Vital Reading takes a look at the players’ individual performances from the outstanding showing against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley
Vital Reading takes a look at the players’ individual performances from the outstanding showing against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The Royals went onto lose after extra time, but the whole team did themselves proud in a resilient and disciplined display.
Adam Federici – 6 – By outsiders, Feders will be remembered in this game for the mistakes – by us fans, he will be remembered for a great performance. Obviously we have to account for the mistake in his rating, but expect that, every aspect of his goalkeeping was outstanding.
Chris Gunter – 7 – Very solid performance against a tricky customer in Sanchez, who bar his two goals, had a quiet game. He didn’t venture into the attacking third too much or link up with McCleary, but is hardly surprising. Gunter and McCleary worked very well together defensively.
Alex Pearce – 7 – The pre-match thought of Pearce and Arsenal was a bad one, but the central defender did well against the pace of Welbeck, although he struggled with Giroud more. Won most of his aerial battles and remained disciplined positionally throughout.
Michael Hector – 8 – Man of the Match – A classy performance from the 22 year old, who shows experience beyond his age. When faced one-on-one, he was winning the majority of his challenges and rather than aimlessly hoofing it, was very composed to play out from the back. I really fear that a few Prem sides could be after big Hec this summer.
Jordan Obita – 7 – Compared to Gunter, Obita really offered himself going forward, which was great to see. Defensively he was composed and looked very solid, although Ramsey playing out of position probably made his afternoon easier.
Garath McCleary – 7 – A constant threat on the right side, despite often being faced up against two markers. He was very unpredictable, going inside and outside. Took his goal very well, what a moment for him. Only negative was that his set pieces were poor.
Nathaniel Chalobah – 7 – Typical Chalobah performance – good work rate, composure and quality. He was always going to be crucial in a game like this, on and off the ball. His passing was crisp, which really helped the likes of Williams and McCleary to flourish.
Danny Williams – 8 – A very close second for man of the match, in a performance that opitimised everything about Williams’ game. Worked tirelessly off the ball, putting good challenges in, then driving the team forward into space.
Hal Robson-Kanu – 6 – Not a great performance, but not a bad one either. HRK worked hard and put in a good defensive shift, but not much quality shown, despite a better second half.
Jamie Mackie – 7 – Please Clarke, sign him up. Work rate, as ever, was superb and also caused Arsenal a few problems with his direct running and movement. He also played really well with his back to goal, backing into the Arsenal defenders to bring others into play.
Pavel Pogrebnyak – 6 – The only thing missing from the big Russian’s performance was composure in front of goal. There were two occasions where the Pog was away, but on both times, made the wrong decision. Apart from that, he battled with the Arsenal backline well and a great cross for the goal.
Jem Karacan – 7 – What an ovation the skipper got when he came on. He fitted into the game perfectly, injecting the work rate and smart tackles and interceptions in the final third.
Simon Cox – N/A – The home town boy couldn’t prove to be hero on this occasion, as he barely got a touch of the ball.
Yakubu – N/A – Like Cox, barely touched the ball.