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HomeZ OLD CATEGORIESEPL Index Statistical ComparisonsNorwich's Ex-Leeds United Midfield Dominate QPR | Opta Stats

Norwich’s Ex-Leeds United Midfield Dominate QPR | Opta Stats

 This was a game that neither team could lose given both Norwich’s 5-0 drumming at Fulham and QPR’s perhaps more painful 5-0 defeat at home to Swansea.  Therefore, it had a 1-1 draw written all over it.

Norwich really should have won this game and some sharper finishing would have given the Canaries three points but it was a much improved performance with many positives.  The opening goal seemed to summarise all that was positive from the game with the man of the match Robert Snodgrass feeding an excellent wide ball to Pilkington.  Pilkington got an inch perfect cross across goal for Simeon to head in neatly from close range.  A well worked move and a good goal.

Eight minutes later however this goal was cancelled out by what has been described as a “soft penalty” and at the time only seemed to be spotted by Mark Clattenberg in the entire ground.  Now, I’ve watched this a few times and it is a “soft penalty” but at the same point, by the letter of the law, it is a penalty.  The challenge in the football world we have today is that these decisions are not consistent, we’ve seen the same instances in and outside of the box pass by without a free kick or penalty, this is why we feel aggrieved.  But we’ll take it on the chin, that was a penalty by the rule book and perhaps a little clumsy by Bassong who otherwise had a fantastic debut for Norwich.  Yes, Zamora was encroaching when he tapped in the rebound from Cisse’s penalty but it would have only meant this being retaken and unlikely Cisse would have missed a second time, right?

The biggest positive for me to take from this performance was our midfield.  I felt that we dominated this game and the ex-Leeds three plus Pilkington looked solid and creative, something we’ve not seen in a while.

 The “Leeds Three” seemed to gel perfectly.  Bradley Johnson for me looks fitter, sharper and more hungry this season.  The stats show that he had the most number of touches, possession and tackles within the game – this is a man who wants to prove himself this season and so far looks like a class act.

Jonny Howson was a rock as ever, commanding the midfield.  He plays a more defensive role in this midfield which I think can stifle his creativity, last season he played more of the Hoolahan role and I think we’re missing this a little so far this season.  The stats say it all with no shots and just one cross as he sat far deeper in front of the back four.

The newest of the Leeds Three, Robert Snodgrass was deservedly man of the match.  He was creative and attacking but just lacked that accurate final ball in the last third which let him down.  Once he gets that right, this is a player that could be devastating in the Premier League, much like he was in the Championship for Leeds.

Going into the game on Saturday at Spurs I’m more or less certain we will get beaten.  Our team still needs time to gel and although Norwich showed much improvement against QPR our defense is still a little weak and I think we need more fire power upfront.  If we don’t strengthen between now and the next transfer window however I think we’ve got enough to keep our heads above water from what I saw Saturday.  The Leeds Three could well be the saviour of our season, who would have thought it?

All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.

I've been a season ticket at Norwich City since I was about 12 and grew up in the days of Robert Fleck, Bayern Munich and Mike Walker. It's been a rollercoaster ride for the last 19 years we've been promoted 4 times, relegated 4 times, spent a season in the doldrums of league one and now we are flying high* in the premier league. *written in January when we are in the top half!
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