Sunday, May 26, 2019

Championship Review – Matchday 26

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 2 Jan 2019

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Leeds United ended New Years Day two points clear of the Championship, despite losing to Nottingham Forest in a thrilling match at the City Ground.

Jack Colback gave the hosts an early lead after capitalising on an error at the back from leaders, who’s task was made even more difficult when Kalvin Phillips was shown a straight red card just before the break.

However, quick fire goals from Jack Clarke and Egzijan Alioksi turned the game on its head, only for Colback to draw Forest level with his second on sixty-nine minutes.

Having equalized, the East Midlands were well in the ascendancy and seven minutes later were 4-2 in front thanks to Daryl Murphy and substitute Ben Osborn, who’s first league strike of the season was the goal of the game.


The result saw Forest shoot up to seventh place, and could well alleviate the pressure on manager Aitor Karanka, who’s name was sung by the home fans throughout.

Leeds have now lost back-to-back league games for the first time under Marcelo Bielsa but remain clear at the summit after second place Norwich City dropped points for a third game in succession.

They did, like their main rivals in the title race look to be heading for a second straight defeat though Tim Klose netted to give the Canaries a share of the spoils at Brentford.

West Bromwich Albion failed to capitalise after falling to a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers though Sheffield United continued their fabulous run of form with a 3-0 win at Wigan Athletic – their third straight victory and a result that sees them leapfrog the Baggies into third place.

Chris Wilder’s men are doing all they can to silence those who expect them to fall away, and with the Blades just four points off the top you may be tempted to back them to win the division at 11/2.


Middlesbrough and Derby County remain fifth and sixth respectively after playing out a 1-1 draw at Pride Park while Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers remain just outside of the top six after they drew 2-2 at Villa Park.

Birmingham City are eighth after they could take a point from their trip to Hillsborough on what turned out to be the day before Steve Bruce was announced as Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager.

Hit for six

There were away wins for Bristol City and Swansea City at Stoke City and Reading respectively while there was no doubt over what the best performance of matchday twenty-six was as Hull City put six past Bolton Wanderers.

Rotherham United picked up a much welcomed three points after they beat Preston and North End while things went from bad to worse for Ipswich Town, who were beaten at home to Millwall by three goals to two, despite leading at half-time.


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 and, 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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