Championship timelines, 24 Sep 2016

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 a few tense encounters this week, with relegated pair Aston Villa and Newcastle renewing acquaintances in a close-fought draw while at the bottom of the table Cardiff scraped a narrow win at Rotherham. There were more one-sided encounters at Brighton and Leeds, while Bristol City put in another barnstorming attacking display at Fulham.

Individual matches

You can also see how the E Ratings predicted each of these games would turn out here.


The Friday night game saw Preston take an early lead but then sit back and soak up Wigan pressure until half time. A more even second period finished with the Latics seemingly unlucky not to have found an equaliser and now propping up the table.2016-09-24-aston-villa-newcastle

Villa left it late to scrape a draw here and – despite creating slightly better chances overall – were far less fluent overall. The hosts started both halves quietly while Newcastle attacked more often, although few of the visitors’ shots were struck from good positions and they needed an own goal to break Villa down.2016-09-24-brighton-barnsley

A dominant display from Brighton saw them record a comfortable looking victory, made all the more impressive by their ability to keep Barnsley relatively quiet. The Tykes had taken almost as many shots as their hosts this season but were mainly reduced to speculative efforts here.2016-09-24-derby-blackburn

This result could have been even worse for Derby if Blackburn had converted their penalty late in the first half. While the Rams otherwise dominated in shot terms, most of their efforts were struck from poor positions (as evidenced by lots of little jumps in their line). Their attack rating is plummeting under Nigel Pearson and it looks like something needs changing tactically if further disappointments are to be avoided.

This looks to have been an even game until shortly before the hour mark when Fulham tailed off and Bristol City took control. A late red card dashed any fading hopes of a home fightback, but the damage was already done by then.2016-09-24-leeds-ipswich

This game was a good illustration of why Ipswich have the worst-rated attack in the division: apart from a decent chance after 15 minutes they barely troubled Leeds, who recovered from a sluggish start to register a comfortable victory. To the hosts’ credit, they look to have continued pushing for a second goal after taking the lead.

Burton are acquitting themselves well at this level and looked to be running Norwich close until relatively late on here. The Brewers had a man sent off with 14 minutes remaining, which precipitated a succession of late chances from the home side and ultimately the goal which killed the game off.2016-09-24-qpr-birmingham

QPR can feel frustrated not to have found a winner here. Following a poor first half display they were the only side asking any meaningful questions after half time, rattling in a succession of chances while Birmingham barely troubled their defence.2016-09-24-reading-huddersfield

Huddersfield can have few complaints here, having endured long spells in each half without troubling the home defence. There was little for either set of fans to cheer about for most of the opening half an hour, but Reading clicked through the gears rapidly thereafter and were rewarded just before the interval.2016-09-24-rotherham-cardiff

After a slow start this game eventually delivered a close, end-to-end contest which Cardiff just shaded to register a much-needed three points. Rotherham will be frustrated to have finished empty-handed after taking the lead after an hour and perhaps a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the chances created.2016-09-24-sheff-wed-nottm-forest

Sheffield Wednesday look to have earned their win here, having out-created Forest throughout. The visitors look fortunate to have found themselves ahead at half time, having created few chances in a relatively dull half, and managed only a handful more before seeing the Owls grab a late winner.2016-09-24-wolves-brentford

Brentford’s defence had soaked up a heroic number of shots for each goal conceded prior to this game, so this could be viewed as the universe rebalancing itself. After a poor first half, Wolves started the second well and struck twice before their visitors took temporary control as they chased the game. Overall the two teams created opportunities of similar quality, with the home side’s clinical finishing making the difference.