Friday, February 22, 2019

Championship Review – Matchday 24

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 28 Dec 2018

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Leeds United once again came from behind to secure a dramatic victory on Boxing Day, beating Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Elland Road to extend their lead at the top of the Championship.

The title favourites were handed the lead on thirty-three minutes with Derrick Williams turning the ball into his own net though Charlie Mulgrew drew Rovers level from the spot two minutes into the second half.

Mulgrew then scored what looked to be the winner in the ninetieth minute but two stoppage time strikes from Kemar Roofe, fresh from his last-ditch winner at Villa Park raised the roof and secured all three points for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Drama

Norwich City didn’t manage to win, but it certainly would have felt as good as with the Canaries coming from three goals down to rescue a point against Nottingham Forest at Carrow Road.

Matty Cash had given the hosts the lead just before the break before Jack Robinson and a second from Cash had Aitor Karanka’s men in dream land.

Mario Vrancic pulled one back for the hosts on seventy-seven minutes before two stoppage-time goals from Onel Hernandez gave the Canaries a share of the spoils.

The result extends Forest’s winless run to four games and has led to rumours of uncertainty over the manager’s position though, with my colours firmly nailed to the mast I can think of nothing worse than yet another change at the City Ground.

West Bromwich Albion are hot on the heels of the top-two after a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic saw them move to within three points of the automatic promotion places while Sheffield United are up to fourth after they beat fellow top-six side Derby County 3-1 at Bramall Lane.

Sharp

The Blades have been tipped by many to be the side that slips out of the promotion reckoning though the bookmakers have them at 11/4 to go up by any means.

Middlesbrough are fifth despite a home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday – their third loss in five league games while Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers are both just two points off the top-six after comprehensive home victories over Stoke City and Ipswich Town respectively.

In the mix

Aston Villa kept themselves in the mix with a narrow win at Swansea City – Conor Hourihane getting the only goal of the game while Bristol City will still fancy their chances of making the play-offs after they drew with Brentford.

Bolton Wanderers moved to within a point of safety after they beat Rotherham United while Millwall climbed out of the bottom three at the expense of Reading, who they beat by a goal to nil.

Finally, Hull City are up to fifteenth after an impressive win at Preston North End – a result that extends the Tigers’ unbeaten run to six games.

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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