So we've gone for a new approach to our match reports and have opted to create a separate article to rate the players. Here are the heros and villains of the 2-1 win over Sunderland.
All players are rated out of 10, with 1 being awful, 5 being average and 10 being brilliant.
Adam Federici: 7.5
It's been great to see the Australian regain the form of last season and he was once again superb yesterday, commanding his area well and making three very important saves. His distribution was also impressive and Alex McCarthy will face a real battle to win his place back when he returns from injury.
Kelly is quickly turning into our Premier League version of Andy Griffin, a solid if unspectacular signing that has helped solidify the back four and has enabled Jimmy Kebe to really flourish. He put in another steady shift on Saturday and helped keep a clean sheet from open play.
Mariappa also had a solid game, keeping Fletcher fairly quiet and making some important tackles. The former Watford defender would probably have gotten an eight but for a few dodgy passes that put Pearce under a bit too much pressure at times.
Alex Pearce: 7.5
Please would you sign a new deal Alex, pretty please? I don't think its coincidence that our defence has been so much tighter since Pearce replaced Kaspars Gorkss and the defender heads off on international duty with another fine performance to his name. Strong in the air and putting the ball into touch when required, there was rarely a dodgy moment from the defender and his only moment of disappointment may have been not making more of a chance at the far post when Kebe had chipped the ball in from the byline.
Ian Harte: 7
Another assist for Harte who put in a good shift against his former side. He was exposed once or twice by the pace and power of Johnson or McClean but generally his positioning ensured he was rarely caught out. His delivery for the goal was top notch though his corners were a bit wayward.
McCleary had his moments down the left but once again struggled to make a telling impact in a game he started, His final balls were disappointing while his corners were just woefull. That being said he worked hard and did cause Gardner some problems so it wasn't a bad display by any means.
I don't think its any secret that I'm not Ledge's biggest fan but he played his part in another win and didn't make any mistakes that really cost us dearly. His passing was wayward as usual but he did have a few good touches and did a decent enough job sweeping up in front of the back four. He's clearly very much valued by Brian McDermott and given the fact we've done rather well with Mikele in the starting XI I'll continue to bow down to Brian on this one.... though Daniel Carrico's return to fitness would be welcome, if only to further push Leigertwood.
Hope Akpan: 7
A very promising full debut from Akpan who got forward well and passed the ball excellently. He seems to offer a little bit more than Karacan on the ball but he did fade as the game moved into the final quarter. The former Crawley man really didn't look out of place in his first Premier League start and while there's bound to be bumps in the road, it looks like another shrewd acquisition from Brian McDermott.
Jobi McAnuff: 6.5
Not the best and not the worst from McAnuff who negotiated an early booking and created the opener. His passing and positioning wasn't the best but he did his job well enough and defended well when called upon. He's not a natural number 10 and you can see why Brian tried to get Gylfi and Ince but credit to the skipper for leading the side well and doing whatever job is asked of him.
Jimmy Kebe: 8
The two goal hero didn't have his most impressive game but when you score two goals you can be forgiven for perhaps not having a Leicester type performance! His first goal was just excellent and his second was a terrific leap and header from a man who's not renowned for his ariel prowess. He also put in a couple of great crosses from the byline but did struggle to beat his man when 1-on-1. The Malian winger was once again excellent in defence and he's seemingly returning to that vintage 2010 form that made us all fall in love with him.
Pavel Pogrebnyak: 6.5
Pavel led the line well again and worked tirelessly to hold up the ball with very little support. He didn't get a proper chance in front of goal but nearly stuck home a fine header towards the end of the first half. Sadly he did give away a stupid and needless penalty but that shouldn't take away too much from another good performance from the Russian who looks very much improved from the player that started the season with so much expectation.
You can't expect to Alfie to be the hero every week and he was overdue a quiet game after his recent goalscoring form. Like any Reading player he worked his socks off but struggled to make any sort of impact in his 26 minutes.
With the game stretched Blackman also ran around lots but didn't really influence the game. What he did do was win the free-kick that led to the goal and for that reason alone he deserves credit. Far too early to judge him and hopefully getting on the pitch and being part of a winning side will help ease his nerves.