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Championship MatchDay 28 review

last updated Tuesday 21st January 2020, 4:58 PM

Match Day 28 in the Championship saw Fulham jump up to third, leapfrogging Brentford in the process, and finish just four points outside the automatic promotion places due to beating inform Middlesbrough and other favourable results.

Championship table - 21st January2020
    HOME   AWAY  
  Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Brom 28 6 6 2 30 20 8 5 1 20 11 19 53
2 Leeds 28 7 4 2 19 10 8 3 4 24 14 19 52
3 Fulham 28 9 2 4 26 16 5 4 4 16 14 12 48
4 Brentford 28 8 3 2 25 9 6 2 7 19 12 23 47
5 N Forest 27 7 2 4 17 14 6 6 2 21 13 11 47
6 Swansea 28 7 3 5 19 16 5 6 2 15 15 3 45
7 Millwall 28 8 4 2 23 14 3 7 4 13 18 4 44
8 Bristol C 28 6 4 4 20 18 6 4 4 22 22 2 44
9 Preston 28 10 2 3 31 18 2 5 6 8 16 5 43
10 Sheff Wed 28 6 4 4 14 15 6 2 6 25 16 8 42
11 Blackburn 28 6 6 2 17 12 5 1 8 23 23 5 40
12 Hull 28 6 2 6 21 17 5 4 5 19 19 4 39
13 Cardiff 28 7 5 1 19 10 2 7 6 20 31 -2 39
14 QPR 28 6 4 5 29 27 5 1 7 17 24 -5 38
15 Derby 28 8 5 2 19 11 1 5 7 10 25 -7 37
16 Reading 27 6 1 6 19 17 4 5 5 15 14 3 36
17 Middlesbrough 28 6 5 3 14 13 2 5 7 14 22 -7 34
18 Birmingham 28 5 3 6 20 21 4 3 7 14 24 -11 33
19 Charlton 28 5 4 5 20 18 2 4 8 17 23 -4 29
20 Huddersfield 28 4 5 6 16 21 3 3 7 15 23 -13 29
21 Stoke 28 4 3 7 17 20 4 1 9 17 22 -8 28
22 Barnsley 28 4 6 4 24 26 1 3 10 11 25 -16 24
23 Wigan 28 4 4 5 12 17 1 4 10 13 26 -18 23
24 Luton 28 4 3 6 20 22 2 0 13 14 39 -27 21
Results Table Fixtures
West Brom missed the chance to extend their lead at the top  as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Stoke on Monday night. West Brom are still top but the defeat signalled a continuation of their alarming recent drop in form. Leaving them just one win in eight games

Leeds missed a chance to top the table in the Saturdays’s early kick-off, falling to a controversial 1-0 defeat by QPR. The winning goal, midway through the first half, came after the ball struck QPR's Wells on both arms before he stroked it home.

Fulham moved to within four points of the automatic promotion places after Anthony Knockaert's close-range finish secured a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage.

Promotion-chasing Brentford were held to a frustrating goalless draw against lowly Huddersfield. Victory would have seen the ambitious Bees climb above rivals Fulham into third place but it was not to be.

Nottingham Forest's push for promotion continued after a 3-1 victory over Luton on Sunday and extended their unbeaten run to five games rising to fifth in the table, five points back from second place. Meanwhile, Luton's troubles continue as they stay bottom, four points adrift of safety after a run of eight games without a win.

On-loan Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster helped Swansea climb into the play-off places in their 2-1 victory against Wigan at the Liberty Stadium, with his first goal for the club since joining earlier this month helping to take them sixth. Wigan remain stuck in the drop zone.

Millwall beat Reading 2-0 at the New Den to take that seventh spot with the help of former Fulham striker Matt Smith

Niclas Eliasson struck an 87th-minute winner as Bristol City maintained their push for a Sky Bet Championship play-off spot with a 1-0 victory over Barnsley at Ashton Gate. Barnsley are stuck in the relegation zone four points off safety

Championship MatchDay 28  Wrap-up
Friday 17th January 2020

19:45Fulham 1-0Middlesbrough 18375

Fulham moved up to third in the Championship as Anthony Knockaert's early goal gave them victory over in-form Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage.

Championship MatchDay 28 ~ Results
Friday 17th January 2020
19:45Fulham 1-0Middlesbrough 18375
Saturday 18th January 2020
12:30QPR 1-0Leeds16049
15:00Birmingham 1-1Cardiff 20482
15:00Bristol City1-0Barnsley 20570
15:00Derby 1-0Hull 27412
15:00Huddersfield 0-0Brentford 20874
15:00Preston 2-1Charlton 12358
15:00Sheff Wed0-5Blackburn 23504
15:00Swansea 2-1Wigan 15659
Sunday 19th January 2020
12:00N Forest 3-1Luton 27081
Monday 20th January 2020
20:00West Brom 0-1Stoke 23199
Results Table Fixtures
Knockaert capped a blistering opening half an hour from the hosts with what proved to be the winner, meeting Joe Bryan's low fizzing cross to tap home at the far post.

It was the least Fulham deserved for their relentless first-half pressure, with the absence of injured top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic perhaps telling as Scott Parker's side squandered at least three gilt-edged opportunities.

Ivan Cavaleiro and Josh Onomah were most guilty, both failing to hit the target when well placed, while Denis Odoi deflected Hayden Coulson's cross on to his own crossbar on a rare foray forward from Boro.

The contest was much tighter after half-time, although Odoi thought he had made the game safe when his glancing header found the corner of the net - only to be flagged offside by the barest of margins.

But Fulham were able to see the game out relatively comfortably to leapfrog Brentford and close the gap to the automatic promotion places to four points.

The result also checks Middlesbrough's recent resurgence, with defeat in west London their first in six league matches, after they had clawed themselves clear of relegation trouble.

Championship MatchDay 28  Wrap-up
Saturday 18th January 2020

12:30QPR 1-0Leeds16049

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa denied that nerves were affecting his team after they lost at QPR to miss the chance to go top of the Championship.

Nahki Wells' controversial first-half goal earned QPR all three points over a Leeds side that finished with 10 men after Kalvin Phillips' late sending off.

Bielsa's side also saw Patrick Bamford's second-half penalty saved as they slipped to back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season.

But they were rightly aggrieved by QPR's winner as Eberechi Eze's free-kick struck both of Wells' arms before he tapped into the net from six yards.

Leeds dominated possession in the second half but were unable to force an equaliser, with Pablo Hernandez hitting the post with a free-kick as their poor record in London was extended to one win in their past 19 visits to the capital.

And they ended the game a man short as midfielder Phillips was shown a straight red card for a reckless late challenge on Geoff Cameron. Phillips now faces a three-game ban.

Leeds remain a point behind leaders West Brom, but the gap between them and the play-off spots remains four points

15:00Birmingham 1-1Cardiff 20482

Cardiff City fought back to earn a point at St Andrew's as Lee Tomlin's second-half header earned the Bluebirds a share of the spoils.

Highly-rated teenager Jude Bellingham swept the hosts into an early lead.

Birmingham were much the better side in the first period but physical Cardiff improved markedly after half-time.

Cardiff slip to 13th, five points off the Championship play-off berths, while Pep Clotet's Blues remain 18th, nine points clear of trouble.

15:00Bristol City1-0Barnsley 20570

Bristol City boosted their play-off chances as Niclas Eliasson's goal gave them victory over Barnsley at Ashton Gate.

Championship MatchDay 29 ~ Fixtures
Tuesday 21st January 2020
19:45Barnsley Preston  
19:45Middlesbrough Birmingham  
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Home Away TV
19:45Charlton Fulham Sky
19:45N Forest Reading  
Results Table Fixtures
Winger Eliasson kept his composure to pick his spot in the 87th minute following Jay Dasilva's superb surging run and cross as Gerhard Struber's Tykes suffered only their second defeat in eight games.

The Robins hit the woodwork twice in the opening half, but Barnsley showed plenty of enterprise with Conor Chaplin forcing a superb save from Daniel Bentley.

Luke Thomas jabbed wide from five yards after a mis-hit shot fell to him and recent recruit Marcel Ritzmaier almost put the Tykes ahead after the break, only for his chip to strike the crossbar.

City's win lifts them up a place to eighth, below Nottingham Forest in sixth on goal difference only, while Barnsley remain 22nd, a point below Stoke - who have a game hand.

15:00Derby 1-0Hull 27412

Derby County put a difficult week off the pitch behind them as they stretched their unbeaten run to five Championship games with a narrow win against Hull.

Matt Clarke headed in unmarked from a Tom Lawrence corner midway through the second half for the only goal of the game.

Hull spurned their best chance in the first half when Jarrod Bowen somehow failed to hit the target from eight yards out when left unmarked.

It was the first game since Derby were charged with a breach of spending rules by the English Football League, with a potential points deduction hanging over them.

The club responded on Friday by saying the charge relating to losses made in the three years up to June of 2018 is "unlawful" and that it will be "vigorously contested".

15:00Huddersfield 0-0Brentford 20874

Brentford missed the chance to climb to third in the Championship as they were held to a draw at Huddersfield Town, who ended a run of three defeats in a row in all competitions.

Kamil Grabara twice denied Said Benrahma as the London club threatened, while Trevoh Chalobah headed over the crossbar in reply before the break.

Karlan Grant fired over for a pumped-up Terriers following the resumption, and debutant Emile Smith Rowe saw efforts blocked by some stubborn defending.

Josh Dasilva hit the post with a late effort for Thomas Frank's side, but the Bees had to settle for a point.

With Leeds losing at QPR and West Brom not playing until Monday, this was a missed opportunity for the visitors to move two points off the automatic promotion places.

However, for only the third time in 12 games, the division's second-highest scorers were unable to add to their tally of 44 goals, and remain fourth below west London rivals Fulham.

15:00Preston 2-1Charlton 12358

Former Charlton defender Patrick Bauer scored the winner to end Preston's three-game losing streak at Deepdale.

Bauer rose highest to head home in the 52nd minute to move North End up a place to ninth in the Championship.

Josh Harrop's stunning equaliser had brought the home side level after Charlton took an early lead through Andre Green, on loan at Preston earlier in the season, from close range.

Green turned in Alfie Doughty's low cross but it was Harrop who turned the game round.

Harrop, who had scored in his previous two games, first picked up the ball on the right of the visitors' box before curling home with his left foot.

And it was his delivery from a corner that led to Bauer's winner.

The defeat left Charlton in 19th, five points above the relegation places.

15:00Sheff Wed0-5Blackburn 23504

Sheffield Wednesday saw their promotion chances severely dented as Blackburn inflicted an emphatic home defeat on Garry Monk's side.

Rovers were 3-0 up by half-time courtesy of a Lewis Holtby double and a Cameron Dawson own goal.

Massimo Luongo picked up a straight red card shortly after Holtby's first and by the interval, a number of Wednesday fans had seen enough and made for the exits.

Darragh Lenihan volleyed in a sumptuous fourth goal early in the second half for Rovers and Sam Gallagher made it five in stoppage time.

It was some way for Rovers to end a run of six games without a win in all competitions.

Wednesday, who remain sixth despite the defeat, have now lost four of their past five league games and their last three at home.

15:00Swansea 2-1Wigan 15659

Swansea returned to the Championship play-off places, coming from behind to beat relegation-threatened Wigan.

Wigan took an early lead when Nathan Byrne smartly finished a counter-attack.

Swansea levelled two minutes later as Conor Gallagher set up fellow loanee Rhian Brewster to score his first goal since joining from Liverpool.

The Swans pushed for a winner in the second half and Andre Ayew provided it with a cheeky backheel.

The result lifts Swansea up to fifth place in the Championship, while Wigan remain second from bottom of the table, still two points away from safety.

Championship MatchDay 28  Wrap-up
Sunday 19th January 2020

12:00N Forest 3-1Luton 27081

Joe Lolley helped lift Nottingham Forest to within five points of the automatic promotion places after scoring twice as they came from behind to beat Luton Town.

A fine low finish from Hatters forward Harry Cornick, who met Dan Potts' cross, gave the Championship's bottom side a deserved lead after they had piled early pressure on the high-flying hosts.

Simon Sluga's failure to deal with a tame shot from Lolley, which squeezed in at the near post, allowed Forest back into the game, although the Croatian goalkeeper did atone when he saved well from a Joe Worrall header to ensure it remained all square at the break.

There, however, was no stopping Lolley's second as the forward cut in off the right wing before unleashing a swerving shot that left Luton facing a 10th successive league defeat away from home.

Lewis Grabban then took his goal tally to 15 for the season, adding a late third from the penalty spot after Sonny Bradley blocked a Tiago Silva free-kick with his arm.

Forest's fourth win in a five-game unbeaten run took them to fifth in the table, equal on points with fourth-placed Brentford. Sabri Lamouchi's side also have a game in hand on three of the sides above them, the exception being league leaders West Brom who host Stoke City on Monday night.

Championship MatchDay 28  Wrap-up
Monday 20th January 2020

20:00West Brom 0-1Stoke 23199

Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion squandered the chance to go four points clear at the top as relegation-threatened Stoke City held on for victory at The Hawthorns.

The Potters pulled off the best win so far of new manager Michael O'Neill's brief reign after Tyrese Campbell's early goal lifted the lowly Potters four points above the bottom three.

Hampered by the early loss of on-loan creative influence Grady Diangana, the Baggies were blunted by a disciplined defensive display from the visitors.

Albion simply did not create enough good chances and, when they did threaten, too many shots were off target and England international goalkeeper Jack Butland was in commanding form.

Despite losing Campbell on 26 minutes with a hamstring injury, his fifth goal in nine league games was enough for the Potters to continue this season's record of winning when the 20-year-old scores.

Source Luke McLaughlin at The Guardian/BBCSport
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