Charlton have climbed to within four points of Championship summit following their convincing 3-0 victory over Derby County over the weekend.
Macauley Bonne gave the Addicks an early lead inside the first six minutes before defender Naby Sarr added a second after the break, and Conor Gallagher then completed the scoring in the 67th minute with an excellent long-range effort.
The result meant Lee Bowyer’s side secured their sixth win in 12 matches this season, despite their manager’s absence from the dug-out after receiving a three-match touchline ban earlier in the week.
This is one of a number of set-backs that Charlton have needed to overcome recently, with another of these being the absence of leading striker Lyle Taylor from the side following his leg injury back in September.
Charlton have now managed to collect seven points during the six matches that Taylor has missed, and summer signing Bonne has very much stepped up to the mark in recent weeks.
Here, we take a look at the former Leyton Orient man’s stats from the weekend after he scored his third goal of the season against the Rams…
Should Lyle Taylor and Macauley Bonne start together for Charlton when they are both fit?
Bonne was again named as the sole striker from the start, with Taylor still missing from the side with his injury troubles, and the in-form frontman played 76 minutes before he was replaced by Tomer Hemed.
The 23-year-old gave his side an early lead in emphatic fashion at The Valley as he fired the ball into the top left-hand corner following Jonathan Williams’ cut-back from the left flank.
This was one of the only sights of goal granted to Bonne with the rest of his performances being typified by his work rate, but he did manage to test Kelle Roos on a second occasion as his only other shot was also on target.
Taylor recorded a 45% passing accuracy throughout the match which might seem disappointing on the surface, but he was unlucky with much of his link-up play. It will be interesting to see how this statistic improves when he is paired with Taylor up front, and he subsequently becomes less isolated.
However, Bonne’s work rate as the lone striker cannot be faulted.
He delivered a high-energy display on Saturday and managed to win the ball back several times for his side, with his three interceptions revealing some of the problems he caused for Derby. Furthermore, the fact he made three recoveries in the opposition half is additional evidence of his relentless determination when leading the line.
The forward might still be something of a work in progress after his move from the fifth tier to the Championship over the summer, but his performance against Derby proved he can be a real asset for his side this term.