- Artur Boruc
- Adam Le Fondre