Championship timelines, 17 Sep 2016: Brighton leave it late

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:


There were no standout attacking performances this weekend. Brighton (centre) needed a late penalty to break Burton’s resistance, as did Birmingham against Sheffield Wednesday. Both the 0-0 draws in the two bottom corners seemed justified given the relative lack of chances in each.

Individual matches


Reading were reduced to ten men shortly after scoring their second goal of the afternoon – hence their mostly flat line thereafter – and managed to contain hosts Barnsley sufficiently to close out the win. The Tykes created enough chances to draw but were only able to claw one goal back.

This game had the makings of a stalemate until three goals – including one from Birmingham’s fifth penalty of the season – brought belatedly to life. Both sides went for long spells without a shot in each half, so the explosive finish could be considered compensation for the previous 75 minutes, and the hosts look the more deserving winners having out-created Sheffield Wednesday overall.

Rotherham scored their first away goals of the season and were perhaps unlucky to be trailing at half time, but a flat second half performance saw Blackburn run out seemingly deserved winners. The ratio of actual and expected goals scored by the two teams was the same, so this looks a fair result and moves Rovers off the bottom of the table.

Finishing looks to have been the difference between these two teams, with Brentford netting four times in the last 20 minutes to add insult to injury. Preston had kept pace with their hosts for much of the contest, although enduring a slower second half after both teams had struggled for chances in the first, and certainly weren’t as bad here as the final scoreline implies.

Derby netted their second league goal of the season but were denied a second win by a late – but seemingly deserved – Bristol City equaliser. This game looks to have been end-to-end and close throughout, so it’s likely that a draw was the fairest result.

Burton have impressed in their debut season at this level so far but, while Brighton’s winner came late on, they can have few complaints about this result. Apart from a short spell midway through the first half the hosts were unable to threaten consistently here, although to their credit it took a penalty to break them down.

Neither side produced a particularly fluid display here, with both enduring long spells without a shot at goal. Cardiff looked to hold a narrow advantage until Leeds’ opener from the penalty spot, but were unable to respond in a flat second half performance and allowed their visitors to double their lead near the end.

This match was more notable for finishing than chance creation, with Huddersfield edging a relatively dull contest to remain top of the table. Visitors QPR had barely threatened until they were two goals behind, needing almost half an hour to register their first attempt at goal scoring with their fourth.

The data suggests another relatively dull contest here, also even until a late Ipswich surge saw them emerge arguably the more disappointed with a share of the points. Aston Villa remain in the bottom half of the table after an unconvincing display, particularly in the first half where they went for half an hour without registering a shot.

Newcastle were perhaps unfortunate not to have at least drawn here, having created chances equal to Wolves’ and gifting them an own goal. The visitors started brightly but were flat for much of the contest thereafter, although many of the shots they allowed their hosts appear to have been from relatively poor positions.

The big jump in Norwich’s line is a saved penalty that would have given them the lead, but they eventually got the result that their performance looks to have merited. While hosts Forest endured a bad start to the game they ended it more fluently than the Canaries, although were unable to create chances equal to the one which yielded their opener.

This looks to have been something of a bore draw. Aside from a promising opportunity for Fulham on the hour mark and a good opportunity for Wigan at the death, neither side created much of menace and the draw therefore appears to be a fair result.