Reading down Bradford to seal Arsenal semi showdown
17 March 2015, 12:32
Reading - Reading booked an FA Cup semi-final clash against holders Arsenal after romping to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Bradford in their quarter-final replay on Monday.
Steve Clarke's Championship side had been held to a goalless draw by their third tier opponents in the first meeting at Valley Parade.
But Reading avoided the same fate as Chelsea and Sunderland, the two Premier League teams dumped out of the competition by Bradford this season, as they easily moved into their first FA Cup semi-final since 1927.
Bradford have made a name for themselves as giant killers in recent years, reaching the League Cup final in 2013, but they could not work their way back into the game after Reading scored twice in the first nine minutes and will now return to fighting for promotion from League One.
The kick-off time was almost altered as Bradford supporters were delayed by heavy traffic around the Madejski Stadium, but those away fans who did get in on time only witnessed their team struggle to get out of first gear.
Clarke made 11 changes from the side that lost 4-1 to Watford in the Championship on Saturday and his revamped line-up tore into Bradford.
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Hal Robson-Kanu's header put the Royals in front with the game's first chance in the sixth minute and the impressive Garath McCleary saw a shot deflected in on nine minutes.
Any hopes the Bantams had of completing a remarkable comeback were shattered when winger Felipe Morais was shown a straight red card for a high foot on Nathaniel Chalobah just after the hour.
And it was on-loan Chelsea youngster Chalobah who set-up the third Reading goal which truly put the game beyond doubt as he fed Jamie Mackie, who hammered it in the 68th minute.