Football: Southampton leave Reading hanging by a thread

LONDON (AFP) - Reading's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League were seriously compromised on Saturday when a 0-2 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.

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.