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Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday: Player Ratings

Andy Yiadom and Michael Olise were the pick of the bunch against the Owls in a dynamic attacking performance.

Reading v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Rafael: 6

Barely had anything to do all game. Reading’s domination of the game and concentration at the back on the few occasions Wednesday did get into the final third meant Rafa had no saves to make.

Andy Yiadom: 8

A goal and an assist in a brilliant attacking performance from Yiadom. Set up Lucas Joao’s goal with a nice pull-back to find the striker in space, and added Reading’s third by firing in after receiving a low cross from Sone Aluko on the other side.

He and Richards were a key part of why Reading looked so convincing going forwards. They pushed forward quickly and constantly, looking to not only stretch the play but also find space in behind when possible.

Tom Holmes: 7

Stepped into the right-sided centre half role in the absence of Michael Morrison, and although he was barely troubled defensively, he had an impressive afternoon. Made a crucial early block on a Sheffield Wednesday cross that could have ended in a goal, and did well to put off Jordan Rhodes in the second half for what would have been a tap in.

Went close with a left-footed effort too, firing just past the far post after a corner had been recycled. Playing out from the back he looked assured and comfortable - more so than Morrison typically - but didn’t have to try anything too elaborate against a poor side that didn’t press.

Liam Moore: 6

Didn’t have too much to do defensively, with the more strenuous moments being dealt with by Holmes. He did put a header at the keeper in the first half though, and played a gorgeous crossfield to Yiadom in the build-up to a Puscas chance.

Omar Richards: 7

Similarly good to Yiadom in terms of causing havoc in the final third, bombing down the left flank to great effect and putting in some dangerous crosses. On another day he’d have been the full back going home with a goal and an assist.

Tom McIntyre: 7

A new role for him today: the sole defensive midfielder at the base of Reading’s 4-4-2 diamond. He looked like a natural there though - always wanting to receive the ball and progress it forwards with his range of passing.

I’d like to see him play in this position again, although it’ll be a more difficult prospect for him against better opposition that’ll test his positioning. He didn’t have too much defensive work to do against a non-threatening team.

Alfa Semedo: 7

Looked strong and dominant in the middle, giving Reading’s midfield real authority against Wednesday. That box-to-box role suits him well, allowing him to get about the pitch and be a presence in both thirds without being relied on as a specialist in either. Had a few shots on goal in the first half but none troubled the ‘keeper.

Josh Laurent: 6

Pushed up into a box-to-box role that he’ll be familiar with from his time at Shrewsbury Town - to make room for McIntyre as the anchor. Put himself about well in the middle, but overall a pretty quiet afternoon. Had one hairy moment in the first half when he miscontrolled a pass, gifting possession to the visitors and allowing them a run at the penalty box.

Michael Olise: 8

A really delightful performance from Olise, who was involved in each of Reading’s first two goals. Sent the goalie the wrong way with a confident first-half penalty, and his magical footwork on the edge of the Wednesday box in the second half opened up space before he fed Yiadom on the right - who in turn assisted Joao.

Olise oozed class all afternoon, really revelling in the prospect of being Reading’s sole playmaker against a poor side that were there for the taking. Drifted around the pitch, sometimes popping up out wide, other times dropping in deep to receive possession. Could well have had a couple more assists in the second half: one corner was flicked by Joao onto the bar, and a left-wing cross was met by the same forward at the near post but went wide.

Lucas Joao: 7

Cast off his recent poor form with a well-taken second half goal, although it was a simple case of converting from close range after Yiadom found him in space in the box. That’s his first from open play since the Bournemouth game at the end of January.

Had a few other chances to score, flicking an Olise corner onto the bar and putting a cross from the same player wide. The ball seemed to hit him on that occasion, with Joao unable to get proper contact. The partnership between him and Puscas seemed to work well. On one occasion he dummied a Yiadom pass to allow his strike partner a shot at goal - really nice awareness there.

Understandably looked very frustrated to come off straight after scoring, but not risking him further - with the game won - was sensible fitness management from Pauno.

George Puscas: 7

A promising afternoon for Puscas, who could well have had a second goal in as many games if he’d been allowed to shoot rather than being brought down for the penalty. Nonetheless, it was a good strong run from him to get in behind and create the chance in the first place.

That willingness to get in behind was refreshing, giving Reading another string to their bow in the attempt to break Wednesday down. Puscas did that better in the first half though and was quieter after the break.

Had a few sights of goal in the first half but didn’t stretch the keeper that much. On one occasion he perhaps could have been more ruthless and gone for goal himself on the edge of the box, but unselfishly instead fed Olise who fired over.

Subs

Sone Aluko: 7

Replaced Joao right after the second goal and played most of his minutes on the left wing. Got an assist for Reading’s third goal, putting a low cross in for Yiadom after nice work down his flank.

Dejan Tetek, Sam Baldock, Femi Azeez and Tomas Esteves: N/A

All came on in the closing stages to give other players a breather, and none really had the time to make a big impression.

Congratulations though to winger Femi Azeez who made his debut. Him coming off the bench meant that most of the players to have featured for Reading in all competitions this season have come through the club’s academy (18 out of 35).


Average: 6.91/10

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

Who was your MOTM against Sheffield Wednesday?
Andy Yiadom
Omar Richards
Michael Olise
Lucas Joao
Alfa Semedo
Tom McIntyre
Other
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