Reading’s key man on the night. Came up with some good saves to deny a Swansea City side that created some good chances. The highlight was an acrobatic save to his right to keep out a second-half effort from Andre Ayew that looked goal-bound.
That was the only one that really tested him though; you’d have been disappointed if some of the other efforts had gone in, so I’m loathe to rate him higher than a 7/10. Still, a very good evening and clean sheet for a goalkeeper that had made errors in Reading’s last two games.
Tomas Esteves: 7
Steady game defensively and looks more confident at the back than he did earlier in the season. On the flipside he was sloppy in possession a few times going forwards. Gave the ball away too cheaply on a few occasions. Has a tendency to overplay when he should keep things more simple.
Tom Holmes: 7
You know it’s been a good evening for a centre back when, after facing one of the best sides in the league, you don’t have much to say about them. Holmes didn’t have to be called on for any last-ditch heroics - thanks both to the team’s overall organisation and his own composure at centre half. Reading have looked assured at the back in the two games he’s played as a centre half in the last few days or so.
Michael Morrison: 7
Same as for Holmes: a commanding display at the back, playing on the left of a pairing with Holmes for the second straight match. Helped keep Swansea pretty quiet in terms of clear opportunities, dealt with anything he had to.
Tom McIntyre: 7
He played left back again, but - as on Boxing Day - he was Reading’s biggest goal threat. Almost opened the scoring in the first half with a powerful hit from Michael Olise’s delivery, and his strong header in the second was tipped over by Freddie Woodman. Tough evening defensively against a Swansea side that often looked to attack down his side. Stood up to it pretty well though.
Andy Rinomhota: 7
Another game in which he was more focused on keeping things quiet behind him than contributing higher up the pitch. Did that well, although I would have liked to see him add more on the counter - although it’d be a bit harsh to mark him down for that. Popped up in behind the Swansea defence on the right in the second half after Olise’s pass and could have done better with the chance but didn’t get a shot away.
Josh Laurent: 7
Effective, solid evening from Laurent who protected the defence well. Like Rinomhota he didn’t add much going forwards, although he did have a nice charge upfield in the build-up to a Semedo half chance in the first half, and blazed a shot off target in the second.
Michael Olise: 5
Having missed the Luton Town game completely through injury, he looked somewhat off the pace. He did create a couple of chances for Tom McIntyre from set pieces but didn’t seem to have his sharpness in open play. That was most evident at the end of the first half when, leading a counter attack, he should have released a teammate but delayed and was taken out.
Alfa Semedo: 4
Anonymous in the number 10 role again. Reading needed Semedo to be an outlet for the team when they were under the cosh from Swansea pressure but he had little impact on the game. He had one good opening in the second half when he should have released Olise after being fed by Baldock, but let the chance go begging. Withdrawn for Aluko.
Ovie Ejaria: 4
A really quiet evening for Ejaria who just didn’t get in the game enough going forwards. Played in Baldock behind the Swansea defence at one point - I’d have liked to see him come up with something like that more often. Probably needs a bit of a rest when others come back from injury to up his sharpness.
Sam Baldock: 5
There’s no point playing Sam Baldock up front if you don’t try to play to his strengths. Reading barely attempted to get him in behind, and to be fair he did play in Semedo well on the one occasion that happened, but he was shut out of the game in open play. Managed a shot on target at the end of the first half from a free kick.
Sone Aluko: 5
Started his shift as a number 10, later played as a false nine, but didn’t have much of an impact in either role.
John Swift: 6
Gave the side a lift going forwards in the 25 minutes or so he was on the pitch. Reading had that bit more patience and poise when he was on the pitch. I’m looking forward to seeing him start in the not-too-distant future, maybe Saturday.
Omar Richards: 6
Introduced as a left winger/wing back in the last 15/20 minutes or so to shore up Reading’s flank. Helped see the result and clean sheet out without needing to do anything too strenuous.
Who was your man of the match against Swansea City? Vote below or through this link.