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Norwich City 2-2 Reading FC: Player Ratings

Our grades from a surprise last-gasp draw against the league leaders.

Norwich City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Wednesday night's match had a very different pattern to most Reading games, with the vast majority of the Royals' job being about staying disciplined defensively and withstanding relentless pressure from the hosts. Because of that, I've rejigged the format of player ratings a little.


Emiliano Martinez: 8

Not really at fault for either of the Norwich goals, but pulled off a couple of top saves to keep the score down, particularly one from a powerful Teemu Pukki header in the second half. Wasted time throughout the match from goal kicks well, slowing the game down nicely.

Andy Yiadom, Matt Miazga and Liam Moore: 8

A new-look defensive shape saw Reading switch to a back three, with Yiadom on the right, Moore on the left and Miazga central. It certainly paid off on the night, with that trio very much on their game throughout. Norwich struggled to find space or shooting opportunities in the area, which was a huge credit to our centre-halves.

In fact, the home side managed just seven shots on target (including the goals), which would have been a lot higher if Yiadom, Miazga and Moore hadn't stepped up.

Chris Gunter and Tyler Blackett: 7

With Reading funnelling Norwich out wide, much of the home side's pressure was directed towards wing-backs Chris Gunter and Tyler Blackett. Both stood up pretty well to that pressure, largely preventing the Canaries from finding space behind them or getting crosses into the box, although there were some scares.

As with other players, this wasn't a night for players to bomb forward, and the wing-backs' attacking output was unsurprisingly low. That's perfectly forgivable. Interestingly though, Gunter in particular had license to push up the pitch a little, especially if there was an opportunity for him to press Norwich and try to win the ball back.

Andy Rinomhota: 8

What a great time to open your Reading account! Rinomhota struck at the death to seal his side a point with a beautifully aimed shot into the far corner - a proper striker's finish. However, he'd already shown what he's capable of in the rest of the game, anchoring the midfield effectively against Norwich City, winning the ball regularly and keeping it simple.

Ovie Ejaria and Lewis Baker: 7

The loan duo teamed up with Rinomhota to give Reading a three-man midfield. Neither had much license to push forward in attack, but both were nonetheless vital in protecting the backline. They worked hard, staying disciplined to stop spaces opening up for Norwich to exploit, and pushed the play out wide into less dangerous areas.

Modou Barrow: 6

He was given the brief of supporting lone frontman Yakou Meite and, on his only real opportunity to do so, he came up with the goods. For the opener, he found space well down the left before serving the ball up for Meite to finish.

Generally though, it was a quiet evening for him. With Reading not really trying to press the home side, Barrow's defensive duties were more about maintaining discipline than getting stuck in.

Yakou Meite: 7

Like Barrow, his night wasn't one in which many chances arose, but his instinctive, powerful strike after 30 minutes was a decisive moment. It gave Reading an unlikely lead, and reminded us of how good a finisher this lad can be.

Worked hard all-round, doing a decent job of holding the ball up to relieve Norwich's endless pressure. He'll likely be replaced by Nelson Oliveira up front for the Brentford game.

Subs

Garath McCleary: 6

Replaced Barrow and, like his teammate, didn't have many opportunities to influence the game bar his assist. Set up Rinomhota well for the equaliser.

Danny Loader and Sam Baldock: N/A

Replaced Lewis Baker and Chris Gunter, but too late to have a rateable impact on the match.


Average: 7.16/10

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