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Millwall 0-1 Reading: Player Ratings

Reading are pretty in pink for the first time as they produce a battling display to go top of the league.

Millwall v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - The Den Photo by Rhianna Chadwick/PA Images via Getty Images

Joe Lumley: 6

Made an alert save early on in the game, catching well on the dive from a tricky header. Outside of that, he didn’t have much to do in the first half other than bleed minutes off the clock.

Did well to come and collect the ball a few times in the second half, but again, primarily made himself useful by demanding a Millwall forward come and give him a reassuring pat on the back before picking up the ball in the box. Probably responsible for the most time wasted of any of the 22 on the field, and more of it if it leads to clean sheets!

Winds up the opposition, and stays concentrated even when he has little to do - a reasonable performance from Lumley and impressively calm given his recent errors.

Tom Holmes: 6

For a kid born this side of the millennium, Holmes is really starting to look and play like an adult isn’t he? It’s probably the best compliment you can pay a defender that you don’t particularly notice him in the game. Defence invites the spotlight, but Holmes’ calm play usually avoids it.

Found himself contributing to the attack a few times in this game with well-timed interceptions. Made a goal-saving tackle deep into his box midway through the second half to keep Millwall at bay. All in all, another performance in which the young vice-captain found himself involved a lot and coped well.

Sam Hutchinson: 7

The smallest of the three centre backs made himself known all over the backline in the early stages, sliding across to break up one attack and getting an important blocking header on another.

Stayed defensively alert throughout and was a huge presence in martially our new-look back line. His contribution to Reading’s shape helped to blunt Millwall’s attack through most of the game and is clearly a canny addition to this Reading side.

Naby Sarr: 8

You can see why Reading have waited so patiently to get this deal across the line. An imposing presence in the backline and dangerous on the frontline, Sarr opened his account emphatically within 20 minutes with a bullet header from Hutchinson’s flick-on.

He appears to have good defensive instincts, with a first-half showing that included sliding blocks from crosses and good anticipation on show to intercept Millwall’s passes in behind. A real obstacle for opposition attacks to handle during the match.

Tom McIntyre: 6

His place in the side as a LWB was the subject of much discussion before the match, but one thing this did allow was for McIntyre to take his passing range higher up the pitch. Helped Reading to maintain the ball in possession a few times but is really hampered by his lack of pace when asked to play on the wing. Was bailed out by Sarr a few times.

Andy Yiadom: 6

Makes sport of winning free kicks, but struggled to get running at the backline like he can in the first half. Millwall had clearly pinned Reading’s use of wing backs as key to their attack and aimed to deny them space in the game today.

Saw more of the ball in the second half as Reading had chances to exploit Millwall on the counter attack, but didn’t have any particularly memorable moments today.

Mamadou Loum: 6

A quiet first half and probably his most muted display overall so far. Didn’t do much wrong without doing anything spectacular. His big frame is a useful asset for Reading as they defended set plays and crosses into the box. For that reason he always seems to be involved in the game.

Would like to see his attacking play improve as the weeks go on, but that’s not his primary job in this team, so it’s hard to mark him down for that just yet.

Tyrese Fornah: 6

Tidy on the ball in the first half but was quieter than his performances the previous week. Still, with Ejaria out, Fornah is doing a decent job of making up for the lack of tricks and flicks with his possession-retaining acrobatics.

After starting the season slowly, Fornah is quickly finding confidence and becoming exactly the kind of player you pay to watch.

Jeff Hendrick: 6

This was easily his best start to a game since joining Reading. Looked more composed early on and able to make his presence felt with his passing.

Still, there’s just a little last bit missing with Hendrick, and he really should have scored shortly after the break when put clean through by Ince. Indeed, it seemed harder to miss.

Earned some credit back by putting his body on the line to slide Shane Long in late in the match though, and generally seemed a lot more creative and lively today than in recent weeks.

Tom Ince: 6

Scuffed his first two set piece deliveries before delivering a peach onto Hutchinson’s head for Reading’s opener.

Immediately present in the second half, and provided a gorgeously weighted ball to slip Hendrick in. Was incredibly unlucky not to get an assist for his trouble.

Arguably should have been slipped in by Shane long when he was one on one with the keeper in the dying stages.

Overall a more muted performance today from Ince, but again did enough to justify his position in the team.

Lucas Joao: 4

Struggled to get into the early stages of the match. Indeed, his concerning injury break was his first memorable moment in the match. His first useful contribution came at 32 minutes when he won a free kick on the halfway line to get Reading out.

Needs to ensure that he’s matching what Shane Long can give in terms of link-up play or his spot in the starting XI might not be as assured as it has been in recent seasons. Can’t have been too upset to be substituted.


Shane Long: 5

Had a chance to put the game away shortly after he came on, but couldn’t slide Tom Ince in or put the ball the right side of the post.

Did well to win a free kick in his own half in the 86th minute, but wasn’t hugely involved as Millwall piled on the pressure in the dying stages.

Junior Hoilett: N/A

Helped Reading to see out the match but didn’t have much time to make an impact.

Average: 6/10

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