Reading bowed out of the FA Cup for another year on Tuesday evening, as the Royals went down 2-1 to Sheffield United after extra time at the Madejski Stadium.
Mark Bowen’s side put up a good fight against their Premier League opponents during the course of the game, as the scores were level at 1-1 after ninety minutes.
David McGoldrick struck first for the Blades with just two minutes on the clock, but Reading got back on level terms just before half-time, as George Puscas sent an unstoppable penalty past Dean Henderson.
Neither side could find the breakthrough in the second half, and extra-time favoured the Blades with their lack of fixture congestion, and it was the Premier League outfit who made their quality pay in the end as Billy Sharp struck in the 106th minute to break Reading’s hearts.
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Despite the defeat being a sucker-punch to Bowen and his players, the Royals boss was proud with the performance shown, and many key men in the team stepped up when it was needed.
One such player was Yakou Meite, who started the game on the right-wing, as Reading set up in a more defensive 4-5-1 formation.
Despite not starting in his favoured position, the 24-year-old Ivorian showed his capabilities over the course of the match.
If we delve deeper into his statistics on the night, we can gauge that the Ivorian put in a real shift for his side, and showed his stamina by lasting until the 106th minute of the contest.
His one shot on target during the game was a venomous, dipping strike from distance that forced Dean Henderson to tip the stinging effort over the bar.
Although that was one of his few chances, Meite contributed regularly towards Reading’s attacking phases of play.
He completed three of his six dribbles, which in turn brought other players into the game. However, his passing accuracy could be improved, as it was hovering around the 50% mark.
The most notable way in which Meite contributed, though, was his success in the air, winning ten aerial duels, the second-highest figure for any player on the pitch behind Royals defender Michael Morrison.
A majority of them were offensive duels, showing that he caused the Blades defence a whole lot of problems.
Defensively, he also worked hard, putting in two successful tackles.