Championship

Preston the big winners as promotion rivals stall - the best of Championship Round 32

The Lilywhites moved into the playoff positions after defeating Stoke

 
10:00am on Thursday 13th February 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Ben Davies
D (C) - Preston NE - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.7
Feb 12, 2020

Preston moved into the final playoff position after beating Stoke 2-0 away from home, with Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen getting the goals.

However, they mostly have a dominating performance from Ben Davies to thank for the vital three points, as the centre back proved his worth at both ends of the pitch.

Defensively he was excellent, winning five duels, 100% of his tackles, as well as making four ball recoveries, one interception, and a huge nine clearances.

In the opposition box, he was involved in the melee for the first goal, and then earned an assist for the second with a downward header after rising above everyone after a cross was sent in following a failed set piece.

Lewis Wing
M, AM (C) - Middlesbrough - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.7
Feb 11, 2020

Lewis Wing scored two goals for Middlesbrough as they drew 2-2 away versus Wigan, helping his side to earn a point.

However, he was aided by a deflection for his first goal, which wickedly swerved past the goalkeeper following a free kick from 35 yards out.

For the second, he tried his luck from range again, and again, got some luck, with opposition goalkeeper David Marshall allowing the strike to bounce under him.

He had 65 touches in the game, and sent two successful crosses into the box.

Darragh Lenihan
D (C) - Blackburn - 25 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Feb 11, 2020

Blackburn moved to within six points of the top six after comfortably dispatching of Hull 3-0 at Ewood Park.

It took them longer than they would have hoped to take the lead, as the opening goal came in the 73rd minute via a set piece. Following a corner kick and a bit of pinball football inside the box, the ball dropped to Darragh Lenihan who scrambled an attempt over the line.

This was following an already solid outing at the back, too, as he won 10/12 duels, and a massively impressive 9/9 aerial duels, which outlines his threat inside both boxes.

Tosin Adarabioyo
D (CR) - Blackburn - 22 yrs
90'
8.1
Feb 11, 2020

Lenihan will grab all the headlines for Blackburn, but his defensive partner Tosin Adarabioyo was also important in the win.

He won five duels and made a superb 15 ball recoveries which was the second-most of any player in this round of Championship fixtures.

It was his passing and distribution which was the most impressive factor of his evening, though. With 89, he completed more balls to team-mates than anyone in the league, and also enjoyed the second-most touches of anyone apart from Derby's Wayne Rooney and Michael Hector of Fulham with 106.

Alan Browne
AM, DM (C) - Preston NE - 24 yrs
90'
8.0
Feb 12, 2020

Back to Preston, now, as Browne was one of the goalscorers against Stoke after finding himself at the right place at the right time to lash a close range finish home after the aforementioned penalty box melee on 57 minutes.

His passing may not have been great (19/30 completed), but he made it for it with his work defensively, making five ball recoveries, two interceptions, and four clearances.

He also won 7/12 duels, 1/1 tackles, and 5/6 aerial duels, in what was a tenacious display from the 24-year-old.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Charlton pulled off one of the shocks of the round as they held on for a 1-0 away win at Notts Forest. Naby Sarr (8) was key to the clean sheet, as he won 100% of his duels (4/4) and 100% of his aerial duels, as well as making six ball recoveries.

ROUND TO FORGET

Ashley Fletcher (4.7) was pretty hopeless up top for Boro as he failed to have a single shot on goal, only completed 7/16 passes and, most damningly, only had one touch inside the Wigan box.

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