Adam Federici: 6
Aussie Keeper Feds had little to do for the goals. Perhaps let himself be crowded out to stop him claiming the corner for the first goal, and unable to save a Peter Whittingham penalty. Federici had a couple of more manageable tasks and did them well, in particular stopping Cardiff from going 3-1 up with a double save just after Hector's goal.
Stephen Kelly: 6
Looked pretty calm and comfortable at right-back, Kelly could have gotten forward better and allowed Pilkington to get into the box too easily in the first-half. However, the Irishman made few individual errors and Cardiff hardly threatened from his wing.
Alex Pearce: 2
Nigel Adkins suggested he could have played Jake Cooper over Pearce in the post-match interview. Hindsight is wonderful, but in reality nobody expected Pearce to have such an unrelenting shocker in such a short space of time in Wales. Caught off-guard and off-balance to score an own-goal, and making all the wrong decisions to concede a penalty and receive his marching orders in first-half injury time. If that last sentence never happened, Reading would've taken at least a point back across the Severn.
Michael Hector: 7
Just. I nudged Hector up a mark because, while hesitancy didn't help in the penalty incident, he was on very good form and made some classy tackles and important blocks throughout. To add icing on the cake, Hector swivelled to fire in the consolation and give us travelling fans something to cheer.
Chris Gunter: 5
It felt like the Reading players were reluctant to include Gunter in attacks, given his need to cut-in from the left-flank, and Gunter made little impact as a result. Furthermore, he was cut to pieces by Noone in the second half. That said, the captain deserves much praise for leading the squad over to the away corner at full time.
Oliver Norwood: 5
The playmaker spread the play well, but needs to do more as Reading consistently struggle to break through and create chances in the final third. Still new to the team, I think he needs a midfield three or pacier attack to create the chances we know he can.
Danny Williams: 6
American midfielder showed a willingness to drive the ball at the Cardiff goal, and looked decent in defending the back-four. Perhaps went missing at key points, but rarely threatened directly.
Hal Robson-Kanu: 5
In Cardiff, where HRK scored his last competitive goal, it felt like this was a great chance for the winger to play to the level we know he can reach. However, some promising early moments faded and HRK lacked any kind of end product, and didn't make the runs to threaten Cardiff's area.
Jordan Obita: 5
It's telling that he looked more comfortable at left-back in the second-half than on the wing in the first. For a winger, Obita really needs to work on his crossing, that hit the first man too often. Perhaps needs a spell as a super-sub to return to form.
Simon Cox: 6
Harshly, but inevitably, subbed at half-time with Reading down to 10-men. Looked to have a creative spark in the middle for the visitors, setting up a great one-two for Obita's shot at 1-0. Needs to work better with Murray, though.
Glenn Murray: 5
Very close to a 4 for the Palace loanee. As a target man, he ended up out wide too often and had a dismal first touch for large periods. However, improved in the second half despite great isolation- but still lost most of his header's with Sean Morrison. If Derby want him, I'm inclined to spend good money elsewhere.
Garath McCleary: 6
Full of running, skilful, and a general threat in a 45-minute return from injury. Pleasing to see the Jamaican winger back, but couldn't produce the magic needed to turn this game around.
Jake Taylor: 6
Got involved and in amongst the action with a 15-minute cameo. Played a part in the goal and ran hard, as much as can be expected of the Welsh midfielder.
Nick Blackman: 4
Short appearance defined by two moments: an ambling run down the left before crossing the ball into touch, and a booking for diving. Enough said.