Championship

Championship Top Five, Round 28: Fulham Knockaerting at the door of the top two

Anthony Knockaert was superb for the Cottagers, scoring the only goal of the game against Middlesbrough.

 
11:00am on Tuesday 21st January 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Anthony Knockaert
W, DM (R) - Fulham - 28 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.0
Jan 17, 2020

Brighton loanee Anthony Knockaert proved to be the difference in the Friday night Championship game between Fulham and Middlesbrough, scoring the solitary goal of the match just six minutes in.

After playing a part in the build up, he made his went into the penalty area and positioned himself perfectly to score from a yard out after the sizzling cross from Joe Bryan.

From then on the confidence was flowing, as he tried his luck with another five shots on goal, albeit not as successfully.

He was a constant thorn in the side of the Boro defence, enjoying 11 touches inside the box and sending 23 passes into the final third.

His hard work shouldn't be overlooked, though, as he helped Fulham out with an impressive 10 ball recoveries during his 90 minutes on the pitch, too.

Lewis Holtby
AM (C) - Blackburn - 29 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.9
Jan 18, 2020

You would be forgiven for thinking that Lewis Holtby was a number nine after his performance in Blackburn's impressive 5-0 win away at Sheffield Wednesday, as the combined distance of the two of his goals was about seven yards.

On both occasions, he found himself in the right place at the right time to turn a strike home with his left foot.

He contributed in other areas, too, though, as he completed 31 out of 38 passes, 14 of which were sent into the final third.

His hard work shouldn't be overlooked, also, as he made five ball recoveries and won 8/14 duels.

Joe Lolley
AM (RC) - Notts Forest - 27 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
83'
8.7
Jan 19, 2020

Forest made it four wins out of five in the Championship and moved up to fifth after dispatching of Luton with a 3-1 win. Joe Lolley was their best player, scoring two goals either side of the break.

He caused mayhem down the right wing for the home side and it was via two dribbles from that position that allowed him to score twice, with the first strike being squeezed in at the front post.

His second was a belter of an effort which dipped over goalkeeper Simon Sluga, who probably should have did a lot better for both of the shots from the Forest winger.

He also sent nine crosses into the box, but none of them resulted in a goal.

Joshua Harrop
AM (CL) - Preston NE - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.4
Jan 18, 2020

Josh Harrop ensured Preston stayed within a couple of points of the playoffs with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory versus Charlton.

The hosts actually went a goal behind within five minutes, but it was Harrop who inspired the comeback, making it 1-1 with a screamer of a strike high into the top left corner from 30 yards.

Then, to turn the scoreline around, he set up the eventual winner with a curled corner kick into the box which was headed home by Patrick Bauer.

He completed 41/50 passes, and had 75 touches overall during proceedings.

Stewart Downing
W (R), AM (L) - Blackburn - 35 yrs
90'
8.2
Jan 18, 2020

Back to Blackburn, now, and Stewart Downing showed his veteran side, keeping calm under pressure to earn two assists in the win away at Wednesday.

Even though he was deployed in the middle of the park, both his assists came from the left flank. The first was a cracking cross sent to the back post for Darragh Lenihan to bullet a header into the corner.

Then, with his weaker right foot, he set up the fifth and final goal in the 92 minute with a smart, reversed pass through the middle for Sam Gallagher to score.

His command over the ball was key to the win, too, as he completed 60/69 passes and enjoyed 102 touches which was the third-most of anyone in the Championship this weekend.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Bristol City made it two league wins on the bounce after they beat Barnsley 1-0 on Saturday, with Jay Dasilva (8) setting up the winner late on. Defensively he was superb too, though, as he won 10/14 duels, the majority of his tackles, and 100% of his aerial duels.

ROUND TO FORGET

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two Sheffield Wednesday players performed the worst this week. Goalkeeper Cameron Dawson (4.8) conceded five, while defender Julian Borner (4.8) lost half his duels and lost possession 14 times.

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