Goals:

1-0: Traore (44, skipped round Bacuna before unleashing a powerful left foot shot that Mannone could only help in)

2-0: Traore (49, charged at the defence and picked out the far corner with a right foot drive)

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2-1: Martin (79, given the freedom to take a touch and pick his spot from the edge of the area through a crowded box)

Bookings: van den Berg (60, dissent); Friend (73, foul); Gunter (83, foul); Clayton (88, dissent); Bacuna (90, dissent)

Referee: David Coote (Northamptonshire) – annoyed Reading players by awarding a penalty but otherwise did well to control things, even near the end when the players clashed. 6

Attendance: 23,491

Entertainment: **

Boro Read

Shots on 3 2

Shots off 11 5

Corners 6 8

Offsides 2 3

Fouls 13 11

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1):

6 Randolph: Didn’t have the busiest of matches and not to blame for the goal;

6 Shotton: His long throws weren’t as effective as Boro would have liked

7 Ayala: Continued his recent good form and that’s a welcome boost for everyone

7 Gibson: Made his fair share of blocks and clearances when the Royals did make progress

6 Friend: Had played well in both directions but made a silly late tackle in a dangerous area;

6 Leadbitter: Looked to get on the ball and unlucky with a free-kick that hit the post

6 Howson: Back in the side again and got through plenty of work;

8 TRAORE: The Spaniard is displaying the sort of performances that is going to get top teams calling

6 Downing: Had one first half volley that bounced wide of the far post

5 Bamford: Had a couple of half chances without showing the sort of confidence he is looking for;

5 Gestede: Didn’t provide the threat on the Reading goal that was required

Subs (not used):

Clayton (for Bamford 66): Got involved in plenty and a bit of a pushing and shoving. 5

Assombalonga (for Gestede 79)

Cranie (for Downing 90)

Subs:

(not used): Konstantopoulos (gk), Fry, Besic, Harrison.

READING: (4-2-3-1): Mannone 5; Gunter 6, Moore 6, ILORI 7, Bacuna 4; Kelly 6 (Clement 63, 5), van den Berg 6; McCleary 5 (Kermorgant 74), Edwards 5, Aluko 5; Bodvarsson 4 (Martin 63, 7). Subs (not used): Jaakkola (gk), Blackett, Richards, Smith.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Adama Traore - lit up the Riverside every time he got on the ball.