Today is what football is all about. Who really gave us a chance today? Who was disappointed but ready to settle for a point at 1-1? Cue some of the most joyous scenes I’ve experienced for a while…
Orjan Nyland: 7
A surprisingly quiet afternoon for Nyland. Calm and collected when called upon and dealt with a couple of crosses commandingly. Fortunate to have a gilt-edged chance fall straight into his lap but he won’t complain! He's just been a terrific signing and I would love to see him in a Reading shirt again next year.
Andy Yiadom: 8
My player of the season. Another top-class performance which included two unbelievable crosses perfectly delivered in the channel between the defender and keeper. Defensively very sound other than perhaps being caught out for their goal, but hard to judge. After showing his leadership and fronting up to the fans after Peterborough, he’s shown that passion on the pitch where it counts and has been fantastic.
Michael Morrison: 7
Solid but unspectacular from Morrison today, which in a tough away game is just fine. Marshalled the defence well and some towering headers as always. Potentially at fault for their goal, but I’m not going to nit pick on a day like today!
Tom Holmes: 9
What an absolutely colossal performance from Holmes. He was everywhere, cleared and blocked everything and won pretty much every header too. The cherry on the cake was a superb last-ditch block in the first half at 1-0 which surely saved a tap-in goal. My man of the match.
Baba Rahman: 7
In no way a criticism of McIntyre, but it’s great to have an out-and-out left back playing in the position. It makes such a difference being able to attack and overlap aggressively down both flanks. He had a few strong moments defensively too. All we need now is a cheeky ‘any Royals still awake?’ tweet for a truly perfect day.
Tom McIntyre: 8
Looks far more comfortable in a defensive-midfield role than left back. Shadowed the back four really well and gave cover for Drinkwater to roam a little. Could easily earn a 10 for sparking those celebrations alone, but I’d like to be asked to do the ratings again!
A quick shoutout to McIntyre, Holmes, Morrison and Laurent (I’ve probably missed a couple) who at full time ran straight to the away fans to celebrate. That’s the passion we were calling out for a couple of months ago, thank you lads!
Josh Laurent: 7
Played in the number 10 role again today and it does suit him nicely. He’s at his best when he’s driving forward with the ball from midfield, and he did that well a few times today, with one run capped by a super ball through for Joao’s opener.
Danny Drinkwater: 7
Drinkwater has made a fantastic U-turn even the Prime Minister would be proud of. Abused by fans merely a few weeks ago to now having his own chant, and he deserves it. You’d think his performances would be all about class on the ball, which he does sometimes have, but it’s his work rate and putting a foot in that’s been key in his revival. Credit to you Danny.
Tom Ince: 7
I saw a comparison on Twitter to Jobi McAnuff and while a little bit of a stretch, I do see the logic. Ince doesn’t score or assist regularly, but is always willing to drive at defenders and his work rate is really underrated. Very good overall today and, considering we effectively swapped Liam Moore for Ince, he's proving a shrewd signing.
Ovie Ejaria: 6
A decent performance from Ejaria today but it’s hard to say too much more than that. A few nice touches but lacked that end product, other than a good ball into Joao creating a big chance. Deserves credit for his defensive work rate today which isn’t always there, and contributed to a superb team performance.
Lucas Joao: 7
What a screamer! Played in nicely by Laurent but still with lots to do at the edge of the box, then Joao simply thrashed it home into the roof of the net. Played very well overall too, holding the ball up nicely and laying it off to teammates regularly. The only negative today was a huge miss at 1-0: he showed great skill to beat a couple of men and set up what looked to be a routine finish, but sadly hit the post. Fingers crossed he was subbed just as a precaution and is good to go on Monday.
Femi Azeez: 6
Didn’t have enough time to make a real impact, especially as it was backs against the wall for the last 15, but put himself about well and showed good energy.
Tom Dele-Bashiru: N/A
Late sub so no real impact.
Who was your MOTM against Sheffield United? Vote below or through this link.