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Championship Wrap: Barton back as QPR, Wigan start with wins

SoccerNews in English Championship 3 Aug 2013

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Joey Barton made his return for QPR as the Championship newcomers began their season with a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

The controversial 30-year-old returned to Loftus Road ahead of the new campaign after his loan spell with Marseille in France came to an end.

And he was once again in the thick of the action as Rangers started life in the second tier following their relegation from the Premier League with a hard-fought victory.

QPR’s first game back in the Championship did not start as they had planned, the hosts going behind when new Wednesday signing Atdhe Nuhiu scored after 19 minutes.

However, Harry Redknapp’s side showed the kind of character that was sadly lacking for much of last season to bounce back, as first Nedum Onuoha and then Andrew Johnson scored in quick succession.

The second half was not without incident, as Wednesday appealed for a penalty when Barton appeared to have fouled Jacques Maghoma, but it was not given as Redknapp’s men held on for the win.

There was also success for fellow newcomers Wigan, who overcame Barnsley 4-0 at Oakwell.

Owen Coyle’s side kicked off their campaign in style to overcome their 10-man opponents, courtesy of goals from Ben Watson, Grant Holt, Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney.

But they were helped by an early exit for Barnsley’s Dale Jennings, who was sent off just six minutes into his competitive debut.

Reading started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Ipswich at the Madejski Stadium, while Bournemouth dismissed Charlton Athletic by the same scoreline.

On a day that saw just one draw – a 1-1 stalemate between Burnley and Bolton in the early opener to the new season – there were also wins for Leeds United, Watford, Blackpool and Leicester City.

Leeds claimed a 2-1 success over Brighton in front of 33,432 at Elland Road, with a late Luke Murphy goal sealing the points, while Blackpool beat Doncaster 3-1 thanks to two goals in the final two minutes from Gary MacKenzie and Tom Ince.

Watford and Leicester were made to work hard, with the Londoners beating Birmingham City 1-0 thanks to Troy Deeney’s goal while Leicester came from behind to see off Middlesbrough 2-1.

Last season’s strugglers Millwall and Huddersfield Town both started with disappointment, losing 1-0 to newly promoted Yeovil and Nottingham Forest respectively.

Millwall’s defeat marked a frustrating start for new manager Steve Lomas, who began his reign with a loss as Yeovil celebrated their first game in the Championship with a late goal from Ed Upson.

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