With seven away wins in the Championship there were plenty of fans making the long journey home happy. Who made The72 Championship team of the week? Find out here.

Champ team of the week

Jack Butland – Barnsley – With Leeds in their current form any team in the Championship would be over the moon to travel home from Elland from with anything to show for their efforts. Barnsley who picked up just four points on the road from their opening ten games away games battled till the end to get a point at Leeds. They can thank Butland for his superb work keeping the scores level as he made a number of saves especially late on when Leeds had a man advantage.
Bruno – Brighton – The strength of the Brighton defence featured in last weeks team and after another clean sheet at home to Huddersfield in a Championship clash between two very competitive teams it features again. The experienced full back Bruno was efficient in his work for Brighton with some neat defending and good link up play down the right flank taking Brighton to three games unbeaten.
Anthony Gerrard – Huddersfield Town – Featuring in the same game as Bruno, Gerrard played a similar role for Huddersfield, but at the heart of their defence. The meeting at the Amex was one of the toughest to call and it was always going to be likely that a single goal could snatch the points. Gerrard was a great physical presence for Huddersfield and managed to prevent the inform Ashley Barnes from scoring. A big point for Town as they avoided a third successive defeat going into the busy festive period.
Tommy Elphick – AFC Bournemouth – After being left out of the starting line up club captain Elphick could have easily thrown his toys out of the pram and caused problems in the squad, however he is not that sort of player. He returned to the side following an injury to Elliot Ward and after finding his feet in the Championship he put in a leader’s performance in the middle of the Bournemouth back line. Wednesday were left frustrated with very few chances and Elphick deserved a clean sheet for his work, but that was snatched away late on.
Scott Arfield – Burnley – After the result in the early kick off Burnley knew a win at home to Blackpool would see them return to top spot into the Championship over Christmas. They seized the chance from the kick off with great intensity in their play and took the lead early on. They were pegged back, but winger Arfield, who threatened all game, got his reward early in the second half with a curling effort from the edge of the area to regain the lead and return Burnley to top spot in the table.
Ben Watson – Wigan Athletic – The impact of Uwe Rosler continued to rise at Wigan with another impressive victory this time at promotion chasing Reading. After taking an early two goal lead at the Madejski, Wigan still had to be at their best to prevent a fightback from the Royals. Watson’s tough tackling and commanding style came to the fore as he bossed the middle of the park to help his side to a well earned away win and close the gap on the play off places.
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City – The big lunch time kick off at Loftus Road was always going to be a battle of the midfield with some of the leagues most talented players pitting their wits against each other. Drinkwater did a great job for his team in attempting to limit the work of Barton, Kranjcar and Carroll who should have outnumbered the Leicester pairing. After weathering an early storm the Foxes nicked the lead with their first effort on target and thanks to Drinkwater the second half was made as comfortable as possible.
Emmanuel Ledesma – Middlesbrough – Sometimes managers make an inspired substitution to change the course of the game, but in this case Aitor Karanka’s hand was forced when Mustapha Carayol went down injured in the first half. His replacement, Ledesma, was in inspired form and opened the scoring just after the restart bending the ball into the bottom corner from outside the area. Late on he helped secure the win when he played through team mate Albert Adomah to double the lead.
Lewis Grabban AFC Bournemouth – In recent weeks Bournemouth have gone back to basics employing Grabban in a lone striker role and it seems to be bringing the best out of him. The combination of his strength and power gave Bournemouth an outlet at Hillsborough. He rounded off a textbook performance when he netted Bournemouth’s second and the eventual winner half way through the first half. He calmly finished at the near post to give his side a vital two goal lead and take his tally to nine for the season.
Chris Martin Derby County – A dramatic day for the big forward at home to Doncaster. He failed to make his mark on the score sheet despite being given the opportunity from the penalty spot after being fouled. He was however, at the heart of Derby’s attacking prowess. Martin set up strike partner Jamie Ward to open the scoring early on in the first half and Martin got his second assist of the day when he played through Craig Bryson to put the game to bed.
Jamie Vardy Leicester City – In The72 weekend preview it was identified that Vardy and Nugent would need to return to their best for Leicester in their table topping clash at Loftus Road and they stood up to the mark right on cue just before half time. A long ball was flicked on by Nugent which fed Vardy through on goal was clinically finished into the far corner out of the reach of Rob Green. The goal was Leicester’s first effort on goal in the half and was enough to earn the points with a dogged second half display.

Star man

Emmanuel Ledesma: Despite only being on the pitch for the final sixty minutes Ledesma was the stand out player at the New Den as his goal and assist ended Millwall’s seven game unbeaten run.

 

 


About Author

Jason is currently studying Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University and is an editor for the72. He hopes to graduate from University with an increased knowledge of journalism, eventually leading to a career in sports journalism. He is an AFC Bournemouth season ticket holder, with interest in football up and down the English leagues and abroad. Twitter @_JasonLewis