Championship timelines, 11 Sep 2016: Forest snatch a point

A quick explanation

You can skip this if you’ve seen these before.

As usual, here are timeline graphics for the latest round of matches. There’s a full explanation of these here, but in a nutshell they track how each club’s expected goals tally (the number of goals that the average team would have scored from the chances that they created) increased over the course of the match.

This allows us to get a better sense of how each game played out than from just watching the highlights. Every jump in a line is a shot, with bigger jumps corresponding to more promising chances (at least as far as I can tell from the limited data available at this level).

There are two numbers next to each club’s name: the first is how many goals they scored and the second (in brackets) is how many goals the average club would have scored from their shots. The latter number is what the lines track, with dots on the lines denoting the goals they actually scored.

You can browse previous timelines by selecting “VISUALISATIONS > TIMELINES” from the menu.

Side-by-side comparison

First of all, here are all of the match timelines side-by-side and using the same vertical scale, which makes it easier to pick out which games saw the most (and least) goalmouth action. I always sort matches by date and then alphabetically by the home team’s name in these posts to make it easier to find a specific one:


Both Birmingham and Bristol City put in strong attacking performances away from home, although neither resulted in a proportionate scoreline. At Leeds and Derby there was little to cheer, with neither home side finding the net and little action at either end. Special mention must go to Forest for eking out a point despite heavy pressure at Villa.

Individual matches


The first of three goals from the penalty spot ended a dull first half and the next kicked off a more eventful second period. Reading’s match-winning spot kick came with the game petering out into a seemingly even draw, with Ipswich otherwise having done enough to warrant a share of the points.

This was a clash between youth and experience, with Brighton having named the oldest average starting line-ups in the division this season (a shade over 29 years old) and Brentford the youngest (comfortably below 24). Unfortunately the only experience for the Seagulls here was a chastening one as they failed to make their seemingly superior output count: their visitors netted with their first shot after half an hour and then briefly seized control of the game after the hour mark to grab a second.

This was an impressive attacking performance from Birmingham even without the two penalties, although they were helped by playing the entire second half against ten men. However Fulham were already looking off the pace before the dismissal and in the end were fortunate not to have lost more heavily.

This looks to have been a bit of a snooze-fest, with neither side troubling the other’s defence much for the first half an hour and only one shot from a particularly exciting position. Despite it falling to Leeds, it was visitors Huddersfield who bagged the only goal of a seemingly forgettable game.

Norwich took a first half lead with their only first half shot and doubled it following their next attack just before the hour mark. The second goal looks to have knocked the wind out of Cardiff – who had been matching the Canaries’ relatively lethargic pace – but the visitors’ late surge looks to have been sufficient to earn something from this game.

Preston look to have paid for a slow start here, having out-created Barnsley overall but not really getting going until they were chasing the game. The Tykes’ half time lead looks to have been deserved but they were off the pace thereafter, snatching a winner just as their hosts’ more industrious efforts started to tail off.

A draw looks to have been a fair result from a game that was close throughout. QPR and Blackburn served up a forgettable first half but an action-packed second in which they traded blows regularly.

Rotherham may well be disappointed to have relinquished a two-goal lead but the data suggests that they were fortunate to have acquired it in the first place. While their early opener came after an impressive start, they created little else of note while Bristol City rained in a succession of chances. The visitors’ late double won them a point which looks to have been the least they deserved overall.

Wigan struck early from a good chance here but endured long spells without troubling the home defence. Sheffield Wednesday looked fortunate to be level at half time, having created few opportunities of note, but had the better of the second half and edged the contest overall.

After many a pre-season prediction of a swift return to League 1, Burton continue to impress. Even without the contribution of the penalty they missed in the first half they matched hosts Wolves here, and surely earned their late equaliser with their performance overall.


The late Saturday kick-off didn’t offer much in the way of entertainment but served to underline Derby’s attacking shortcomings so far this season. The Rams have defended well but struggled to created chances of their own, as the general flatness of this graphic – up until Newcastle’s late second goal – attests, although the scoreline looks to have been slightly unfair on them here.


Aston Villa had to settle for a point despite a dominant display here, with Forest netting twice from just three shots overall. Villa themselves rattled in 26, which more than made up for their sluggish opening 30 minutes, and they’ll be wondering how they didn’t win this.