Charlton Athletic fans will no doubt be licking their wounds today after they saw their side once again lose away to arch rivals Millwall, as Matt Smith’s injury time header condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at the New Den.
The result means that the Addicks have not won away at their arch rivals since December 1995, thus making the latest defeat to the Lions even more painful for the Charlton faithful.
Despite dominating possession for long periods of the tie, Lee Bowyer’s side fell behind in the 6th minute, when Millwall centre back Shaun Hutchinson headed home a well taken free-kick by midfielder Shaun Williams.
However, the Addicks did eventually strike back when Jonathan Leko marked his return to the starting eleven by turning the ball home from close range after Millwall failed to deal with Josh Cullen’s well-taken corner.
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However, Bowyer’s side ultimately left Bermondsey empty-handed as the towering figure of Matt Smith emphatically headed home the winner in the 91st minute past a despairing Dillon Phillips.
Here, we take a look at THREE things we learnt about Charlton Athletic in their weekend defeat to Millwall…
Naby Sarr needs to be dropped
The Senegalese international put in a poor display on the left side of the Charlton back three, with the towering centre back showing a lack of positional sense throughout the contest at the New Den, with his shaky performance being compounded by the fact he was largely to blame for the two goals that the Addicks conceded.
Sarr has continued his poor form on from last week’s game against Preston North End, and now Bowyer will surely be looking to either drop the 26-year-old or at the very least reshuffle his defence back into a more traditional four at the back which gets the best out of Tom Lockyer and Jason Pearce.
Lacked creativity through the centre
Charlton, of course, are having to do without the services of influential playmaker Jonny Williams at present, with the Welsh international currently sidelined with yet another injury. And the former Crystal Palace man’s absence was clearly felt by the Addicks, with much of their chances being created from out wide as opposed to in the centre.
The fact that their forays forward came from out wide meant that the Addicks were easy to defend against, with much of their attacking play predictable and slow in tempo, underlining the lack of a creative outlet in the number ten position, with Bowyer opting for a more flat looking midfield three as opposed to a diamond.
Macauley Bonne left isolated
One player who was certainly a victim of Charlton’s lack of creativity on Saturday was Macauley Bonne, the former Leyton Orient striker was often left isolated throughout the game, making 11 passes throughout the 90 minutes, whilst only registering two shots, with Jonathan Leko largely failing to provide adequate support to the 24-year-old.
Ideally, Leko needed to position himself a lot closer to Bonne when Charlton were in possession of the ball, as this would have allowed the two strikers to link up on more occasions than they did, plus it would have also allowed Charlton to make their attacks less predictable for Millwall to defend against.