Joe Lumley: 5
Did really well to get strong hands behind Marcus Rashford’s swerving free kick 15 minutes in.
Caught out twice by Casemiro in five minutes though in a dagger to Reading’s chances. First, Lumley committed himself early and found himself gracefully chipped, before Casemiro’s searching and curling shot clipped Holmes’ head and went past the keeper.
Not his best performance, but against quality opposition, Lumley didn’t embarrass himself.
Andy Yiadom: 5
Part of Reading’s stout central defence in the first half and used all of his experience to win the ball back, let it out of play, and earn his usual free kicks.
Restrained by United's relentless possession though and had very few chances and even less time to get good crosses into the box, failing to connect once.
Tom Holmes: 6
Fantastic in the first half and may have added some 0s to any potential transfer fee that comes searching for him now or in the summer.
Did pretty well to martial Weghorst early on, though he did give away a dangerous free kick outside of the box with a late lunge on the big Dutchman. Got a great block on Weghorst after a scramble in the box and grew into the game more and more as it went on. Unlucky to provide the slight deflection on Casemiro’s second that took it around Lumley.
Involved in everything Reading did well defensively in the first half, really confirming his arrival as a legitimate Championship player at minimum.
Tom McIntyre: 6
Alert early on to prevent Weghorst’s flick getting through. Couldn’t quite find the passing range he normally exhibits while pressed deeper into his own half by United’s speedy forwards. That said, he got into double figures with blocks, clearances and recoveries today though, so was a huge part of the defensive effort in the first half.
Did well at 12 minutes in to poke the ball away from Wan-Bissaka down the wing but was playing more centrally the usual as Reading were forced into a flat back five for large portions of the game.
Junior Hoilett: 5
Gave away a free kick to Rashford that Eriksen put wide. Earned his own free kick minutes later.
Probably should have done better with his chance at the end of the first half, but admittedly did fantastically well to nip in and steal it off Malacia in the first place.
Hoilett was held back in the first half by United's deep possession and mostly sat in a flat back five rather than getting forward.
Took an innocuous enough looking elbow to the nose early in the first half that needed a significant amount of gauze to staunch the bleeding.
Baba Rahman: 5
Had a very tricky assignment dealing with the pace of both Antony and Wan-Bissaka down his left side, and struggled to keep them both out of the box.
Produced Reading’s best chance of the first half with a run down the left that beat Wan-Bissaka. His dangerous cross eventually found Hoilett who was unlucky not to score.
Mamadou Loum: 5
Shielded the centre of Reading’s box well in the first half and helped to keep many of United's shots to the outside of the box.
Withdrawn for Tyrese Fornah on the hour mark but was reasonably solid in the first half against quality opposition. Still contributes more creatively than Hendrick, even though he starts the game in a far deeper position. Played more accurate passes in general, and into the final third than his midfield counterpart today.
Jeff Hendrick: 4
Did well to earn a free kick from Casemiro right outside of United's box in the early stages.
Could do absolutely nothing to stop United from passing the ball around him throughout his time on the field though. Useful in terms of blocking the central lane, but very limited elsewhere. Played just seven accurate passes all game.
Tom Ince: 6
Should have done better with his early free kick, but he was unsurprisingly Reading’s best player.
The most switched-on going forward throughout, but usually relied upon to be defensively stout rather than progressive.
Managed to get some joy again after United had picked up a third goal and slowed things down. His dribbling was dangerous especially late on and he earned the team several free-kicks in United's half.
Andy Carroll: 3
Marked early on by Harry Maguire and struggled to make a first-half impact. More involved than Joao by virtue of his role in the squad on set plays etc, but limited. Did well to retain possession and break out of our half shortly before the break, but couldn’t find Hoilett with his pass.
Unfortunately he then lost his head with three challenges that could have earned him a yellow in the space of 10 minutes. Ultimately, two of them were penalised and the big Geordie was sent off with 25 minutes to play after a needless lunge on Casemiro.
Very disappointing from a senior member of the squad when Reading needed calm.
Lucas Joao: 4
Saw very little of the ball in the entirety of the first half but didn’t do enough to retain possession when he did have it. Joao’s quick feet in the box are becoming a distant memory at this point as Ince’s tactics just don’t get anything like the best out of Joao.
By the time he was hooked with 15 minutes to go, he’d touched the ball just 20 times, and three of those had been defensive clearances.
Tyrese Fornah: 5
Made himself a fantastic chance and then unmade it late on when he sat Harry Maguire down in the penalty box… then waited for him to get to his feet again so that he could try the same trick again. Earned himself a tongue lashing from Paul Ince for his troubles.
Reading pushed forward more after Fornah’s introduction, but he also struggled to do much more than show United's attackers wide in the second half.
Amadou Mbengue: 6
Did well to calmly head his gift of free space in the United box into the back of De Gea’s net. Perhaps unlucky not to start today but Ince went for experience in his back line.
Michael Craig: 4
Slotted into Hendrick’s midfield place and did a fantastic impression of the Irish midfielder. Craig was dribbled past once and gave away a foul once, but didn’t actually touch the ball outside of that.
Shane Long: 5
Harried his defenders as you’d expect, and consequently Reading had a few periods after his introduction that were spent in United's half. Still struggled creatively though and didn’t get close to scoring.
Dean Bouzanis: 5
Introduced after the game had already gone and didn’t have a whole lot to do, but saved well from Garnacho.
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