Match Analysis: Reading 0-0 Queens Park Rangers

QPR's Esteban Granero shields the ball from Reading's Jobi McAnuff on April 28, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the 0-0 draw between Reading and QPR this afternoon, a match that saw both teams relegated from the Premier League.

Reading and Queens Park Rangers faced off in a relegation decider this afternoon, knowing that only a win would retain their Premier League status.

However, neither side could find a goal as they played out a scrappy 0-0 draw to ensure that they both are relegated.

Esteban Granero came closest for the visitors when his free kick skimmed the top of the crossbar, while Reading had an effort cleared off the line in the closing stages of the first half.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at a sad day for both clubs.

Match statistics:

Reading:
Shots 13
On target 7
Possession 53%
Corners 9
Fouls 12

QPR:
Shots 15
On target 5
Possession 47%
Corners 7
Fouls 14

Was the result fair?

Yes. Somehow it seemed fitting that the fate of such a disappointing season for both sides was decided in such a disappointing way. Goals were expected from this game, but there was a distinct lack of quality throughout from both sides. They both had their moments and it was by no means the worst goalless draw you will see, but it was not hard to see why they both will be playing Championship football next season.

Reading's performance

The hosts started and finished the first half brightly and were probably just about the better team in the second half too, but they didn't create enough in the final third. The closest they came to a goal was a scrappy scramble in the area that saw Jose Bosingwa clear the ball off the line and they enjoyed more sights of the opposition goal as the game opened up in the second half, but overall they didn't do enough to score.

QPR's performance

Very much the same as Reading. They had a decent number of chances, the best of which fell to Jay Bothroyd in the first half, but they couldn't find a way through. Alex McCarthy wasn't forced to make any great saves in the Reading goal and Esteban Granero's free kick was as close as they came to breaking the deadlock. In truth, both sides looked like teams who had accepted their fate before it had become official.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Esteban Granero: In such a scrappy affair it is hard to stand out and no-one particularly did this afternoon. Granero gets the award, however, as he was important for his side in both defence and attack and rarely misplaced a pass when those around him struggled to hold on to the ball. His free kick was a very good effort that skimmed the top of the bar, which was as close as we came to seeing a goal.

Biggest gaffe

There were plenty of gaffes in this game, but none of them proved costly. Perhaps the most important one fell at the feet of Adel Taarabt, who linked up brilliantly with Loic Remy to create a chance, but he scuffed his shot when he should have done better. The ball was at a good height for him and a player of his quality should have at least worked the keeper.

Referee performance

Kevin Friend had a very good game in the middle today. He had a number of penalty decisions to make in the first half and got every one right. Other than that, there was little to do for the referee, who only handed out two yellow cards in the whole game. It was certainly a less controversial affair than his previous match which saw Luis Suarez bite Branislav Ivanovic when Liverpool took on Chelsea.

What next?

Reading: Reading's next three games mean very little now that relegation has been ensured, but up next for them is Fulham.

QPR: The same applies for QPR, although both clubs will want to avoid finishing bottom of the table. Next up for the hoops is a home tie against Arsenal.

QPR's Esteban Granero shields the ball from Reading's Jobi McAnuff on April 28, 2013
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