Friday, February 22, 2019

Championship Review – Matchday 17

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 13 Nov 2018

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There was little question over what the pick of the games from matchday seventeen was in the Championship, as Norwich City edged out Milwall in a topsy-turvy seven goal thriller at Carrow Road to return to the top of the table.

The Dons were one-nil up at half time through Tom Elliot with Teemu Pukki drawing the Canaries level four minutes into the second-half.

That’s how it stayed until the seventy-ninth minute when Moritz Leitner gave the hosts the lead though two quick fire goals from Ryan Leonard and Jed Wallace again put Neil Harris’s men in command.

Thriller

However, stoppage time efforts from Jordan Rhodes and another from Pukki completed the scoring and gave all three points to the Norfolk outfit, who leapfrogged Leeds United on route back to the summit.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side had the chance to reclaim top spot in Saturday’s late kick-off but were thumped 4-1 at West Bromwich Albion.

After a goalless first-half, the Baggies ran riot after the break storming to a four-nil lead thanks to goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips, Harvey Barnes and Dwight Gayle.

Pablo Hernandez pulled one back for Leeds late on, but it was nothing more than a consolation with the title favourites slipping outside of the top-two while West Brom move into the play-off places.

Close

Middlesbrough are up to second after beating Wigan Athletic by two goals to nil, Sheffield United are down to fourth after the Steel City derby ended goalless while Derby County slip a place to sixth after losing 3-0 to Aston Villa.

Like a third of this weekend’s fixtures in the second tier, there were no goals in the first-half, but three strikes in eleven minutes confirmed an impressive away victory for the Villains, who move in to the top half.

Nottingham Forest dropped outside of the top-six after drawing 0-0 with Stoke City in an evenly matched game at the City Ground, though Jack Butland was the hero for the Potters with two strong saves towards the end of the game.

Barrie McKay scored the only goal of the game as Swansea City beat Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium – a result that puts the South Wales side on twenty-six points – the same tally as Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers.

Resurgence

Rovers drew with Rotherham United at Ewood Park, while QPR came from behind to beat Brentford to continue their remarkable resurgence.

A Che Adams hattrick was not enough to give Birmingham City a win against Hull City with the Tigers earning a share of the spoils while Reading and Ipswich Town gained a point each after playing out a 2-2 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Finally, a Callum Robinson strike sealed victory for Preston North End against Bristol City – the Lilywhites now in the dizzy heights of eighteenth place and now a massive 14/1 to be relegated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deke Hardman


Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.

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