Ali Al-Habsi: 4
Let’s get this out of the way nice and early: Ali Al Habsi had an absolute howler for the fourth goal. It was not a good moment. And he did make a few good saves, but for that error alone he’s got to be one of the worst players on the pitch. I’m just glad he saved his howler for when the game was out of sight.
Chris Gunter: 5
Gunter had a tough game. Decent enough going forward, linking well with McCleary as always, but he struggled to contain Martial throughout the game. It’s a tough ask, but when the opening two goals come from your side of the pitch, you’ve got to be partly to blame.
Liam Moore: 4
Probably one of his worst performances in a Reading shirt. He was at fault for the third goal, misreading the long ball from midfield, and his back pass back to Al Habsi led to the goalkeeper howler. Not his fault, but also not necessary to pass to him and put him under pressure. Besides those two goals, he was generally just not on top form.
Joey van den Berg: 5
When I saw the team sheet and saw that van den Berg’s name was on it, I panicked. When I saw that he was playing in defence, I panicked a little more. When it came to the game itself, he was surprisingly the better of the two centre backs. But concede four, and you’re not going to get a high rating. Credit where its due: his toe poke to prevent Rashford from scoring a Rooney cross was fantastic.
Tyler Blackett: 5
Most of United’s attacks came down the right hand side during the first half, but Blackett didn’t do much on his return to Old Trafford. He’s in an awkward position: not good enough as a centre back for a four man back line, but not good enough going forward as a left back.
George Evans: 6
Composed, calm, and played a few nice balls in behind the Manchester United backline. Is it too soon to ask, ‘Norwood who?’ Was substituted for Swift as Stam went down the attacking route to try and rescue the game.
Danny Williams: 5
Didn’t have a big influence on the game, as when he tried to run with the ball he was outnumbered and outmuscled. Had a couple of pot shots, which didn’t test the keeper.
Liam Kelly: 6
One of the most influential players for Reading, Liam Kelly could end the season as a first choice central midfielder. He pressurised the United midfield, roamed the field linking play and put in a good performance. Did well when asked to drop deep and play as a deep-lying midfielder when Swift came on.
Garath McCleary: 5
This was the one area of the pitch you’d hope Reading could get the upper hand. Blind is not fast. McCleary is — but he never quite got the best of the Dutchman. Even when he did, he rarely created much of note.
Yann Kermorgant: 5
Won a few headers, played a few deft touches, but never got the opportunity to test Romero, let alone score a goal.
Roy Beerens: 5
Tended to stay wide when Reading had the ball, and didn’t really test Young at right back. Got on the ball a bit more when Obita was on the pitch, with someone to link up with.
Jordan Obita: 6
His more offensive display at left back contributed to The Royals’ (slightly) improved second half display. Didn’t let Young get the better of him, and with Mata roaming did as much as he could.
John Swift: 6
Looked bright and lively when he came on, completing a number of dribbles and hitting a few blocked shots. Tried to take the game to United, which was all you could ask for.
Dominic Samuel: N/A
Came on, ran around a bit, but didn’t have enough time or ball to make anything happen.
Average Rating: 5.2
Best and worst performances from 2016/2017:
6.7 - Preston North End H (W 1-0)
6.6 - Wigan A (W 3-0)
6.6 - Brighton & Hove Albion A (W 2-1)
5.9 - AVERAGE
5.0 - Leeds United A (L 0-2)
4.7 - Brentford A (L 1-4)
4.4 - Fulham A (L 0-5)