Bradford City have missed out on an FA Cup semi-final tie at Wembley against Arsenal, after losing 3-0 to Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Championship Transfer News
(Video) RED CARD! Bradford winger Felipe Morais sent off v Reading, but was the ref persuaded to change his mind?
(Video) GOAL! Reading 2-0 Bradford City: McCleary goal leaves League One side with mountain to climb
The game could not have started any worse for Phil Parkinson’s men, as they went behind within the first six minutes, thanks to a header from Wales international Hal Robson Kanu.
Their slow start was punished once again just three minutes later as midfielder Garath McCleary’s doubled the Championship side’s lead. The 27-year-old cut in from the right hand side with a terrific piece of skill, before unleashing a shot that was wickedly deflected over Ben Williams’s head for 2-0.
As the half went on, the Bantams tried to assert themselves upon the game. However, their attacks were restricted to corners, which came to nothing. Reading never really looked troubled going into the interval.
Neither side was helped by the referee, who started booking players very early into the match, and setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of the game. And in the second half, the inevitable happened as Felipe Morais was sent off after catching Nathaniel Chalobah in the chest with his studs.
However, the sending off was controversial as the official initially pulled out a yellow card, but as Reading’s players appear to surround him, he changed his mind and produced a red. The incident came less than a week after Chelsea’s players were criticised for their part in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s dismissal in the Champions League.
Reading sealed the tie when man of the match Jamie Mackie was played through, and drilled home the emphatic third, and ended the League One side’s Wembley dream.