A quiet afternoon for Rafael, as Barnsley only had two shots on target and one of those was the penalty. He may feel he should have saved the spot-kick, as Mowatt passed it straight down the middle with the Brazilian dived to his left and nearly blocked it with his legs.
Andy Yiadom: 5
Had a decent game against his former side, getting forward well and making a few key interceptions. However he has to be marked down for showing such poor judgement to give away the penalty. Maybe it was slightly soft, but you can’t have your arms wrapped around your opponent like that and expect to get away with it.
Michael Morrison: 6
Typically solid and commanding on his return from injury, so it was gutting to see Morrison go off in discomfort just before half-time. Hamstring injuries are notoriously easy to aggravate - was he rushed back slightly too soon? Hopefully he was taken off as a precaution and won’t miss too much more football.
Liam Moore: 8
Exactly the sort of game that Moore thrives in. The captain was ready for battle, blocking, intercepting and clearing everything in his path. If the whole team can replicate his mantra, they may be in with a shout for the top six, as the final seven games are all going to be similarly nervy fights right to the end.
Lewis Gibson: 6
Somewhat of a surprise to see him chosen at left-back over Omar Richards, but Gibson was comfortable and didn’t do much wrong. Doesn’t provide a real attacking threat, and that’s where Reading missed the Bayern-bound academy graduate.
Andy Rinomhota: 7
Delightful ball over the top of the Barnsley defence to provide the assist for Ejaria’s goal. Like Moore, Rinomhota was up for the fight and kept Barnsley at bay for most of the game.
Josh Laurent: 7
Exactly the sort of performance you want from a player in the holding role. Popped up all over the pitch to collect the ball to try to get Reading forward. Another player designed for games like these.
Yakou Meite: 5
Had a couple of half chances as Reading tried to play to his strengths by slipping him in behind, but Meite was largely left challenging for aerial balls. Will blame a missed golden opportunity in the first half on an unlucky bobble.
Michael Olise: 5
Not his game at all. Barnsley’s press meant that Olise wasn’t allowed the time on the ball that he thrives upon. That meant that he could barely create anything, and his frustration was visible when he was substituted off.
Ovie Ejaria: 7
Took his goal superbly. The first touch was magnificent and then he stayed composed to finish well. Certainly the most lively of Reading’s front four, with his nimble footwork well-matched against Barnsley’s intense press.
Lucas Joao: 4
I’m trying to analyse Joao’s game as a whole, but it’s almost impossible to look past THAT miss. For a man who has 21 goals this season, it’s staggering how badly he is now out of form. It’s a possible season defining moment that is going to be discussed again and again. I just can’t believe he missed it.
Tom Holmes: 6
Slotted in seamlessly as he replaced Morrison at the back. It’s testament to Holmes that that can be said of a 21-year-old taking the spot of an experienced centre half.
Alfa Semedo: N/A
Probably not the player I would have brought on in search of a winning goal, and Semedo had little impact in the final passages of the game.
Who was your MOTM against Barnsley? Vote below or through this link.