In the build up to yet another action packed weekend of football our Championship writer Taylor Cornish looks back on the events from last weekend to analyse the performances which impressed statistically in Round 14 of fixtures.
Round 14 Results
Thursday 29th October 2015
1945 Leeds 0-2 Blackburn / C.Conway (1), J.Rhodes (6)
Friday 30th October 2015
1945 Brentford 1-0 QPR / M.Djuricin (56)
Saturday 31st October 2015
1230 Birmingham 0-2 Wolves / D.Edwards (11), S.Ojo (84)
1500 Bristol City 1-4 Fulham / J.Kodjia (90+2) – M.Dembele (2, 18), R.McCormack (33), R.Tunnicliffe (36)
1500 Burnley 2-1 Huddersfield / A.Gray (pen 12, 43) – M.Duff o.g (88)
1500 Derby 3-0 Rotherham / A.Weimann (7), J.Butterfield (45), R.Keogh (76)
1500 Ipswich 0-0 Cardiff
1500 Middlesbrough 3-0 Charlton / D.Nugent (60), A.Adomah (66), D.Ayala (78)
1500 MK Dons 0-2 Hull / A.Elmohamady (19), M.Diame (90+4)
1500 Reading 1-1 Brighton / M.Vydra (78) – J.Murphy (51)
1500 Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Nottingham Forest / F.Forestieri (68)
1800 Preston 0-0 Bolton
Team Performance of the Week: Middlesbrough (3-0 vs Charlton)
Goalscorers: David Nugent (60), Albert Adomah (66), Daniel Ayala (78)
Assists: Emilio Nsue Lopez (66), David Nugent (78)
Middlesbrough substitutions: 79′ ON Jack Stephens – OFF Daniel Ayala, 80′ ON Carlos De Pena – OFF Stewart Downing, 82′ ON Kike – OFF Diego Fabbrini.
Playing against the struggling, manager-less Charlton on Saturday, Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough delivered arguably the most dominant performance we’ve seen this season as they ran out 3-0 victors at the Riverside. Boro’s level of dominance is best put into context by the words of commentators and pundits alike who proclaimed on the day that ‘it’s not a matter of if Middlesbrough will score, it’s when’.
The first series of stats we’re casting our attention to more than certainly live up to these claims with the home side attempting 26 shots on the day, testing Charlton stopper Henderson with 38% of them and despite making 7 excellent saves 11% of those shots still found the back of his net. On reflection it was nothing short of a miracle that Charlton managed to keep the scores level for as long as they did and with only 1 shot on target it seemed they had come to terms with a point being the best outcome, hope rapidly fading however when David Nugent opened the floodgates in the 60th minute with a poached goal. It can be argued that Boro could have been more clinical in front of goal on the day but this cannot be said about their control of the ball and subsequently, the game. The home side boasted an average pass streak of 7 on the day which saw them control a staggering 74% of possession over the 90 minutes and with a Middlesbrough player touching the ball on average every 6 seconds Charlton barely got a look in. Much to the delight of Aitor Karanka the quality of product went hand-in-hand with such an appealing possession stat as the hosts completed 78% of their passes in the final 3rd on top of an overall completion rate of 86% from 773 attempted passes, including 18 key passes. Regardless of all the dominance of possesion however, Charlton had parked the bus from an early stage and limited Boro to just the 1 clear-cut chance meaning they had to find an alternative route to goal aside from threading passes through the defence. The preferred alternative route proved to be crossing come the end of the match as Boro racked up 50 crosses on the day and with a success rate of 22% this provided the ticket to success with 2/3 of their goals coming as a direct result of this approach. The crossing approach also widened Boro’s formation which provided an opportunity for the wide players to make their mark on the game and with 47% off attacks coming from the right flank the team had sensed that man-of-the-match Albert Adomah was the best man to get at the Charlton defence. A choice which paid off as with his dribbling ability he eventually delivered with a goal after cutting in from the right and striking a left footed effort home via a deflection. Adomah wasn’t the only one threatening however and with plenty of other players showing pace, flair and determination to get past their man and in behind the defence Boro eventually boasted a 54% dribble success come the final whistle, complemented by a total of 15 fouls won along the way.
Although the performance from the away side was bordering non-existent going forward this shouldn’t discredit Boro’s defensive display and despite only having to attempt 16 tackles they still achieved a superb success rate of 84% which accompanied 17 interceptions. Such defensive stats limited Charlton to a rather tame 61% pass completion rate (161 accurate passes) and just 5 attempted shots of which 3 were blocked. The only mini victory Charlton can take away from this game is their marginal dominance during aerial duels in which they won 53%, but considering most of these will have come whilst defending corners and crosses it is highly doubtful that Karanka will lose any sleep over the matter, especially when reminded his team were in possession for a cumulative 67 minutes during the game. Overall, 3-0 only really tells half of the story regarding Boro’s dominance vs Charlton and reflecting on statistics creates an air of confusion as to how they didn’t scored more, but still a phenomenal performance nonetheless. The result pushed Karanka’s side up to 4th in the table and ended a rough patch of form for the promotion hopefuls with the signs looking promising as they now rank in the top 5 for average possession, pass accuracy and shots per game in the Championship this season.
Middlesbrough Player Ratings vs Charlton
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos – 7.1, Emilio Nsue Lopez – 7.6, Daniel Ayala – 8.1, Ben Gibson – 7.2, Fernando Amorebieta – 8, Adam Clayton – 7.6, Bruno Zucilini – 8, Albert Adomah – 8.8, Diego Fabbrini – 7.4, Stewart Downing – 7.3, David Nugent – 8.5, Jack Stephens – 6, Carlos De Pena – 6.3, Kike – 6.2
Middlesbrough’s Top 3 Performers
AMR Albert Adomah: Rating – 8.8 / Goals – 1 / Shot Accuracy – 75% / Pass Accuracy – 88% / Passes – 31 / Key Passes – 2 / Crosses – 8 / Long Ball Accuracy – 100% / Touches – 72 / Successful Dribbles – 3.
ST David Nugent: Rating – 8.5 / Goals – 1 / Assists – 1 / Shot Accuracy – 33% / Pass Accuracy – 84% / Passes – 31 / Key Passes – 2 / Long Ball Accuracy – 100% / Touches – 45 / Aerial Duels Won – 5.
CB Daniel Ayala: Rating – 8.1 / Goals – 1 / Shot Accuracy – 100% / Pass Accuracy – 78% / Passes – 72 / Long Ball Accuracy – 38% / Touches – 79 / Tackles – 1 / Interceptions – 3 / Aerial Duels Won – 6.
Middlesbrough stats vs Charlton
Top Individual Performances of the Week
Goalkeeper – Ben Amos
The slightly busier of the ‘keepers in the 0-0 draw against Preston in which Bolton were fortunate to rescue a point from come the final whistle. Amos played his part in keeping out a reasonably tame Preston attack by making 5 saves and 0 errors which proved enough to make him the league’s best stopper over the weekend. The 25 year old has been ever present for Bolton this season playing 1350 minutes, averaging 4 saves per game and a rating of 6.9.
Defender – Craig Forsyth
A confident performance from start to finish for Derby’s left back who after 7 minutes had already claimed an assist for Andreas Weimann’s opener. Forsyth continued to get involved in the attacking phases throughout the game and mustered up some applaudable completion rates as a result, but it was at the back where he was most impressive as the quantity of his defensive actions portray. His assist and man-of-the-match award were the Scottish defender’s first this season whose defensive contributions on the day were far superior to his average per game thus far. The 8.6 rating vs Rotherham boosts Forsyth’s average rating for the season to 7.1 (7.4 as a starter) whilst he also boasts an average of 2 key passes per game.
Midfielder – James Husband
More traditionally known as a full-back, Husband was pushed forward into more of a wide defensive midfielder role vs Bristol City as Kit Symons opted for 3 at the back. Husband was also quick to get involved going forward and after just 2 minutes had an assist to his name when he set up Moussa Dembele, shortly followed by a 2nd in the 36th minute when Ryan Tunnicliffe converted Fulham’s 4th in a rampant opening 45. Looking through his stats from the match it is evidential to see how effective the Middlesbrough loanee was at turning defence into attack through his excellent breaking up of play and if it weren’t for Dembele the 21 year old would have scooped man-of-the-match comfortably. In the bigger picture Husband tripled his assist tally for the season in this game whilst tipping his interceptions per game up to a handsome 3, whilst his average rating for the campaign now reads as 7.3.
Striker – Moussa Dembele
2 shots, 2 goals. Moussa Dembele continued to turn heads in the football world as the teenager in prolific form took just 18 minutes this time around to sink the opposition. The opening 20 minutes pretty much defined his whole 90 as after a quickfire brace he continued to offer his presence in the final third in alternative forms, winning 8 aerial duels and completing 2 key passes to ensure his team ran out as comfortable winners. The Frenchman now has 7 goals and 2 assists to his name for the 2015/16 campaign with a goal contribution every 117 minutes, whilst his average of 4 successful aerial duels per game and 7.1 rating makes him a major threat for any defence this season.
How It Stands…
*Standings were sourced from flashscores.co.uk