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Reading FC 2-1 Cardiff City: Player Ratings

Who impressed in The Royals’ win over the Bluebirds?

Derby County v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Starting XI

Ali Al Habsi: 7

Nothing truly spectacular but safe, sound and alert to any danger. Probably his best was to save Kermorgant the embarrassment of a Darren Bent-style sliced own goal and his distribution was good, including a couple of neat flighted passes into midfield.

Paul McShane: 7

Came off looking bloodied but unbowed from a typically defiant performance. Reading needed his heading and tackling qualities to thwart Cardiff's aerial bombardment, particularly when the giant Bamba was thrown up front late in the game.

Liam Moore: 6

Overall played well but his concession of penalties (three at the Mad Stad this season) is a habit he must curb if he's not to cost Reading some costly points in the run-in.

Joey van den Berg: 7

The Dutchman was giving the best performance I've seen from him before a hamstring injury ended his afternoon in the 39th minute. His passing was particularly impressive. The downside is that his injury record casts a doubt over his medium to long-term usefulness.

Garath McCleary: 8

Brilliantly set up the first goal and created two more gilt-edge chances that should have produced goals, in addition to providing the pass which brought the free-kick leading to the second goal. Started as a right wing-back before switching to a more central roving role. The passing game still needs players with the wherewithal to open up defences and the Jamaican does it for the Royals.

Danny Williams: 6

Missed a sitter in the first half and started the second half with a woeful misplaced pass to put Cardiff on the offensive. But produced a crowd-lifting tackle late in the game, while his energy and athleticism are valuable ingredients in the team's progress.

John Swift: 6

Didn't play anywhere near his capabilities and was taken off early in the second-half. The excuse is he's not fully fit yet but the ex-Chelsea man often appears to lack the oomph needed to made him the star player he could be. Took goal well, though (which stopped the rating being 5).

Liam Kelly: 7

It's amazing how quickly the young Irishman has become such a key member of the team. It's not simply his passing ability but his tenacity which impresses. Took a bad whack on the shin from Richards but that didn't stop him. Let's hope there's no after effects.

Chris Gunter: 6

Started as a surprise left wing-back before switching to his more familiar role on the right late in the game. Didn't really notice him, which is either a good or a bad thing (depending on whether you're a fan).

Yann Kermorgant: 7

Embodies the warrior spirit which the team needs for all it's pretty football. Took his goal well, worked his socks off and helped out the defence in the closing stages. Saved from a comic own goal by Al Habsi’s quick reflexes.

Roy Beerens: 6

Nothing special but worked hard, made some good runs off the ball and generally contributed to the team performance.

Substitutes

Tyler Blackett: 6

There may be doubts about the ex-Manchester United defender's ability as a left-back, but as a central defender on the left of a back three he looks the business. His aerial ability was valuable at the end and he even produced an eye-catching piece of skill (before spoiling it with a sloppy pass).

George Evans: 6

Has been unlucky to be out of the team after scoring the winner at Blackburn, and did well well enough after replacing Swift. Sound but unspectacular.

Jordan Obita: N/A