Reading and QPR were both relegated from the Premier League after they played out a dull 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
Both sides needed a win to keep their mathematical chances of survival alive, but the match was a perfect example of why they will be playing in the Championship next season, with a lack of cutting edge and genuine quality clearly evident.
QPR's Esteban Granero was denied by the woodwork from an early free-kick, while at the other end, Jose Bosingwa made a goal-line clearance to deny Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak, but that was as close as either side got to scoring in a match that failed to inspire.
While Reading kept the same side that lost 2-1 to Norwich City last week, with striker Adam Le Fondre remaining on the bench, the visitors made five changes.
The likes of Jermaine Jenas, Granero and Jay Bothroyd won recalls as QPR's record signing, defender Chris Samba, was left out of the squad, while Tottenham loanee Andros Townsend was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Reading started brightly but it was their opponents who came closest to opening the scoring, with Spaniard Granero shaving the crossbar with a 12th-minute free-kick.
QPR almost scored again shortly after, as a terrific ball from Stephane Mbia released Bothroyd, but the forward saw his effort – which was clipped over Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy – bounce agonisingly wide.
A quick free-kick caught QPR napping seven minutes before the break and a header across the face of goal caused chaos, although Reading striker Pogrebnyak was unable to clearly strike both of his half-chances before Bosingwa cleared off the line.
Reading captain Jobi McAnuff hit a decent effort from outside of the area but it was comfortably saved by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green, while two penalty appeals from the hosts were turned down as both sides headed into the half-time break goalless.
The visitors were impressive immediately after half-time, with
Loic Remy's header – which went over from a corner – a warning sign for
Taarabt had two good efforts shortly after, but he
scuffed his initial attempt at McCarthy before side-footing wide.
It was then Reading's turn to enjoy a good spell, as the
hosts cranked up the pressure after the hour mark.
First, Pogrebnyak cut inside and curled an attempt just
wide of the right-hand post before Guthrie's long-range effort was saved by
QPR were enjoying good spells of possession but Reading
continued to threaten when they went forward and the introduction of Le Fondre
spurred them on, with Pogrebnyak heading over from close range.
Le Fondre did the same in the 80th minute, after a
terrific Guthrie cross, while defender Shane Morrison had a good header tipped over by Green in the dying stages.
At the other end, McCarthy spilled a Bothroyd shot, but he recovered quickly for Reading, as both sides were forced to settle for an ultimately meaningless point.
With three matches remaining for both sides in the Premier League season, they will only have pride to play for as a disappointing campaign draws to a close.