Anssi Jaakkola: 4
I’m really torn on Jaakkola. On the one hand, he made a few very good saves to keep the score at 1-0. However, he put Reading under pressure time and again with an insistence on playing short from goal-kicks. That was almost certainly a tactical instruction from Jose Gomes, but you still need your goalkeeper to take the initiative. If the pass isn’t on - or it’s unwise to try it - boot the ball long.
Andy Yiadom: 6
He played most of the game at centre-half after Blackett’s red card, and did pretty well there for the most part. Brought the ball out pretty well, and did a decent job aerially against a big Millwall side.
Liam Moore: 6
Composed defensively and got some important blocks in, staying strong against a Millwall side that threw the kitchen sink at Reading a few times. Also brought the ball out well, going on a few of his trademark runs into midfield to push the play upfield.
Tyler Blackett: 3
Oh Tyler, why did you do that? His stupid lunge, just eight minutes into the match, saw him handed a straight red card and an early bath, putting his own side under pressure for the rest of the game. It was reminiscent of his petulant sending-off at Hillsborough in April, and his lack of composure is, for me, what prevents him from improving as a player.
Omar Richards: 5
Exposed defensively, and got forward pretty well down the left throughout the match but couldn’t create anything. Probably needs a run of games on loan a league or two down.
Andy Rinomhota: 5
Brought to right-back for most of the game to cover for Yiadom, and slotted in pretty well defensively. Didn’t create much
Leandro Bacuna: 5
Pretty good for a lot of the game, particularly in the second half when Reading dominated the match, with a lot of the play going through him; taking the ball under pressure from a defender before moving it up the pitch.
But his silly red card - which I didn’t see at the time - put a downer on that. Like with Blackett, it’s an echo of the petulance he showed with a sending off at the end of last season (in this case against Fulham).
Danny Loader: 4
Anonymous. Didn’t offer anything in the final third and needs to work on his defensive side too. Like Richards, he could use a loan spell.
John Swift: 4
Dawdled too often, particularly in the final third, but did go very close with a sweetly struck free-kick that rattled the cross bar. He didn’t do enough to influence the flow of the game, but that can (to an extent) be excused by his being played out of position. You want him high up the pitch, but Blackett’s red card meant he had to come deeper into the midfield.
Modou Barrow: 5
Typically played more centrally than he usually does, leaving the work out-wide to Omar Richards. Because of that he didn’t get into space enough to be as effective as he can be.
Yakou Meite: 5
A tough first half for him, without much service, but he got into the game more after the break. His ability to compete with Millwall’s centre-halves physically get in-behind with his pace caused them a few problems after the break. But he still needs more service and fitness, hence being substituted for Sam Baldock.
Sam Baldock: 4
Garath McCleary: 4
Gabriel Osho: N/A
Brought on to re-balance the side, with Yiadom going to right-back and Rinomhota coming into the midfield. Not on the pitch long enough for a grade.
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