Ten games unbeaten. Three in a row. This is Birmingham City. There’s an ecstatic vibe currently flowing round St. Andrews as we sit 9th in the table, just one point off the play-offs after fourteen games, including an extremely shaky first few games. Blues have lost twice in the league, the least out of all 24 teams, and it’s a brilliant feeling.
GK: Lee Camp
Another good performance from Camp, despite the moment where he almost dropped Kelly’s first-half effort into his goal, in-front of the Tilton. Camp definitely made up for his first-half blushes by pulling off an excellent save after Kieftenbeld clumsily lost possession. After a nervous start, Camp is establishing himself as a great goalkeeper at St. Andrews. 7/10.
RB: Maxime Colin
The Frenchman consistently performs brilliantly for Blues, as last night was another of his solid performances. As always, he worked fantastically with Jota who both constantly backtracked when caught out, and dealt with both Josh Sims as well as Gareth McCleary easily. 8/10.
CB: Harlee Dean
Harlee Dean is a stunning defender, who works brilliantly with Michael Morrison. It was another one of his solid performances against the Royals as his ariel ability was as good as always, including his tackling, including a great block on a Josh Sims drive. 8/10.
CB: Michael Morrison
The masked Morrison assisted one of the two as his knockdown from a Jota corner, leading to Gary Gardner’s first Blues goal. Him and Dean easily handled the Icelandic Jón Daði Böðvarsson, whose tally currently lies at seven this season. 7/10.
LB: Kristian Pedersen
Statistically the best performing left-back in the league, according to whoscored.com, the Great Dane is improving game after game. Worked well with both Maghoma and substitute Mahoney down the left flank. Pedersen is a great defender who has a great ability going forward, and will continue to improve. 7.5/10.
LM: Jacques Maghoma
Back in the starting line-up replacing Conor Mahoney, it was a poor cameo for Maghoma, who was taken off injured in the 44th minute. While on the pitch, Maghoma fumbled a great counter attack as he failed to pass the ball to Jota, which would’ve resulted in a certain goal. 5/10.
CM: Gary Gardner
This man is brilliant, and deserved his first goal for Blues more than anyone. Gary is loved by almost every Blues fan right now, despite a variety of opinions on him at the beginning of the season. Gary possessed great passing ability, and won the ball back in the middle of the park consistently. 8.5/10.
CM: Maikel Kieftenbeld
Dutch Mike worked his absolute socks off throughout the entirety of the game, despite having a shaky game. Kieftenbeld gave the ball away a couple of times, including when he gave away possession, almost leading to a Reading goal before a fantastic Camp save. He was unable to replicate his shank against Brighton in pre-season, as his early effort flew into the Gil Merrick. 6.5/10.
Like Kieftenbeld, and the majority of the midfield, the Spaniard worked tirelessly up until his substitution, where he was clearly exhausted after playing his part in gaining a two-goal lead. Throughout Monk’s reign, Jota has been the creative magician on the wing, and continues to do so. 8/10.
ST: Che Adams
Che’s best game for Blues in a long, long time. Adams has been recently criticised for his work rate whilst on the pitch, but the youngster worked extremely hard today, much to the delight of the St. Andrews faithful. His hold up play, and pace bagged him an assist, yet deserved so much more. Without a doubt, the man of the match. 8.5/10. MOTM
ST: Lucas Jutkiewicz
A solid performance from Jutkiewicz, who continues to add to his goal tally, bringing it up to seven this season. Like Adams, Lucas offered great hold up play, and doubled the lead with a fantastic looping header from a difficult angle. 8/10.
SUBSTITUTE: Conor Mahoney
Another decent cameo for the young winger who was brought on in the place of the injured Maghoma. Adams squared the ball to him on a plate late in the second half, much to a fantastic save from Jaakkola. Worked well attacking with Pedersen down the wing, and continues to show why he deserves to start. 6/10.
SUBSTITUTE: Viv Solomon-Otabor
Substituted for Jota with twenty minutes to go, Viv worked well whilst on the pitch, despite it only being a short matter of time. Also, Viv should’ve scored, much to another Jaakkola save, who played brilliantly for Reading, despite conceding twice. 6/10.
SUBSTITUTE: Bez Lubala
Only played for around seven minutes, so was unable to display his natural talent. Lubala possesses a great amount of skill on the ball, and is one for the future. N/A.
By Jack Blenkiron, KRO.