Norwich City vs. Reading: Final score 2-1, Royals all but down

Jamie McDonald

A couple of Canaries named Bennett all but sealed Reading's fate.

A less than spectacular game at Carrow Road featured a quick crumbling by Reading, who are potentially days from being officially relegated to the Championship. They held their own in the first half, but were overrun early in the second half. An impressive consolation goal was merely that, as the Canaries won 2-1.

The best chance of the first half for either team came from Elliott Bennett, who hit an absolute screamer just inches wide in the 5th minute. In the 19th minute, Michael Turner was forced out of the game with an injury and was replaced by Ryan Bennett. That switch didn't adversely affect Norwich much at all, as they were well on top for the entirety of the first half. Reading had a decent chance in the 44th minute, after a corner, but he put his shot over the bar from close range. That was the only excellent chance of the half from Reading, who were mostly quite poor.

In the 50th minute, things picked up for Norwich, who absolutely smothered Reading during a two-minute period. Alex McCarthy made a great save on a Kei Kamara shot to force a corner, but the Canaries would score on the ensuing set piece. McCarthy did well to save Steve Morison's initial effort, but Ryan Bennett poked in the rebound. Two minutes later, his namesake Elliott doubled their side's lead, finishing after McCarthy palmed away a cross, but only as far as the Canaries midfielder.

Gareth McCleary scored an excellent goal to bring Reading back into the game in the 73rd minute, striking from 25 yards after a nice run through midfield, but Mark Bunn certainly helped him out with a very late reaction. Luckily for Norwich, they wouldn't concede again. McCleary had a decent chance in stoppage time with an overhead kick that just missed, but it was the closest the Royals would get to stealing a point. They are now almost certain to be relegated, with Stoke City and Sunderland having won elsewhere. Aston Villa can guarantee Reading's relegation by winning any of their remaining games.

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