Ben Brereton Diaz enjoyed an excellent Saturday afternoon during Blackburn Rovers’ 5-1 victory over Cardiff City.
The Chile international netted his first hat-trick for the Lancashire club, with the final goal coming from the penalty spot in stoppage-time.
Brereton Diaz has taken his total up to seven after the three goals scored on Saturday afternoon, emerging as an early contender for the golden boot, should he remain a Blackburn player past January.
The forward, who has connections to Chile through his mother, was called up for the country’s Copa America squad this summer, scoring the winner in a game against Bolivia, with his outstanding performances making him a much-loved figure in South America.
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Here, we take a look at some of the statistics taken from Brereton Diaz’s performance against Cardiff at the weekend…
The first thing of note is his expected goals taken from Saturday’s game. Brereton Diaz’s possessed a figure of 2.18 expected goals against the South Wales club – his highest figure ever recorded. It was also the first time he exceeded 2 expected goals, and he has only surpassed one a handful of times in his career.
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The three goals he scored on Saturday means that he is joint-Championship top goalscorer this season, drawing level with John Swift, Viktor Gyokeres, and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The 22-year-old also registered five shots on target, and whilst his three goals suggest that he was rather clinical when it came to the chances he was presented with, it was a career-high.
Sticking with the number five, he also had just five touches in the penalty area, another indicator of how clinical he was when presented with opportunities. Tony Mowbray faced criticism for not bringing in a striker in the summer, but with Brereton Diaz, and his forward partner Sam Gallagher both scoring goals this season, they are not ruing their inability to bring in a striker.
Brereton Diaz also recorded five interceptions on Saturday, proving to have the intelligence to break up the play and fulfil his defensive responsibilities.
The Chile international recorded just three successful dribbles against The Bluebirds, a quite strange statistic considering his influence during the game. Dribbling past defenders with his direct style to ball possession is a key feature of his game, but it could be more of an indication of the way that the game played out.