Monday, October 21, 2019

Championship Review – Matchday 23

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 24 Dec 2018

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Leeds United are top of the Championship for Christmas after they came from two goals down to beat Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

In one of the games of season so far, hosts Villa found themselves two-up inside seventeen minutes thanks to goals from Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane.

However, a spirited second half performance from Marcelo Bielsa’s side saw the game turned on its head with Kemar Roofe scoring a stoppage time winner after Jack Clarke and Pontus Jansson had drawn the title favourites level.


Norwich City had temporarily reclaimed top spot after Teemu Pukki’s late strike secured victory at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon while West Bromwich Albion kept the pressure on the top two after thumping Rotherham United 4-0 at the New York Stadium.

Dwight Gayle took his season’s tally to thirteen league goals after hitting a hattrick that took him to within one of the division’s leading scorer Lewis Grabban and the on-loan Newcastle United striker is now the 3/1 favourite to win the Golden Boot.

Grabban, and his Nottingham Forest teammates were unable to break down Queens Park Rangers, with Toni Leistner’s goal on the stroke of half-time enough to seal the Hoops’ first ever win at the City Ground.


Aitor Karanka’s side have now failed to score in three games, with their only point in that run coming at Pride Park in the East Midlands Derby last Monday.

Middlesbrough are up to fourth after George Friend scored the only goal of the game at Reading while Derby County and Sheffield United are fifth and sixth respectively after they were held to one all draws by Bristol City and Ipswich Town.

That point for the Tractor Boys sees them move to within four of safety after the five teams above them were all beaten, while all five also failed to score.

Bolton Wanderers and Millwall remain in the bottom three after they both suffered 1-0 defeats at Brentford and Stoke City respectively.

Wigan Athletic lost for a third straight game without scoring, with Birmingham City storming to a three-nil victory that saw them rise to eighth place – four points of the top six.

Managerless Sheffield Wednesday edged past in form Preston North End at Hillsborough with Michael Hector getting the only goal of the game after Ben Pearson had been dismissed for the visitors in the first half.


Finally, Saturday’s action concluded at the KCOM Stadium where Hull City came from behind to beat Swansea City 3-2 and keep their unbeaten run alive.

Forgotten man Wilfried Bony opened the scoring for Graham Potter’s side though a brace from Jarrod Bowen either side of Tommy Elphick strike secured the win for the Tigers, who have now gone five games without defeat.

Bersant Celina pulled one back for the Swans late on, with the defeat seeing the South-Wales side slip to twelfth place.


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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