Couldn’t really have done anything about the goals, and didn’t have too much hard work to do. Made a routine save from Thompson in the first half and a more difficult one from Wallace in the second, low down to his left.
Tom Holmes: 6
Steady shift at right back for the 76 minutes he was on the pitch, no major worries defensively and was a valuable asset with his height and strength. Had little effect going forwards though - lacks the dynamism of Yiadom and Esteves - and that probably influenced Pauno’s thinking in taking him off.
Michael Morrison: 6
Did a good job of marshalling the defence and I wouldn’t put either of the goals on him. Dealt pretty well with Millwall putting balls into the box. Had a couple of sniffs of goal in the first half, with the better of those - a header from a corner - going over the bar.
Tom McIntyre: 6
Another pretty solid afternoon for McIntyre, who helped Reading withstand aerial pressure from Millwall well, particularly early on when Morrison was off the pitch receiving treatment. Lost Smith for the equaliser, although it’d probably be a bit harsh to put that goal on him given the random nature of the deflection off Gibson past him.
Lewis Gibson: 6
Unexpectedly came in for Richards at left back, but the change made sense: Gibson added more strength and aerial presence on that side and didn’t allow himself to be bullied in a physical contest. Didn’t offer much going forwards, although he did fire over the bar from quite a tight angle at 2-1.
Alfa Semedo: 7
One of his best games in a Reading shirt. Opened the scoring with a fantastic long-range effort, showing great quick thinking to seize on a loose ball and go for goal. All round though he looked much more comfortable in a deeper position with the play in front of him - rather than as a number 10. Did the simple stuff well without the requirement of being an out-and-out playmaker. Lovely ping up to Joao in the second half.
Josh Laurent: 5
Looked positive on the ball in the first half, pushing upfield well, particularly on the left side. less impactful in the second half though. On watching back the winner, for me Laurent was the one who needed to be tracking Mason Bennett in the area, but the Millwall man was left unmarked for a free header from the deflected cross.
Michael Olise: 7
Looked bright off the right wing and was more involved in the game than he has been recently. That’s commendable given the physical, imposing nature of the contest. Should have had an assist in the first half when he skipped past a few defenders and played a defence-splitting pass to Joao in behind, only for the forward’s effort to be kept out.
Forced a save in the second half with a well-struck free kick, but it didn’t have enough on it to really trouble the keeper. Put another right-footed effort at the ‘keeper when he should have fed Holmes on the overlap or tried to take the chance with his left foot.
Reading needed more ideas to get a second goal at 1-0, and perhaps bringing Olise back to his number 10 role - in place of the ineffective Rinomhota - would have helped.
Andy Rinomhota: 5
Surprisingly played as a number 10, rather than in his more familiar deeper role, and never really made much of an impact for Reading offensively. He lacks the guile and ingenuity on the ball to act as a proper playmaker for the team (like Semedo ironically), and probably needed to get in behind more if he was to create.
Put a shot wide in the second half when the ball fell to him from an Olise free kick, and probably should have got it on target. At fault for the winner too - needed to get a better block on the cross, but faced it side on, allowing it to be deflected into the area.
Ovie Ejaria: 6
His form’s been up and down lately, but I thought he stood up well in a game where he could have been bullied by Millwall. Used his strength well at times to keep hold of possession.
Although he didn’t have a lot of space to work in, he showed some really nice footwork, particularly in one second-half move when he wove past a couple of defenders on the left wing in the build-up to Olise’s right-footed chance. Hit the bar with a deflected effort at 1-1 and should have had a penalty when taken down in the area.
Lucas Joao: 5
Really should have buried his first-half chance when played through by Olise. If he scores that, Reading probably win the game. That was his clearest opportunity though on another quiet afternoon for Joao. Had a few half chances before the break but he was quiet in the second, bar being taken down just outside the box when played through by Olise.
On afternoons like this, although Joao needed more service, he also really needs to step up and make sure Reading get another goal and a more comfortable lead.
Andy Yiadom: 6
Brought on for Holmes with about a quarter of an hour to go, which was a surprise given that Reading should have kept a settled back four. The intention was probably to give Reading more of an attacking outlet down that side and relieve some pressure. Although both goals came from his side, neither were his fault, so I’m not marking him down.
Sam Baldock and Omar Richards: N/A
Both came on at 2-1 in an attempt to help Reading get an equaliser, but neither had enough time on the pitch to make much of an impact.
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