Joe Lumley: 7
To quote Jurgen Klopp, an absolute ‘mentality monster’. To perform like that after his nightmare on Saturday, Lumley deserves huge praise. Made a top-class save to keep us ahead at 1-0 and earned a throughly deserved clean sheet.
Andy Yiadom: 7
A real captain's performance from Yiadom. Nothing too spectacular but extremely solid, and great to see him stand up for his teammates to the referee and opposition. Deservedly had his leadership questioned at the weekend so a fantastic bounce-back.
Tom Holmes: 7
Holmes always seems to be really good, a la Sheffield United away last year, or really bad like he was on Saturday. Luckily tonight was the former. Won almost everything in the air and made a number of excellent interceptions - deserved a goal too when his towering back-post header was cleared off the line.
Tom McIntyre: 8
I could copy and paste Holmes’ comments above almost word for word in fairness, but TMac gets the extra point for scoring. Key for them both is to play like this consistently, and if they do we’ll have a very strong foundation at the back.
Junior Hoilett: 8
Where can’t Hoilett play!? Left wing, right wing, wing back, false nine, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him line up at centre back at some point and I bet he’d still play well! Looked really threatening going forward, and scored a screamer to give us some breathing room, but also looked better defensively too. A real asset to have someone so versatile.
Nesta Guiness-Walker: 7
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh but I’m not quite sure Nesta Guiness-Walker is a Championship-quality left back, but I still really like him. Much more comfortable going forward than at the back and could easily have had an assist tonight. Will definitely score at least once this season, maybe.
Mamadou Loum: 7
Loum Loum Loum Loum! Not only does he have a cracking chant, but he’s actually rather good too. Bossed the midfield tonight and surely is only going to improve. Looks to be forming a tenacious midfield partnership with Fornah.
Tyrese Fornah: 8
My man of the match. I wasn’t sure if Fornah was more of an attacking or defensive midfielder, but turns out he’s both! Was unlucky to have a decent shot cleared off the line in the first half, and his tireless pressing led to an assist for Lucas Joao. Also made a strong last-ditch clearance to keep us one up. Superb all round.
Jeff Hendrick: 7
Arguably the quietest Royal tonight, but benefits from my refusal to give anyone under a seven given the fantastic team performance. A few nice touches but I’m not quite as confident in my pre-season prediction that Hendrick would be player of the season!
Tom Ince: 7
Anytime I comment on Tom Ince I feel inclined to mention his work rate. He chases down absolutely everything and nobody works harder. Not his most influential performance but his set pieces were on point, resulting in an assist for McIntyre and he could’ve easily had two more.
Shane Long: 7
My first time rating Shane Long! I had to go with my head because my heart wanted to give him a 10. Shane has become such an experienced striker, still works as hard as ever and wins so many clever headers or free kicks. Not quite the goal threat he used to be but still proving his signing certainly wasn’t just for nostalgic reasons.
Lucas Joao: 7
What a difference having a squad/senior subs makes. If you’re taking off Shane Long and bringing on Lucas Joao you’re in a good place. He was a surprise inclusion on the bench tonight but looked fit and lively for the final 25 minutes, and scored with a trademark finish.
Kelvin Abrefa: N/A
Only got 10 minutes but even so put himself about well and won a few nice headers. Will be a good squad player this year.
John Clarke: N/A
Didn’t do anything wrong in the couple of minutes he was on the pitch.
Who was your man of the match against Blackburn? Vote through this link.