Full time: Aston Villa 1-1 Reading
Aston Villa were held to a 1-1 draw right at the death when Sam Baldock equalised from the spot at Villa Park.
James Chester headed against the bar in a first half dominated by the hosts and to the lead when debutant winger Anwar El Ghazi’s cross was powered home by Ahmed Elmohamady.
But the Villans couldn’t hold their nerves late on. Goalkeeper Orjan Nyland tipped Sam Baldock’s shot onto the bar from just three yards before the Reading frontman equalised from the spot after Chester brought down Josh Sims.
It was a welcome point for Reading as Paul Clement’s side have now picked up two away draws in four days to get off the mark.
Reading Player Ratings
Vito Mannone – 6/10
Mannone made several good saves early on as Villa made a blistering start to the game.
Andy Yiadom – 5/10
Yiadom had a tough time against the skilful Anwar El Ghazi. He lost possession at times and was not at his sublime best at Villa Park.
Liam Moore – 5/10
Moore was really sloppy in possession as he could have handed Villa an early goal, only for John McGinn to not capitalise on it.
Tiago Ilori – 5/10
Ilori returned from injury to replace Paul McShane. He did well at the back, making some vital blocks and interceptions, especially after the break.
Tyler Blackett – 5/10
Blackett was caught napping a number of times and gave yards of space down the right in the second half. Going forward, he showed good energy but needs to improve his defensive side of the game drastically.
Sone Aluko – 4/10
A very disappointing display from Aluko, who not only lost possession but also failed to deliver the final ball after getting into promising positions. He was replaced by Sims with 20 minutes left in the game.
Leandro Bacuna – 5/10
A shoddy first half but Bacuna grew into the game after the interval. Remained unperturbed despite constant booing from the home fans as he stuck to his guns to help his side.
David Meyler – 5/10
A strong presence in the midfield, Meyler protected Reading’s backline and spread the play well with his passing ability.
Modou Barrow – 4/10
Nothing notable as such, barring a good opening which Barrow failed to connect sweetly. He was replaced at the half-time by Meite.
Sam Baldock – 7/10
Deserves a lot of praise for working his socks off throughout the game. Kept his calm and composure to slot home the penalty in the added time to hand Reading a crucial point.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – 4/10
Bodvarsson was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the first half when it appeared he was fouled from behind. He received plenty of service from his teammates but failed to make it count.
Josh Sims – 6/10
Replaced Aluko and was almost immediately booked for a challenge on Hutton. He was fouled in the box through which Baldock scored the equaliser.
Yakou Meite – 5/10
Came on for Barrow after the interval. Meite found himself in good positions but his final delivery let him down.
Marc McNulty – 4/10
McNulty came in with ten minutes to go. He added some much-needed energy and attacking verve as Royals chased the game.