Thursday, November 14, 2019

Championship Review – Matchday 30

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 4 Feb 2019

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Norwich City reclaimed top spot in the Championship on Saturday after beating previous leaders Leeds United 3-1 at Elland Road.

The Canaries were in front after just five minutes thanks to Mario Vrancic while top scorer Teemu Pukki doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break.

Vrancic got his second with twelve minutes left to play to put the result beyond doubt, though substitute Patrick Bamford net a last-minute consolation in his first appearance since mid-December.

The results sees Daniel Farke’s side move into first place by virtue of goal difference, while Sheffield United are just three points further back after they beat Bolton Wanderers at Bramall Lane.


David McGoldrick opened the scoring on fifty-six minutes before Billy Sharp (who else) added a second soon after.

Sharp now has twenty for the season, with all but one of those strikes coming in the league so you may be tempted to back him to win the division’s Golden Boot at 7/2.

Tammy Abraham remains favourite for that prize though he was unable to add to his nineteen strikes so far with Aston Villa held to a goalless draw at Reading while it was also 0-0 at The Den, where Millwall hosted Rotherham United.

Brucie bonus

It looked to have been heading for a no score draw at Portman Road though bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town were beaten by Sheffield Wednesday in Steve Bruce’s first game in charge of the club thanks to a last-minute strike from Lucas Joao.

Wigan Athletic picked up a much welcome three points after they beat Queens Park Rangers at the DW Stadium while Preston North End drew 0-0 with Derby County – the point not enough to keep the Rams in the top six.

There were seven goals in what was arguably the game of the day at Griffin Park, where Brentford came from two-down to thump Blackburn Rovers 5-2.

Goals Bradley Dack and David Graham had Rovers two goals to the good inside seven minutes and the visitors went in at half-time with their lead halved thanks to Said Benrahma.


The floodgates then opened for the Bees after the break with Ollie Watkins (2), Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos completely turning the game on its head.

Hull City returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Stoke City while its was also 2-0 to in form Bristol City against Swansea City, and to Birmingham City against Nottingham Forest.

Finally, a topsy-turvy game at the Hawthorns ended in a 3-2 win for Middlesbrough, who are now just below the Baggies in fifth place on goal difference.

George Saville put Boro in front on seventeen minutes though goals from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle saw Darren Moore’s in front.

However, it was Tony Pulis who was all smiles against his former club, after a late double from Britt Assombalonga saw the visitors triumph.


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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