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Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Reading: Player Ratings

Here’s how we graded the Royals’ individual performances for the penultimate time in this elongated 2019/20 campaign. Vote for your MOTM at the bottom.

Blackburn Rovers v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Rafael: 5

Couldn’t really do much about the first three goals, which were more the fault of a disorganised defence. However, he should have claimed the cross for the fourth goal, which landed on the back post to be knocked in for the winner.

Chris Gunter: 5

Surprisingly replaced Osho at right back, and didn’t really make a clear case that he’d be a better backup for Andy Yiadom next season than the academy graduate. Didn’t offer enough going forwards, and didn’t put enough pressure on the cross for the fourth Blackburn goal.

Michael Morrison: 5

Not as commanding as he has been in recent weeks, although to be fair he wasn’t helped by a lack of midfield cover, which gave Blackburn room to work in in front of the Reading defence. Not tight enough to Armstrong for 2-0, allowing the Blackburn man onto his left foot to shoot, and caught out a bit when pushing upfields to make a challenge.

Tom McIntyre: 5

Didn’t get long on the pitch before being withdrawn due to getting whacked in the face by a shot. For 1-0 he was caught in no-man’s land, failing to close down Brereton who had too much space in the box to finish - McIntyre needed to push out to get a challenge in. He’ll learn from that experience though.

Tyler Blackett: 5

He’s done well in the first team recently, but didn’t look as effective against Blackburn. Caught out of position and ball watching for 1-0, when he needed to much more switched on, and offensively he didn’t add much going forwards. Withdrawn for Obita just before the hour mark.

Michael Olise: 5

I’m not too sure what his role was meant to be, but it seemed like he was starting on the right a four-man midfield and coming inside to link up with others while Gunter overlapped. Didn’t impact the game enough, and lacked end product in the final third. He had a few chances on the edge of the box in the second half when he really should have worked the goalie, but he lacked a killer instinct. Needs to be more decisive.

John Swift: 6

Played alongside Rinomhota in a two-man midfield, and wasn’t that influential on the ball in open play. Guilty a few times of sloppiness in possession, and Reading really needed him to take more control of the game.

Gets bumped up to a 6/10 though for a gorgeous free kick to make it 2-1. It’s moments of brilliance like that which Swift is capable of, even on an off day - and this one put him onto six goals for an excellent season.

Andy Rinomhota: 5

Given a pretty tough job of acting as the muscle in a two-man midfield with Swift, and didn’t impose himself on the game enough. Although he’s got the tenacity to break play up, he couldn’t do that so well as the 4-4-2 allowed the hosts in behind him and Swift too often.

Omar Richards: 5

Played in a largely unfamiliar role on the left of midfield, which didn’t suit him. He didn’t have much of an impact in his hour or so on the pitch.

Yakou Meite: 6

Isolated far too much for the first hour when he played as a central striker alongside Puscas - for me not his best position. He needs to be coming in off the right into space instead. However, the introduction of Baldock brought him into the game more, and he made it 3-3 with a powerful header from his new partner’s chipped cross - bumping him up to 6/10.

George Puscas: 5

Didn’t really do too much specifically wrong, but when he’s so isolated out of the game by a lack of support and service, I can’t give him more than a 5/10. Victim of a setup that doesn’t allow him to get involved.

Subs

Liam Moore: 5

The two most notable defensive incidents for him were very different ones, coming in the second half in quick succession. First he made a very good clearance from an awkward cross to keep it 2-1, but soon after a shot from the edge of the area was deflected off Moore past Moore for 3-1. For me, he could and should have blocked that short more convincingly.

Late cameo as a holding midfielder in the closing stages after Swift was replaced by Osho. Perhaps we’ll see him in that role more going forwards, given that he started there on Tuesday too.

Jordan Obita: 6

Replaced Blackett at left back and made a quick impact by putting in an exquisite cross for Baldock. However, he really needed to do better for Blackburn’s winner, when he was beaten too easily by Gallagher at the back post.

Sam Baldock: 8

My man of the match, Baldock dragged Reading back into the game with a really well-taken goal and assist. The first, to make it 3-2, was inch perfect as Baldock guided Obita’s cross inside the near post. As for the second, it was his work rate to keep an attack alive, then technique to chip the ball in for Meite that turned a fading attack into an equaliser.

On this basis, he’ll probably start in midweek.

Garath McCleary: 6

I’d been tempted to give him a 7/10, such was his liveliness, energy and positive running down the right wing. But in the end, his lack of end product (unlike fellow subs Obita and Baldock) meant he’s worth a 6 instead.

Gabriel Osho: N/A

Replaced the apparently injured Swift late on, but too late to be given a grade.


Average: 5.47/10

Who was your man of the match against Blackburn? Vote below or through this link.

Who was your man of the match against Blackburn?
John Swift
Yakou Meite
Sam Baldock
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