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Derby County 1-2 Reading FC: Player Ratings

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A late winner from new signing Yakubu sent Reading into the quarter finals of the FA Cup for just the fifth time in their history. But how did the players perform on the day? Jon Keen rates the Royals.

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Adam Federici - 7

Dealt competently enough with the mostly long-range shots Derby threw at him, although worryingly didn't cling onto a couple early on.  But apart from that was never really called on to do anything other than make routine saves.  Started to come for a cross but then stopped, leaving Stephen Kelly to unnecessarily put the ball out for a corner in a hurry - possibly still questions about his command of the area and his communication.

Stephen Kelly - 7

Tended to allow Derby's wingers a little too much space, but wasn't seriously outclassed by them.  A competent defensive performance against high-quality players, and looked good on the times he came forward in the second half to exploit Reading's numerical advantage. Cleverly played in Cox in the build-up for HRK's goal.

Alex Pearce - 7

Didn't really notice him being beaten, he just got on with the job well-enough.  Most of the Derby attacks came from the wings, but he dealt with most of the crosses and when Derby ran at him he was equal to the task.

Michael Hector - 8

As with Pearce, a decent but undramatic centre-back performance. I've marked him higher than his partner though, for two reasons.  His greater involvement in the attacking play, and also for his tackle right at the end of the first half - when a Derby striker was bearing down on goal on the edge of the area.  It was one of those "get it wrong and it's a red-card" tackles - especially in front of an obviously-rattled and card-happy referee.  He got it exactly right.  If The Tilehurst End did "Champagne Moments", that tackle would get my award.

Jordan Obita - 7

Was mostly concerned with defensive duties today so got forward too rarely, but when he did he looked good,  Delivered a lovely cross right onto Pog's head after 70 minutes.

Jamie Mackie - 6

For me the only Reading player who under-performed yesterday.  As well as allowing too much time and space when defending, he had a few breaks which were promising but broke down too easily, and was largely anonymous in the second half. In fact, the only time I noticed him in in the 25 minutes he had in the second half was when he snatched at a good chance and blazed it over as the ball fell to him close in from Pog's saved header.  If anyone took a picture of Obita falling to the ground in despair at that miss I'd love to see it - it's a classic!

Nathaniel Chalobah - 7

This match was won in central midfield, with Reading's two players there winning the ball more than you'd expect and disrupting Derby's play whenever possible. He didn't do anything particularly spectacular, but what he did he did well.

Danny Williams - 8

As well as playing his part in winning the ball in midfield, he was the driving force in Reading going forwards, setting up most of the breaks and surging forward himself a couple of times.  A super, high-energy midfield performance makes him my man of the match.

Hal Robson-Kanu - 8

Ah, the enigma that is HRK!  Defensively he could have done better at times, but his goal was superbly taken, and the weight of his through-ball to Yakubu for his goal was absolutely perfect so I have to mark him up for those.

Pavel Pogrebnyak - 7

The best I've seen from him, plenty of energy and mobility.  In one particular first half spell he was fighting for the ball first on one touchline and then a minute later doing the same on the opposite side of the pitch.  It's a shame that when he won the ball there was no-one in the area, but I can't fault his effort or application for once, and he was unlucky not to score from a clever stooping header after Obita's 70th minute cross.

Simon Cox - 7

A nice performance with some lovely touches of skill. Got into dangerous positions and had some decent half-chances, and never afraid to have a shot.  If his accuracy was better he'd have been scored higher.

Subs

Yakubu (71st min) - 7

Was only called on to do one thing, and did it exactly as required.  But, to be honest, I think we'd all have been supremely disappointed if he'd not scored from that position - the goal was made by the quality of the pass by HRK rather than his finish.

Nick Blackman (71st min) - 6

Had a few tentative runs at the Derby defence but I can't say he really did anything that sticks in the mind.

Hope Akpan (79th min) - 6

Came on just as Reading needed to close the game out, and so didn't particular have the chance to shine.