Luke Southwood: 7
A classic case of “the score would have been worse, were it not for the goalkeeper”. Southwood was one of the few Reading players to come out of this game with any credit, pulling off a couple of impressive stops to stop QPR matching Fulham’s tally from a few weeks ago.
Andy Yiadom: 5
No complaints defensively. Looked decent in possession like fellow full back Rahman, but he came up short in the final third.
Tom Holmes: 4
Nowhere near Lyndon Dykes for the first two goals; the QPR striker had too easy a job to get on the end of right-wing crosses and nod them in. Holmes was also guilty of backing off at times, at one point in the build-up to Dykes hitting the post. Has to switch on better in the future.
Michael Morrison: 5
Not as error-prone as Holmes, but he still didn’t fill me with confidence and looked shaky.
Baba Rahman: 5
While I wouldn’t have him as the chief culprit for either of the first two goals when crosses came in from his side (others were more at fault), he didn’t spot the danger for QPR’s fourth. Jimmy Dunne had a free header and Rahman was caught ball-watching rather than tracking the run.
On the flipside though, in possession Rahman was very good, playing out under pressure really effectively numerous times. He also created one of the Royals’ best chances when, in the second half, he planted a lovely cross onto the head of Joao.
Danny Drinkwater: 4
Another game, another ghostly performance from Drinkwater. Didn’t help out the defence, didn’t add any authority in possession... he should have been dropped a while ago, at least for the sake of making it clear there’s competition for his spot.
Josh Laurent: 4
Seemed to be tasked with protecting the back four as a sole holding player, but didn’t do a particularly good job. Beaten way too easily before the cross for the opener, was sloppy in possession and wasteful with his openings in the final third. Booed off when he was replaced by TDB in the second half, which I understand but don’t condone myself.
His best moment came just before things started to unravel. Laurent did an excellent job to weave between a few defenders and get into the box, only to be taken down for what looked like a penalty. It’s frustrating that he can be capable of moments like that but not get in gear properly in other aspects of his performance. Where’s the reliable Laurent of last season?
Andy Rinomhota: 5
Uncharacteristically weak in the challenge in the build-up to QPR’s third. Rino was evaded too easily as part of a counter that took the hosts from Reading’s counter to the back of the net quickly. Otherwise though I thought he put himself about well in the middle - a classic energetic and committed Rinomhota performance.
John Swift: 5
A microcosm of Reading’s broader performance: Swift was poorer in the first half, looked a bit better in the second half when the game was well out of reach, but still didn’t come up with anything of substance. His set pieces were underwhelming, failing to test the goalie with any of his various direct free kicks, although he did set up Joao for an early chance in the first half.
I took some heart from his link-up with Ejaria in the second half, but Reading need a lot more from their chief playmaker.
George Puscas: 4
It just didn’t work for him in the first half. While he had some brighter bits of play, he was also guilty of being wasteful in possession: spurning a crossing opportunity at one point and giving the ball away in the build-up to a QPR goal at another. Withdrawn at the break for Ejaria.
Lucas João: 5
Barely in the game. Reading need Joao to show presence up top and be a bit of a talisman, but the match passed him by and he was sloppy with the ball when he got it. Saved from a lower mark by virtue of being the Royals’ biggest goal threat: he forced a save early on from a Swift set piece and could have scored in the second half, only to see his powerful header tipped over by the goalkeeper.
Ovie Ejaria: 6
Looked bright on his return from extended absence. A lot of Reading’s better stuff in the second half went through him, generally playing on the left but also drifting infield a fair bit and linking up with Swift. But, in classic Ejaria fashion, he was still liable to frustrating indecisiveness.
Tom Dele-Bashiru: 5
Played off the right, tried to make things happen but when he got chances to shoot, he wasted them. Finishing with his weaker left foot wasn’t easy, but he needed to at least test the goalie or come up with another answer.
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