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Championship Match Day 31 review

last updated Monday 10th February 2020, 2:06 PM

Match Day 31 in the Championship saw saw Fulham draw level on points with second placed Leeds while West Brom won leaving a 4 point gap between first and second.

Championship table - 10th February 2020
    HOME   AWAY  
  Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Brom 31 7 6 2 32 20 9 5 2 23 13 22 59
2 Leeds 31 8 4 3 22 13 8 3 5 24 16 17 55
3 Fulham 31 10 2 4 29 18 6 5 4 17 14 14 55
4 N Forest 31 8 3 4 20 15 7 6 3 23 15 13 54
5 Brentford 31 9 3 3 28 12 7 2 7 24 13 27 53
6 Preston 31 10 3 3 32 19 4 5 6 13 17 9 50
7 Bristol C 31 6 4 5 21 21 8 4 4 24 22 2 50
8 Cardiff 31 8 6 1 22 12 3 7 6 21 31 0 46
9 Swansea 31 7 3 6 21 19 5 7 3 16 18 0 46
10 Millwall 31 8 4 3 23 16 3 8 5 15 21 1 45
11 Sheff Wed 31 6 5 4 14 15 6 3 7 27 19 7 44
12 Blackburn 31 7 6 3 19 14 5 2 8 24 24 5 44
13 Derby 31 9 5 2 23 11 2 5 8 15 30 -3 43
14 Hull 31 6 2 8 23 24 5 5 5 20 20 -1 40
15 Birmingham 31 6 3 6 22 22 5 4 7 18 26 -8 40
16 Reading 31 6 2 7 20 19 4 7 5 17 16 2 39
17 QPR 31 6 4 6 29 28 5 1 9 18 28 -9 38
18 Middlesbrough 31 6 7 3 16 15 2 5 8 16 25 -8 36
19 Huddersfield 31 5 5 6 18 21 4 3 8 19 27 -11 35
20 Stoke 31 6 3 7 22 21 4 1 10 17 26 -8 34
21 Charlton 31 6 5 5 22 19 2 4 9 18 26 -5 33
22 Wigan 31 5 4 6 15 20 2 4 10 14 26 -17 29
23 Barnsley 31 4 7 5 25 30 1 3 11 12 27 -20 25
24 Luton 31 5 3 7 23 25 2 0 14 14 41 -29 24
Results Table Fixtures
Table topping West Brom played on Sunday afternoon and a hard-fought 2-0 win at Millwall kept their lead at four points over Leeds and Fulham.

Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 win over Leeds in the evening kick-off means just three points separate the top five. Leeds have now just one win in their last five games

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s second-half winner kept Fulham in the hunt for automatic promotion as Scott Parker’s side edged to a narrow 1-0 win at Blackburn. The Serb pounced to convert Joe Bryan’s cross to secure a vital win that took them level on points with Leeds and four points behind leaders West Brom.

Two points behind Fulham are in-form Brentford, who came away winners from a five-goal thriller against Middlesbrough.

Championship MatchDay 31 ~ Results
Friday 7th February 2020
19:45Bristol City1-3Birmingham 22065
Saturday 8th February 2020
12:30Wigan 1-2Preston 12439
15:00Barnsley 1-1Sheff Wed17789
15:00Blackburn 0-1Fulham 13087
15:00Brentford 3-2Middlesbrough 12285
15:00Huddersfield 2-0QPR 21083
15:00Luton 0-1Cardiff 10041
15:00Reading 1-1Hull 13393
15:00Stoke 3-1Charlton 23508
15:00Swansea 2-3Derby 16230
17:30N Forest2-0Leeds 29455
Sunday 9th February 2020
13:30Millwall 0-2West Brom13818
Results Table Fixtures
Preston leapfrogged Bristol City into sixth, Daniel Johnson scoring one and laying on the other in a 2-1 victory at Wigan, who occupy the third relegation place.

Five more goals were scored at Swansea, where the hosts lost ground in the race for the playoff positions thanks to Tom Lawrence’s superb 80th-minute winner for Derby County,

Elsewhere at the bottom, Luton remain marooned at the foot of the table after Lee Tomlin’s curler saw Cardiff run out 1-0 winners at Kenilworth Road,

while Stoke and Huddersfield both picked up crucial wins against Charlton and QPR respectively to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Making up the bottom three are Barnsley, who salvaged a point 1-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday after Cauley Woodrow capitalised on a goalkeeping error to score from 35 yards.

Championship MatchDay 31  Wrap-up
Friday 7th February 2020

19:45Bristol City1-3Birmingham 22065

Birmingham City recovered from conceding a goal after 40 seconds to win at Ashton Gate and end Bristol City's four-game winning run in the Championship.

Jamie Paterson capitalised on Marc Roberts' weak backpass to round goalkeeper Lee Camp and give the hosts a perfect start, but Lee Johnson's side were 2-1 behind by half-time.

Scott Hogan's tap-in equaliser for Blues, after Dan Bentley had saved Jeremie Bela's powerful effort, was the first goal that the Robins had conceded in 383 minutes of league action.

The visitors took the lead when a right-wing cross from 16-year-old Jude Bellingham was glanced into his own net by Andreas Weimann at the near post.

And they wrapped up victory in second-half stoppage time, Lukas Jutkiewicz showing great strength to hold off the home defence and then great poise to loft in Blues' third over Bentley.

The Blues are now eight games unbeaten in all competitions and have registered successive league wins for the first time since October.

Championship MatchDay 31  Wrap-up
Saturday 8th February 2020

12:30Wigan 1-2Preston 12439

Preston North End maintained their Championship promotion push with a narrow victory at Wigan Athletic which stretched their unbeaten run to five games.

Tom Barkhuizen finished a fine team move, slotting in Daniel Johnson's low cross from a few yards out, to give Preston an early lead.

Alex Neil's side had chances to double their advantage before the break, the best of which saw Sean Maguire's header tipped away by David Marshall.

Straight after the restart, Preston did make it 2-0 with another slick passing move, this time the impressive Johnson finishing smartly into the corner after Barkhuizen found him in the box.

15:00Barnsley 1-1Sheff Wed17789

Barnsley striker Cauley Woodrow cancelled out Josh Windass' debut goal for Sheffield Wednesday as their South Yorkshire derby ended in a draw that helped neither side's plight at opposite ends of the table.

Windass drilled home at Brad Collins' near post to put the Owls ahead in his first game since a loan move from Wigan on transfer deadline day.

However, Woodrow's 12th goal of the season quickly levelled matters as he capitalised on Owls keeper Cameron Dawson's poor clearance to fire into an empty net from around 35 yards.

The draw keeps 23rd-placed Barnsley rooted in the Championship relegation zone while Wednesday, in 11th, are six points adrift of the play-off places.

15:00Blackburn 0-1Fulham 13087

Aleksandar Mitrovic netted his 20th Championship goal of the season to give Fulham victory at Blackburn Rovers and put them within a whisker of the automatic promotion places.

Championship MatchDay 32 ~ Fixtures
Tuesday 11th February 2020
K.O.Home AwayTV
19:45Barnsley Birmingham sky
19:45Blackburn Hull sky
19:45Brentford Leeds sky
19:45N ForestCharlton sky
19:45Swansea QPR SKY
19:45Wigan Middlesbrough sky
Wednesday 12th February 2020
19:45Bristol CityDerby sky
19:45Huddersfield Cardiff sky
19:45Luton Sheff Wed sky
19:45Millwall Fulham SKY
20:00Reading West Bromsky
20:00Stoke Preston sky
Results Table Fixtures
A drab game was finally brought to life midway through the second half when the Serbia striker collected Joe Bryan's cross, turned and fired in.

Fulham had been frustrated by the hosts before Mitrovic's opener, with Blackburn goalkeeper Christian Walton stopping an own goal from Bradley Johnson and palming away Tom Cairney's strike.

Rovers, who missed the chance to narrow a six-point gap to the play-off places, showed little attacking quality and their best opening saw Sam Gallagher denied by Marek Rodak late on.

Stefan Johansen should have made it 2-0 when he raced clear close to full-time, but Walton denied the midfielder with a smart save.

Fulham stay third and are now level on points with second-placed Leeds, who lost at Nottingham Forest later on Saturday.

15:00Brentford 3-2Middlesbrough 12285

Brentford striker Ollie Watkins scored a late winner against Middlesbrough to help the Bees keep pace with their Championship promotion rivals.

Julian Jeanvier put the hosts ahead midway through the first half at Griffin Park when he turned in Ethan Pinnock's header across goal.

In a frantic spell in the second half, Lewis Wing levelled from 25 yards before Bryan Mbeumo restored the lead for the Bees.

Boro levelled again three minutes later through Ashley Fletcher's header but Watkins struck from close range to seal the win.

The result initially meant Brentford remained fourth, however, Nottingham Forest's win against Leeds United in Saturday's late Championship fixture meant they slipped a place to fifth.

The Bees' win still keeps them to within two points of second-placed Leeds and third-placed Fulham, however.

15:00Huddersfield 2-0QPR 21083

Huddersfield moved six points clear of the Championship relegation zone as goals from Elias Kachunga and Steve Mounie condemned QPR to a third straight loss.

Kachunga opened the scoring after 57 minutes with a close-range header from Harry Toffolo's cross.

Mounie doubled the lead from the penalty spot just three minutes later, after Kachunga had been brought down.

QPR skipper Grant Hall's first-half header against the post was as close as the visitors came to a goal.

The win sees the Terriers move up to 19th, six points ahead of Wigan who occupy the first of the relegation places, while QPR remain 17th.

15:00Luton 0-1Cardiff 10041

Lee Tomlin's third goal in four games piled more misery on the Championship's bottom side Luton as Cardiff City moved within four points of the play-off places.

Tomlin curled home from the edge of the box with 17 minutes remaining to punish the Hatters for wasting several first-half opportunities.

Harry Cornick twice squandered decent openings for Luton, who are now nine points from safety and with a vastly inferior goal difference to the majority of their relegation rivals.

Cardiff assumed control after the break with Joe Bennett twice going close before Tomlin's winner lifted them to eighth and above south Wales rivals Swansea, who lost at home to Derby.

15:00Reading 1-1Hull 13393

Reading and Hull were unable to end their respective waits for a Championship victory after cancelling each other out in a 1-1 draw.

Jordan Obita had put the hosts ahead early in the second half, finishing from a narrow angle, but substitute Mallik Wilks levelled for Hull in the closing stages.

Reading are now without a win in six league games while Hull are winless in five but did manage to halt a run of four successive defeats.

Both sides last tasted victory in the Championship on New Year's Day and are separated by just one point in mid-table, with Hull 14th and Reading 16th.

15:00Stoke 3-1Charlton 23508

Stoke City boss Michael O'Neill praised his team's "excellent" reaction as they controlled the second half of their win against Charlton.

The Potters went in front through James McLean but conceded an equaliser when Ben Purrington volleyed in on the stroke of half-time.

Tom Ince restored Stoke's lead just after the restart with Nick Powell's strike sealing the points.

Victory lifts the Potters above Charlton into 20th place in the table.

Stoke also extended their unbeaten home run to six matches and O'Neill said: "Overall the team played in a manner that is how I would like to see my team play.

15:00Swansea 2-3Derby 16230

Tom Lawrence powered in Derby County's winner as the Rams fought back from 2-1 down at Swansea City in the Championship.

Derby took the lead against the run of play when Martyn Waghorn scored from close range off a rebound.

Yan Dhanda equalised and Kyle Naughton put the hosts ahead before Duane Holmes hit back.

Wales international Lawrence struck the winner as Derby stayed 13th while Swansea dropped a spot to eighth.

It was only Derby's second away win of 2019-20 in the league, the first coming on the opening day of the campaign.

17:30N Forest2-0Leeds 29455

Nottingham Forest inflicted further damage to Leeds United's promotion hopes and boosted their own ambitions of a return to the Premier League by edging an absorbing end-to-end contest at the City Ground.

Sammy Ameobi put the hosts in front before half-time, beating goalkeeper Kiko Casilla at his near post when the Spaniard had anticipated the shot going towards the opposite corner.

Leeds predictably bossed possession throughout - seeing 70% of the ball despite being away from home - but it was the Reds who looked by far the more threatening in an energetic and resourceful counter-attacking display.

And, with the visitors pushing desperately for an equaliser, Forest scored a second goal deep into stoppage time when Joe Lolley teed up Tyler Walker for a simple tap-in after another swift breakaway.

Following Fulham's victory at Blackburn Rovers earlier on Saturday, Marcelo Bielsa's side are now level on points with the third-placed Cottagers, having also squandered the opportunity to go top by losing to the Reds.

Championship MatchDay 31  Wrap-up
Sunday 9th February 2020

13:30Millwall 0-2West Brom13818

West Bromwich Albion extended their lead at the top of the Championship to four points with a hard-fought victory over Millwall in stormy conditions at The Den.

In an ebb-and-flow first period, visiting midfielder Filip Krovinovic curled in from the edge of the box to give West Brom the lead, and Kyle Bartley passed up a golden chance to add a second when he flashed wide.

Livewire winger Jed Wallace was the main Millwall outlet, and forced a smart save from Sam Johnstone with a curling free-kick before crashing a shot over the top when well placed.

The second half saw the Baggies dominate possession and play, but they had to wait until late on to sew up the points when Dara O'Shea headed in Kamil Grosicki's corner to put the result beyond doubt.

Wins for Fulham and Nottingham Forest on Saturday had compressed the top end of the second tier and this win gives Slaven Bilic's Albion a little bit of breathing space at the summit.

Source Alex Hess at The Guardian/BBC Sport
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