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Aston Villa Fans Verdict: Royals Earn Hard-Fought Point

It was a proper rearguard performance from the hosts as Reading gained just their fifth clean sheet of the season.

After the disappointment of conceding so late against Bolton Wanderers last Tuesday, it was vital that the Royals didn’t let that affect them going into the Villa game. It was another decent performance from Gomes’ men, especially towards the end of the first half where Oliveira and Miazga came desperately close to giving Reading a half-time lead.

The better of the chances throughout the game fell to Villa and Tammy Abraham, but the in-form former England U21 International couldn’t find a way past Emiliano Martinez - who was terrific all afternoon. It was another step in the right direction against a good team who have quality all over the park. Obviously, it’s results over performances that we need at the moment, but the results aren’t far away.

There were as ever some big talking points to come out of the game that had all the fans talking on social media after the game...

Defensive improvements

We have become used to silly individual mistakes letting us down this season and costing us games, but Saturday proved just how much Gomes has improved us at the back. He has been applauded for the fast, possession-based game that he’s got us playing with but even more impressive is how he has organised and strengthened our defence.

Martinez, Miazga and Blackett in particular all stood out, but it was a fantastic performance all round from the back four and keeper against a very strong attacking team. Understandably so, the fans were certainly impressed with the clean sheet and the overall defensive performance on Twitter after the game...

Ovie Ejaria

The Liverpool loanee arrived to the Madejski with a view critics from previous stints at Rangers and Sunderland. However, he certainly put in an impressive performance on Saturday. He constantly caused Villa problems drifting in from the left hand side and linked up really well with Swift and Baker in the first half.

He’s a player with seriously quick feet and a creative spark that the Royals have been lacking for so long - he also put in a decent defensive shift for the team as well. As so often this season, the killer touch was missing once again but if the likes of Ejaria can start getting on the ball more and more, the chances - and hopefully goals - will begin to flow.

The fans were certainly impressed with the former Sunderland man, taking to Twitter after the game to show their delight at his performance...

The Nelson Oliveira injury

Right, down to the incident that has really got everyone talking, did Mings mean it or was it accidental? After a horrific picture of Oliveira’s injury and the clip of the incident were shared on Twitter, it’s pretty clear to see the damage that Mings’ boot caused to the face of Oliveira.

In all seriousness, a couple of centimetres lower and the on-loan Norwich striker could’ve lost his eye. It’s an awful stamp that the more you see it, the more you feel Mings could’ve easily got out of the way. Hopefully it doesn’t keep Oliveira out the team for too long as we need him desperately at the moment, and we will wait to see whether Mings will face any retrospective action.

The fans took to Twitter to show both their disgust at the challenge, and wish the Nelson a speedy recovery - and quite rightly so...

Conclusion

Another baby step towards recovery for Reading. If they can just get it clicking in the final third, the results will begin to come in as everything up to the 18 yard box is looking very, very strong. Another tough game awaits at Hillsborough next weekend, but the team will be confident after a decent performance.

URZ