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Reading FC 3-1 Blackburn Rovers: Player Ratings

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Kermorgant put in an impressive shift against Blackburn, as did a few Reading defenders.

Manchester United v Reading - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ali Al-Habsi: 6

The Omani didn't actually have that much to do on the night, and wasn't troubled by Blackburn's under-performing frontmen. Couldn't do anything about the goal, which was a brilliantly struck long range effort from Bennett.

Chris Gunter: 6

To be honest, I forgot he was playing - which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. There were no real worries defensively, but Gunter didn't offer much at all when Reading were on the front foot. Solid, but nothing special.

Reece Oxford: 7

In the West Ham loanee, Reading have an excellent choice at centre half - but it's a shame that it's taken so long to see it. Making his first start for the club, Oxford was composed on the ball, strong in the tackle and intelligent in his decision making. If the 18 year-old had any nerves about coming into the heart of the defence, he didn't show them.

His highlight of the evening was a first half slide tackle on Conway (I think), timed to perfection, preventing a Blackburn break. Substituted for the returning Tiago Ilori after 73 minutes.

Liam Moore: 8

A defensive rock at the back, and cool as a cucumber on the ball, Liam Moore's performance will have delighted Jaap Stam (and maybe reminded the Dutchman of a younger version of himself?). The former Leicester City man marshalled the back line expertly against Blackburn, put strong tackles in, cleared his lines and looked to start attacks when possible.

Reading used to miss Paul McShane when the Irishman is out injured but, if Moore keeps up performances like this, they'll be just fine.

Tyler Blackett: 7

A fine performance from Blackett, who was asked to line up at left back in the absence of Jordan Obita, although he came onto the left side of a back three in the second half. When he was playing at left back, he looked pretty threatening going forwards, using his pure physical power to drive up the field.

Yann Kermorgant should give him endless thanks for the terrific cross that set up the opener. At the end of one of his drives forward, Blackett had Kermorgant in the box and Beerens in space to his left to pick from. Admirably, he took the risky option, choosing to whip the ball in with pace and precision right onto the head of the Reading frontman.

He was defensively strong, clearing his lines on various occasions when Blackburn mounted pressure in the second half, and looked composed on the ball.

Liam Kelly: 6

A disappointing evening from the youngster, who couldn't influence the game as strongly as he did against Leeds. Kept the ball moving well enough, but didn't look like much of a threat to the opposition.

Jordon Mutch: 6

The appendix organ of this Reading side, you know Jordon Mutch is there, but you don't have any clue why. The Crystal Palace loanee didn't have a bad game per se - he did his basic jobs well enough, putting in tackles and keeping the ball moving - but he made a minimal impact in both attack and defence.

John Swift: 6

Swifty didn't show enough creativity to replicate his fine performance against Leeds, but did set up Yann Kermorgant for his second goal of the evening with a lovely chip. Reading really needed him to take control of the game in the final third much more often to open up the visitors' defence, but he didn't manage it.

Adrian Popa: 5

Like with Reece Oxford, it's been a tough start to life in Berkshire for Adrian Popa, who got 55 minutes on the pitch before being withdrawn for Garath McCleary in a tactical swap. Didn't get the ball much in the final third, so had limited opportunities to really test the opposition.

Understandably, he looked frustrated by that, but did try to make amends by haring across the pitch to press Rovers' defence on a few occasions.

Yann Kermorgant: 8

The Frenchman, likened to a 'fine wine' before the game by Liam Moore, was the difference between a comfortable win and a very difficult evening for Reading. Led the line very well, dropped deep to link the play, and ensured the three points with a brace of powerful headers and an assist.

Roy Beerens: 5

He's such a frustrating player to watch, is Roy Beerens. Compared to others in the Reading side, he had the ball at his feet in and around the Blackburn penalty area quite a lot, but his end product always seemed to be lacking. There were so many poor final balls and indecisive moments when he should have just pulled the trigger.

If there was an obvious candidate to replace him in the side, I think Beerens would have been dropped by now. Nonetheless, the Dutchman really needs to start proving his attacking worth to Stam.

Substitutes

Garath McCleary: 6

A cracking strike from the edge of the area to restore Reading's two goal cushion shortly after Blackburn had pulled the scoreline back to 2-1. A below par performance on the whole, but understandable when you're asking a forward to play as a left wing back.

Danny Williams: 6

Quiet, efficient display to keep Reading going and prevent Blackburn from getting back into the game.

Tiago Ilori: 6

Replacing Reece Oxford at the heart of the defence, Ilori got some important minutes under his belt on his return from injury. No scares defensively, and looked confident on the ball.

Average Rating: 6.28

Best and worst performances from 2016/2017:

6.8 - Leeds United H (W 1-0)

6.7 - Preston North End H (W 1-0)

6.7 - Sheffield Wednesday A (W 2-0)

5.9 - AVERAGE

4.8 - QPR H (L 0-1)

4.7 - Brentford A (L 1-4)

4.4 - Fulham A (L 0-5)

Poll

Who was your man of the match against Blackburn?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Reece Oxford
    (5 votes)
  • 18%
    Liam Moore
    (33 votes)
  • 74%
    Yann Kermorgant
    (132 votes)
  • 3%
    Tyler Blackett
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (name in comments or it doesn't count)
    (0 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now