On the return from yet another 2 weeks off for the international break the weekend played host to 12 more Championship fixtures with Brighton impressively extending their unbeaten record whilst Bolton extended their misery at the bottom. On top of retaining their unbeaten record Brighton were also the only team to win on the road this weekend whilst elsewhere Bristol City earned their first home win of 2015/16 and Nick Blackman netted his eighth goal of the league campaign. We’ve mulled over the statistics from all 12 of the weekends games to select the most impressive team and individual performances as well as picking our game of the weekend.
Gameweek 9 Results
Friday 16th October 2015
19:45 Bristol City 2-0 Nottingham / A.Wilbraham (4, 11)
Saturday 17th October 2015
12:30 Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Hull / F.Forestieri (28) – A.Hernandez (51)
15:00 Birmingham 2-1 QPR / P.Robinson (24), P.Caddis (63) – M.Phillips (17)
15:00 Brentford 2-1 Rotherham / A.Judge (2, 57) – J.Mattock (46)
15:00 Burnley 2-0 Bolton / A.Gray (56, 68)
15:00 Ipswich 0-0 Huddersfield /
15:00 Leeds 1-2 Brighton / L.Cooper (22) – S.March (14), B.Zamora (89)
15:00 Middlesbrough 0-0 Fulham /
15:00 MK Dons 3-0 Blackburn / B.Reeves (pen 11, 89), S.Church (71)
15:00 Preston 0-0 Cardiff /
15:00 Reading 1-0 Charlton / N.Blackman (76)
Sunday 18th October 2015
13:15 Derby 4-2 Wolves / C.Martin (3, 28), B.Johnson (45+2), J.Russell (57) – B.Afobe (19), A.Le Fondre (64)
Game of the Week: Derby 4-2 Wolves
Venue: iPro Stadium
Referee: Andy Madley
Man of the Match: Chris Martin
Derby and Chris Martin got off to a flyer in this game when the Rams skipper superbly converted a Jeff Hendrick lay-off from outside of the box, the Wolves stopper only able to wave a hand at the ball as it flew into the top left corner. Wolves weren’t behind for long however as a 19th minute James Henry corner found Benik Afobe who had cleverly shed his marker before slamming the ball into the roof of the net to put his team back on level terms. Derby were to restore their lead 9 minutes later when a poor clearance from Dominic Iorfa found Bradley Johnson who whipped in a teasing cross for Chris Martin who beat both defender and goalkeeper in the air to nod home his second of the game. In stoppage time at the end of the first half Martin was presented with a chance for his hat-trick when Wolves defender Danny Batth clumsily brought down Tom Ince to award Derby a penalty, but Martinez got down well to his right to save Martin’s spot kick. Wolves were to be caught knapping however as the resulting corner from Johnny Russell dropped to Bradey Johnson inside the box whose well placed effort crept into the bottom corner to send Derby in at the break with a 3-1 lead. Derby continued to take the game to Wolves after the restart and with 56 minutes on the clock they were to all but seal the win when Johnny Russell followed up on a blocked Bradley Johnson shot to comfortably beat Martinez and put 4 on the board for Derby. Wolves managed to get a goal back in the 64th minute through Adam Le Fondre who snuck his volleyed effort past Carson after reading a Sheyi Ojo cross well, giving Wolves a glimmer of hope. It wasn’t to be for Kenny Jackett’s team however as Derby shut the away side out for the remainder of the match limiting them to few sights of their goal as they ran out as comfortable 4-2 winners.
Aside from the 6 goals the statistics from this encounter highlight the entertaining nature of this affair as Wolves enjoyed more possession than Derby as well as being more efficient in converting their chances despite losing by 2 goals. We know that’s not how football works however and a closer look at the stats show how Derby managed 5 times as many shots on target than the visitors with their 55% shot accuracy trumping Wolves’ 29% convincingly. Other areas in which Derby didn’t allow their inferior possession to limit was their efficiency with the ball, completing 78% of their passes and 68% of passes in the final 3rd, closely matched by the away side who managed completion rates of 73% and 60%, respectively. Each teams ability to recover possession also made this an exciting game for the neutral as a tackle success of 75% and total of 15 interceptions from Derby was only marginally superior to Wolves’ 71% tackle success and 13 interceptions. These marginal differences contributed to Derby’s eventual dominance however as they registered over two times as many key passes (13) as well as shots (20) whilst defensively a 64% aerial success made life that litte bit too difficult for Wolves in the final third. The 4-2 home win meant Paul Clement’s team extended their unbeaten run to 6 games in which they have won 5 as they occupy the final play-off place in 6th whilst Wolves’ own unbeaten streak of 3 came to an end as they sit just inside the top half at 11th.
Derby substitutions: 74′ ON Jacob Butterfield – OFF Jeff Hendrick, 79′ ON Chris Baird – OFF Cyrus Christie, 89′ ON Darren Bent – OFF Chris Martin.
Wolves substitutions: 61′ ON Sheyi Ojo – OFF Jed Wallace, 62′ ON Conor Coady – OFF Jack Price, 83′ ON Bright Enobakhare – OFF Adam Le Fondre.
Goalscorers: Chris Martin (3, 28), Bradley Johnson (45+2), Johnny Russell (57) – Benik Afobe (19), Adam Le Fondre (64)
Assists: Jeff Hendrick (3), Bradley Johnson (28), Johnny Russell (45+2) – James Henry (19), Sheyi Ojo (64)
Yellow Cards: Tom Ince (88) – Danny Batth (45+2), Bright Enobakhare (86)
DERBY: Scott Carson 5.9, Cyrus Christie 6.6, Richard Keogh 6.5, Jason Shackell 7, Craig Forsyth 7.1, Jeff Hendrick 7.4, George Thorne 6.9, Bradley Johnson 8.4, Tom Ince 7.1, Chris Martin 8.8, Johnny Russell 8.7, Chris Baird 6.1, Darren Bent 6.1, Jacob Butterfield 6.2
WOLVES: Emiliano Martinez 6.8, Dominic Iorfa 5.6, Danny Batth 5.1, Kortney Hause 6, Scott Golbourne 6.2, Kevin McDonald 6.4, Jack Price 5.9, James Henry 7.2, Benik Afobe 7.3, Jed Wallace 6, Adam Le Fondre 7.2, Sheyi Ojo 6.8, Conor Coady 6.7, Bright Enobakhare 5.9
Team Performance of the Week: Milton Keynes Dons (3-0 vs Blackburn)
MK Dons pulled out all of the stops to secure a convincing 3-0 victory against a Blackburn side which were unbeaten in 4 leading up to the game. It was a dream start for Karl Robinson and his men too when Adam Henley dragged down Josh Murphy to deny him a goalscoring opportunity, the referee giving him his marching orders as a result. Dons’ centre-midfielder Ben Reeves stood up to convert the 11th minute penalty, a lead which his side would take into the break. Although it took until the 71st minute for Simon Church to head MK Dons into a 2-0 lead it was certainly a long time coming for the home side as their eventual 57% possession was proving to much for Rovers to get back on level terms. It was the opening scorer Reeves who put the game to bed in the 89th minute as he converted his second of the game with Dons’ 9th shot on target. On the whole it was MK Dons’ ability to produce chances and shots which gave them the edge against Gary Bowyer’s side as they racked up 16 key passes, 3 clear-cut chances and 21 shots. Their dominance highlighted when comparing this to Blackburn’s 7 key passes, 0 clear-cut chances and 10 shots achieved in the 90 minutes, ultimately resulting in the Dons registering three times as many shots on target as their opponents. It has already been mentioned how MK Dons enjoyed the majority of possession over Blackburn but looking in more detail into what they did with their possession makes for impressive reading as they completed 83% of their 505 passes and 72% of their passes in the attacking 3rd, only being dispossessed 6 times as a team despite Rovers’ 78% tackle success. Add a 73% dribble success to the equation and it is fairly clear to see how MK Dons used the extra 7% of possession to such great effect to take the game away from the 10-men of Blackburn. Although some may argue that having the extra man for 80 minutes was a deciding factor in the result the home side still had to guard against complacancy and individual error to earn such a convincing scoreline, and statistics such as their average pass streak of 5 prove they did just that. MK Dons’ impressive team performance was further complimented by their defensive efforts and taking into consideration that the red card went to a Blackburn defender the away side still had attacking players on the pitch who were more than capable of winning the game, Jordan Rhodes an obvious example. Said defensive efforts included a 57% aerial duel success, 57% tackle success as well as 13 interceptions, making every avenue of potential attacking options hard to utilise for Blackburn, and with 60% of their shots being blocked you’d be hypercritical to find many faults in the home sides overall performance. The result will have come much to the relief of the fans as they have watched their team dominate possession and create copious amounts of chances to no avail in recent weeks with the league stats now showing that MK Dons currently boast the highest average possession per game in the Championship with 56% whilst they also rank 3rd for pass success with 78.7%. Karl Robinson will no doubt be delighted that his side have finally used these convincing numbers in their favour, and to end an 8 game winless streak in such style is something he will be hoping is a sign of things to come as Dons propel themselves out of the relegation zone and up to 16th.
Goalscorers: Ben Reeves (pen 11, 89), Simon Church (71)
Assists: Josh Murphy (71), Jake Forster-Caskey (89)
MK Dons substitutions: 63′ ON Carl Baker – OFF Robert Hall, 77′ ON Nicky Maynard – OFF Simon Church, 86′ ON Samir Carruthers – OFF Josh Murphy.
MK Dons Player Ratings vs Blackburn
David Martin – 7.6, Jordan Spence – 6.9, Kyle McFadzean – 7.6, Anthony Kay – 7, Dean Lewington – 7.5, Jake Forster-Caskey – 8.9, Diego Poyet – 7.2, Robert Hall – 6.6, Ben Reeves – 9.2, Josh Murphy – 8.6, Simon Church – 7.2, Carl Baker – 6.3, Nicky Maynard – 6.1, Samir Carruthers – 6.3.
MK Dons’ Top 3 Performers
Ben Reeves – 9.2: Reeves played a big part in MK Dons’ 3-0 win scoring 2 goals on the day as well as picking up man-of-the-match from the centre of midfield. As Championship midfielder of the week there is a more detailed run down of his performance below.
Jake Forster-Caskey – 8.9: Making his 3rd appearance for the team since joining on loan from Brighton, Forster-Caskey will have filled his manager with confidence following his performance vs Blackburn. The defensive midfielder showed off his passing ability on Saturday completing 82% of his passes which included 1 assist, 3 key passes and a 70% long ball accuracy. The 21 year old also impressively blocked 3 shots as well as completing 2 tackles, a clearance off of the line and 2 successful aerial duels to make him MK Dons’ highest average rated player this season with 7.23, his average key passes per game (2.3) also ranking 1st in the squad.
Josh Murphy– 8.6: Murphy is proving to be another promising loanee for MK Dons as his desire to go forward has given the Championship strugglers much needed attacking promise over the past weeks. Against Blackburn Murphy’s desire to attack once again set him apart from the rest as he completed a staggering 6 dribbles, winning 1 foul in the process. The left winger was also keen to create chances on the day as he registered 5 shots (2 on target), 2 key passes as well as an 81% pass completion rate, picking up an assist for his troubles. Murphy has an average rating of 6.91 for the Dons since joining and ranks 1st on shots (3) as well as successful dribbles (1.6) per game for Karl Robinson’s side.
MK Dons stats vs Blackburn
Top Individual Peformances of the Week
Goalkeeper – Tom Heaton
Heaton was the pick of the goalkeepers this week making 6 saves to keep a clean-sheet and guide his team to their 6th win of the season in the process. Although Burnley ran out 2-0 winners on the day, Bolton enjoyed more possession of the ball and had their chances to score meaning that Heaton’s presence was required to keep them at bay, as he won 2 aerial duels and 3 claims whilst completing 100% of attempted catches. Saturday’s 8.1 rating takes the Burnley stopper’s average rating to 6.75 for the season in which he has played every minute (1080).
Defender – Luke Ayling
The 24-year-old centre-back starred as Bristol City finally picked up their first home win of the season vs Nottingham Forest. Ayling managed to contribute something in every area of the pitch on Friday evening but it was generally his defensive numbers which earned him the 8.3 rating as he made 3 tackles, 7 interceptions and 7 clearances. Going forward Ayling boasted a shot and cross accuracy of 100% although only attempting 1 of each and completed 70% of his 37 passes during the 90 minutes. The 2-0 victory over Forest was City’s second clean sheet of the season, as for Ayling he now boasts the 2nd most interceptions per game for the south-west club whilst being their most efficient dribbler with 1.2 successful dribbles per game.
Midfielder – Ben Reeves
Reeves prevailed as man-of-the-match on Saturday and was influential in guiding MK Dons to their 3rd win of the season and subsequently end their 8 game winless streak. The central midfielder bagged 2 of the Dons’ 3 goals on the day as he saw 50% of his 4 shots find the back of the net. Reeves also produced a sound passing game to go hand-in-hand with his 2 goals as he completed 73% of his 22 passes, including 5 key passes and a 50% long ball accuracy. Defensivley, the 23 year old completed 2 tackles and 2 interceptions in his sides attempt to launch counter attacks against Blackburn who were limited to 10 men for the majority of the fixture following Adam Henley’s dismissal. All together a tidy performance from the Northern-Irishman who picked up a 9.2 rating and his first man-of-the-match award of the season.
Striker – Chris Martin
Martin terrorised the Wolves defence in the opening 45 minutes and should have gone into the break with a hat-trick was it not for a Martinez penalty save. Nevertheless the Derby skipper still bagged 2 goals from 5 shots which earned him an impressive conversion rate of 40% whilst overall 80% of his shots found the target on the day. Martin’s link-up play was something to be admired too as he completed 83% of his 54 passes, which included 4 key passes. The other statistic worth noting from the Derby forward’s performance was his 4 successful aerial duels won as he in no doubt proved to be his sides spearhead in attack on the day. The brace vs Wolves takes Martin’s goal tally to 7 for the Championship season with a 56% contribution to Derby’s 16 goals this campaign, registering a goal or an assist every 117 minutes.
How It Stands…
*standings were sourced from flashscores.co.uk