The conclusion of Gameweek 3 saw 7 teams with their unbeaten record still in tact whilst 7 are still without a win. The weekend saw 11 of the 12 fixtures take place on the Saturday whilst the 1-1 draw between Birmingham and Derby was the only fixture to feature on the Friday. The 4th round of fixtures saw 5 home teams triumph whilst only 2 teams returned from away fixtures with all 3 points. Below I analyse the statistics underlying all of the weekends results to select the game of the week, team performance of the week and the top individual performers.
Gameweek 4 Results
Friday 21st August 2015
19:45 Birmingham 1-1 Derby / S.Gleeson (45) – J.Russell (61)
Saturday 22nd August 2015
12:30 Leeds United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday / Wood (61) – Matias (37)
15:00 Bolton 1-1 Nottingham Forest / Dobbie (90+4) – Vaughan (81)
15:00 Brighton 1-0 Blackburn / K.Lua Lua (35)
15:00 Burnley 1-0 Brentford / M.Keane (26)
15:00 Charlton 2-1 Hull City / S.Makienok (52), J.Gudmundsson (90+8) – A.Hernandez (89)
15:00 Fulham 1-1 Huddersfield / C.Woodrow (90+4) – N.Wells (63)
15:00 Middlesbrough 0-1 Bristol City / J.Bryan (8)
15:00 Preston 1-2 Ipswich Town / D.Johnson (37) – B.Pitman (24), R.Fraser (65)
15:00 QPR 4-2 Rotherham / Chery (42,50), Austin (63,90) – J.Clarke-Harris (62), T.Thorpe (88)
15:00 Reading 0-0 MK Dons /
17:15 Cardiff City 2-0 Wolves / K.Jones (44), S.Ameobi (60)
Game of the Week: QPR 4-2 Rotherham United
Venue: Loftus Road
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Man of the Match: Charlie Austin
QPR were in Rotherham’s faces from the off in this game and when Tjaronn Chery was brought down by Millers keeper Kelle Roos he looked to the referee for an early penalty, but Roos made contact with the ball and only a corner was awarded. Rotherham saw a low cross go wide of the goal not long after at the other end but they were left kicking themselves when Charlie Austin teed up Chery who opened his account for the season firing QPR into the lead with 42 minutes on the clock. QPR doubled their lead just five minutes after halfime when Massimo Luongo beat Joe Newell for pace down the right wing before squaring the ball for Chery who drove home into an open net to double his tally for the day and the season. Just thirteen minutes later a moment of brilliance from Charlie Austin saw QPR go 3-0 up as he took a Robert Green goal-kick down on his chest before dribbling through three defenders and shooting home via a Kelle Roos mistake. The game looked beyond Rotherham but when Clarke-Harris was played through on goal in the 62nd minute he managed to find the bottom left corner with a well placed strike from outside of the box to pull one back for Rotherham, 3-1. The goal shook Chris Ramsey’s QPR who went into a defensive state to see the game out, but when Tom Thorpe escaped his marker from a corner he prodded home at the back post to reduced QPR’s lead to just one. Rotherham were to shoot themselves in the foot again however, as Sebastian Polter was brought down in the box allowing Charlie Austin to step up and convert a penalty to round off a fine individual display. QPR came away as 4-2 winners, the three points lifting them into a play-off position.
QPR substitutions: 77′ ON Michael Doughty – OFF Alejandro Faurlin, 82′ ON Sebastian Polter – OFF Massimo Luongo, 90+2′ ON Cole Kpekawa – OFF Tjaronn Chery.
Rotherham substitutions: 46′ ON Tom Thorpe – OFF Richard Smallwood, 68′ ON Aidan White – OFF Emmanuel Ledesma, 78′ ON Chris Maguire – OFF Grant Ward.
Goalscorers: T.Chery (42,50), C.Austin (63,pen 90) – J.Clarke-Harris (62), T.Thorpe (88)
Assists: C.Austin (42), M.Luongo (50), R.Green (63)
Yellow Cards: C.Austin (62) – L.Buxton (69), C.Maguire (79)
QPR: Robert Green 6.5, James Perch 7, Nedum Onouha 8.1, Grant Hall 6.6, Paul Konchesky 7.2, Karl Henry 6.6, Alejandro Faurlin 6.9, Matt Phillips 7, Massimo Luongo 7.3, Tjaronn Chery 8.9, Charlie Austin 9.3, Cole Kpekawa 6, Michael Doughty 6.3, Sebastian Polter 6.3
ROTHERHAM: Kelle Roos 4.4, Lewis Buxton 7.1, Greg Halford 5.7, Danny Collins 6.8, Joe Newell 6.8, Lee Frecklington 6.1, Richard Smallwood 6.9, Grant Ward 6.4, Emmanuel Ledesma 6.3, Jonson Clarke-Harris 7.5, Matt Derbyshire 6.4, Chris Maguire 5.9, Tom Thorpe 6.8, Aidan White 6.1
Team Performance of the Week: Cardiff City
Cardiff continued their impressive start to the season with a 2-0 win over promotion hopefuls Wolves to become one of seven teams with an unbeaten record in the Championship this season. Kenwyne Jones opened the scoring for the home side when he latched onto Fabio’s cross to head home past the helpless Ikeme. Cardiff doubled their lead in the 60th minute when substitute Sammy Ameobi struck home inside the box from a Dikgacoi assist. Cardiff endured wave after wave of pressure from Wolves and experienced less possession of the ball but managed to see the game out with a clean sheet thanks to some tight defending. In particularly Cardiff’s 20 tackles, 20 interceptions and 21 successful aerial duels highlight how difficult the Welsh side were to break down and with 80% of their tackle being successful it’s no surprise Wolves struggled to find the back of Marshall’s net. Whilst Wolves found it hard to break through they also found it hard to win the ball from Cardiff who as a team were only dispossesed 3 times in 493 touches whilst 44% of dribbles were successful and 53% of passes in the final third found their target. However, ulitmately it was Cardiff’s conversion rate of 22% which took the game away from Wolves and they managed to net both goals in just 4 shots on target. Overall, Cardiff’s disciplined performance earned them their first win of the season whilst still boasting an unbeaten record with 6 goals scored in just 15 shots on target as they sit a point below the play-offs.
Goalscorers: Kenwyne Jones (44), Sammy Ameobi (60)
Assists: Fabio (44), Kagisho Dikgacoi (60)
Cardiff City substitutions: 57′ ON Sammy Ameobi – OFF Kenwyne Jones, 88′ ON Bruno Ecuele Manga – OFF Fabio.
Cardiff City Player Ratings vs Wolves
David Marshall – 6.5, Lee Peltier – 7.2, Sean Morrison – 6.7, Matthew Connolly – 7.1, Fabio – 7.9, Anthony Pilkington – 6.9, Peter Whittingham – 7.6, Kagisho Dikgacoi – 7.2, Joe Ralls – 7.7, Kenwyne Jones – 7.8, Joe Mason – 7, Sammy Ameobi – 7.4, Bruno Ecuele Manga – 6.4
Cardiff’s Top 3 Performers
Fabio – 7.9: The Cardiff left-back picked up man-of-the-match against Wolves following a tidy performance in possession as well as defensively. During his 87 minute appearance Fabio avoided being dispossesed with a 100% touch success over his 59 touches throughout the game. The Brazilian read the Wolves attack brilliantly during the game, racking up 6 interceptions and winning 4 aerial duels whilst his contribution going forward helped Cardiff edge towards victory with an assist for Jones’ goal. A good performance from Fabio helped his side beat off a strong Wolves outfit, earning a deserved match rating of 7.9.
Kenwyne Jones – 7.8: Although Jones only featured for 52 minutes he still played a considerable part in Cardiff’s win by bagging the first goal of the game just before the break. The goal came from just 2 attempts and his only shot on target giving the Trinidadian a 50% conversion rate for this game. Only managing 25 touches during the relatively short cameo, Jones was efficient in possesion with 100% touch success and zero dispossesions whilst 1 key pass was the other only noteworthy stat. Overall, Kenwyne Jones provided a huge threat for Cardiff City going forward, especially in the air winning an aerial duel every 8.6 minutes (6). Although his afternoon was cut short due to injury a match rating of 7.8 for his first half goal and aerial dominance is a more than reasonable verdict.
Joe Ralls – 7.7: The left midfielder played 90 minutes in Cardiff’s 2-0 win and was statistically one of the teams best performers by only losing the ball once with 100% touch success in 72 touches on the left flank. Making 55 passes including 1 key pass and 7 long balls at a success rate of 80% is not to be frowned upon either as Ralls boasted a great game in retaining possesion for his side. Although he had no direct contribution to the goals scored his defensive contributions more than made up for this as Ralls made 6 tackles, 3 interceptions as well as winning 1 aerial duel and blocking 1 shot. This display of discipline and work rate will have pleased Russell Slade and the fans whilst his performance didn’t go unnoticed by the statisticians who rated him a 7.7 on the day.
Cardiff City stats vs Wolves
Top Individual Peformances of the Week
Goalkeeper – David Stockdale (Brighton)
The Brighton stopper was in inspired form against Blackburn as he made 5 important saves to keep the Rovers strikers out and his sides clean sheet in tact. Ben Hamer of Bristol City came a close second for goalkeeper of the week but Stockdale’s 55% pass success including 10 accurate long balls was enough to accompany his consistent game between the sticks. Brighton ran out 1-0 winners vs Blackburn as Stockdale took man-of-the-match with a match rating of 8.5.
Defender – Michael Keane (Burnley)
Keane was good value for his clean sheet against Brentford with signs of a solid defensive display including 3 interceptions and 3 successful aerial duels. It wasn’t just at the back that Keane contributed for Burnley however as a pass completion of 70% including 2 accurate long balls indicates that his passing game wasn’t all that bad either. It was however, Keane’s goal which provided the 3 points for Burnley and his second goal of the season saw his team defeat Brenford 1-0. Following this game the Burnley centre-back now boasts 2.3 interceptions per game and is Burnley’s highest average rated player for this season at 7.23, his rating for this one 8.1 and man-of-the-match.
Midfielder – Tjaronn Chery (QPR)
The Dutchman opened his account for QPR this weekend by netting the first 2 goals of QPR’s convincing display against Rotherham. Chery executed his offensive game with an air of finesse througout the game where 66% of his shots found the back of the net. The QPR midfielder was reasonably efficient all over the pitch as a pass success of 77% with 2 key passes and 3 accurate long balls made him a threat with the ball at his feet. A 100% touch success as well as 2 tackles and 1 interception made Chery a valuable assest in retaining possession for the London club and his 8.9 rating highlights how influential he was in the 4-2 scoreline.
Striker – Charlie Austin (QPR)
This was in no doubt Austin’s stongest performance this season as he doubled his goal tally to boast an impressive goal a game ratio. While the striker hit a 40% conversion rate against Rotherham he was also directly involved in 3 of the 4 QPR goals on the day with 2 goals and 1 assist. Austin was also impressive aerially as he won 4 aerial duels boosting his average aerial duels won to 3 per game, whilst also improvig his average pass success with an 81% completion rate. He also offered several outlets for his team going forward completing 100% of long balls as well as completing 3 dribbles with which he usually only averages 0.8 per game. As previously mentioned there is no doubt Austin had a great day at the office and was probably only a couple of poor touches away from a perfect 10, nevertheless a 9.3 was more than suffice as he guided QPR to a 4-2 win.
Striker – Simon Makienok (Charlton Athletic)
Although Charlie Austin was the striker of the week the performance of Simon Makienok could not go unmentioned as he starred in a dramatic 2-1 win over Hull city bagging a goal and an assist. Featuring in his first season with Charlton, the Dane struck a 100% conversion rate vs Hull and with 3 key passes and 100% through ball success was a constant threat all game. The 6ft 7 striker is an obvious aerial target winning an average of 10 aerial duels per game this season and he continued this form vs Hull with 12 successful aerial duels, finding the back of the net with one of them. Makienok caused trouble for Hull City all game and guiding his team to a 2-1 victory earned him a 9.2 match rating, early signs suggesting he will be a handful for team this season.
How It Stands…
*league standings sourced from flashscores.co.uk