Could have done better for the equaliser - needed to push the ball away from the danger zone, but his parry let the ball drop for Jamal Lowe to convert from close range.
Andy Yiadom: 5
Yiadom usually adds dynamism and creativity to Reading’s attack down the right, but he was too quiet against Swansea, having little impact in either half. Should have been closer to Lowe for the equaliser, anticipating the ball dropping loose, but switched off. Withdrawn for Esteves late on.
Tom Holmes: 6
Difficult first half going up against the tricky and mobile Cullen, being booked for a challenge on the Swansea man when he got away into space. However, he recovered well in the second half and looked more confident, looking confident in possession too.
Liam Moore: 5
Ayew did him in the build-up to the equaliser, making it look easy as he opened Reading’s left side up for Fulton to run into. Although it wasn’t a howler - it was a great bit of skill by Ayew - Moore did over-commit. On the flipside, he did have some important blocks, and cleared the ball off the line (albeit with not too much difficulty) in the second half.
Omar Richards: 5
Like Yiadom, he didn’t show enough offensively, bar a couple of decent runs down the left after the break. Should have picked up Ayew for Swansea’s second goal too.
Andy Rinomhota: 5
Little impact in midfield, with the game largely passing him by. His key moment of the afternoon though was a clever run to the back post on the end of an Ejaria cross, darting into space, but he put the ball into the side netting
Josh Laurent: 5
The same as Rino. Reading need their double pivot to take more control of games like this, but Laurent didn’t add enough. Hourihane went past him too easily for Swansea’s second.
Yakou Meite: 6
Meite’s aerial presence adds a lot to this team, and it was key for the opening goal. Although Swift’s excellent ball in has earned the praise, Meite did well to get in front of his market and power his header into the far bottom corner. That said, he was otherwise pretty quiet, lacking space to work in against a well-organised Swans defence. Withdrawn in the second half for Alfa Semedo.
John Swift: 7
Pure quality for Reading’s first goal of the afternoon. It wasn’t just about picking Meite out at the back post, but having just the right delivery so the ball could be easily attacked.
In general play Swift looked like Reading’s best player in the first half, with some nice touches and passes besides the assist. You can tell he’s not at 100% though, and that may well have been the reason for him being subbed off in the second half. Either way, that meant Reading lost key quality in terms of ball retention and creativity, which came back to bite them.
Ovie Ejaria: 5
In the first half I forgot he was on the pitch. Anonymous, barely impacted the game. After the break though he had some brighter moments, such as a cross to the back post that picked out Rino in space, who really should have scored. Reading really needed him to add more in such a big game though, and he was withdrawn late on.
Lucas Joao: 5
For the most part, he was the same Lucas Joao that we’ve come to expect in the last couple of months: isolated and frustrated. Reading struggled to get service into the front man, and he didn’t do enough to turn things in his favour.
That said, he did have some decent moments. In the first half he went close from range after being played in by Swift, before drawing a save in the bottom corner when he won the ball high up. That second opportunity would have been buried by the Joao of earlier this season. After the break he should have won a penalty when dragged down by Fulton, but the ref didn’t see it.
On the whole though, as with Ejaria: Reading needed more.
Alfa Semedo: 5
Brought on to shore up the midfield in the second half at 1-0, but Swansea immediately equalised. From that point Reading needed a more creative player than Semedo and it showed with his lack of impact. Caught napping in the build-up to the Swans’ second as the visitors got in down their left too easily.
Michael Olise: 5
Dropped after a poor showing in midweek and did nothing to show that was the wrong decision in his 25 minutes or so on the pitch.
George Puscas: N/A
He came on too late for us to give him a grade (we usually cut it off after 80 minutes). Puscas couldn’t add anything in that time to Reading’s attack.
Sone Aluko and Tomas Esteves: 7
Aluko and Esteves did come on after the 80th minute, but both played a key part in Reading’s equaliser: Aluko with the pass and Esteves with the finish. So, like with Joao against Derby County, both can get a 7/10 for their troubles despite minimal game time.
Side note: I’m really, really happy for Esteves. Although this season is good experience for him he’s had a frustrating lack of time recently, but scoring for the very first time in his senior career will have been a great moment.
Who was your MOTM against Swansea? Vote below or through this link.