Vito Mannone: 6
Could do little about either goal as Leadbitter’s penalty was emphatic for the first and Assombalonga was given time and space to head home the second. Stayed calm and composed when his defence didn’t and made a good save to prevent Marvin Johnson making it 3-0 late on.
Paul McShane: 4
Started the game at right-back and struggled, so would have been thankful when he moved into the middle, although not for the circumstances that allowed him to do so. Yet life for the skipper wasn’t any easier there, as he found it difficult to cope with Assombalonga’s speed and power and allowed the striker too much space to score the second goal.
Liam Moore: 6
More assured than his various centre-back partners throughout the day, but had a fairly anonymous game in general. Received a huge cheer when he returned to the pitch after a 10 minute absence getting his head bandaged up Terry Butcher-esque. What a warrior.
Tiago Ilori: N/A
I’d love to say Ilori was involved with more than just a clash of heads with Moore on 23 minutes, but I can’t think of any particular passage of play that he featured in before that point. Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious.
Chris Gunter: 6
Got forward a lot more than he usually does, causing Boro full-back Fabio a few problems down the right hand side as he floated a couple of promising crosses into the box. Shares the blame with McShane for Assombalonga’s goal, but did clear Ayala’s header off the line to prevent the scoreline being 3-0.
Joey van den Berg: 4
Some people might say the penalty was soft, but for me it was as clear cut as you’re going to get as Joey recklessly outstretched his arm to bring down Assombalonga. He failed to get back into the game after that, and looked a little nervous at times.
Liam Kelly: 6
The most creative player in the team, Kelly looked to link up with best bud Smith on a number of occasions and that was when Reading seemed most likely to score.
Sone Aluko: 4
He’s only been at Reading for two months, but Sone Aluko is already looking like a contender for TTE’s ‘Hal Robson-Kanu Underachiever of the Year’ award. Still yet to score for the Royals, he had another relatively anonymous game and the opportunities he did have he should done much better with. Dropped deeper as the game wore on, which seemed a little bizarre.
John Swift: 6
Drifted in and out of the game, but when he was involved Swift looked very promising and showed glimpses of the quality that we saw regularly at the start of last season. Played some neat passes as part of the Royals’ best attacking moves, and had one of the team’s three shots on target.
Roy Beerens: 5
Jaap Stam’s persistence with Beerens is becoming increasingly frustrating. In fairness, the winger was slightly more creative than in recent weeks but he was still unable to have a real impact on the game and his attempt to lob Randolph not only failed miserably but also came when better options were available.
Sam Smith: 6
Didn’t look out of his depth at all on his first league start, working hard to try to create opportunities for himself and his team-mates. Struggled for service as the game wore on, but proved that he is a more than viable option up top as Kermorgant gets up to speed.
Tyler Blackett: 5
Once again not chosen to start despite no other natural left-back in the squad, Blackett did nothing to suggest that he should be playing from the off after replacing the injured Ilori in the first half. Lost concentration too often, allowing Boro opportunities down the right hand side, including for the second goal.
Mo Barrow: 6
Came on with just over 20 minutes left and instantly looked more threatening than most of the starters with his pace and trickery. Like everyone else though, he lacked an end product.
Yann Kermorgant: N/A
Received the loudest cheer of the day from the home fans when he made his long-awaited return from injury. Unfortunately the contest was over by the time of his arrival so he was allowed little opportunity to make an impact.
Do you agree with Olly’s ratings? Have your say in the comments below and vote for your man of the match in the poll!