Birmingham 0 Reading 2 Player Ratings 

Vito Mannone: 6 

 Although he made one very good save in the first half to deny Bramall from range, he had a fairly quiet afternoon but looked confident in his passing and command of the area.

 
Chris Gunter: 6 

Didn’t get forward as much as in recent games, apart from that was the typical Gunter performance – solid at the back and a good outlet on the right flank. 

Tiago Illori: 7

While Illori looks the most comfortable on the ball out of the centre-backs, often finding a forward with a pass between the lines, he has a terrifying tendency to grapple with opposition strikers in and around the box which led to his sending off at Loftus Road. So if he could stop doing that, that’d be fantastic.

 
Liam Moore: 7

He missed a great chance at the tail end of the first half but made up for it with a goal saving block as Birmingham were in on goal with the score still 1-0. Only looked troubled when Birmingham went long to Jutkiewicz late on in the match and even then he popped up to clear off the line.

 
Paul Mcshane: 6

Passed well and dealt with the aerial bombardment in the last 10 minutes. Question marks remain as he never seems as composed as Moore or Illori when faced with an attacker, highlighted by his tendency to dive into challenges, which to his credit were perfectly timed today.

 
Tyler Blackett: 9

Assisted the first goal with a perfect cross and marshalled the left flank superbly. Looked fast, strong and excellent with the ball at his feet. Forced a good save from Stockdale in the first half and gave the lively Maghoma no joy. Obita might struggle to get back into the team if Blackett keeps up this form as he keeps getting better and better in the wing back position.

 
Leandro Bacuna: 8 

Looks a really solid addition to the midfield in the Danny Williams role. What he lacks in size he makes up for in his passing and speed on the ball. A very exciting player from what I’ve seen on Tuesday night and at St Andrews.

 
Joey Van Den Berg: 8 

Toed the line between combative and fouling superbly in the first half and is firmly establishing himself as a must-have in the team for an away game. 

 
Liam Kelly: 7

 Playing in a more advanced role, Kelly often pushed the team forward with his driving runs and really should have had an assist for his great squared ball to Barrow 

 
Modou Barrow: 6 

Missed an absolute sitter that could have been costly at 0-0 and still looks better when he picks up the ball from wide, but not a bad performance by any means.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson: 7

Was hot and cold with his hold up play as he sometimes was outmuscled too easily but his presence as a striker was invaluable when relieving pressure and his headed finish was simply lovely. 

Subs
George Evans: 7 

Added energy and attacking threat to the midfield; he seems to be a very good substitute. A lovely finish, it can never hurt to add a few goals from midfield so it was nice to have to hold on to a one goal lead late on.

 
Garath Mccleary: 7 

Still nowhere near back to his best, yet he’s proving to be an effective option already in getting the assist for the second.

 
Sam Smith: 6 

A short league debut but his perseverance up top kept the ball out of the Reading half just when the clean sheet looked under threat. 

Calum Egan  (@calumtheGAM) 

Let us know if you agree or disagree via the EPR twitter account or the comments below. 

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Reading 3 Millwall 1 Player Ratings 

Hi, 

Just a quick reminder 6 is the score for an acceptable run of the mill performance. 

Jaakkola 6 

Another solid showing and can’t remember any mistakes. Couldn’t do anything about the Millwall goal and rarely tested in the 2nd half or ET. 

 
Gunter 6 

As you would expect from Chris. Nothing spectacular in the less familiar position of LWB. 

Ilori 6 

A couple of nice moments of anticipation to snuff out any danger and looked a lot calmer than against Fulham. Good run out to keep him match sharp. 

Andresson 6

Nice to see another left footed defensive option. Looked strong, composed and okay defensively. Axel had one good short from a corner in the 1st half. We might see him used in the 1st team squad at some point this year. 

Bacuna 7

Looked good on the ball and scored an excellent goal. Looked very unfit in the 2nd half and then appeared to get a second wind to last until the 95th minute. 

Rinomhota 8 MOTM 

I’ve now seen him in two different positions and been impressed both times. Quality on the ball and a eye for a pass going forward. Defending he was just as good. Several good clearances helped by good positioning. Perhaps some competition for Gunter at RB.  

 
Quinn 6 

Took a while to get into the game on his first start for months. Gradually we started to some of the Quinn we know as the game progressesed, Simple passing became more progesssive and his work for the team as always was 100%. He will only get better with more games. Good to have him back and looking fit. 

Evans 7 

For 45 minutes George was off the pace. Looked sluggish and indecisive. Definitely got better better in the 2nd half and capped it with the stunning 2nd goal. 

McCleary 6

Some nice touches from Gareth in his 45 mins, looked like he was only running at 75 % which is understandable as he’s coming back from another injury. 

Popa 7

Adi gets his 7 mainly because of his perseverance and team work. There was a lack of quality with his final ball tonight and he switched off for the corner which led to the Millwall goal. 

Smith 7 

I think that was a better overall showing from Sam tonight. Link up play was better than against Gillingham and yet another one who didn’t stop. Snatched at his chance just before FT but kept his composure to score his deserved goal based on his effort alone. 

Subs: 

Clement 6 (45) 

Bit of a mixed bag from Pelle. Some nice play and some sloppy stuff. He did okay overall. 

Barrow 6 (71) 

By far the best player after he came on the but can’t rate him higher as he didn’t actually score or assist a goal. Looks good every time he gets the ball. 

Blackett 6 (90+2) 

Was rarely troubled in ET. 

Loader 6 

Can’t say I really noticed him. On that basis I can’t rate him him high or low. 
Thanks for taking the time to read my ratings. Let me know if you agree or disagree via @Elmparkroyals twitter site or the comments section below. 

Thanks 

Paul Mann 

Reading Aston Villa Player Ratings 

Welcome to the first EPR player ratings. 

I will be using 6 as the average mark for a performance. 

Mannone 7

Good solid showing and saved an early 1 on 1 which could have changed the match. Good distribution with his feet throughout the match 

Gunter 6 

Solid but unspectacular performance. Crossing was particularly poor in the first half but defensively fine. 

Blackett 6 

Plenty of big tackles from Tyler and no mistakes at the back. 

McShane 7

Won numerous headers and good on the ball. Needed his leadership in the last few mins when Villa went more direct. 

Moore 7 

Another classy showing from Liam. And enjoyed the chance to get forward more in the first half. As always calm on the ball as shown by his assist for the Barrow goal. 

Van Der Berg 7

Started very slowly and gave the ball away which led to the early Villa 1 on 1 with Mannone. Improved in the 2nd half but always makes me nervous. 

Swift 6 

Some nice link up play in midfield when it appeared there wasn’t any space but can’t remember anything significant from him. 

Kelly 7 

Several lovely passes that only a confident player would attempt. Plenty of shots tonight but none felt quite right. Still a great start to the season and you can’t expect to him to score every game.  

Clement 7 

Another one who seemed to grow into the game. Fairly anonymous 1st half and a strange attempt at heading a ball out out for a goal kick summed up his first half. Much better 2nd half including a throw ball for McCleary which he should have probably done better. Could be a good squad player going forward. 

Barrow 8 MOTM 

Constant threat throughout the match. Out wide with crosses and clever passes, then with direct running at pace. Capped it off with a poachers finish from the ALf school of finishing. I’ve been impressed all 3 times I’ve seen him so far. 

Popa 7 

Possibly his best performance in a Royals shirt. Yes he gives the ball away sometimes, but he also was a threat tonight. One good long range shot was well saved and could have done better with a chance soon afterwards. His cross early in the 2nd half created the first goal and his confidence visibly rose afterwards. Good to see a player take his chance when others are still injured. 

Subs: 

Evans 6 (70 mins) 

Didn’t do anything wrong so standard George. Did the job asked of him by Stam. 

McCleary 6 (70) 

Rather fluffed his 1 on 1 with the Villa keeper but had a couple of nice runs and helped us run the clock down.  

Beerens (77) 

Not really long enough to mark him.

 
Let me know if you agree or disagree with my ratings tonight via @Elmparkroyals or your comments section below. Thanks 

Paul Mann