Vito Mannone: 8
What a man. Vito Mannone’s smart penalty save in extra time proved crucial in giving Reading a huge win - just as he did at Elland Road earlier this season. The Italian sure does pick his moments! He also made a very fine save mid-way through the second half to deny Smyth, which shouldn’t be forgotten.
His distribution was shaky throughout the game, and he gifted the opposition with the ball on a few occasions - although the rain didn’t help, it’s a factor he should have dealt with.
Chris Gunter: 6
Solid enough, but could have closed down left back Bidwell better on numerous occasions. Limited impact going forwards.
Tiago Ilori: 7
A few stutters in the first half, but he recovered to help Reading see out the QPR onslaught in the second half. A big performance from someone whose confidence has taken a knock recently.
Liam Moore: 8
A mega performance from a man who led Reading’s rearguard action - barking out orders, throwing himself into challenges and getting blocks in. Distribution typically composed, meaning that the ball didn’t come back at the defence too quickly. Future captain.
Tyler Blackett: 6
Not great, but certainly better from the former Manchester United man. Needs to learn when to close wingers down and when to track runners - something which drew Moore’s ire in the first half - but that will come with experience. He’s at his best when he’s able to use his impressive upper body strength against opposition, which he did well a few times.
Dave Edwards: 6
Looked a lot more comfortable now that he’s freed from having to pass and move - worked hard in protecting his defence, but had minimal impact going forwards. We needed more from him, as an experienced player, to manage the game and push the side up the pitch.
Joey van den Berg: 5
Given a straightforward ‘sit in front of the defence and don’t let anyone get past you’ role, he didn’t really manage it. Besides some strong challenges, QPR exploited his immobility to get at Reading’s back four a few times. Brought off for Bacuna in the second half.
John Swift: 5
Seemingly still off the pace, he got 84 minutes (before being replaced by Evans) but didn’t show much for it. Not given much license to get forward in support of Martin. Had one great chance in the second half when he seized on a loose ball to get through on goal, but dithered rather than shooting and wasted the chance.
Sone Aluko: 6
A fantastic goal from range ultimately won Reading the game - the Nigerian spinning his marker wide on the right before cutting inside, driving centrally and unleashing a rocket. It was exactly the kind of decisive, confident action that we’ve been missing from Aluko this season. Besides that, he looked sharp in the first half, but faded badly later on and didn’t offer much - hence why we can only give him a 6.
Chris Martin: 5
Didn’t get into the game and didn’t offer much in the way of an attacking outlet besides some decent holding-up. When he’s able to use his strength, he does pretty well, but his lack of pace was glaring - it meant Reading couldn’t go down the channels as an outlet or press that aggressively when they didn’t have the ball. Dadi we miss you.
Modou Barrow: 5
Ineffective attacking-wise due to a lack of support and the fact that he seemed to tire a lot in the second half. Didn’t give Blackett a great deal of defensive cover either.
Leandro Bacuna: 5
Generally speaking, see van den Berg comments - he didn’t offer Reading’s defence enough protection. Similarly, he didn’t give us much oomph going forwards either.
Yann Kermorgant: 3
Silly, silly Yann. The Frenchman was given a pretty random yellow card on 70 minutes, and apparently forgot 10 minutes later, bringing down Furlong. Normally, it would have been a standard tactical foul, but when you’re already on a tightrope it was downright reckless.
George Evans: N/A
Not much time to get into the game after coming on after 84 minutes.
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