David Button: 6
Did well with his distribution in the first half, often throwing out to the open player. As an example, played a nice first-time volley out to Clinton Mola at one point from an aerial ball. Didn’t have much to do in the first hour but made a few decent claims from set pieces.
Made his first real save and an important one in the 78th minute when Yiadom was beaten for pace down the left flank. Again didn’t have too much to do in the second half but made the crucial intervention when he needed to.
Andy Yiadom: 6
Troubled Charlton with his running into the centre of the field and earned Reading a few free-kicks midway through the first half. In fact, a large number of Reading attacks appear to start with Yiadom running inside the field from his right-back spot.
Attacked well, got himself free in the box for Lewis Wing to find late on, but couldn’t control the ball fast enough to turn and get a shot away.
Got back well in the early stages of the second half to block a cross with a brave slide. Withdrawn for Kelvin Abrefa with a few minutes to go.
Amadou Mbengue: 8
Delivered several long throws into the box, a tactic that will almost certainly be deployed every time he starts.
Blocked several dangerous crosses into the box in the opening stages of the second period and used his body to effectively play in the air.
Had 15 classic “manic Mbengue minutes” when he intercepted a Charlton counter-attack on the halfway line, earned Edun a yellow card for a meaty challenge in a 50/50, then played a huge role in both Azeez goals with more long-throw deliveries.
Tyler Bindon: 7
Calm in possession, helping Reading to find the free man in buildup repeatedly during a 15-minute stretch in which they controlled play in the first half.
Made an incredible last-second tackle to slide in and prevent Alfie May from having a one-on-one with Button.
Somehow found himself all the way up in the Charlton box late in the game and controlled the ball on his chest before attempting to swivel and shoot on the volley. Unfortunately was denied a fantastic moment as the ball sailed over.
Flicked Mbengue’s long throw on deeper into the box in the play that ended with Azeez’s second goal.
Clinton Mola: 5
Doesn’t always make the right decision in possession but looked a little more comfortable than he has done. Managed to whip the ball from one foot to the other and make space for a decent cross around the half-hour mark.
Shortly after, showed a Bindon-esque piece of cleanup play on defence, calmly dispossessing the attacker and executing a quick one touch one-two to get clear. Looked even a bit too confident at times, losing the ball when trying to squeeze through some small gaps.
Started to struggle in the second half. Lost the ball badly at the start of the second half, beginning a Charlton attack that resulted in a corner.
Withdrawn for Jeriel Dorsett shortly after.
Charlie Savage: 6
Undeniably creative and should keep his place but occasionally clumsy today. Gave the ball away with a chance to clear on the edge of the box in the early stages but was creative as usual and earned Reading some chances, including one of their best of the first half with a ball over the top of the backline to Smith.
Took the majority of Reading’s corners today and made some good deliveries, often targeting the six-yard box as Reading surrounded the keeper. Booked late on for crashing into his man around the centre circle, more with enthusiasm than intent.
Lewis Wing: 7
Managed to beat his defender and get a good cross in to earn Reading a corner when he had no help. Seconds later after taking said corner, he stung the keeper’s palms with a shot that dipped just below the bar.
Slipped a lovely ball through to Smith to give him an opportunity in the box, and found Yiadom free deep in the box late in the half.
Continued to create in the second half, putting a peach of a cross onto Knibbs’ head. Got Reading moving on the ball again after Azeez’s opener with some brave play to earn a corner before taking control of Reading’s
Femi Azeez: 8
Got onto Kelvin’s through ball to earn Reading’s first cross into the box of the day, a low effort that was blocked out for a corner. Tried to work inside for a shot shortly before the break but couldn’t quite work the space.
Got his first real opportunity through serendipity in the second half when the ball bounced to him from an Mbengue long throw. Took his chance with real panache though, forcefully volleyinge the ball past Isted.
Followed up 10 minutes later with an absolutely delicious first-time volley to smash his second in. Looked as if he could hardly believe it while swamped by teammates and, honestly, fair enough.
Got a chance for his third when Mukairu found him in the box and beat his man but put it over. Withdrawn late on to a standing ovation.
Harvey Knibbs: 5
Gave away a dangerous free-kick when tracking back early on and made some runs but was generally less busy than Yiadom, Azeez and Smith in the first half.
Perked up in the second half and came close to slipping Smith through the middle. Got onto a Wing cross to get a header at goal but couldn’t do enough to put it one side of the keeper.
A little loose on the ball today but still involved defensively as he usually is.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 6
Earned Reading’s first real attack of the day on the opposite wing - linked up with Azeez by nipping in to touch the ball away before striding down the flank and sliding Azeez in.
Earned another chance for Reading by reacting first in the box to win the rebound from a corner. Ran out of gas a bit and wasn’t quite as effective as against Stevenage but showed intent throughout.
Sam Smith: 6
Had his most active 45 minutes in a while in the first half. Found the ball punted up to him in the air as per usual in the early stages, and managed to recycle possession a few times to relieve pressure on Reading’s half. Given an opportunity to run into the box with the ball at his feet by Wing’s through ball. Perhaps should have shot and saw his attempted cross to Knibbs cut out.
Did incredibly well to get a good shot off from Savage’s creative ball over the top of the defence. Was unfortunate to see the rebound not fall directly into his path. Made his own shot by intercepting a loose pass in the Charlton half, and bursting forwards to force a save from a tight angle.
Tired in the second half but continued to occupy the backline and allow Reading space in between the lines.
Jeriel Dorsett: 6
Entered the game as the first customary Selles 60-minute full-back switch. Got a few headed clearances off before the end of the game. Helped Reading calm down their left side after Mola had a shaky start to the second half.
Paul Mukairu: 6
A neat little cameo from Mukairu. Got back well shortly after his introduction to assist Dorsett with shepherding his winger out of play. Found Azeez in the box for an opportunity for Femi’s third.
Used his skill to get the ball out of a jam in midfield and then drive inside, almost slipping Smith in shortly before the 90 minute mark. Worked the ball well with Craig and then with Wing to get into the box and earn a corner late on.
Kelvin Abrefa: N/A
Found himself involved in his short stint in defending down his flank in the middle of the field. Almost got started running a few times.
Michael Craig: N/A
Didn’t have much to do in his small cameo, but did interplay nicely with Mukairu to get the ball deep into Charlton’s half when Reading were trying to see the game out.
Ben Elliott: N/A
Helped Reading to keep the ball in the corner at the end of the game to see it out. Bled a good amount of time off the clock with some neat footwork.
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