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Dublin: 7°C Friday 15 January 2021

WATCH: Southampton leave Reading hanging by a thread

The result left Nigel Adkins’ side on the brink of relegation from the Premier League.

Adam Lallana scored Southampton's second goal.
Adam Lallana scored Southampton's second goal.

READING’S HOPES OF avoiding relegation from the Premier League were seriously compromised on Saturday when a 2-0 loss at home to manager Nigel Adkins’ former club Southampton left them seven points from safety with only six games remaining.

Despite sustained early pressure from Reading, Southampton took a 34th-minute lead through Jay Rodriguez and completed victory with 18 minutes remaining when captain Adam Lallana coolly tucked away his 50th goal for the club.

Reading thought they had pulled a goal back moments later, but Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc was adjudged not to have carried Adam Le Fondre’s header over his own goal-line in what was a very marginal call.

Adkins joined Reading last month after Southampton sacked him in January, but his bid to steer his new club off the foot of the table is beginning to look like an impossible task, particularly as the Royals have now played at least a game more than all the teams above them.

Southampton, meanwhile, are seven points above the bottom three after their third consecutive victory and appear poised to secure their status among the elite for a second season.

Later on Saturday, third-bottom Aston Villa can move out of the relegation zone if they pick up at least a point at Stoke City.

Arsenal will slip into the Champions League places at Chelsea’s expense if they win at West Bromwich Albion, while the day’s other game sees Norwich City host Swansea City.

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