After a crucial victory against play-off rivals Leeds United at the Madejski Stadium yesterday, we take a look at the players` performances
After a crucial victory against play-off rivals Leeds United at the Madejski Stadium yesterday, we take a look at the players` performances, and as you can imagine, there are a lot of high scorers!
Ali Al-Habsi – 6 -Suprisingly it wasn`t one of Ali`s best games. He flapped at a free kick early on which Bartley should have punished, but he didn`t really have an awful lot to do. One plus was that his distribution and kicking was pretty faultless.
Chris Gunter – 8 – Man of the match – His best game in a Reading shirt this season by a mile. He won every duel he had, whether that was aerially or faced up one-on-one with Pedraza. The right-back also looked a threat going forward too, which I never thought I`d say!
Liam Moore – 8 – Another classy performance at the back from the player of the season candidate, who kept Chris Wood quiet for the entire game. If we can keep him fit, it will be a massive boost in the play-offs.
Tyler Blackett – 6 – A decent enough game from the young defender, who still doesn`t look totally confident at centre-half with a few shaky moments in the first half. He looked more composed in the second, but I expect McShane to come straight back in alongside Moore when fit.
Jordan Obita – 7 – A very good game from the young left back, who did his job in man-marking Sakho superbly. He looked a real danger going forward, but injury unfortunately bought his game to an early end.
Liam Kelly – 7 – I was surprised to see the academy graduate brought straight back into the team with Van den Berg injured. However he more than justified his managers selection with a busy performance in holding midfield, keeping the ball ticking and buzzing about to hassle the Leeds midfield into giving the ball away. He faded slightly in the second, so it was no surprise to see Mutch brought on.
Danny Williams – 8 – With all the reported Premier League interest and new contract talks, Williams certainly was out to impress somebody – it was a superb performance from the midfielder. His energy all over the park optimised how we kept on top of Leeds and refused them time on the ball. He made several crucial blocks and interceptions in the area and drove the team forward when needed.
John Swift – 7 – Sky gave Man of the Match to Swifty and while I thought that was generous, you can`t deny he had a good game. As he has been for most of the season, the pressure was on him to create our best chances and he lived up to that billing, creating himself an early chance and setting up Beerens for his chance with a great lofted ball.
Garath McCleary – 6 – It would be harsh to say GMac had a poor game, but it was a quiet showing, albeit up against a tough customer in Charlie Taylor. He did his defensive duties and got behind the Leeds backline, but was lacking in end product, especially his big chance in the first half.
Yann Kermorgant – 7 – Yann divided opinion early in the season, but I think he very much has a majority on his side now with another crucial goal and a good all-round performance. He won several flick ons to cause Leeds an issue and it was a cracking strike for his goal. As ever, he helped the team out defensively too – top pro.
Roy Beerens – 6 – Like GMac, Roy wasn`t poor, he was just anonymous until it came to his final product, which should have been better. The Dutchman has been fortunate of late that Harriot has been injured and Grabban is struggling for form.
Lewis Grabban – 6 – A quiet cameo for when he came on for Roy as we were on the back foot, but he did his defensive duties well enough to see the game out.
Jordan Mutch – 6 – Mutch`s height and physicality came in handy in the closing stages, but I doubt he`ll be taking Kelly`s place on Tuesday night.
Reece Oxford – 7 – The youngster came into centre half in a tough game in the final twenty minutes, but dealt with it superbly. He won all his battles and looks a class act in his short stint, I`m shocked he hasn`t pushed Blackett for his place.