Reading 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Free-scoring Reading suffered a surprise defeat on Saturday as a resurgent Sheffield Wednesday emerged from the Madejski Stadium with all three points in comfortable fashion. The hosts were reduced to ten men before the ten minute mark, when Alex Pearce brought down Owls’ forward Benik Afobe inside the penalty area. In-form Scotsman Chris Maguire converted the penalty with consummate ease, to ensure that Pearce was fully punished for his professional foul.

Stuart Gray’s men continued to create good chances throughout the contest, and they doubled their advantage through Afobe in the second half. Royals’ stopper Alex McCarthy spilled a save from a Maguire effort into the path of the Arsenal loanee, who pounced on the ball to notch his first goal for the South Yorkshire club. After this, the home side resorted to playing long balls up to giant striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, but the visiting centre-backs Miguel Llera and Jose Semedo coped admirably with the physicality that the Russian offered, keeping another clean sheet that helped to earn Wednesday just their second away league victory of the campaign.

 

clk

Reading

Alex McCarthy – Made a few good save but was at fault for the second goal. 6.0
Chris Gunter – Did a good job out of position in centre-back. Moved into a central berth due to Pearce’s red card. 7.0
Alex Pearce – Received a red card for a professional foul early on. Turned inside out by Afobe in the build up to it. 1.0
Kaspars Gorkss – The no-nonsense Latvian looked pretty solid and marshalled the defence reasonably well. 7.0
Jordan Obita – Looked comfortable on the ball, got forward well and linked-up well with McAnuff at times. 7.0
Garath McCleary – Had to play as both a full-back and a winger after Gunter had to fill in at centre-back. Worked tirelessly down the right flank, managed to get forward well without leaving his defensive responsibilities. 8.0
Hope Akpan – The ex-Crawley midfielder had a bad day at the office, his passing was sloppy and he gave the ball away a lot. 5.5
Daniel Williams – Ran the midfield at times, played some decent passes and was one of Reading’s most creative outlets. Surprisingly substituted for Nick Blackman. 7.0
Jobi McAnuff – The Royals’ club captain was generally ineffective all afternoon, and his passing was poor. Linked up well at times with Obita. 5.5
Pavel Pogrebnyak – Unable to win many headers at all, nullified by Llera’s aerial prowess. 6.0
Adam Le Fondre – Hardly had a sniff of the goal all afternoon. Semedo kept the in-form hitman very quiet. 6.0

Substitutions

Danny Guthrie – Showed flashes of his technical ability, without really taking the encounter by the scruff of the neck. 6.5
Nick Blackman – Failed to make an impact. 6.0
Hal Robson-Kanu – Made very little impact on proceedings. 6.0

Sheffield Wednesday

Chris Kirkland – Didn’t have a save to make after thwarting Le Fondre in the opening exchanges. 6.5
Liam Palmer – Kept the left-sided combination of Obita and McAnuff extremely quiet, looked solid and comfortable in possession. 7.0
Miguel Llera – Grew in confidence as the contest went on; won plenty of headers against Pogrebnyak. 8.0
Jose Semedo – The battling Portugese midfield man filled in brilliantly at the heart of the defence. Read the game well and swept up perfectly, won more headers than you would expect a man of his size too. 8.5
Joe Mattock – The former West Brom defender had a decent afternoon, he didn’t do too much wrong defensively but his distribution was below standard in the first half, although it improved as the game went on. 6.5
Chris Maguire – Looked lively and posed a real threat on the counter-attack, using his pace and trickery. Continued his great goal scoring form by dispatching a tenth minute penalty. 7.5
Kieran Lee – Ran tirelessly, hassled opponents and was very composed on the ball. Another good afternoon for Lee, who continues to impress in central midfield. 7.5
Rhys McCabe – Didn’t really manage to stamp his authority on the contest before he was withdrawn at the interval. Didn’t fare to badly though in what was his first start in a while. 6.0
Jeremy Helan – Slotted into a central midfield role pretty comfortably, using his pace to sweep up any danger around the edge of Wednesday’s penalty area. Smacked the post with a thunderous right-footed strike. 7.0
Jacques Maghoma – Played in the hole and the livewire caused Reading significant problems, especially in the first half. Showed good balance and trickery. 7.5
Benik Afobe – Held the ball up and lead the line very well. Showed good pace and strength, scored a poachers’ goal and he was a handful all game. 7.5

Substitutions

Michail Antonio – Caused problems with his pace as he fights back from another injury. Will be disappointed that he couldn’t beat McCarthy from close range. 7.0
Caolan Lavery – Didn’t have a great impact on the match. 6.0
Adthe Nuhiu – Added more physicality to the visiting attack, could have scored a goal through his own craft and endeavour. 7.0

 

Man of the Match

Jose Semedo – Did a cracking job playing at centre-back for the first time in Owls’ colours. Formed a great, telepathic partnership with Llera and helped lay down the foundations for a superb away performance. 8.5


About Author