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Championship Match Day 34 review

last updated Thursday 27th February 2020, 11:04 PM

Match Day 34 in the Championship saw Fulham return to winning ways and third place in the Championship. Aleksandar Mitrovic left it late to ensure Fulham maintained their promotion challenge with a 1-0 win against Swansea, having missed a penalty minutes earlier. The Serbia striker connected with Aboubakar Kamara’s right-wing cross four minutes into injury time to deliver his side’s first win in four games and boost their hopes of breaking into the top two.

Championship table - 27th February 2020
    HOME   AWAY  
  Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Brom 35 8 7 2 36 22 11 5 2 28 14 28 69
2 Leeds 35 10 4 3 24 13 9 4 5 26 17 20 65
3 Fulham 35 11 2 5 30 21 6 7 4 19 16 12 60
4 N Forest 35 8 4 5 20 16 8 7 3 26 17 13 59
5 Brentford 35 9 5 3 31 15 7 3 8 26 16 26 56
6 Preston 35 11 3 4 34 21 5 5 7 15 19 9 56
7 Bristol C 35 7 4 6 24 26 8 4 6 25 25 -2 53
8 Blackburn 35 8 7 3 22 14 6 3 8 28 26 10 52
9 Swansea 35 8 4 6 24 20 5 8 4 20 23 1 51
10 Millwall 35 8 6 3 24 17 4 8 6 16 22 1 50
11 Cardiff 35 8 7 2 24 15 4 7 7 24 33 0 50
12 Sheff Wed 35 7 5 5 15 18 6 4 8 30 23 4 48
13 QPR 35 8 4 6 35 31 5 3 9 18 28 -6 46
14 Birmingham 35 6 5 6 26 26 6 5 7 19 26 -7 46
15 Derby 35 9 7 2 25 13 2 5 10 18 35 -5 45
16 Reading 35 6 2 9 21 24 5 7 6 20 17 0 42
17 Hull 35 6 3 9 27 29 5 5 7 21 25 -6 41
18 Charlton 35 7 5 6 25 22 3 4 10 19 27 -5 39
19 Huddersfield 35 6 5 7 20 25 4 4 9 21 31 -15 39
20 Stoke 35 7 3 8 24 23 4 2 11 19 30 -10 38
21 Middlesbrough 35 6 7 5 16 17 2 6 9 18 28 -11 37
22 Wigan 35 6 5 6 18 22 3 5 10 19 28 -13 37
23 Barnsley 35 5 7 6 26 31 3 3 11 16 27 -16 34
24 Luton 35 7 3 7 26 26 3 0 15 16 44 -28 33
Results Table Fixtures
The win edged Fulham above Nottingham Forest into third place, but still five points below the top two.

West Brom moved seven points clear at the top of the Championship with a 2-0 win over in-form Preston at the Hawthorns. Hal Robson-Kanu was creator and scorer of Albion’s two first-half goals. Preston also had Darnell Fisher sent off for serious foul play on 64 minutes as Preston stay nine points behind Leeds.

Second placed Leeds managed to run out 1-0 winners away at Middlesbrough maintaining a five point gap to Fulham in third. Middlesbrough in deep trouble, only staying out of the relegation zone on goal difference, after a match in which they, creditably, refused to fold but still looked distinctly second best.

Nottingham Forest moved above Brentford into third with a 1-0 win at Cardiff. Tiago Silva’s smart finish from Lewis Grabban’s cross early in the second half condemned Neil Harris’s side to a second defeat in four days

Brentford’s promotion challenge also suffered a blow, with a 2-1 defeat at struggling Luton extending their winless run to four matches. Shandon Baptiste’s ninth-minute own goal set the tone and Martin Cranie made it 2-0 in first-half injury time.

Championship MatchDay 35 ~ Results
Tuesday 26th February 2020
K.O.Home Res AwayAtt
19:45Cardiff 0-1N Forest21273
19:45Huddersfield 2-1Bristol City19703
19:45Luton 2-1Brentford 10008
19:45QPR 2-1Derby 11669
20:00West Brom2-0Preston 22150
Wednesday 27th February 2020
19:45Blackburn 0-0Stoke 12343
19:45Fulham 1-0Swansea 17626
19:45Hull 0-1Barnsley 10272
19:45 Middlesbrough 0-1Leeds 24647
19:45Millwall 0-0 Birmingham 11209
19:45Sheff Wed1-0Charlton 21370
20:00Reading 0-3Wigan 10088
Results Table Fixtures
Bristol City missed the chance to catch Preston as they lost 2-1 at Huddersfield, with Chris Willock and Emile Smith Rowe impressing to boost the Terriers’ hopes of avoiding successive relegations.

Blackburn’s hopes of closing the gap on the play-off places was dealt a blow when they could only draw 0-0 with Michael O’Neill’s struggling Stoke at Ewood Park. Rovers remain eighth, and Tony Mowbray admitted that the visitors made life difficult for his side.

Ilias Chair capitalised after a mistake by Wayne Rooney to score QPR’s winner in their 2-1 win over Derby.

There was late drama at Hillsborough, where Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher’s injury-time header was enough to beat Charlton 1-0, the Owls’ first Championship victory in eight outings.

There were significant wins at the foot of the table too, with Barnsley and Wigan boosting their survival hopes.

Cauley Woodrow scored the only goal as Barnsley beat Hull 1-0 at the Kcom Stadium to climb off the bottom and drag themselves to within three points of safety, Hull have collected just two points since New Year’s Day

Efforts from Kieffer Moore and Jamal Lowe either side of half-time and Michael Jacobs’s strike in the ninth minute of stoppage time were enough to give Wigan a 3-0 victory at Reading and put them level on points with the 21st-placed Middlesbrough. Reading have won only once in the league since New Year’s Day.

Championship MatchDay 365Wrap-up
Tuesday 25th February 2020

19:45Cardiff 0-1N Forest21273

Nottingham Forest moved to within three points of the automatic promotion places thanks to a notable 1-0 victory at Cardiff City.

Forest became only the second visiting side to win at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Championship this season thanks to Tiago Silva's goal.

The Portuguese midfielder met Lewis Grabban's cross to steer home his third of the season early in the second half.

Sabri Lamouchi's team held on to claim a first win in four league games and keep themselves firmly in the hunt for the top two.

For Cardiff, a second successive defeat means their play-off hopes are fading with 11 games of the season remaining.

19:45Huddersfield 2-1Bristol City19703

Struggling Huddersfield Town boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Championship with victory over play-off hopefuls Bristol City.

Chris Willock, on loan from Benfica, scored his first goal in senior football to put Huddersfield in front before the break, curling superbly past goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

Bristol City, who suffered a third successive defeat, were woeful during the first 45 minutes but did briefly improve following the half-time introduction of Niclas Eliasson and Adam Nagy.

But, having withstood a period of sustained pressure, the hosts doubled their lead when Nathan Baker brought down Emile Smith Rowe and Karlan Grant scored from the spot.

Famara Diedhiou bundled a late consolation for City, but Huddersfield safely negotiated four minutes of stoppage time to earn a deserved victory.

The Terriers, without a win in three matches, started the day one place above the bottom three but now have a five-point buffer over Wigan Athletic in 22nd.

19:45Luton 2-1Brentford 10008

Luton Town moved off the bottom of the Championship as they got a third win in four games and dented Brentford's automatic promotion hopes after an exciting yet nervy 2-1 win at Kenilworth Road.

The Hatters got off to a great start when Luke Berry whipped in a deep free-kick which Brentford defender Shandon Baptiste turned into his own net inside the first 10 minutes.

After weathering a barrage of Brentford chances Town got a second in first-half stoppage time as Martin Cranie smashed a shot into the top corner after Berry's free-kick was not properly cleared.

Both sides had more chances to score after the break, but it was Brentford's top scorer Ollie Watkins who pulled a goal back with nine minutes left when he slotted in from close range following Mads Roerslev's cut-back.

Luton remain in bottom spot but are now just four points from safety.

19:45QPR 2-1Derby 11669

Ilias Chair scored seconds after coming off the bench to earn Queens Park Rangers victory over Derby County at Loftus Road.

Both sides are anchored in mid-table but victory saw QPR leapfrog their opponents into the top half although both side's play-off hopes are slim.

Grant Hall gave the hosts a first-half lead with a splendid half-volley, only for Martyn Waghorn to head home the equaliser two minutes before the break.

But, less than two minutes after being sent on by Rangers boss Mark Warburton, Chair was found by Eberechi Eze and he lashed in the winner with his right boot.

Victory continued QPR's improved form having now earned eight points in their past four games, after losing their previous three, to steer them well clear of a relegation battle.

Derby's away form has been the reason they have not mounted a more serious play-off challenge, boasting the second-best home record in the Championship but the third-worst form on the road. This was their their 10th away defeat of the campaign.

20:00West Brom2-0Preston 22150

West Bromwich Albion four points clear at the top of the Championship with a deserved victory that dented visitors Preston's promotion bid.

North End were reduced to 10 men with 25 minutes to go when Darnell Fisher was sent off for a reckless challenge, but the impressive Baggies had already taken full control of the game in wintery conditions.

Hal Robson-Kanu chested down Callum Robinson's left-wing cross and clipped the ball under Declan Rudd to open the scoring early on with his 10th goal of the campaign.

Moments before half-time, Jake Livermore fired in with a crisp half-volley from Robson-Kanu's knock-down to double the lead and the hosts could have added further goals after the break.

Victory was the Baggies' fifth in six games without a defeat and remain 9 points clear of third-placed Fulham. Relive Tuesday's EFL action Preston stayed sixth but missed the chance to move within just three points of second-placed Leeds United, who travel to Middlesbrough on Wednesday. But the Lilywhites did not lose ground on their two closest play-off rivals, as fifth-placed Brentford lost at Luton Town and seventh-placed Bristol City were beaten at Huddersfield Town - both by 2-1 scorelines.

Championship MatchDay 35 Wrap-up
Wednesday 26th February 2020

19:45Blackburn 0-0Stoke 12343

Blackburn Rovers' play-off ambitions were dented as they were held to a goalless draw at Ewood Park by struggling Stoke City.

Potters goalkeeper Jack Butland produced a series of saves to thwart the hosts and earn his side a valuable point in their battle to avoid relegation.

The draw meant Rovers stay eighth in the table, four points behind sixth-placed Preston North End, who were beaten by leaders West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, while Stoke remain 20th, one point above the bottom three.

Adam Armstrong, making his 100th league appearance for Blackburn, had their best chances to end the stalemate, but could not find a way past Butland.

19:45Fulham 1-0Swansea 17626

Aleksandar Mitrovic snatched an injury-time winner to lift Fulham back into third place as they saw off Swansea City at Craven Cottage.

Mitrovic headed the only goal from Aboubakar Kamara's cross four minutes into added time as the Whites climbed back above Nottingham Forest in the table.

Championship MatchDay 36 ~ Fixtures
Saturday 29th February 2020
12:30Hull Leeds Sky
15:00Blackburn Swansea  
15:00Cardiff Brentford  
15:00Fulham Preston
15:00Huddersfield Charlton
15:00Luton Stoke  
15:00Millwall Bristol City 
15:00QPR Birmingham  
15:00Reading Barnsley  
15:00Sheff WedDerby  
15:00West BromWigan 
Monday 2nd March 2020
Home Away TV
19:45Middlesbrough N Forest Sky
Results Table Fixtures
Only minutes earlier the Serbian striker's penalty had been saved by Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, after Connor Roberts was adjudged to have fouled Neeskens Kebano.

The Swans, who had battled hard to shackle the Championship's top scorer for much of the game, remain in ninth place, five points off the play-off positions.

Fulham head coach Scott Parker told BBC Radio London:
"We didn't get out of jail, I thought we were exceptional from start to finish.

"They came with a little bit of pressure but we moved the ball well, there was an attacking impetus about us and we had a lot of conviction.

"You miss a penalty and you think 'maybe it's not our night' but full credit to my team the commitment they showed, the belief, the mentality and in the end you deserve your moment to win the game."

19:45Hull 0-1Barnsley 10272

Cauley Woodrow's 15th goal of the season earned Barnsley victory over Hull City and kept them off the bottom of the Championship table.

Woodrow's strike three minutes before half-time secured his side a third consecutive win and put the Tykes within three points of safety, having been nine points adrift only 15 days ago.

Despite the narrow margin, victory on Humberside was deserved with Hull defender Matthew Pennington making three goal-line clearances.

Defeat extended Hull's winless run to nine matches, including seven defeats, and they sit only four points above the drop zone.

19:45 Middlesbrough 0-1Leeds 24647

Leeds United moved back to within four points of Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion as Mateusz Klich's strike earned victory over lowly Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

Klich guided a fine shot in off the far post in first-half injury time moments after Pablo Hernandez's low effort came back off the upright.

Boro, who have now lost three in a row and are winless in nine league games since beating Preston North End on New Year's Day, showed decent resolve and had their moments, the best of which saw Marcus Tavernier's curled shot hit the top of the bar after the break.

But Leeds showed the greater fluency and quality in an often frenetic match and created the better chances throughout, with Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Hernandez all denied by impressive Boro keeper Aynsley Pears on United's way to a third consecutive win.

As impressive as Pears was, Leeds should have added to their goal tally in a victory which sees them remain five points ahead of Fulham, who moved back up to third with a dramatic late win over Swansea City.

19:45Millwall 0-0 Birmingham 11209

Birmingham City shared the spoils with their former boss Gary Rowett for the second time this season as their trip to Millwall ended goalless.

Unlike the 1-1 draw at St Andrew's in late November, neither side could find the net this time, nor really looked much like doing so in a highly competitive scrap.

After an early miss by on-loan Scott Hogan, who beat the offside trap only to poke just wide, Kristian Pedersen's controversially disallowed second-half volley - for pushing by Blues defender Harlee Dean - was the closest either side came to scoring.

But it was still a 12th successive game without defeat - nine of them in the league - for Pep Clotet's men in yellow, which adds up to City's best run in eight years, since Chris Hughton's time in charge.

Birmingham climb a place to 14th, still four points behind 10th-placed Millwall and within 10 of sixth-placed Preston, with 11 games still to play. But it is probably too late for a play-off bid, as five of those nine games in this unbeaten league run have been draws.

19:45Sheff Wed1-0Charlton 21370

Steven Fletcher's last-gasp winner ended Sheffield Wednesday's near two-month Hillsborough goal drought and deepened Charlton's relegation worries.

Fletcher nodded the ball home from close range in the fifth minute of stoppage time to end Charlton's resistance and earn the Owls a first win in eight Championship attempts.

It had seemed the heroics of keeper Dillon Phillips would earn the struggling Addicks a point as he denied Fernando Forestieri and Fletcher on multiple occasions.

But, after Lyle Taylor hit the bar from 25 yards for Charlton, Fletcher popped up to leave the 18th-placed visitors just two points above the bottom three after Wigan's win at Reading.

Wednesday had not scored at home since 29 December, when Tom Lees netted in a 2-1 defeat by Cardiff, a dry spell that had contributed to a run of seven games without a win and all but ended any play-off hopes.

20:00Reading 0-3Wigan 10088

Wigan Athletic capped a dramatic couple of nights at the foot of the Championship table as they won at Reading to claim a second away victory in three games.

Just 24 hours after bottom club Luton Town beat Brentford, Barnsley matched that by winning at Hull - and Wigan became the third occupants of the bottom three to also capture maximum points.

Kieffer Moore set the Latics on their way on 23 minutes when he met Nathan Byrne's speculative right-wing cross with an astonishingly cheeky finish, coolly finding the bottom left corner with a stunning flick from the right corner of the six-yard box.

Jamal Lowe then made the points safe when he found the bottom right corner from a set-piece on 67 minutes, before a third goal from Michael Jacobs in the ninth minute of stoppage time caused by a bad injury to late substitute Chey Dunkley.

But the gloss was taken off Wigan's win by the suspected broken leg suffered by big defender Dunkley in a collision - just minutes after coming on. He was finally stretchered off following lengthy treatment before being taken straight to hospital.

Wigan, who have now suffered just one defeat in seven Championship matches, remain 22nd in the table but only on goal average.

Source Will Unwin at The Guardian/BBCSports
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