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12 aerial duels won: The Queens Park Rangers man who impressed despite midweek defeat

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After a disappointing 4-3 home defeat to Birmingham City at the weekend, Queens Park Rangers were unable to get back to winning ways in midweek, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Bristol City.

It is now five defeats in the row for Steve McClaren’s men, and the former England manager has come under major scrutiny due to his side’s fall down the league table.

The R’s looked to be close to picking up their first win in seven games after leading for the majority of the game, but goals from Niclas Eliasson and a late penalty from Famara Diedhiou cancelled out Matt Smith’s first-half opener.

The latter was another impressive performer for the R’s on Tuesday night, and here, we take a look at his individual performance in closer detail after Tuesday night’s display…

It has been a difficult season for Smith at Loftus Road – the 29-year-old has been second choice behind Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells for the vast majority of this season but netted his fourth goal in three games on Tuesday.

The towering forward reacted quickest to score his sixth goal of the season against his former club, taking four shots throughout the 90 minutes.

You know what you are going to get from Smith, he’s a hard-working, physical forward who leads the line magnificently well on his own, and he displayed his impressive prowess on Tuesday, winning 12 aerial duels against huge defenders in Adam Webster and Tomas Kalas.

Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of his performance in midweek was his link-up play – he made 16 passes and two key passes, but accrued a pass success rate of only 43.8%.

But, whilst Smith is scoring goals, that is the most important thing, and he’ll look to play an important role in the Whites’ revival in the league.

ScoopDragon Football News Network