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Wigan Athletic 1-0 Reading: Player Ratings

Ross’ grades from the Royals’ first defeat of 2024.

Lincoln City v Reading - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

David Button: 5

Made a good save down low to his right early on to help Reading avoid a wretched start and another from an admittedly poor free header in the box in the opening 30.

Aasgard put some wicked curl on his effort for the goal, but didn’t quite find the top corner. Button might want that one back, tricky shot though it was to save.

Scrambled back when Bindon lost the ball in buildup to stop himself getting chipped from at least 35 yards out, just getting his fingertips on the dipping effort.

Andy Yiadom: 6

Helped Reading to break out of defence a few times in the opening stages with his dribbling, something that will become more important if Abbey is on his way. Probably Reading’s best defender in possession in the first half but saw the movement for the opening goal come down his slide.

Combined nicely with Knibbs and Azeez at the start of the second period to help earn Reading a few opportunities to cross. Generally helped Reading to press the attack down their side throughout.

Tyler Bindon: 4

Had a mixed game, getting some good passes off but also making defensive errors. Allowed his attacker to drift away from him when a dangerous cross came into the box, allowing Wigan a free header in the box that Bindon was lucky not to be punished for.

Made a very errant pass through the middle of Reading’s half in buildup to concede a chance to Button had to clean up shortly before the 70th minute. Overall, Reading will need more from Bindon if Abbey is gone.

Tom Holmes: 6

Reading’s superior centre-back in the air throughout the game and helped the Royals to stay in the game throughout by suffocating most of what Wigan wanted to do. Played some nice passes deep into the Wigan final third a few times in Reading’s better periods of possession today.

Jeriel Dorsett: 5

Didn’t see much of the play down his side in the first half, especially after Wigan’s Godo had to be withdrawn with injury. Struggled to find a key pass through the lines when he got on the ball in Wigan’s half as many others did. Did get involved in Reading’s bright start to the second half at times but was withdrawn for Mola shortly after. Didn’t affect the game much today.

Michael Craig: 5

Kept the ball moving nicely and passed accurately throughout but without much ambition to get the ball forwards quickly.

Had some shaky moments on defence, conceding a chance in the box early on by slicing his clearance and ended the day with a 50% record in duels. Withdrawn for Savage just before the hour mark.

Lewis Wing: 5

A very alert and involved member of the press in the opening stages, often starting off controlled team movements out of possession. Drifted between the central midfield and right-back spots throughout the half in possession.

Couldn’t do enough to disrupt Wigan’s movement around the box for their goal and struggled with his set-piece delivery today at times. In fact, struggled a bit throughout with his longer passing as Wigan sat back and tried to lock down the win in the second half.

Put a long shot that looked covered wide just before the last 10 minutes.

Harvey Knibbs: 5

Quiet in the first half, seemingly not quite on the same wavelength as his teammates. Did well to make contact with a long Wing delivery that was deflected deep into the box right at the end of the first half but couldn’t get enough power onto the first-time shot.

Opened the second half well by making a good run down the right side, retrieving the ball from the Wigan defender and putting in a good cross. Almost benefitted a minute later in a goalmouth scramble.

Femi Azeez: 5

Had a mixed first half: gave possession away with errant passes and loose touches a few times but clearly scared Wigan’s defence enough to warrant a lot of defensive attention.

Combined nicely with Yiadom at the start of the second half to get a few crosses into the box. A few of those throughout the half had to be well defended to prevent them finding a Reading player.

In general he was better in the second half but this was reminiscent of early-season Azeez, with a lot of dangerous deliveries into contested spaces that couldn’t find their man.

Paul Mukairu: 5

Very bright in the early stages, winning a free kick in a dangerous area with his running, and assisting the press. Dwelled on the ball too long at times, something we've seen from Mukairu before. Lost the ball at one point but then showed good recovery to retrieve the ball shortly after.

Made a lovely play just before the hour to turn two defenders and thread the ball to Azeez. Is generally looking more of a team player than he did originally but was still a little inconsistent today. Withdrawn for Ehibhatiomnhan in the closing stages.

Sam Smith: 4

Didn’t see much of the ball in the first half despite Reading having some long spells of possession. Struggled to get into spaces for delivery in the first half and caught some flak from Wing and Yiadom for it.

Forced a decent save out of Tickle with a bouncing header across goal with his first real chance to get the ball on net.

Couldn’t do enough to harass his defenders today in the closing stages though and just didn’t get free enough in the final third or the box. In fact, he took just one of his fewer than 20 touches in the Wigan box today. That was partly the fault of the passers, but Smith needed to do more today.

Subs

Clinton Mola: 5

Asked to play left-back today rather than on the right-hand side from which he’s played better in recent appearances. Had a chance to cross but couldn’t pick out a player in the box. Didn’t see much of the ball on his side after that.

Charlie Savage: 5

Helped Reading to play the ball forward and compress Wigan into their own half once Reading were able to get on the ball more after his arrival. Put in the some reasonable set pieces but didn’t affect the game too much.

Kelvin Ehibhatioman: 6

Came on for Mukairu while Smith was still on the field and started most attacks in a much wider position than we’ve come to expect. Did a decent job from that position, finding Knibbs shortly after he came on with a clever cutback.

Forced a fantastic save out of the keeper late in the game with a powerful shot that he created space for in the box. Reading’s brightest spark off the bench.


Average: 5.07/10

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