Vito Mannone: 6
With Fulham very rarely attacking, Mannone didn’t have much to do on his home debut. Made a superb stop to deny Norwood in the first half, but a had a moment of miscommunication with McShane showing he is still new to this system.
Chris Gunter: 5
The Welshman was relatively anonymous but didn’t do much wrong until inexplicably sliding in when van den Berg had put Piazon through, making the Brazilian’s route to goal much easier. Even with every outfield Royals player in Fulham’s half, Gunter still didn’t make as many moves into the box as a wing-back perhaps should.
Tiago Ilori: 5
I have high hopes for Ilori this season, but he hasn’t started off that well at all. After last weekend’s red card, he looked a little sloppy yesterday afternoon whilst also making a couple of decent passes. Booked in the 71st minute, he was taken off just two minutes later probably to avoid a second consecutive early bath.
Paul McShane: 6
It was great to have the captain back at the heart of the back line and he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in to do the dirty work. A no-nonsense defender, McShane’s transformation to a ball player too over the last 12 months has been impressive.
Liam Moore: 7
Appeared to relish being able to attack more due to Fulham sitting deep, and indeed spent more time in the opposition’s half than he did in his own. Wasn’t afraid to push the team forward from defence, whilst he was calm at the back when needed as well.
Tyler Blackett: 5
It’s becoming clear that Blackett is not wing-back material, but you can’t fault him for trying. Often found himself in acres of space far up the pitch on the left hand side, but was rarely picked out by a team-mate. Unfortunately, when he was passed to, the former Manchester United man failed to do anything with the ball and his heavy control in Fulham’s box show that he should stay clear of that area in future.
Liam Kelly: 7
After scoring twice against League One Gillingham in midweek, Kelly proved he could do it against one of the best teams in the Championship aswell yesterday with another impressive performance. Tried to fill the Williams shaped hole in the midfield with a couple of promising driving runs, made considerably more passes than anyone else on the pitch and took his goal really well. His stock is only increasing.
George Evans: 5
I actually can’t remember Evans doing anything of note before he was substituted for van den Berg just before the hour mark. Whilst that means he didn’t do anything calamitous like his replacement, it also shows that he’s not really adding anything to the team. I get the impression that if/when a midfielder is signed, Evans will be the one to drop out of the starting XI.
John Swift: 5
Whilst Evans got a five for not doing much, Swift gets a five for doing a lot but not very well. The England Under-21 international had one curling effort saved by Button, but in general his passing was wayward and his movement was poor. Desperately hope that we see his form from the start of last season return soon.
Modou Barrow: 7
Started as he meant to go on as he won the foul that saw Kalas sent off after just 39 seconds. Worked very hard for the entire game, at one point running pretty much the entire length of the pitch to dispossess Sessegnon in Reading’s box. Showed impressive pace, trickery and movement and after my initial doubts about him, Barrow looks to be a promising signing.
Joseph Mendes: 5
Was pretty anonymous for large parts of the game, partly down to the fact that he had fairly limited service. Gets a five for working very hard, something which I always seemed to write about Simon Cox, and also showed composure to lay off Kelly for Reading’s goal.
Joey van den Berg: 4
Actually looked ok before and after the 82nd minute with a couple of neat passes, but for that horrendous error alone, van den Berg has to get a low mark. The goal wasn’t entirely his fault, with Gunter’s attempted slide tackle also calamitous, but the Dutchman made the initial mistake with a massively under-hit pass that was unforgivable.
Pelle Clement: 6
Was slightly strange to see Clement come on for Ilori with Reading leading 1-0, but he slotted in nicely at left wing-back and showed some nice moments of skill. His influence was limited following the equaliser after the whole team just appeared to slump.
Adrian Popa: N/A
Got just three touches of the ball after coming on in the 83rd minute.
Average Rating: 5.6
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