FA Cup Player Ratings: Reading 1-1 Liverpool

Gerrard secures scarcely-deserved replay for Reds....

READING:

Adam Federici 6 - Made one handling error in the first half, sliding the ball out of his penalty area. Was distracted by Kuyt for Gerrard's equaliser, and picked up an ankle injury which forced him to be replaced by Hamer in the 69th minute.

Brynjar Gunnarsson 7 - Steady if unspectacular from right-back, but fed McAnuff the ball and stifled Aurelio pretty easily.

Ivar Ingimarsson - 7 - Attacked the ball well in defence, and at times found the confidence to venture upfield. Made a vital late tackle which denied Torres a clear run on goal.

Matthew Mills - 6.5 - Handled Liverpool's attack well, though in truth was not tested nearly as much as he would have expected. Booked late on for a rash challenge on Torres.

Ryan Bertrand - 7.5 - Delivery from wide was very good, and he looked very composed on the ball. Caught sleeping a few times to play Liverpool men onside.

Jobi McAnuff - 8 - Caused plenty of problems for Insua with his pace and running ability, and was Reading's most exciting performer.

Jem Karacan - 8 - Got around the pitch energetically and broke up play, passing the ball neatly with his left foot.

Khalifa Cisse - 6.5 - His physical presence was needed in the centre of midfield, and he won plenty of balls in there. Use of the ball was not as effective as Karacan and co however.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - 7 - Showed good determination throughout, drew a good save from Reina in the second half and his work-rate meant Darby could never relax.

Grzegorz Rasiak - 7.5 - Did superbly for Church's goal, keeping the ball alive when it looked to be heading out of play, and his hold-up play was key for the Royals.

Simon Church - 7 - Was on hand to turn the Royals ahead in the first half, and the young Welshman gave Carragher and Skrtel a tough game with his smart movement and tidy technique.

Substitutes

Shane Long - n/a - Introduced for Rasiak late on, but to little effect.

Ben Hamer - 6 - Given a rare chance to shine after Federici's injury. Had an early communication problem with Mills which could have resulted in disaster

Brian Howard - 6 - Scored the winner for Barnsley against Liverpool once upon a time, but there was to be no repeat as he took time to get into the game.


LIVERPOOL:

Pepe Reina - 6 - Perhaps at fault for Church's goal, as he seemed to think the ball was heading into touch. Made amends with a smart save from Sigurdsson in the second half, and some good punches under pressure.

Stephen Darby - 6.5 - Looked full of nerves to begin with, but made a couple of key interventions which helped settle him down. Was a lot better in the second half, and showed a sense of adventure with a couple of daring runs from deep.

Jamie Carragher - 6 - Struggled when left isolated against Church or McAnuff, but as ever found himself in the right position to make several big blocks and tackles.

Martin Skrtel - 6 - Covered pretty well, although his willingness to get tight might have resulted in a penalty on Sigurdsson. A few moments of indecision went unpunished, and he found Rasiak a tricky customer.

Emiliano Insua - 5 - Was troubled by McAnuff's pace, picking up a booking for a cynical shirt-pull, and his distribution from left-back was too often aimless. The Argentine has been much improved in recent weeks, but struggled here.

Dirk Kuyt - 6.5 - Clever dummy allowed Gerrard's cross to beat Federici, and he looked lively in the first half. Less effective in the second but was probably - with Darby - one of Liverpool's better performers overall.

Lucas Leiva - 6 - Took a blow to the face early on, but was a stellar performer in midfield. Passed the ball reasonably well, put his foot in, and his bursts forward helped Liverpool threaten on the counter.

Steven Gerrard - 6 - Levelled matters with a well-angled cross which beat Federici, and created one chance for Torres with a beautifully curled pass, but was as guilty as anyone of wasting possession in midfield.

Fabio Aurelio - 5 - Missed a couple of presentable chances on his left-foot, and was affected by the malaise which gripped the Reds at times, conceding possession far too easily. Needed to help Insua more too.

Fernando Torres - 6 - Burst into life on a couple of occasions, heading wide and being denied by Federici in the first half. Always looked likely to pick up a goal, but was left frustrated as a late header landed on the top of the net.

David Ngog - 5 - Could maybe have held the ball up a bit better, and drifted round the periphary of the game too much. Had a few useful moments, but it was no surprise when he was withdrawn for Aquilani on 67 minutes.

Substitutes

Alberto Aquilani - 5.5 - Brought on to help his side keep the ball better, and his presence did enable Liverpool to get a bit more possession. Dwelt too long on a couple of occasions, but looked positive and confident at least.

Yossi Benayoun - 6 - On for the woeful Aurelio, and almost engineered a winning goal for Torres in stoppage time.

Neil Jones, Goal.com UK