The SkyBet Championship was back this weekend for the second round of this seasons fixtures with Brighton finishing the weekend as the leagues only team with a 100% record. The weekend kicked off with an eventful score draw which saw Burnley and Birmingham take a point each in an action packed 4 goal thriller, whilst it was concluded by another bore draw when Reading and Leeds encountered a stalemate. With 10 games on the Saturday and 2 on the Sunday I analyse all of the action and pick out the weekends best performers.
12:30 Burnley 2-2 Birmingham City / M.Keane (51), M.Taylor (81) – J.Toral (10), P.Caddis (pen 63)
15:00 *Bristol City 2-4 Brentford / J.Kodjia (2), A.Wilbraham (23) – A.Judge (9), D.Williams o.g (43), A.Gray (60), P.Hofmann (71)
15:00 Derby County 1-1 Charlton Athletic / C.Martin (68) – T.Watt (48)
15:00 Fulham 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion / T.Cairney (43) – S.Baldock (30), T.Hemed (pen 90+4)
15:00 Huddersfield 1-1 Blackburn Rovers / N.Wells (10) – N.Delfouneso (60)
15:00 Ipswich Town 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday / F.Sears (21), T.Smith (53) – R.Wallace (19)
15:00 *Middlesbrough 3-0 Bolton Wanderers / D.Fabbrini (7), Kike (17, 32)
15:00 MK Dons 0-1 Preston North End / P.Gallagher (28)
15:00 Nottingham Forest 2-1 Rotherham United / M.Mills (45+2), M.Antonio (61) – D.Collins (13)
15:00 QPR 2-2 Cardiff City / C.Hill (33), C.Austin (56) – S.Morrison (63), S.Malone (90)
Sunday 16th August
12:00 Wolves 1-1 Hull City / J.Henry (58) – N.Jelavic (pen 22)
15:00 Reading 0-0 Leeds United
*Game of the Week: Bristol 2-4 Brentford
Venue: Ashton Gate
Referee: Keith Stroud
Man of the Match: Philipp Hofmann
Featuring in the game of the week for a second consecutive week are Brentford who will been far more pleased with the way the game planned out this time around as they outscored the hosts. Bristol City struck first in this game however, Luke Ayling playing a huge part in the goal with some tidy footwork bursting forward before slotting in Jonathan Kodjia who slotted home with only 2 minutes on the clock. Despite the fast start from City, Brentford were in no mood to sit and watch as they struck back just minutes later when Andre Gray saw his shot parried towards Alan Judge who was perfectly poised to finish off the rebound to level the score. The goals didn’t stop there as it only took until the 23rd minute for Aaron Wilbraham to pop up at the near post to nod home Marlon Pack’s corner and Bristol City into the lead once again. It wasn’t the a goal grabbing everyones attention in the 35thm minute though when Luke Freeman’s high boot clattered into an onrushing Harlee Dean which prompted referee Keith Stroud to show the red card to Freeman, game on for Brentford. It didn’t take long for Brentford to make the most of the extra man when Alan Judge’s cross was turned into his own net by Derrick Williams with the teams going into half time all square. The second half saw Brentford on top and in the 60th minute Andre Gray got on the end of McCormack’s cross to put the visitors in the lead for the first time. The game was put out of reach when Andre Gray, who looks set to make a £9m switch to Bristol City, set up Philipp Hofmann who cooly slotted home for his debut league goal. Despite resistance from Bristol City it was Brentford’s day as they held on to see out a convincing 4-2 lead come the full time whistle with the home fans with nothing but hindsight to take away from this one.
Bristol City substitutions: 64′ ON Kieran Agard – OFF Jonathan Kodjia, 64′ ON Callum Robinson – OFF Ryan Fredericks, 81′ ON Wes Burns – OFF Aaron Wilbraham.
Brentford substitutions: 45+5′ ON Jack O’Connell – OFF James Tarkowski, 61′ ON Lasse Vibe – OFF Konstantin Kerschbaumer.
Goalscorers: Kodjia (2), Wilbraham (23) – Judge (9), Williams og (43), Gray (60), Hofmann (71)
Assists: Ayling (2), Pack (23), Judge (43), McCormack (60), Gray (71)
BRENTFORD: Button 6.4, Bidwell 7.1, Tarkowski 6.4, Dean 6.5, McCormack 8.2, Kerschbaumer 6.6, Diagouraga 7.1, Judge 8, Gray 8.1, Gogia 7.2, Hofmann 8.4, O’Connell 6.5, Vibe 6.
BRISTOL CITY: Hamer 5.8, Bryan 6.4, Williams 6.4, Flint 6.9, Ayling 7.4, Fredericks 6.4, Pack 7, Freeman 5.2, Smith 6.3, Wilbraham 7.8, Kodjia 7.3, Robinson 6.1, Agard 5.9, Burns 6.2.
*Team Performance of the Week: Middlesbrough
In front of 23,333 at the Riverside Middlesbrough got their Championship season going with their first win of the season, and in expert fashion too. Boro flew out of the blocks in this game and early pressure was rewarded with a goal when Diego Fabbrini went on a superb solo run before firing into the top left corner from the edge of the box. 10 minutes later it was Fabbrini causing problems again when he played Kike through on goal, the Spaniard rounding of the move with a cool finish to put his team 2-0 up inside 20 minutes. Quarter of an hour later it was Kike who essentially put the game to bed as he quickest to follow up on Fabbrini’s effort which could only be tipped onto the bar by Bristol City keeper Ben Hamer, Middlesbrough 3-0 up and out of reach with only 32 minuts on the clock. The second half saw no more goals, but Boro showed discipline to keep a clean sheet by limiting Bolton to just the one shot on target and a 68% pass completion in the final third. Aitor Karanka was unsurprisingly delighted with his teams performance as his team look to right the wrongs of play-off heartbreak last season.
Middlesbrough goalscorers: Fabbrini (7), Kike (17,32)
Middlesbrough assists: Fabbrini (17)
Man of the Match: Diego Fabbrini – 1 goal, 1 assist, 8.7 rating.
Middlesbrough Player Ratings vs Bolton Wanderers
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos – 7.1, Emilio Nsue Lopez – 7.1, Daniel Ayala – 7.1, Tomas Kalas – 7.6, George Friend – 7.4, Adam Clayton – 7.5, Grant Leadbitter – 7.9, Albert Adomah – 8.1, Diego Fabbrini – 8.7, Stewart Downing – 7.6, Kike – 8.7, David Nugent – 6, Christian Stuani – 6.2, Adam Forshaw – 6.1
Middlesbrough’s Top Performers
Diego Fabbrini – 8.7: Although the Italian only featured for 64 minutes of this tie he was no doubt man-of-the-match in this one. Fabbrini was clinical in every aspect going forward with his 2 shots on target contributing to as many goals for his team, whilst his 1 key pass, 100% through ball accuracy and 83% overall pass accuracy highlight that he was also good value for his assist. It was an exciting performance from the Boro loanee whose 41 touches of the ball included direct contribution to all three goals leading to a well deserved match rating of 8.7.
Kike – 8.7: A very, very close runner-up for man-of-the-match vs Bolton after his 2 goals sealed the win and 3 points for Boro. Positional awarness was probably Kike’s strongest attribute in this game and he showed this in all areas of the field with 2 clearances and an interception defensively, whilst both of his goals came from his position in the opponents box. The frontman was tidy on the ball only being dispossesed twice with zero unsuccessful touches and one key pass. In front of goal he produced 4 shots on target with a shot accuracy of 80% and an impressive 40% conversion rate.
Albert Adomah – 8.1: The winger saw plenty of the ball in this fixture and was efficient when going forward in possesion with 5 successful dribbles and 1 unsuccessful touch without being dispossesed. Adomah had a good passing game which included 35 passes, 2 key passes and a 50% long ball accuracy totalling an overall pass completion rate of 77%. In terms of defence the Ghanaian contributed with 4 tackles and an interception as part of a disciplined Middlesbrough unit.
Grant Leadbitter – 7.9: Solid is a fair word to sum up the central midfielders performance here as a more than tidy passing game saw a 91% pass success from 69 passes, 1 accurate cross and 9/12 accurate long balls. In terms of possesion, Leadbitter had 88 touches in the 90 minutes only being dispossesd once with 2 successful dribbles and zero unsuccessful touches. His ability to win back possesion was also showcased throughout the game with 6 tackles, 2 interception, 1 clearance and 1 foul won. Overall, an important performance from the man at the heart of the Boro team in a game where he received little appreciation.
Tomas Kalas – 7.6: A relatively quiet game for a Boro centre-back, but Kalas showed class to stay concentrated in such a one sided game with defensive stats of 2 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 clearances and a blocked shot. He also showed comfort in possession of the ball making 27 passes in his 40 touches at a 93% completion rate with zero unsuccessful touches. A professional performancefrom the centre-back in which a lack of discipline could have easily wiped out a clean sheet.
Middlesbrough Statistics vs Bolton
Top 3 Individual Performances of the Week
1 – Diego Fabbrini (Middlesbrough)
It has already mentioned in this article how influetial Fabbrini was in Boro’s dominance by scoring the games opener as well a directly contributing to the second and third goals. In a relatively short 64 minute the Italian was incredibly efficient and there are no surprises with his 8.7 match rating.
2 – Kike (Middlesbrough)
Fabbrini’s partner in crime this week as Kike also played a big part in the first half domination of Bolton Wanderers bagging himself a brace in the process. The most eye-catching stat from Kike’s performance this week is no doubt his 40% conversion rate which rightfully represents a clinical performance in which he earned an 8.7 match rating.
3 – Curtis Davies (Hull City)
Davies appears in the top 3 individual performances for the second consecutive week thanks to a sound defensive performance during a 1-1 draw with Wolves. Again the Hull City centre-back read the game well both the aerially and on the deck whilst dealing with virtually everything that was thrown his way. An impeccable possession game with perfect control and a 70% pass success earns a well deserved 8.7 match rating.
The Weekend In Numbers
1 – There was only one bore draw this weekend, Reading 0-0 Leeds.
2 – Two players saw red during the 2nd round of fixtures (Luke Freeman & Jordan Hugill).
3 – Home/Away wins.
3 – Penalties converted.
4 – Only four teams failed to score this weekend (Bolton, Leeds, MK Dons and Reading).
5 – Out of the 12 fixtures only 5 saw under 2.5 goals.
6 – Six games ended all level.
9 – Of the 12 games nine saw both teams score.
21 – The number assists recorded during the 2nd round of fixtures.
33 – Goals scored.
159 – Corners awarded over the weekend.
850 – The most touches recorded by a team this weekend (Derby County).
4,131 – Biggest away following (Leeds United at the Madejski Stadium).
29,045 – Highest match attendance of the weekend (Derby vs Charlton).
How It Stands…
*league standings sourced from flashscores.co.uk
LATER THIS WEEK… Look out for SkyBet Championship: Round 3 Analysis involving the best of the midweek fixtures!