The first mid-week round of fixtures took place earlier this week with 7 games played on the Tuesday and 4 on Wednesday. Tuesday was a night of stalemate however, as five of the games ended in draws whilst the other two as home wins. Wednesday however, was a night for goals, including QPR’s trip to Molineux which saw 22% of them. I take a look at the statistics from the weeks action selecting the game of the week, team of the week as well as the top individuals.
Gameweek 3 Results
Tuesday 18th August 2015
19:45 Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Cardiff City / G.Hanley (88) – J.Mason (5)
19:45 Derby County 1-1 Middlesbrough / J.Rusell (88) – Kike (16)
19:45 Huddersfield 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion / J.Butterfield (54) – B.Kayal (1)
19:45 *Ipswich Town 2-0 Burnley / F.Sears (66), D.McGoldrick (71)
19:45 Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 Bolton Wanderers / D.Powell (60)
19:45 Nottingham Forest 0-0 Charlton Athletic
19:45 Rotherham United 0-0 Preston North End
Wednesday 19th August 2015
19:45 Bristol City 2-2 Leeds United / K.Agard (89), A.Flint (90+5) – M.Antenucci (pen 39), C.Wood (52)
19:45 Hull City 2-1 Fulham / A.Elmohamady (34), S.Aluko (86) – T.Cairney (69)
19:45 Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Reading / M.Sougou (90) – D.Williams (49)
19:45 *Wolves 2-3 Queens Park Rangers / B.Afobe (17), K.McDonald (24) – C.Austin (38), M.Phillips (52,72)
*Game of the Week: Wolves 2-3 Queens Park Rangers
Referee: Peter Bankes
Man of the Match: Matt Phillips
Playing at home, Wolves started this game with the upper hand and the first chance of the match fell to Benik Afobe as he headed Dave Edwards’ cross narrowly wide. At the other end Charlie Austin saw Wolves keeper Martinez keep out his shot despite a fumble, but it was Wolves who struck first on 17 minutes as Afobe pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire his team into the lead. It didn’t take long for Wolves to double their advantage when Kevin McDonald got on the end of a QPR clearance driving the ball into the top right corner from outside the box in the 24th minute, 2-0 Wolves. QPR weren’t willing to lay down and die however, and in the 34th minute man-of-match Matt Phillips created space for himself to deliver a pinpoint cross for a waiting Charlie Austin to nod home to make it 2-1. The second half was the Matt Phillps show which began when he cut in from the right flank and delivered a left footed strike which found the bottom corner beating four Wolves defenders with some questions surrounding the goalkeepers attempt to keep it out, QPR back in the game at 2-2. The rest of the game was enthralling end to end action with both teams coming close through set-plays, Onouha heading Phillips’ free-kick straight at the goalkeeper whilst Afobe found the side netting from his at the other end. Wolves seemed to be back on top and were unlucky not to be in front when Afobe beat the offside trap but couldn’t get his attempt on target. This provoked a reaction from QPR and when the ball found Matt Phillips on his right foot on the edge of the box the comeback was to be completed as he found the back of the net with a fine finish. Chery had the chance to extend the R’s lead but saw his free-kick beaten away by the Wolves keeper whilst at the other end it just wasn’t happening for the Midlands side as a shot deflected agonisinly wide. New boy Massimo Luongo had the chance to kill the game when he ran through on goal but a tame effort was saved by the legs of an onrushing Martinez, 2-3 the final score with a fantastic comeback from QPR.
Wolves substitutions: 46′ ON Adam Le Fondre – OFF Nouha Dicko, 63′ ON Rajiv van La Parra – OFF James Henry.
QPR substitutions: 78′ ON Michael Doughty – OFF Tjaronn Chery, 89′ ON Sebastian Polter – OFF Alejandro Faurlin.
Goalscorers: B.Afobe (17), K.McDonald (24) – C.Austin (38), M.Phillips (52,72)
Assists: M.Phillips (38), J.Perch (52), M.Luongo (72)
Yellow Cards: K.Hause (45+1), A.Le Fondre (75), C.Coady (90+4) – N.Onouha (61), K.Henry (65)
WOLVES: Emiliano Martinez 6.2, Dominic Iorfa 6.4, Richard Stearman 6.5, Kourtney Hause 6.7, Scott Golbourne 7.1, James Henry 6, Conor Coady 6.5, Kevin McDonald 8.1, Dave Edwards 6.7, Benik Afobe 7.1, Nouha Dicko 6.6, Adam Le Fondre 6.1, Rajiv van La Parra 6.1
QPR: Robert Green 6.6, James Perch 7.5, Nedum Onouha 7.2, Grant Hall 6.9, Paul Konchesky 6.7, Karl Henry 6.6, Alejandro Faurlin 6.8, Matt Phillips 9.6, Massimo Luongo 7.6, Tjaronn Chery 6.9, Charlie Austin 7.9, Michael Doughty 6.3, Sebastian Polter 5.9
*Team Performance of the Week: Ipswich Town
A creative finish from Freddie Sears and a David McGoldrick header sealed a 2-0 win for Ipswich Town on Tuesday night as they moved to top spot. Although they didn’t dominate Burnley on the night it was a professional performance from Mick McCarthy’s men who have proven to be difficult to beat at Portman Road, only losing 3 games at home last season. Keeping it tight at the back paid off in the second half when Freddie Sears converted Brett Pitman’s loss cross into the bottom left corner, and 5 minutes after David McGoldrick headed home man-of-match Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ corner. Burnley had the upper hand in terms of possession whilst also being more accurate when passing but Ipswich were dominant in the right areas making over three times as man key passes (11). It was defensively that Ipswich were far superior and what effectively won them the game making 14 tackles at a success rate of 79%, 14 interceptions, blocked 5 crossing opportunities and won 27 aerial duels. For now Ipswich Town are top thanks to a win over a team who featured in the Premier League last season.
Ipswich Town goalscorers: Freddie Sears (66), David McGoldrick (71)
Ipswich Town assists: Brett Pitman (66), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (71)
Substitutions: 28′ ON D.McGoldrick – OFF R.Fraser, 45′ ON B.Pitman – OFF D.Murphy, 84′ ON G.Coke – OFF A.Maitland-Niles.
Ipswich Town player ratings vs Burnley
Bartosz Bialkowski – 7.5, Jonas Knudsen – 7.6, Christophe Berra – 7.7, Tommy Smith – 7.3, Luke Chambers – 7, Ryan Fraser – 6.3, Jonathan Douglas – 7.1, Cole Skuse – 6.9, *Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8.1, Daryl Murphy – 6.2, Freddie Sears – 7.6, Brett Pitman – 7, David McGoldrick – 7.1, Giles Coke – 6.1
Ipswich Town’s Top Performers
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8.1: The 17 year old on loan from Arsenal claimed man-of-match in this game after following a confident performance in which he created plenty of chances for his team. In his 59 touches Maitland-Niles delivered 5 key passes, 2 successful dribbles, 5 accurate crosses and 1 interception with him assisting David McGoldrick’s goal in the 71st minute. The right midfield youngster managed a 67% pass success from his 34 passes with only 1 unsuccessful touch. A well deserved man-of-match.
Christophe Berra – 7.7: The Ipswich captain had a solid performance at the heart of defence in a sound defensive display which earned a clean sheet. With 2 tackles, 9 aerial duels won, 3 interceptions and 7 clearances Berra proved to be a hard defender to beat on the night as Burnley couldn’t breakthrough. Although some may question his 36% pass success it was certainly a disciplined performance from the skipper who had 100% successful touches and wasn’t dispossesed.
Freddie Sears – 7.6: It was a fine attacking display from Sears who cleverly netted Pitman’s cross in he 66th minute. He finished the game with 100% shot accuracy as both his shots found the target whilst his 75% pass accuracy including 1 key pass helped Ipswich flow moving forward. Although contributing 2 tackles, Sears wasn’t required to do much outside of his attacking duties as Ipswich were a solid unit on the night.
Jonas Knudsen – 7.6: The left back had a sound defensive performance vs Burnley which saw him make 1 tackle, 3 interceptions, 3 clearances whilst winning 3 aerial duels. Knudsen also offered an outlet going forward as he make 3 key passes, 3 accurate long ball and 2 accurate crosses with a pass success of 61%.
Bartosz Bialkowski – 7.5: A clean sheet for the Ipswich stopper who had a quiet night as he made 4 saves and 100% catch success. The only other element of the game Bialkowski was involved in was passing as he made 32 passes incuding 12 accurate long balls at a completion rate of 37%. Overall, a tidy performance from Bialkowski.
Ipswich Town Statistics vs Burnley
Top 3 Individual Performances of the Week
1 – Matt Phillips (Queens Park Rangers)
What a performance from the QPR midfielder who achieved a 9.6 match rating for his assist and 2 goals to win his team the game vs Wolves on Wednesday night. Looking over his stats from the game it’s hard to find something Phillips did wrong in this game as a shot accuracy of 60%, conversion rate of 40% and pass success of 79% highlight how efficent he was on the night. Phillips has been involved in 80% of QPR’s goals this season and it was well deserved man-of-the-match in this game to turn around a 2-0 deficit for all 3 points.
2 – Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers)
Still a QPR player for now Austin continued to mimic last seasons form by scoring his second goal in two games. Austin fuelled the comeback in this game scoring his teams first of the night when heading home Phillips’ cross but he also had a lot to offer on the passing front making 5 key passes and 100% through ball completion. Austin didn’t give Wolves a moment of peace as he made 4 tackles and 2 interceptions to add to a well defined all-round performance and a rating of 8.3.
3 – Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers)
Although Blackburn only managed to take a point from their home tie with Cardiff it was Craig Conway who starred in this one as he assisted Grant Hanley in an 88th minute equaliser. Conway continued his flying start to the season in which he has already bagged twice with an average rating of 7.7 and in this game you would struggle to criticise him again. A 100% shot accuracy and 80% cross accuracy highlight that he was a real attacking outlet on the night whilst not being dispossesed all game is impressive for any wide player. A tidy passing game included 5 key passes and a 71% pass completion rounds off a superb 8.3 rated performance from Conway in a struggling Rovers side.