No mistakes from McCarthy today as he performed well to keep the clean sheet intact. One very good stop to deny Bamford one-on-one, and his distribution was better than in recent weeks.
Chris Gunter: 8
Mr Dependable at the moment, Gunter looks a force both going forward and defensivel, and he's certainly been the most consistent player in recent months (one wayward header at Brighton aside).
Alex Pearce: 7
A clean sheet for the defence means that Pearce and Gorkss performed well on the day, though Derby did break through once or twice, relying on McCarthy to keep the shutout intact.
Like Pearce, solid and dependable in the centre of defence, though the reliance on each other in terms of passing is something which Nigel Adkins and his staff will want to work on in training.
Jordan Obita: 6
Derby's best player was their right winger Jamie Ward, and the Northern Irishman beat Obita too many times. The young makeshift left-back also made a couple of questionable decisions in shielding the ball out of play for Derby throws and corners.
First half, McCleary was woeful - off the pace, unwilling to commit to challenges, and probably not fully fit (he was questionable before the game). Second half, he created the three best chances Reading had. So that averages out. Disagree? Let me know in the comments!
Danny Guthrie: 5
The fears we had about Guthrie returning came to fruition as he didn't do enough defensively to warrant the few moments of decent attacking play he produced.
Hope Akpan: 5
Derby ran rings around the Reading midfield all game and Akpan showed his frailties/inexperience at this level, making a few good challenges but always wanting more time on the ball than the Rams allowed.
Jobi McAnuff: 5
A workaholic as ever, but McAnuff didn't produce too much in attack - coupled with McCleary being off the pace in the first half, it didn't help matters. No denying his leadership and his work rate, but he's lost the pace and confidence which worried defenders two years ago.
Perhaps outstayed his welcome by about ten minutes, Drenthe was buzzing around the field as has become customary in his cameos, and his link-up play with Le Fondre was encouraging. Had one shot into the side netting - I do worry that he isn't a team player not only in his work-rate but also in front of goal.
Hal was injured after about half an hour, but in that brief time he didn't show too much to convince that he's the target man we all crave.
I can't blame Le Fondre for the first chance, which perhaps came too quickly at him to divert into the net from two yards out. And with his height, he probably had to handle the ball into the net, just as he did against Swansea last year in the Premier League. Linked up well with Drenthe.
A good cameo from the striker, he showed a few nice touches and perhaps had the clearest actual chance on goal from a McCleary cut-back which he just hit over the bar.
That's how we saw the players - but what did you think? Did any players perform better or worse than we rated? Who was your man of the match on the day? Let us know below...