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Reading 1-0 Blackburn Rovers: Player Ratings

Harry rates the Royals’ individual performances after another dogged 1-0 victory, this time over free-falling Blackburn Rovers.

Reading v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship - Madejski Stadium Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Rafael: 6

Blackburn dominated the ball all evening, particularly in the second half, so it’s a testament to how well the four guys in front of Rafa did to thwart Blackburn’s obvious attacking qualities. He really didn’t have anything to do, apart from throw his hat on a couple of Brereton attempts. Yet another clean sheet for the Brazilian.

Andy Yiadom: 6

Solid display from the right back. I think the debate about who should start right back between Yids and Holmes has been well and truly put to bed now. Yids is our best right back, one of the best in the league in fact, and he’s a very important player to this team.

Brereton was the visitors’ most dangerous player on the evening so Andy had his hands full, but all in all I thought he coped pretty well.

Michael Morrison: 6

Only a 6 because he had to go off midway through he first half with what looked like a muscular injury. It’ll be a huge loss to the team if he’s out for a considerate period of time.

You only need to look at the amount of minutes he's played since he joined to understand how reliable and how good he really is. Hopefully we see him back sooner rather than later.

Liam Moore: 7

Had to step up to the plate with Morro going off early, and he duly did that. A real captain’s performance. Organisation was top notch and came up with a couple of really good pieces of defending. Limited Armstrong - who he seemed to be tasked with man-marking - to very, very little. Top performance.

Omar Richards: 7

God I’m going to miss this bloke. He was really good yet again. Attacking wise he looked really dangerous down the left, linking up with Ovie nicely, but arguably where Richards is most impressive is his defensive work. He’s just so good one on one with attackers.

His defensive persistence was summed up brilliantly by the build up to the solitary goal of the game, hassling and harrying Harvey Elliott all the way back to the edge of his box before nipping in with a tackle that ultimately lead to Puscas’ finish. Superb.

Michael Olise: 6

For all of his abundance of talent, which is obvious for all to see, again it’s his defensive work that stands out for me and particularly stood out this evening. His work rate and discipline is second to none and I would love to see how many kms he gets through in a game. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any Michael Magic tonight, but I'm sure we’ll see a lot more of it yet.

Josh Laurent: 7

Similarly to Moore, he had to step up thanks to his partner in crime being injured, and, similarly to Moore, he duly did so. He is the heartbeat of this Reading team, he's a workhorse, a warrior and he’s very good technically too. Bargain.

Alfa Semedo: 6

Rino’s loss was clear for all to see, he is such a huge part of this team and the way we play. And it was Semedo who was burdened with the responsibility to fill that Rinomhota-shaped hole.

Alfa is a frustrating player, he tends to make odd decisions on the ball and make sloppy passes. But, ultimately tonight he helped his team to a fighting 1-0 win as part of a really well organised defensive structure.

Ovie Ejaria: 6

He’s in his groove now. Watching him on the ball reminds of when you were in Year 7 and the Year 11s used to come and take your ball off you at lunch time, you just can’t get it off him.

And, again, his defensive work is top notch too. For all the attacking flair this team has, Pauno hasn’t half got them working hard either. Ovie won some key free kicks, held the ball up well in the corner towards the end and was a thorn in the Blackburn side throughout.

George Puscas: 8

That first 45 minutes was the best I’ve seen him play in a Reading shirt (maybe barring his league debut against Cardiff City last season). But the Romanian looked sharp, worked hard and you could see how much he wanted to impress.

This lad’s got so much quality, and you pair that with confidence that this game will inevitably give him and we have one hell of a player on our hands.

Lucas Joao: 6

Another off day in front of goal for the big man, but you have to give credit to him for squaring it for Puscas rather than going alone, something you probably wouldn’t have begrudged him of doing - particularly considering his recent form.

Surprisingly hooked mid way through the second half, but he’ll come good again.

Subs

Tom Holmes: 7

Did well and adapted to the game quickly when being called upon early on, which is never an easy thing for any player to do - particularly centre backs. Ultimately played a big hand in another clean sheet for the Royals as we came under the cosh in the second half. Hats off, Mr Holmes.

Tom McIntyre: 6

The Scottish Pirlo came on to shore up the defence as the Blackburn pressure continued to build, and he did that. For all of Blackburn’s pressure in the second 45, they didn’t carve us open once and didn’t create a clear-cut chance, and TMc was a big part of that when he came on.

Tomas Esteves: N/A

Didn’t have chance to make much of an impact, but provided a couple pieces of handy work in the corner towards the end.


Average: 6.46/10

Who was your MOTM against Blackburn? Vote below or through this link.

Who was your MOTM against Blackburn?
Liam Moore
Omar Richards
George Puscas
Josh Laurent
Ovie Ejaria
Tom Holmes
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