Date: 8th May 2018 at 3:55pm
Written by:

Ratings by Jamie Fry:

Player Ratings – Cardiff (A)

With a performance that was much better than most people expected, Reading ensured their Championship survival with a point on Sunday in the last game of the season. Here we take a look at the player ratings from the game.
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Vito Mannone – 6 – We expected Vito to be busy on Sunday, but in reality, there wasn’t a lot for the Italian goalkeeper to do. The saves he needed to make were all fairly simple, although I would like to see him command his area better, and claim more crosses and corners.

Tiago Ilori – 6 – Was a gamble making Tiago into a makeshift right-back for a very important game but actually played okay, although it showed he isn’t a natural in that role.  His game was ended early by injury.

Tommy Elphick – 7 – The Villa loanee was poor in the defeat to Ipswich, and this performance was a complete contrast. Rock solid at the back and gave us the reassurance we have been looking for. Who knows if we would have been in the same league position if he had been fit for his entire loan spell.

Liam Moore – 6 – Moore had very little to do against Cardiff with Elphick playing so well, but when he was called upon he did what he needed to do. Looked a lot more composed than in previous games. I know I am not alone when I say I hope he is still in a Reading shirt come the first day of next season.

Chris Gunter – 5 – I was personally not happy with the Welshman’s performance at the weekend. Mendez-Laing had his number in the first half, Gunter could not get near the winger and stop balls from coming into the box. This season is one to forget for the vice-captain.

Joey van den Berg – 6 – A typical Joey performance really. When he does what a defensive midfielder is supposed to do, he normally performs well and that was the case in this game. Broke up play and protected the back four well. Passing and creating play is not his strong point and the sooner he realises that the better.

Dave Edwards – 6 – When your team sets up with a more defensive approach, it is important your centre midfielders stay in shape and defend from the front. Edwards was fairly anonymous but pressed well, was underwhelming when in possession though.

Leandro Bacuna – 7 – Started well in central midfield before filling in at right-back when Ilori was taken off. He probably got better when he moved back and never looked in trouble. After a stupid sending off against Fulham, I think the man from Curacao wanted to prove his worth for Clement’s plans this summer.

Sone Aluko – 5 – Bar his goal against QPR at home, I don’t think we have seen any value for money out of the £7.5m we spent on him last summer. His play is too predictable, when he managed to get in behind the Cardiff defence he tripped over the ball, which pretty much sums up his season. A far cry from the player we saw at Fulham last season who caused teams no end of problems.

Mo Barrow – 6 – I felt sorry for Mo on Sunday to be honest. He didn’t see much of the ball and could have been utilised a lot better. Cardiff played an extremely high line and considering all we were doing was lumping the ball up field when we got it back, if we had played Mo on the shoulder of the last defender and tried to get him in behind, we could have caused Cardiff all sorts of problems. Looked threatening as ever when he was on the ball. For me, our player of the season.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – 6 – Cut a fairly isolated figure in this game. He dropped in to support the midfield when he needed to but didn’t see much of the ball.

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Liam Kelly – 6 – Considering how defensive our approach was to this game, it was a surprise that Kelly was brought on instead of George Evans, who probably would have been a better fit, which perhaps says more about what Clement thinks of the Man City academy graduate. Not much to say about Kelly specifically in this game, he was just a piece of the wall in front of goal.

Yann Kermorgant – 6 – In his twenty-minute spell on the pitch, I forgot that Yann was there. I suspected that he would assume his role that he played under Stam when we were trying to hold out for a result. Sit deep and deal with any aerial bombardment, but that wasn’t really required of the Frenchman.

Paul McShane – 6 – A simple cameo from the captain at the end of the game. We moved to a five at the back system when McShane came on and he looked like he hadn’t missed a step. Good to see him back and hopefully can get a good pre-season under him.