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Reading 0-0 Burnley: Player Ratings

The defence were key in a big, resolute performance for the Royals against Burnley.

Reading v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

Joe Lumley: 7

Made just one save today but it was a huge one: low to his right in the 15th minute when Benson was one of two Burnley players put clean through in a moment of defensive confusion.

After that, he wasn’t troubled with too much and was mostly asked to command his box in this game as Reading denied Burnley as many close-range shots as possible, and did a good job of it.

Took his customary booking for time wasting in the 93rd minute but in truth he’d been doing some of his best work in that department for a while. Crucial to Reading’s point without being as active as he’s needed to be in recent weeks and glad to see him break his clean sheet drought.

Andy Yiadom: 8

Back at his familiar right-back spot in a back four, the captain was really up for this game. Did well to head a dangerous cross away from Churlinov in the box shortly after his introduction and made some gorgeous tackles and dribbling moves in the first half.

Tom Holmes: 7

We got the full spectrum of the Holmes experience in the first half, Caught out in the moment that saw Lumley bail Reading out in the 15th minute.

Made an important block from Twine in the 35th minute. Alongside the calmer Sarr though, Holmes’ aggression is warranted in defence and provides a good foil.

Naby Sarr: 7

Generally solid and commanding in the centre, as he has been for weeks, when Burnley spent much of the first half in Reading’s third.

Made a great sliding challenge to stop a dangerous Burnley attack in the 75th minute.

Nesta Guinness-Walker: 7

Asked to defend more than attack up against already-promoted Burnley and directly faced with Benson: their best and most agile performer in the first half.

This was a reasonable performance from NGW given that he never really had a chance to show off what are often considered his best attributes. Benson threatened but didn’t find the scoresheet while Nesta was on the pitch. Withdrawn for more cover in the form of Mbengue in the second half.

Jeff Hendrick: 6

Had one of his best halves in a Reading shirt in the first 45, showing a lot of attacking intent, while missing the target with two reasonable but tricky opportunities in the first half.

Crucially though, he showed for the ball with intent and was willing to take responsibility in the Reading midfield at times. This is something that’s been missing from Hendrick’s game for much of this season, but he was better in the first half today.

Quieter in the second half, barely touching the ball, but not a weak link.

Cesare Casadei: 6

A little muted in the first half compared to some of his recent performances. Competed well as he often does and provided the aggression to compliment Hendrick’s rhythm in midfield, winning all of his ground duels and giving Ashley Barnes an incredibly intimidating-looking earful late on when the veteran instigator put his hands in Casadei’s face.

Tyrese Fornah: 6

Probably didn’t expect quite so many of his starting appearances to be from the left side of midfield when he signed in the summer, but Fornah has done a reasonable job recently in the position. Tidy on the ball if sometimes a little over-indulgent.

Took deeper free kicks today and produced some decent deliveries while also providing good cover for both attacking follow-up opportunities and defensive counter attacks. In general Fornah’s cover on the left side allowed Azeez to push up on the right.

Femi Azeez: 6

Played an interesting role, defending as part of a 4-4-2 while often pushing up into a front three when pressing in Burnley’s half out of possession. Azeez feels like a high-ceiling, low-floor bet in every appearance.

Always looks dangerous and sometimes a little too far ahead of the rest of his teammates. Had two moments of direct intent in the first half - first trying his luck but missing wide from range in the 33rd minute, then latching onto a ball over the top.

Occasionally tried to do too much alone, and began to cause some issues for the attack when he tired in the second half. Overall though, this was a very encouraging performance and showed more attacking intent in 70 minutes than Paul Ince’s sides did in months.

Offers something completely different to anyone else in Reading colours though, so should continue to see time while the squad needs goals.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 5

Headed his first chance well over the bar and while it’s good to see youth tested form the start, he was generally a little clumsy on the ball today, not able to offer the calm Reading needed in their brief spells of attack.

Still showed maturity off the ball and should see more of the pitch in the future.

Lucas Joao: 6

A little more involved in the press today when Reading were able to push deeper into Burnley’s half, and generally a little more precise with the ball than the rookie Ehibhatiomhan in the first half when it did come his way.

Showed fantastic feet to take the ball around a Burnley defender on the line and then put Azeez through in the 68th minute, and is definitely the premier option for Reading if they want to get the ball down and play.


Andy Carroll: 6

Offering a suitable plan B to Ehibhatiomhan, shortly after his introduction Carrolll played a lovely ball to Femi Azeez to put him in behind on the right.

Showed some good feet and used his size to retain possession for Reading better than the man he replaced. Amusingly booked for managing to out-jump a deep free-kick from Burnley’s goalkeeper.

Kelvin Abrefa: 5

Came on for Tyrese Fornah but slotted into Femi Azeez’s slot shortly after when the latter was withdrawn.

Overhit a cross in the final minute of normal time when Reading had a good position on the wing but generally held his side of the defensive line fine without being tested much.

Amadou Mbengue: 6

Slotted into the left-back position vacated by Guiness-Walker and was tasked with tracking Benson. Found himself involved a lot in his brief spell on the field, finding two passes into the final third and often showing a little more attacking intent than Nesta had.

Mamadi Camara: 6

Performed a lovely piece of skill to retain possession and drive out of defence when presented with a bullet of a pass from Mbengue. Helped to reenergise the midfield with legs at a time when Reading needed to see out the game.

Average: 6.26/10

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