Sam Walker: 6
Not at fault for either of Bristol City’s goals, and put in some key saves in both halves to keep Reading in the game. Should command his area more dominantly, but that will improve come with a run of starts.
Andy Yiadom: 6
Didn’t get forward as much as usual but did the defensive side of his job well enough in the second half, although he could have been more imposing in the build-up to City’s second, with the ball twice going over from his side into the danger area.
Liam Moore: 7
Lost Pack for the first equaliser and should have been more decisive in clearing Reading’s lines for the second. On the whole though he was typically strong and committed which paid off in the second half when City pushed forward for a goal.
John O’Shea: 7
The king of ‘standing in the right place and heading the ball away’, O’Shea is the perfect centre back to have in the defence when the opposition are throwing the kitchen sink at you in search of a goal. Wasn’t exposed for pace and made his experience show to help Reading see out the game.
Tyler Blackett: 5
An inconsistent afternoon for Blackett who had some great moments - like a first half balletic spin on the ball that left a Bristol City player completely bamboozled - but also some some sloppier ones, and was beaten at the far post for City’s second too easily.
Liam Kelly: 7
Fantastic goal at the end of the first half to (briefly) restore Reading’s lead, firing a rocket into the top corner from the edge of the box. Overall he was given a different role in the team, anchoring the midfield in the continued absence of Saeid Ezatolahi and David Meyler.
Although he obviously lacks their strength and aerial presence, he was tenacious in the tackle. He also seemed to use the ball better than usual, finding space more easily in deeper areas, so it’s worth keeping him here for the Ipswich Town match to see if he can keep it up.
Andy Rinomhota: 7
A really mature, composed performance from the young midfielder whose debut has been a long time coming. Won the ball back well a few times and kept things simple - nothing too complicated but did his job effectively and should start against Ipswich Town.
Leandro Bacuna: 7
Came up with the game’s crucial goal, slamming home midway through the second half to push Reading back in front. Generally speaking though, he was his usual hotheaded self, giving Reading energy in the middle of the park and driving forward well, but also letting himself down a few times with poor decision making.
Bacuna messed up a two-on-one after winning the ball back in a dangerous area, got into a silly bit of fisticuffs in the second half, and was guilty a few times of sloppy control that put his team under pressure. On the whole, he offered the side a lot more in an advanced role than when he’s been deployed deeper.
Sam Baldock: 5
A difficult afternoon for Baldock who had to work hard up top on his own for much of the match, without much service from his teammates. Also didn’t get much joy out of Webster and Kalas who gobbled up most aerial balls that came their way. Dived in recklessly in the build-up for the first equaliser.
Yakou Meite: 7
Taken off injured in the first half after going down a few times, but had been bright until then. Opened the scoring for Reading with a instinctive finish on eight minutes, and worked hard to hold the ball up for others.
Modou Barrow: 5
Didn’t look as sharp as he has done previously, and didn’t stretch the Bristol City defence with his pace as you’d like him to do. Nonetheless, he earned another assist with a clever pull-back that Bacuna converted for 3-2.
Garath McCleary: 6
Across the game he played in three different positions: left wing just after coming on for Yakou Meite in the first, right wing whenever he swapped with Modou Barrow, and up front alongside Sam Baldock when Reading went 3-5-2 late on.
Although he didn’t create too much in open play, he pushed Reading up the pitch on the counter in the second half, and his hard work as an auxiliary striker in the closing stages was vital in protecting the home side’s lead.
John Swift: 5
Replaced Andy Rinomhota to give Reading fresh legs in the midfield. Didn’t offer much in the final third, but did the important job: keeping the ball well enough when it came to him.
Chris Gunter: N/A
Brought on for Modou Barrow and went to left wing-back so that Reading could play a 5-3-2 in the closing stages. No scares, and won a corner out of nothing through determination, eating up valuable time. Came on too late to be given a grade.
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