Cardiff 0-3 Reading (0-3)

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Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:37 UK

Reading striker Shane Long

Cardiff 0-3 Reading

Reading secured a Championship play-off final place against Swansea at Wembley after a convincing second-leg victory over Cardiff City.

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long put the visitors in front after 28 minutes with a deft 20-yard chip after a mistake from keeper Stephen Bywater.

Long doubled the lead from the penalty spot on half-time when Dekel Keinan brought down Matt Mills.

And Jobi McAnuff sealed the win with a sublime 30-yard run and finish.

The goal capped a ruthless and highly effective away performance from Brian McDermott's side, who are aiming to return to the Premier League after a three-season absence.

Jones 'needs time' to assess future

Meanwhile, Cardiff - beaten play-off finalists last season - are left to evaluate another fruitless season which will inevitably lead to questions over Dave Jones's future as manager.

The home side's hopes were dealt a severe blow before kick-off when Craig Bellamy was omitted from the teamsheet.

The captain and driving force behind Cardiff's late-season form had failed a late fitness test on a hamstring strain sustained in the goalless first leg at the Madejski Stadium on Friday, handing Michael Chopra a rare opportunity of late to start up front.

Left-back Paul Quinn was another hamstring victim from the first leg and his place taken by Jlloyd Samuel, one of five loan signings in the home starting line-up.

Reading made one change, with Shaun Cummings replacing Wales international Hal Robson-Kanu while influential winger Jimmy Kebe missed his sixth successive match because of a thigh injury.

Shane Long Long was a constant threat up front for Reading

In an attempt to generate a spurring atmosphere inside the stadium, the Bluebirds distributed "happy clappers" on every seat for the home supporters - and a bright start from both sides under a dull Cardiff sky gave the fans reason to find their voice.

Long was first to threaten for the visitors when he beat Samuel before firing low into the side netting. A minute later, Chopra claimed a penalty after finding himself caught in between Mills and Mikele Leigertwood.

Peter Whittingham then forced the first save of the match with a 25-yard effort, comfortably collected by Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici, before Mills blocked a Seyi Olofinjana drive inside a lively 12-minute opening period.

Captain Mills again came to his side's rescue with a superb block to divert Chopra's goal-bound effort from a delightful Jay Bothroyd throughball.

And a fierce Bothroyd shot was then deflected wide for a corner, from which Keinan rose well to force Federici into action again.

But calamitous defending from Cardiff allowed the visitors to take the lead on 28 minutes.

Samuel's attempted back-pass took a deflection off Kevin McNaughton's head as it skidded towards goal and keeper Bywater rushed off his line, seemingly with enough time to clear the ball from danger outside of his penalty area.

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But the on-loan stopper's clearance rebounded off Long, who maintained his composure to lob the ball into an empty net from 20 yards out.

Federici was kept busy with a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas header and a low Bothroyd drive as Cardiff advanced in search of an equaliser.

Referee Howard Webb ignored a second Cardiff penalty appeal as Olofinjana felt he was pushed in the back as he rose to meet Chris Burke's far-post cross.

The Royals almost matched the hosts' generosity by gifting the home side an equaliser when Leigertwood failed to notice Bothroyd lurking just outside the Reading box.

But Australia international Federici raced off his line to clear the under-hit back-pass before Cardiff's top scorer could intercept.

And moments later, Reading took a firm grip of the tie when Webb pointed without hesitation to the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time as Keinen brought down defender Mills with a blatant tug from a corner.

Long held his nerve to steer the ball into the bottom right corner, sending Bywater in the opposite direction.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones sent his side out early for the second half, and Emmanuel-Thomas wasted a decent chance to reduce the deficit in the opening five minutes when he failed to control a half-volley at the far post from Bothroyd's cross.

McDermott 'proud' of Reading

The home supporters were given further encouragement when Olofinjana rose well to head straight at Federici, before Emmanuel-Thomas spurned another far-post opening.

Moments earlier, Reading were denied a third when the post had come to Cardiff's rescue as Hunt slid in to meet Long's low cross.

The Bluebirds, though, continued to exert pressure, but the frustration increased as Olofinjana twice failed to finish inside the box.

Webb was forced into another contentious decision when Federici appeared to handle outside the box to deny Bothroyd, but the referee was once more unmoved.

Hunt should have sealed the victory when he flashed an effort across the face of goal from eight yards, but the third goal arrived four minutes later when McAnuff ghosted between two Cardiff players outside the penalty area before beating Bywater with a side-foot finish.

Cardiff   0 - 3   Reading (agg 0 - 3)

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Npower Championship

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Cardiff 0-3 Reading FT
(HT 0-2)(agg 0-3)
    • Long 28
    • Long (pen) 45
    • McAnuff 84

    Cardiff

    • 43 Bywater
    • 02 McNaughton
    • 12 Keinan yellow card
    • 21 Samuel (Matthews 68)
    • 07 Whittingham
    • 11 Burke
    • 20 Olofinjana
    • 23 Blake
    • 25 Emmanuel-Thomas (Koumas 60 yellow card)
    • 08 Chopra (Parkin 64)
    • 09 Bothroyd

    Substitutes

    • 22 Heaton,
    • 03 Naylor,
    • 05 Hudson,
    • 04 Rae,
    • 19 Koumas,
    • 27 Matthews,
    • 16 Parkin

    Reading

    • 01 Federici
    • 02 Griffin
    • 05 Mills
    • 15 Khizanishvili
    • 23 Harte
    • 24 Cummings
    • 04 Karacan (Tabb 90)
    • 08 Leigertwood
    • 11 McAnuff
    • 09 Long yellow card (Church 87)
    • 10 Hunt

    Substitutes

    • 41 McCarthy,
    • 26 Pearce,
    • 06 Gunnarsson,
    • 07 Tabb,
    • 20 Howard,
    • 18 Church,
    • 45 Manset
    Ref: H WebbAtt: 24,081
    CARDIFF
    READING

    Possession

    • Cardiff 46%
    • Reading 54%

    Attempts on target

    • Cardiff 12
    • Reading 5

    Attempts off target

    • Cardiff 6
    • Reading 6

    Corners

    • Cardiff 4
    • Reading 4

    Fouls

    • Cardiff 5
    • Reading 10
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:08 The referee ends the match.
    • 90:00+2:18 Foul by Zurab Khizanishvili on Kevin McNaughton, free kick awarded. Stephen Bywater takes the indirect free kick.
    • 90:00+2:06 Unfair challenge on Peter Whittingham by Andy Griffin results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stephen Bywater.
    • 90:00+1:46 Booking Jason Koumas goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 90:00+1:40 Jason Koumas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Griffin. Free kick taken by Andy Griffin.
    • 89:25 Substitution (Reading) makes a substitution, with Jay Tabb coming on for Jem Karacan.
    • 88:21 Effort on goal by Noel Hunt from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 86:43 Substitution Simon Church on for Shane Long.
    • 85:40 Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Dekel Keinan results in a free kick. Andy Griffin takes the free kick.
    • 84:12 Corner taken by Chris Burke from the right by-line, Headed effort on goal by Darcy Blake from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
    • 83:02 GOAL - Jobi McAnuffCardiff 0 - 3 Reading Jobi McAnuff scores a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Cardiff 0 (0)-(3) 3 Reading.
    • 79:17 Shot by Noel Hunt from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
    • 78:27 Noel Hunt takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin McNaughton. Corner from the right by-line taken by Ian Harte, Seyi Olofinjana manages to make a clearance.
    • 76:42 Free kick taken by Stephen Bywater.
    • 76:42 Booking The referee shows Shane Long a yellow card for dissent.
    • 76:35 The assistant referee signals for offside against Shane Long.
    • 72:09 Corner taken right-footed by Chris Burke, Header on goal by Darcy Blake from just inside the area goes over the goal.
    • 68:59 Corner from the right by-line taken by Andy Griffin, Ian Harte takes a shot. Stephen Bywater makes a save.
    • 67:47 Substitution Adam Matthews on for Jlloyd Samuel.
    • 66:24 Seyi Olofinjana challenges Mikele Leigertwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian Harte produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 64:38 The ball is swung over by Kevin McNaughton, Jon Parkin takes a shot. Blocked by Adam Federici.
    • 64:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Noel Hunt on Darcy Blake. Free kick taken by Kevin McNaughton.
    • 63:32 Substitution Jon Parkin comes on in place of Michael Chopra.
    • 61:20 Seyi Olofinjana takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.
    • 60:17 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darcy Blake by Shane Long. Darcy Blake takes the direct free kick.
    • 59:18 Substitution Jason Koumas on for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
    • 57:43 Jobi McAnuff produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 55:38 Effort from close in by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas goes wide left of the target.
    • 55:09 Shot from inside the six-yard box by Noel Hunt strikes the post.
    • 52:21 Seyi Olofinjana takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.
    • 51:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikele Leigertwood on Jay Bothroyd. Direct free kick taken by Jay Bothroyd.
    • 51:05 Foul by Noel Hunt on Jlloyd Samuel, free kick awarded. Stephen Bywater takes the free kick.
    • 50:12 Shane Long gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dekel Keinan. Indirect free kick taken by Stephen Bywater.
    • 49:36 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 48:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ian Harte by Darcy Blake. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.
    • 46:02 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Darcy Blake misses to the left of the target.
    • 45:32 Handball by Andy Griffin. Indirect free kick taken by Kevin McNaughton.
    • 45:01 The second half has started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:08 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 45:00+1:20 Shane Long is caught offside. Free kick taken by Stephen Bywater.
    • 45:00+0:44 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici.
    • 44:50 GOAL - Shane LongCardiff 0 - 2 Reading Penalty taken right-footed by Shane Long and scored. Cardiff 0 (0)-(2) 2 Reading.
    • 43:40 Booking Dekel Keinan is shown a yellow card.
    • 42:43 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, Unfair challenge on Noel Hunt by Dekel Keinan results in a Penalty.
    • 42:24 Noel Hunt takes a shot. Blocked by Dekel Keinan.
    • 40:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Burke by Jobi McAnuff. Kevin McNaughton crosses the ball in from the free kick, save made by Adam Federici.
    • 35:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Seyi Olofinjana by Noel Hunt. Stephen Bywater takes the direct free kick.
    • 30:58 Noel Hunt is caught offside. Jlloyd Samuel takes the free kick.
    • 30:37 Michael Chopra takes a shot. Zurab Khizanishvili gets a block in.
    • 29:29 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
    • 28:52 Centre by Darcy Blake.
    • 28:43 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
    • 27:29 GOAL - Shane LongCardiff 0 - 1 Reading Goal scored by Shane Long from the edge of the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Cardiff 0 (0)-(1) 1 Reading.
    • 26:31 Unfair challenge on Darcy Blake by Shane Long results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Kevin McNaughton.
    • 24:36 Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Jay Bothroyd makes a clearance.
    • 22:29 Corner taken by Peter Whittingham, Dekel Keinan takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
    • 22:09 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Zurab Khizanishvili gets a block in.
    • 20:07 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jay Bothroyd. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.
    • 17:33 Michael Chopra takes a shot. Blocked by Matt Mills.
    • 16:07 Shot from just outside the area by Michael Chopra misses to the right of the target.
    • 12:40 Seyi Olofinjana takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Zurab Khizanishvili.
    • 12:16 Chris Burke decides to take the corner short.
    • 5:07 Peter Whittingham takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
    • 5:01 The ball is swung over by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, blocked by Matt Mills.
    • 1:51 Shane Long has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 0:00 The game gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

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    Npower Championship results

    17 May 2011 23:59 UK

    Npower Championship table snapshot

    As it stood on 17 May 2011 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 QPR 46 39 88
    2 Norwich 46 25 84
    3 Swansea 46 27 80
    4 Cardiff 46 22 80
    5 Reading 46 26 77
    6 Nott'm Forest 46 19 75
    7 Leeds 46 11 72
    8 Burnley 46 4 68
    9 Millwall 46 14 67
    10 Leicester 46 5 67
    11 Hull 46 1 65
    12 Middlesbrough 46 0 62
    13 Ipswich 46 -6 62
    14 Watford 46 6 61
    15 Bristol City 46 -3 60
    16 Portsmouth 46 -7 58
    17 Barnsley 46 -11 56
    18 Coventry 46 -4 55
    19 Derby 46 -13 49
    20 Crystal Palace 46 -25 48
    21 Doncaster 46 -26 48
    22 Preston 46 -25 42
    23 Sheffield Utd 46 -35 42
    24 Scunthorpe 46 -44 42

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