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Championship MatchDay 23 review

last updated Tuesday 24th December 2019, 2:47 PM

Match Day 23 saw upsets for the top two with Leeds suffering defeat, West Brom being held to a draw at home and Fulham returning to winning ways.

Championship table - 24th December 2019
    HOME   AWAY  
  Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Brom 23 6 5 0 29 16 8 3 1 17 8 22 50
2 Leeds 23 7 3 1 18 7 7 2 3 18 8 21 47
3 Sheff Wed 23 6 4 1 13 7 5 2 5 21 13 14 39
4 Fulham 23 7 2 3 23 14 4 3 4 12 11 10 38
5 Preston 23 9 2 1 29 13 2 3 6 6 14 8 38
6 Brentford 23 6 3 2 19 7 5 1 6 15 11 16 37
7 Swansea 23 5 2 5 16 15 5 5 1 14 12 3 37
8 Blackburn 23 6 4 2 15 10 4 1 6 15 18 2 35
9 Bristol C 23 4 4 3 16 14 5 4 3 18 19 1 35
10 N Forest 22 4 2 4 10 11 5 5 2 18 12 5 34
11 Hull 23 6 2 4 21 14 3 4 4 16 17 6 33
12 Cardiff 23 7 3 1 18 9 1 6 5 16 23 2 33
13 Millwall 23 5 4 2 17 13 3 5 4 12 17 -1 33
14 QPR 23 4 4 4 21 24 5 1 5 16 20 -7 32
15 Birmingham 23 5 2 4 13 12 3 2 7 11 22 -10 28
16 Reading 22 5 0 6 17 16 2 5 4 11 11 1 26
17 Derby 23 5 5 2 14 9 1 3 7 7 22 -10 26
18 Charlton 23 4 3 5 15 14 2 4 5 15 18 -2 25
19 Huddersfield 23 3 4 5 12 15 3 3 5 14 20 -9 25
20 Middlesbrough 23 5 4 3 11 11 0 5 6 10 21 -11 24
21 Luton 23 4 2 5 16 17 2 0 10 12 30 -19 20
22 Barnsley 23 3 5 4 21 24 1 2 8 10 22 -15 19
23 Wigan 23 4 3 4 11 14 0 4 8 9 21 -15 19
24 Stoke 23 3 2 7 14 18 2 1 8 11 19 -12 18
Results Table Fixtures
Fulham midfielder Josh Onomah’s first goal since Christmas 2017 rekindled Fulham’s automatic promotion hopes with a crucial home win over second placed Leeds United . Onomah’s clinical finish in the 69th minute and Aleksandar Mitrovic's seventh minute penalty moved them to within nine points of their opponents and halted Leeds’s 11-game unbeaten run. Fulham moved up to fourth in the table.

Chmpionship leaders West Brom blew a chance chance to go five points clear when they were held by Brentford. Henrik Dalsgaard’s 43rd-minute goal put Brentford a goal up only for it to be cancelled out by a Darnell Furlong’s header in the 45th minute.

Preston’s goalless draw with Cardiff allowed both Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday to leapfrog the hosts  Alex Neil’s team dominated the match but could not find a winner.

Swansea, a place behind Brentford, finished the Match Day in seventh spot after their 1-0 win at Luton, courtesy of a fourth goal in three games from André Ayew. Defeat leaves Luton just a place above the bottom three.

Huddersfield, who had won only one of their previous seven matches, beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. Christopher Schindler’s left-foot hook and Steve Mounie’s header put the Terriers ahead before Joe Worrall’s header gave Forest hope of getting back into the game. It took some Kamil Grabara heroics in Huddersfield’s goal to preserve a vital three points.

There was late drama in the London derby between QPR and Charlton when Naby Sarr scored a 95th-minute equaliser for the Addicks. That was a second equaliser for Lee Bowyer’s team, still without a win in 11 matches.

Middlesbrough came from a goal down to beat fellow strugglers Stoke 2-1 on Friday night. Jonathan Woodgate's men move up to 18th as a result of their second win in four games, while Stoke remain two points adrift of safety and bottom of the Championship, having won just twice on the road all season.

Barnsley climbed off the bottom after another London late show, as they won 2-1 at Millwall. Patrick Schmidt’s header in time added on took all three points for the Tykes.

Wigan also moved off the foot of the Championship, leapfrogging Stoke, after a goalless draw at Ewood Park. Blackburn also lost top scorer Bradley Dack to what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

Championship MatchDay 23 Wrap-up
Friday 20th December 2019


Middlesbrough fought back against Stoke City to earn a third straight home win and move six points clear of the Potters and the Championship relegation zone.

A dull match came to life in a vibrant second half, triggered by Sam Clucas' opening goal on the rebound for Stoke.

Boro struck back quickly through Ashley Fletcher's header from Jonny Howson's ball over the top, and 14 minutes later Lewis Wing lashed in powerfully from 25 yards to inflict a fourth defeat in six games on the visitors.

Stoke, who have lost five of their past six away matches, are two points from safety and will spend Christmas in the bottom three.

Championship MatchDay 23  Wrap-up
Saturday 21st December 2019


Preston were forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite a dominant display in the Welsh capital against Cardiff City.

The hosts failed to register a shot on target until stoppage time as Preston showed why they are looking like promotion contenders in this stalemate.

Midfielder Alan Browne missed the visitors' best opportunity.

The draw sees Cardiff move up to 11th while Preston remain third in the Championship.


Fulham halted their three-match losing streak by ending Leeds United's 11-game unbeaten run to move up to third in the table.
Championship MatchDay 23 ~ Results
Friday 20th December 2019
Saturday 21st December 2019
15:00Huddersfield2-1N Forest22529
15:00QPR2-2Charlton 16166
15:00West Brom1-1Brentford24961
Sunday 22nd December 2019
12:00Sheff Wed1-0Bristol City23180
Monday 23rd December 2019
19:45Blackburn 0-0Wigan 18726
Results Table Fixtures

The Championship's top scorer, Aleksandar Mitrovic, netted his 17th league goal of the season from the spot to give the hosts the lead.

Leeds levelled after the break through Patrick Bamford's tap-in on the rebound from substitute Eddie Nketiah's strike.

Josh Onomah smashed in the winner - his first goal of the season - after the ball fell kindly for him from a corner, moving Fulham nine points behind the second-placed visitors.

Leeds had not lost since 5 October but threw away a 3-0 lead to draw with Cardiff in their previous game - a result that ended a seven-match winning run.

The result, coupled with leaders West Bromwich Albion's draw with Brentford, saw Leeds drop three points behind the Baggies.

15:00Huddersfield2-1N Forest22529

Huddersfield Town boss Danny Cowley accused Nottingham Forest's staff of showing "a lack of respect" and said the Reds "wanted to kick us" after seeing his side edge a fractious match.

The Terriers secured a second victory in three games to extend Forest's winless run to five thanks to a set-piece goal either side of the interval and the win takes them six points clear of the relegation places.

Christopher Schindler's fierce volley opened the scoring before tempers boiled over at the end of an increasingly niggly first period, with Cowley and Reds counterpart Sabri Lamouchi confronting each other amid ugly scenes near the tunnel.

Steve Mounie's header added to the Forest frustration when he doubled the lead within five minutes of the restart and they held on for victory after Joe Worrall's header made it 2-1, before further confrontations followed between players and staff at the end.


Hull City gave some festive cheer to their fans with a thumping win against Birmingham City that puts them in the pack of Championship play-off chasers going into the Christmas period.

After a slow start, it looked as though the first half would finish level but Tom Eaves, back in the side following concussion, steered in a header in first-half stoppage time for the opener.

Kamil Grosicki added a second in the second period, latching on to a beauty of a through-ball from Jarrod Bowen and coolly lofting the ball over Connal Trueman.

Substitute Keane Lewis-Potter came on and added a late third to boost the Tigers' goal difference, and leave them just four points off the top six.

Birmingham have now lost three games in a row for the second time this season and are 15th in the table, nine points adrift of the top six.


Championship MatchDay 24 ~ Fixtures
Thursday 26th December 2019
15:00Barnsley West Brom 
12:30Blackburn Birmingham  
15:00Brentford Swansea Sky
15:00Cardiff Millwall Sky
15:00Charlton Bristol CitySky
15:00Hull N Forest 
15:00Luton Fulham Sky
15:00Middlesbrough Huddersfield  
15:00Stoke Sheff Wed 
15:00Wigan Derby  
17:15Leeds Preston Sky
19:30Reading QPR Sky
Results Table Fixtures
wansea City climbed back into the Championship play-off places as Andre Ayew struck a late winner at struggling Luton Town.

Despite chances at both ends, an open first half somehow ended goalless.

Swansea dominated the second, with Ayew, George Byers and Bersant Celina among those to come close to scoring.

But with eight minutes left, Ayew chested in from Jay Fulton's deflected cross to score a fourth goal in his past three outings.

A second successive victory lifts Swansea up to sixth place in the Championship table, while Luton stay 21st, albeit now only one point clear of the relegation zone.

This was a 10th defeat for the Hatters from 13 league fixtures.


Patrick Schmidt's late goal gave Barnsley their second win in a row as they won at Millwall to move off the bottom of the Championship.

Conor Chaplin opened the scoring in the 40th minute, striking a superb first-time finish from a low cross by Jacob Brown.

But Millwall looked to have broken the visiting fans' hearts when they equalised in the 85th minute after Matt Smith's header was turned in by Aiden O'Brien on the line.

However, Tykes substitute Luke Thomas stole the ball from Jed Wallace in stoppage-time before crossing to Schmidt, whose header gave Barnsley all three points and only their fourth win of the season.

Millwall were unbeaten in their previous seven league games (W4 D3)

15:00QPR2-2Charlton 16166

Naby Sarr scored deep into injury-time to earn Charlton Athletic a precious point in a derby draw with Queens Park Rangers, although their winless run still moves on to 11 games.

The Addicks twice had to come from behind in the first meeting of the sides since April 2016, as Lyle Taylor nudged the ball past Joe Lumley on his first start since August to cancel out Geoff Cameron's opener when Charlton failed to clear a Eberechi Eze free-kick.

Marc Pugh, having combined with impact substitute Bright Osei-Samuel to restore the lead, looked to have won it for Rangers with his goal 20 minutes from time.

But Sarr, pushed up front in desperation by away boss Lee Bowyer, pounced on a sloppy back-header by the home defence and kept his cool to beat Lumley five minutes into time added on.

The draw leaves Charlton six points above the bottom three, while Rangers went from just three points away from Swansea in sixth, to five points adrift.


Charlie Adam netted his first goal in just under two years as Reading cruised past 10-men Derby in the Championship.

Last man Scott Malone was sent off in only the third minute for bringing down Yakou Meite in the penalty area, with veteran midfielder Adam calmly converting the spot-kick.

Lucas Joao doubled Reading's lead early in the second half after latching on to substitute John Swift's smart pass.

The hosts rounded off their win with three minutes remaining when Meite also netted from the spot after Lucas was forced over by Craig Forsyth.

Derby have failed to win away from home since their opening weekend victory at Huddersfield and are now in 17th spot below Reading in 16th due to their goal difference.

15:00West Brom1-1Brentford24961

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic described being top of the Championship at Christmas as "great, but a big obligation" after his side moved three points clear following a 1-1 draw with Brentford.

The Baggies stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games, but had to settle for a point at The Hawthorns after an enterprising first-half showing by the Bees.

The visitors were rewarded when Henrik Dalsgaard put them ahead with a glancing header from Mathias Jensen's corner, but full-back Darnell Furlong equalised in similar fashion in added time.

Albion's Jake Livermore and Kyle Edwards forced saves from David Raya after half-time, and 'super-sub' Charlie Austin had a goal ruled out for offside late on, but that was as close as they came to a winner.

Despite the result, Bilic's side moved further clear at the summit because of Leeds' defeat at Fulham, with the Bees dropping a place to fifth, also as a consequence of the result at Craven Cottage.

Championship MatchDay 23  Wrap-up
Sunday 22nd December 2019

12:00Sheff Wed1-0Bristol City23180

Sheffield Wednesday climbed to third in the Championship as an 85th-minute penalty saw them beat Bristol City and extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Barry Bannan sent Robins keeper Daniel Bentley the wrong way from the spot to settle a largely drab encounter.

The midfielder was given the chance after Tommy Rowe had pushed over Atdhe Nuhiu just inside the box. The visitors chased an equaliser but Wednesday held firm to inflict a third straight defeat on Lee Johnson's team.

Championship MatchDay 23  Wrap-up
Monday 23rd December 2019

19:45Blackburn 0-0Wigan 18726

Blackburn lost top scorer Bradley Dack to what appeared to be a serious knee injury as Wigan moved off the foot of the Championship with a goalless draw at Ewood Park.

Dack, who has scored nine league goals for Rovers this season, had to be taken off on a stretcher after going down clutching his knee on the touchline midway through the second half.

Rovers could have snatched all three points soon after as Danny Graham's header hit the bar, but the draw extended their unbeaten run to seven games and moved them up two places to eighth.

Both sides created countless chances to win it in a thrilling late finale but Rovers stopper Christian Walton and his Wigan counterpart Jamie Jones each made several fine saves to keep the score blank.

Source John Brewin at The Guardian/BBCSport
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