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Middlesbrough 1-0 Reading: Player Ratings

A good performance on the whole, but not enough impact from the substitutes.

Middlesbrough v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - Riverside Stadium Photo by Richard Sellers/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Rafael: 7

Made a few good saves when shots came his way but, generally, he didn’t have that much to do. Can’t be blamed for the goal.

Liam Moore: 7

Tidy in possession, made some big blocks at the back and almost scored late on with a header from a corner - only for Darren Randolph to deny him with a top save.

Michael Morrison: 7

I can’t think of much to write about him to be honest, which for a defensive player is typically a good sign. Marshalled the defence well, and helped keep a lively Britt Assombalonga quiet. Middlesbrough ended the game with just two shots on target, so it was by and large another strong defensive display - bar the goal.

Tom McIntyre: 7

Same as Morrison. Looked assured in possession, and has made the step up into Reading’s first team really confidently. Brought off in the second half as Jose Gomes switched the side from a back three to a back four.

Andy Yiadom: 7

Offensively, I thought this was one of his better games in a while. Got forwards down the right regularly, stretched the play well and put in some dangerous crosses that those in the middle probably should have done better with. Less effective in the second half.

John Swift: 7

Although he didn’t get an assist or come up with as many chances as usual, for me he kept and used the ball well in the middle. A quieter afternoon, but on the whole he’s consistently maturing away from the erratic Swift of previous years that was unreliable in possession.

Good set pieces, particularly towards the end when he put in some dangerous corners, and forced a smart save out of the goalie with a well-struck free kick.

Andy Rinomhota: 7

Brought in for Pele in a direct swap at the base of midfield. The worry was that he’d the right positional sense and discipline to be an effective lone holding midfielder, but in the end he did really well. Protected the back three effectively, kept things simple in possession, and won the ball back well. Certainly worth giving him another go in this role.

Ovie Ejaria: 6

Not bad, but not as influential as he has been in previous weeks. Much better in the first half when he had more room to run into. Not inventive enough in the second half, particularly late on, when Reading had to break Boro down.

Omar Richards: 6

Decent enough afternoon, but he didn’t get forward as much as Yiadom did. Seemed to be more involved in the final third later on, including a clever pull-back for George Puscas that should have been buried.

Yakou Meite: 6

A particularly encouraging first half, in which Meite caused the Boro backline problems by trying to get in behind, giving us a threat on the counter. That was a good use of his strengths - particularly pace and movement - as he’s struggled at other times when he’s been asked to drop deeper and take the ball to feet.

However, he didn’t make the most of the chances that did come his way, and was less effective in the second half. On the whole, there was enough to show that he can be useful away from home, but I’m not convinced he can translate that ability to get in behind into home matches. Still a useful option.

Lucas Boye: 5

In a word, frustrating. Boye offered Reading a lot with his skillset - that of a tough, hard-working, technically gifted forward who dropped off to link the play, but he didn’t offer enough in the final third and was wasteful in possession. Bar a well-saved effort late on, I can’t think of many key contributions he made.


George Puscas: 5

Didn’t make much of an impact in the 25 minutes or so he had on the pitch. Skied a glorious chance when Richards cut the ball back to him centrally, not far out. Probably would have started were he not nursing a toe injury, and having not played twice on international duty, but he needs to start burying these chances that he’s being presented with.

Lucas Joao: 5

Frustrating and sloppy in possession. He loves to pick the ball up and run at a defence, but sometimes he just needs to calm it down and play a simpler ball, as there were a few occasions when Reading attacks ended cheaply due to Joao. To be fair, he almost scored late on with a glancing header from a corner that Randolph saved expertly.

Danny Loader: N/A

Ineffective in the 11 minutes he was on the pitch after replacing Boye, but not enough time to fairly give him a rating.

Average: 6.3/10

Who was your man of the match on the day? Vote in the poll below or, if it doesn’t show up (damn you technology!) you can find the poll through this link.

Who was your man of the match against Middlesbrough?
Andy Yiadom
John Swift
Andy Rinomhota
Liam Moore
Michael Morrison
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