Saturday, December 15, 2018

Championship Review: Matchday 20

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 4 Dec 2018

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Norwich City came from behind to beat Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon, and in doing so tightened their grip at the top of the Championship.

The Millers had gone into the game in good form, and that looked as if it may continue when Richard Towell gave them the lead on eleven minutes though goals from Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki turned the game on its head.

Leeds United had temporarily led the league after they beat Sheffield United by a goal to nil – Pablo Hernandez scoring the only goal of the game with Nottingham Forest the only other side in the top six to win after they eased past bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town.

Prolific

Lewis Grabban scored both goals in a 2-0 win and the brace saw him leapfrog Brentford’s Neal Maupay to the top of the goalscoring charts.

Maupay was kept at bay as his side drew 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening – the point enough to see the Baggies up to third as Middlesbrough were beaten 3-0 by free-scoring Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium.

The North East side saw the amount of goals they have conceded at home this season double in one evening, though they still have the best overall record in the division by some way.

Midlands

Derby County kept themselves right on the edge of the play-off places after they beat Swansea City 2-1 at Pride Park with Villa just three points worse off after their win while Birmingham City thumped Preston North End 3-0 to keep themselves well in contention.

Danny Graham was the hero for Blackburn Rovers as he hit a hattrick in a 4-2 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday with Bradley Dack (who else) getting the other goal while Queens Park Rangers were unable to keep pace with the rest of those sides on the fringes of the top six as they suffered a surprise defeat at home to Hull City.

Surprise

The win was enough to see the Tigers climb out of the bottom three and up to nineteenth with the three sides who had been directly ahead of them all dropping points.

Reading, Millwall and Bolton Wanderers remain in trouble though all three picked up a point, drawing with Stoke City, Bristol City and Wigan Athletic respectively.

Bolton are the side at the bottom of those three sides, all tied on eighteen points with the Trotters goal difference the second worst in the division and next up for them is a trip to Carrow Road.

Few would fancy the away win there but if you do, you can back it at a price of 11/1.

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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