Sunday, December 8, 2019

Harrison strikes late to take Leeds United top as O´Neill suffers first Stoke City defeat

SoccerNews in English Championship 26 Nov 2019

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Jack Harrison struck late on against Reading as Leeds United moved top of the Championship with a 1-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side seemed to be heading for a frustrating draw on Tuesday, which would have seen them sit two points behind West Brom, who play Bristol City on Wednesday.

However, Harrison popped up with the winner three minutes from time to send the Whites top of the pile.

Below the top two sit Fulham, who made it three wins from three with a comfortable 3-0 win over sorry Derby County.

At the other end of the table, Luton Town moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 comeback triumph against Charlton Athletic, while Michael O’Neill suffered his first defeat as Stoke City manager away at Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town drew with Swansea City.

LEEDS LEAVE IT LATE AGAIN

A bit like Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, Leeds seem to be making a habit of scoring late goals.

After an own goal in the 90th minute handed Bielsa’s side the points against Luton on Saturday, Harrison headed in from Helder Costa’s cross to secure a vital win at Reading.

Mark Bowen has rejuvenated Reading since taking charge, and the Royals could easily have taken the lead through Michael Morrison earlier in the second half.

Stuart Dallas came the closest to making the breakthrough to Leeds before Harrison’s header, striking the crossbar in the 63rd minute, but Bielsa’s men ultimately got the job done.

O’NEILL’S HONEYMOON PERIOD OVER

Two wins from O’Neill’s first two matches in charge had lifted Stoke off the foot of the table, but Leandro Bacuna’s early goal did the damage for Cardiff in south Wales.

O’Neill’s side had over 65 per cent of the possession, yet failed to create many meaningful openings, and it was Cardiff who came closest to getting the game’s second goal in the second half.

The Bluebirds are now in 10th, four points off the play-off places, while Stoke sit 23rd, five points above lowly Barnsley, who would close the gap with a win over Middlesbrough.

IN-FORM FULHAM FLYING HIGH

Alexander Mitrovic – the Championship’s leading scorer – netted his 13th goal of the season to help Fulham to a routine 3-0 win over Derby at Craven Cottage.

Heading into Tuesday’s encounter having lost their last three away matches by an aggregate score of 6-0, Phillip Cocu’s side were no match for the Cottagers throughout.

Bobby Reid got things up and running in the seventh minute, with Mitrovic heading home shortly before half-time before turning provider for Tom Cairney to round off a win that takes Fulham, temporarily at least, up into third place.

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