Aston Villa have officially ended the part of the 2016-17 season that means anything. With today’s loss, they are fourteen points adrift of a playoff position with four matches left to play. To be fair, the playoff chase was doomed with last weekend’s draw at Burton Albion, or yesterday’s win by Sheffield Wednesday, but this makes it official.
Reading didn’t have to play all that well to come away with all three points today, either. Instead, it was a bevy of defensive mistakes by Aston Villa that secured the loss. Jordan Amavi was directly responsible for Joseph Mendes’ brace. The first goal came in the sixth minute and the second came a mere 19 seconds into the second half. In both instances, Amavi was out of position and allowed Reading into the box for easy goals.
The third Reading goal came when Leandro Bacuna pulled down a Reading player in the Villa box. Lewis Grabban was easily able to convert the ensuing 79th-minute penalty.
The lone bright spot in the day came when James Chester was able to get on the end of a Villa corner and bury it for a 14th-minute goal.
There’s not really much to say here. The loss stinks, but at this point the only thing to play for is a top-ten finish. This won’t help that, but it’s still very possible. A visit to Fulham comes in just a few hours, so the winning can begin anew.