Mikkel Andersen: 7
Could do nothing about the two goals, and made some impressive saves-particularly his diving save to push Ibe’s effort on to the crossbar. Commanded the box well during corners, and looked generally assured in his position, but otherwise wasn’t called on all that much.
Chris Gunter: 6
Had a tough job marking the impressive Jordan Ibe, and perhaps should have closed down Russell more effectively for the first goal, but all in all a solid display from Gunter. Showed defensive nous, and played a good ball in to Kanu in the second half.
Michael Hector: 8
He’s still learning, you can tell, but Hector looked awesome at times against Derby. Completely dominated Best for most of the game (although was not as successful against Martin), and played some nice passes. Showed real confidence carrying the ball forward, starting the most promising attack of the second half with a determined run. He seems to be just the kind of defender that Adkins will want to develop.
Alex Pearce: 6
An assured presence alongside Hector, Pearce was solid in defence and relatively comfortable in possession (for a central defender). Own goal was unlucky. This was not a bad performance from Pearce, but lacked perhaps the spectacular moments that Hector captured. If Pearce performs like this all season I don’t think there will be too many complaints.
Jordan Obita: 7
Looks a class act as a left back. Dealt well with the imposing figures of Cyrus Christie and Johnny Russell, and provided width for our second half rally. Delivery was good, but this time no one was on the end of his crosses. Seems to have developed a real consistency, and we’ll need him fit for the rest of the season.
Danny Guthrie: 5
Game passed him by. Seemed to lack fitness, as players drifted by him too easily (reminiscent of Daniel Carriço’s first appearance). There’s more to come from Guthrie as he regains his fitness, but this might have been a game too soon.
Aaron Kuhl: 6
Would be a 7 but for his shaky opening period. Needed to warm into the game, and struggled to make an impact in the first half. Was influential in play in the second half, especially once Edwards moved alongside him in midfield. Exciting to see 90 minutes of him in action-with a very impressive second half.
Jamie Mackie: 4
Not good from Mackie. He seemed to be on a different wavelength to the other Reading players, full of bright ideas that nobody was anticipating. Lacked pace and never got the beating of his defender, lacked composure in the box and was caught in possession several times. Mackie will really need step up his game if he is to hold his spot. In his defence he did run a lot, but in general he had a pretty dire game.
Hal Robson-Kanu: 6
Nobody knows where this man’s position actually is. Played as a deep lying forward behind Pogrebnyak, and lacked much influence in the game. Had some bright (but fruitless) moments in the first half, and was booked for diving. Wasted a great chance in the six yard box in the second half and then faded out of the game. His substitution for Cox was inevitable, and came too late in the game.
Ryan Edwards: 5
Seems to have a similar problem to Robson-Kanu in that no one seems to know what his position is. Lined up as a left winger, but seemd to spend most of his time in a deeper, more central position, perhaps to aid Guthrie and Kuhl defensively. Had some very poor first touches and didn’t provide any width for the attack to go left in the first half, but ended the half with a superb turn and volley which was palmed away at full stretch by the keeper. Energy allowed Aaron Kuhl to take control of the midfield in later stages of the game-seemed to play well in a more central role.
Pavel Pogrebnyak: 5
I can’t remember Pog having a shot throughout the whole game, which is not a good thing to be able to say about your main striker. Showed no lack of effort, but was employed very strangely in the second half as more of a left winger than a centre forward. Impact on the game was minimal.
Jake Taylor: 6
Came on for Guthrie, but moved forward and took Edwards’ spot on the wing. Brought some good pace and directness to the team, and played some dangerous crosses.
Simon Cox: 5
Replaced a tiring Robson-Kanu, but I can’t remember him even touching the ball. Very limited impact on the game.
Jake Cooper: N/A
Thrown on to replace Hector before a promising set piece. Used mostly for his height, and while he was menacing, he wasn’t on the field long enough to really judge his impact.
Too harsh? Too soft? Let us know what you think in the Man of the Match poll and in the comments below.