Luke Southwood - 6
The opener would have needed an exceptionally strong parry to deal with and otherwise he was commanding from crosses and palmed a late effort wide. Looked beaten at one-on-ones, and was saved here by his defenders or poor finishing.
Tom Holmes - 7
Looks better as a right-back than in the middle and produced a very solid display even with the regular right-back, Andy Yiadom in midfield, giving him not a huge amount of support. High quality on the ball, perfectly decent in defence.
Liam Moore - 5
Produced the classic Liam Moore non-tackle tackle for the opener and was chosen as the makeweight for the move to two up top. Booked for a cynical tackle but did stop a shot on the line in the second-half.
Scott Dann - 6
To be frank, his defending since arriving has been subpar. Put in a schoolchild-esque flinch in the face of the opener, but took his goal well.
Baba Rahman - 7
Harshly punished for a sublime saving tackle after a horrible scuff sent through an attacker late in the game (as an aside, the referee was a definition 2/10). Got up and down the flank well, had a good delivery on him, and worked well with Ovie Ejaria.
Andy Yiadom - 6
Moved into a right midfield position of the starting 4-4-1-1 which certainly is worth exploring over the next few weeks. Made a few nice runs but his crossing tended to be inaccurate.
Josh Laurent - 5
It’s been a rather underwhelming campaign, given his impeccable first season. Perhaps it’s the expectation fans have, perhaps it’s the lack of Andy Rinomhota beside him. Too passive for the goal and drifted around the central-left area of the midfield with little impact.
Danny Drinkwater - 6
Certainly gave it his all, be that his rocketed passes or hearty, go-hard-or-go-home tackles. Could contribute more in both final thirds but, to be clear, this is on the good side of 6/10.
Ovie Ejaria - 6
Bright and sparky, even winning the ball back a couple of times high up the pitch. Just that end product missing.
John Swift - 5
Even the best have off-days. A neat little training ground assist was the highlight of a performance which otherwise featured continual runs into dead ends and pulling out of 50/50s.
George Puscas - 6
No player had more shots or hit the target more. Far from a vintage display or even one that should keep Andy Carroll out the XI, should he be fit to start on Tuesday, but at least Puscas fought a bit and put his boot through it occasionally, in stark contrast to his often reluctant teammates.
Andy Carroll - 6
Finally let out after too long in captivity. If you didn’t know what Andy Carroll was about - you do now. A terrier-like willingness for every ball to be played into him, a rottweiler-instinct to win headers and knockdowns, a sheepdog-like sense of surprising deftness, a Scrappy Doo approach to every refereeing decision, and a pitbull edge to his wild lunges in defence. Woof.
Tom Dele-Bashiru - 6
Thrown on to bring a bit of energy to Reading’s game when the team really needed a winger who could deliver good crosses. Sadly lacking in dog pun-viable characteristics.
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