Blackburn Rovers put in a faultless display on Saturday afternoon, as they thrashed Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 at Hillsborough to move up to 11th in the Championship table.
A brace from Lewis Holtby and goals from Sam Gallagher, Darragh Lenihan and an own goal from goalkeeper Cameron Dawson saw Tony Mowbray’s men run out convincing winners.
Holtby opened the scoring for the visitors on the day, but the game-changing moment of the contest came when Massimo Luongo was shown a straight red card for a foul after 23 minutes.
Rovers went on to make their man advantage count as they sent out a serious statement to the rest of their play-off chasing rivals in the Championship.
In our latest FLW Spotlight, we look into Holtby’s performance against Sheffield Wednesday in more detail and see how vital his impact was at Hillsborough on Saturday.
There will have been fears that Blackburn’s play-off bid could have taken a sizeable blow when Bradley Dack was ruled out of action for the foreseeable future with a worrying-looking injury.
But Holtby seems to have stepped up to the mark at the perfect time, and netted a brace against Garry Monk’s side to see them comfortably take the three points back to Ewood Park.
The German midfielder played the full 90 minutes at Hillsborough, and will be confident of retaining his place in Tony Mowbray’s starting XI for future games after this impressive showing.
It wasn’t just his eye for goal which makes for good reading, as his passing statistics show that he makes Blackburn tick over when in control of a game.
Holtby attempted 39 passes in the game against the Owls, and with 34 of them proving successful, it definitely is encouraging to see him adjusting to his new surroundings in a short space of time.
The 29-year-old was getting in the right positions in the game as well, with the German having five touches in total in the opposition penalty area.
That statistic should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ though, as Blackburn dominated proceedings after Luongo was given his marching orders early into the game.
One area that Holtby will be hoping he can improve on though is the amount of dribbles that are successful during games.
He attempted five dribbles against Sheffield Wednesday, but only one of them was successful, which certainly shows that there is room for improvement for the former Spurs midfielder.
All in all, Holtby and the Blackburn supporters will be pleased with the midfielder’s performance on the day, and if he can replicate this as the season progresses, then Rovers could well find themselves in contention for a top-six finish this term in the Championship.
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