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Championship Matchday 26 Review

last updated Thursday 04th January 2018, 9:09 PM

Championship Matchday 26 Review
Championship Results - MatchDay 26
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Monday 1st January 2018
15:00 Bolton 1-0 Hull -
15:00 Derby 1-1 Sheff Utd  -
15:00 Leeds 0-0 N Forest Sky
15:00 Norwich 2-1 Millwall -
15:00 Preston 2-3 Middlesbrough -
15:00 QPR 2-1 Cardiff -
15:00 Sheff Wed 0-3 Burton -
15:00 Sunderland 0-1 Barnsley -
17:30 Aston Villa 5-0 Bristol C -
Tuesday 2nd January 2018
19:45 Fulham 4-1 Ipswich -
19:45 Wolves 3-0 Brentford -
20:00 Reading 0-2 Birmingham -
League Table
Wolves moved 12 points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-0 win over Brentford at Molineux.

Brentford had won all three of their previous Christmas games, but it rapidly became clear they would not make it four at Molineux.

Leon Clarke denied second placed Derby the chance to eat into Championship leaders Wolves' advantage as Sheffield United claimed a point at Pride Park.

Robert Snodgrass bagged a brace as Aston Villa made it two wins in three days after thrashing promotion hopefuls Bristol City 5-0.

City could have moved up to second in the standings with a win but they slip a place to fourth as Villa moved up to fifth.

Fourth-placed Cardiff were also unable to defend a lead and suffered a fourth defeat in a row as they went down 2-1 at lowly QPR.

Joe Ralls' 54th-minute spot-kick handed the visitors the lead, but Matt Smith levelled within eight minutes to set the stage for debutant Paul Smyth to win it with 18 minutes remaining.

Fulham closed up on the top six after coming from behind to beat 10-man Ipswich with a remarkable spell of four goals in seven second-half minutes at Craven Cottage.

Town took the lead just before half-time when Joe Garner nodded in a free-kick from Martyn Waghorn.

However, defender Jordan Spence was then shown a straight red card after 54 minutes for a late challenge on Aboubakar Kamara.

Fulham equalised on 69 minutes through Ryan Sessegnon and turned the match around just two minutes later when Kamara lashed in a loose ball.

It got worse for the Tractor Boys on 74 minutes when teenage wing-back Sessegnon helped himself to another at the far post, and then Kamara swiftly slotted in a fourth from 18 yards.

Fulham are now 10th, but only four points behind sixth-spotted Leeds.

At the other end of the table, Birmingham moved off the bottom with a 2-0 triumph at Reading. They traded places with Sunderland whose plight deepened as they slipped back into the bottom place after a 1-0 home defeat by Barnsley.

Sheffield Wednesday's dreadful run of form continued as they lost for the fifth time in six games at home to struggling Burton.

There was joy too for Bolton, who eased themselves out of the bottom three with a 1-0 victory over Hull with Gary Madine's first-half free-kick doing the damage.

In London Fulham, on 39 points, 4 points off the Play Off zone, go ahead of Brentfordon 37 points while Millwall and QPr languish just six points above the relagation zone on 30 points each.

Referees were slightly busier than normal with an average of nearly four yellows in each of the weekend's games. The busiest Ref was at Fulham where late substitute Keith Stroud booked three Fulham players, four Ipswich players and sent off Spence of Ipswich in the 54th minute

Monday 1st January 2018

15:00 Bolton 1-0 Hull -

Gary Madine lifted Bolton out of the Championship relegation places with the winner against fellow strugglers Hull.

Striker Madine beat goalkeeper Allan McGregor at his left-hand post with a fine free-kick from 25 yards, the game's first effort on goal.

Jarrod Bowen should have levelled immediately after the break, but hit the post with an empty goal to aim at.

Both sides had chances late on, but the Trotters did enough to hold on and move above Hull into 20th spot.

Defeat saw Hull City slip two places to 21st, leaving them just above the bottom three on goal difference.

Nigel Adkins' side are now winless in five matches, with the Tigers failing to triumph at Bolton in 21 games dating back to 1935.

15:00 Derby 1-1 Sheff Utd  -

Championship leading scorers Matej Vydra and Leon Clarke were both on target as promotion-chasing Derby and Sheffield United drew at Pride Park.

Vydra's sixth penalty from 14 goals this season put the Rams ahead and Andreas Weimann wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 at the break.

Relentless Blades pressure told when Clarke headed his 15th goal this term.

But despite staying on top, United were unable to end a dismal run which has seen them win just once in nine games.
Manager Chris Wilder guided the Blades to second in the table in November before an alarming sequence of results that has seen them slip to seventh.

Second-placed Derby would have moved within seven points of leaders Wolves with a victory and led from Vydra's cool penalty after George Baldock fouled Johnny Russell.

15:00 Leeds 0-0 N Forest Sky

Managerless Nottingham Forest held play-off hopefuls Leeds United to a goalless draw at Elland Road.

The hosts nearly took the lead when Kieran Dowell cleared Pontus Jansson's header off the line.

Kemar Roofe thundered an effort against the visitors' crossbar after the break following a brilliant run by Samu Saiz.

Forest, under caretaker Gary Brazil after Mark Warburton was sacked on Sunday, came closest when Ben Osborn's deflected strike flew just over.

Thomas Christiansen's men slipped to sixth after Aston Villa's thumping 5-0 win over Bristol City, while Forest are 14th.

15:00 Norwich 2-1 Millwall -

Norwich City came from behind to beat Millwall and extend their unbeaten run to three Championship games.

Steve Morison put the Lions ahead on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant half-volley from 30 yards.

The Canaries levelled through Tom Trybull's looping header from James Maddison's free-kick.

And after Josh Murphy hit the bar, the hosts secured the points when Maddison latched onto Alex Pritchard's through ball and found the bottom corner.

Millwall's poor away from continued, with the south-east London club now 13 games without a win away from The Den this season.

15:00 Preston 2-3 Middlesbrough -

Tony Pulis secured his first win as Middlesbrough manager as they ended Preston's nine-match unbeaten run.

Daniel Ayala's header put Boro ahead, but Preston levelled immediately through Callum Robinson.

Jordan Hugill's header made it 2-1 to the Lilywhites before the break and Tom Barkhuizen then hit the bar.

The visitors equalised through Jonny Howson's curling effort and Ayala crowned the comeback when he nodded in his second goal at the back post.

The Teessiders leapfrog Preston in the table and move up to eighth, two points off the play-off places.

Alex Neil's Lilywhites, meanwhile, suffered their fist defeat since losing to Ipswich on 4 November and are now winless in 12 league encounters with Middlesbrough stretching back to 1972.

15:00 QPR 2-1 Cardiff -

Paul Smyth marked his Queens Park Rangers debut with a brilliant winning goal against Cardiff City.

The 20-year-old Northern Irishman gathered Matt Smith's flick on to burst into the box and fire home.

Joe Ralls gave Cardiff the lead with a penalty after Callum Paterson had been bundled over by Jake Bidwell, but Smith hit back for QPR with a header.

Junior Hoilett thought he had rescued a draw for Cardiff, who were furious his effort was flagged for offside.

The Bluebirds remain fourth despite now having lost four successive Championship games - the worst run for manager Neil Warnock for nine years.

15:00 Sheff Wed 0-3 Burton -

Burton recorded their third successive away win at the expense of managerless Sheffield Wednesday.

The visitors missed a great chance to open the scoring when Owls goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith saved Lucas Akins' penalty in the eighth minute.

Tom Flanagan gave the Brewers the lead when he broke through some weak tackles before finishing well.

Lloyd Dyer raced clear to slot home and Tom Naylor tapped in an Akins cross to wrap up the victory after the break.

Despite recording a third win in five games, Nigel Clough's side remain in the bottom three after Bolton and Barnsley also registered victories.

Burton are now level on points with 21st-placed Hull City, while Wednesday are 16th and six points above the relegation zone.

15:00 Sunderland 0-1 Barnsley -

Sunderland slumped back into the relegation places as fellow strugglers Barnsley began 2018 by winning for the first time in 11 Championship matches.

Centre-back Ethan Pinnock scored for the second game in a row, heading home a corner early in the second half.

The visitors made a good start to the game with forward Mamadou Thiam rattling the crossbar from 25 yards.

Bryan Oviedo hit the post with a free-kick in reply, but Pinnock's goal was enough to give the Tykes three points.

The win was only their third in an away game at Sunderland, and saw them complete a seasonal double over the Black Cats for the first time since the 1986-87 season.

17:30 Aston Villa 5-0 Bristol C -

Aston Villa achieved their biggest win of the season against Bristol City to go fifth in the Championship table.

Scott Hogan netted a superb looping header and, although Luke Steele denied him an almost identical second, Robert Snodgrass tapped in the rebound.

Jack Grealish scampered clear to create Snodgrass' second after half-time.

Against a tiring Bristol City side, Alan Hutton set up Birkir Bjarnason for Villa's fourth and Conor Hourihane's deflected shot completed the rout.

The visitors fell to only their fifth league defeat of the campaign, and their second in succession, as they failed to capitalise on results elsewhere earlier in the day.

With the exception of runaway leaders Wolves, who host Brentford on Tuesday, none of the teams who started 2018 in the Championship's top six were victorious on New Year's Day.

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

19:45 Fulham 4-1 Ipswich -

Fulham scored four times in seven second-half minutes to come from behind and beat 10-man Ipswich Town.

Ipswich took the lead when Joe Garner glanced in Martyn Waghorn's free-kick.

After Jordan Spence was sent off for a foul on Aboubakar Kamara, Ryan Sessegnon pounced on Neeskens Kebano's mis-hit shot to equalise.

Kamara reacted first to a deflection and added another with a solo run, while Tom Cairney set up Sessegnon for his second in between.

Both teams went into the game in mid-table on 36 points and Fulham, who have now won six of their past nine matches, closed the gap on the play-off places to four points and leapfrogged Ipswich into 10th.

The Cottagers have not lost at home since a 2-0 defeat by Bristol City on 31 October.

19:45 Wolves 3-0 Brentford -

Runaway Championship leaders Wolves surged 12 points clear with three second-half goals to see off play-off hopefuls Brentford.

After a string of first-half near misses, Wolves had to wait 57 minutes to take the lead from a superb Ruben Neves right-foot free-kick.

Two minutes later, Barry Douglas thumped home with his right foot from Ivan Cavaleiro's low right-wing cross.

Diogo Jota scrambled in a late third from a prone position on the ground.

Brentford had won all three of their previous Christmas games, but it rapidly became clear they would have a tough job on their hands to make it four at Molineux.

20:00 Reading 0-2 Birmingham -

Birmingham City moved off the bottom of the Championship table with a superb win at Reading that increases the pressure on Royals manager Jaap Stam.

Jacques Maghoma slammed in the opener for Blues, who ended a six-game winless sequence by beating Leeds on Saturday.

Sam Gallagher's cool finish after half-time extended Reading's own run without a victory to six matches.

Birmingham, who scored two in a league game for only the second time in 2017-18, leapfrog Sunderland to go 23rd.

Steve Cotterill's side are only one point off 21st-placed Hull City after recording back-to-back league wins for the first time since November 2016.

Matchday 26 table
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Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 27
KO Home   Away TV
Friday 12th January 2018
19:45 Sheff Utd v Sheff Wed Sky
Saturday 13th January 2018
12:30 Cardiff v Sunderland Sky
15:00 Barnsley v Wolves -
15:00 Birmingham v Derby -
15:00 Brentford v Bolton -
15:00 Bristol C v Norwich -
15:00 Burton v QPR -
15:00 Hull v Reading -
15:00 Ipswich v Leeds -
15:00 Middlesbrough v Fulham -
15:00 Millwall v Preston -
17:30 N. Forest v Aston Villa Sky
League Table

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