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Championship MatchDay 36 review

last updated Wednesday 04th March 2020, 11:49 AM

Match Day 36 in the Championship saw Fulham forced to scrap for everything early on in a highly competitive and rain-lashed encounter against Preston North End at Craven Cottage. But when David Nugent’s attempted clearance header ballooned into the net on 58 minutes, it proved decisive. Aboubakar Kamara added gloss with an injury-time goal as Scott Parker’s side maintained momentum in their promotion push with a second straight victory.

Championship table - 3rd March 2020
    HOME   AWAY  
  Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Brom 36 8 7 3 36 23 11 5 2 28 14 27 69
2 Leeds 36 10 4 3 24 13 10 4 5 30 17 24 68
3 Fulham 36 12 2 5 32 21 6 7 4 19 16 14 63
4 N Forest 36 8 4 5 20 16 8 8 3 28 19 13 60
5 Brentford 36 9 5 3 31 15 7 4 8 28 18 26 57
6 Preston 36 11 3 4 34 21 5 5 8 15 21 7 56
7 Bristol C 36 7 4 6 24 26 8 5 6 26 26 -2 54
8 Blackburn 36 8 8 3 24 16 6 3 8 28 26 10 53
9 Swansea 36 8 4 6 24 20 5 9 4 22 25 1 52
10 Millwall 36 8 7 3 25 18 4 8 6 16 22 1 51
11 Cardiff 36 8 8 2 26 17 4 7 7 24 33 0 51
12 Sheff Wed 36 7 5 6 16 21 6 4 8 30 23 2 48
13 Derby 36 9 7 2 25 13 3 5 10 21 36 -3 48
14 QPR 36 8 5 6 37 33 5 3 9 18 28 -6 47
15 Birmingham 36 6 5 6 26 26 6 6 7 21 28 -7 47
16 Reading 36 7 2 9 23 24 5 7 6 20 17 2 45
17 Huddersfield 36 7 5 7 24 25 4 4 9 21 31 -11 42
18 Hull 36 6 3 10 27 33 5 5 7 21 25 -10 41
19 Wigan 36 6 5 6 18 22 4 5 10 20 28 -12 40
20 Charlton 36 7 5 6 25 22 3 4 11 19 31 -9 39
21 Stoke 36 7 3 8 24 23 4 3 11 20 31 -10 39
22 Middlesbrough 36 6 8 5 18 19 2 6 9 18 28 -11 38
23 Barnsley 36 5 7 6 26 31 3 3 12 16 29 -18 34
24 Luton 36 7 4 7 27 27 3 0 15 16 44 -28 34
Results Table Fixtures
Table topping West Brom slumped to a damaging 1-0 home defeat against relegation candidates Wigan Athletic. Sam Morsy’s composed second-half finish hoisted Wigan out of the relegation places and left West Brom one point above Leeds and six points above third placed Fulham.

In the Saturday lunchtime game Leeds crushed Hull City 4-0 Tyler Roberts double helped Leeds hammer sorry Hull and close the gap at the top.

Lewis Grabban's smart finish earned Nottingham Forest a late point against Middlesbrough as they drew 2-2 at the Riverside. It was a good end to the game for Forest who are now eight points behind Leeds in second and three off of Fulham in third.

After a winless spell of four matches, promotion-chasing Brentford looked well set to claim maximum points at Cardiff City, two first-half goals putting them firmly in control. But Cardiff levelled at 2-2 by the end of the first half and Brentford remain fifth in the table six points behind Fulham.

In Bristol City's latest trip to London ended in a 1-1 draw at Millwall. Pedro Pereira’s fine first-time finish for Bristol City opened the scoring at the New Den against Millwall. Former Fulham striker Matt Smith’s header claimed a point. City remain seventh, nine points and seven places below Fulham.

Championship MatchDay 36 ~ Results
Saturday 29th February 2020
12:30Hull 0-4Leeds 16178
15:00Blackburn 2-2Swansea 13099
15:00Cardiff 2-2Brentford 22393
15:00Fulham 2-0Preston 19020
15:00Huddersfield 4-0Charlton 21539
15:00Luton 1-1Stoke 10070
15:00Millwall 1-1Bristol City13584
15:00QPR 2-2Birmingham 14113
15:00Reading 2-0Barnsley 13263
15:00Sheff Wed1-3Derby 25148
15:00West Brom0-1Wigan24942
Monday 2nd March 2020
K.OHome Res Away Att
19:45Middlesbrough 2-2N Forest 18884
Results Table Fixtures
André Ayew’s 14th goal of the season clinched three points for Swansea City after Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster was on target again to bring them level against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Swansea climbed to ninth as a result.

At Hillsborough, home fans were heading for the exits before half-time, as Derby County stormed into a 3-0 lead against hapless Sheffield Wednesday. Josh Windass restored some respectability to the scoreline 16 minutes from time. The victory draws the Rams level on the Owls on 48 points in mid-table.

Scott Hogan’s double for Birmingham City snatched a point in a 2-2 draw away at QPR. Hogan had put City ahead on 24 minutes before Marc Pugh and Jordan Hugil turned the tables for the Rangers. QPR drop one place to 14th.

Huddersfield grabbed three points to ease their relegation fears by thrashing Charlton Athletic 4-0. Huddersfield are now four points above the relegation zone while Charlton are now just one point above the trap door.

Barnsley's fight against relegation from the Championship suffered a setback when they were beaten 2-0 at Reading. Barnsley wasted several chances to level in the first half, most notably through leading marksman Cauley Woodrow formerly of Fulham.

Luton Town hit back dramatically against Stoke City with an injury-time penalty scored by James Collins to nab a point. Sam Vokes had been fed by Joe Allen to put Stoke ahead early on. The point still left them in the drop zone five points from safety.

Championship MatchDay 36 Wrap-up
Saturday 29th February 2020

12:30Hull 0-4Leeds 16178

Leeds United further strengthened their grip on a place in the Championship's top two with a fourth successive victory against out-of-form Hull City.

The Whites remain five points clear of Fulham, who beat Preston North End later on Saturday, and have closed the gap to leaders West Bromwich Albion to just one point after the Baggies lost at home to Wigan Athletic.

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa handed a first league start to 19-year-old Illan Meslier with first-choice goalkeeper Kiko Casilla beginning an eight-match ban for racial abuse, but the on-loan shot stopper was seldom troubled as the dominant visitors kept a fourth straight clean sheet.

Leeds went ahead inside the opening five minutes, as Luke Ayling's 20-yard strike took a huge deflection off Callum Elder and spun into the corner of the net.

Having already rattled a shot against the angle of crossbar and post soon after Ayling's opener, Pablo Hernandez doubled United's advantage at the start of the second half with a cool finish past George Long.

Tyler Roberts completed the scoring with two more goals in the final 10 minutes, first firing in following Mateusz Klich's classy lay-off and then heading home after another Klich assist.

While Leeds seemingly edge towards promotion to the Premier League after recovering from a mid-season wobble, Hull continue to slide towards the bottom three having climbed to eighth with victory at Sheffield Wednesday on 1 January.

15:00Blackburn 2-2Swansea 13099

Bradley Johnson's late goal rescued a point for Blackburn Rovers against fellow Championship play-off chasers Swansea City.

Sam Gallagher gave Blackburn the lead, but Rhian Brewster's fine half-volley brought Swansea level on the stroke of half-time.

Andre Ayew's penalty put the Welsh side ahead before Swans keeper Freddie Woodman saved Danny Graham's spot-kick.

But Johnson's deflected shot in injury time secured a point for Tony Mowbray's side as Swansea conceded a late goal for the second successive game.

Only a point separated eighth-placed Blackburn and Swansea in ninth spot ahead of the game at Ewood Park, where Swansea have not won since 197

15:00Cardiff 2-2Brentford 22393

Brentford's winless streak stretched to five Championship games as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Cardiff City.

Thomas Frank's team remain in the play-off places despite dropping points having led 2-0 thanks to Luka Racic's early goal and a fine free-kick from Bryan Mbeumo.

All the goals in an entertaining contest came before half-time.

Close-range headers from Junior Hoilett and Joe Ralls earned a point for Cardiff.

Brentford must find a victory soon - their current run is their longest this season without a win - if they are to avoid dropping out of the top six.

Cardiff are not yet out of play-off contention themselves after this impressive fightback, although their hopes are fading after no wins in their last four games.

15:00Fulham 2-0Preston 19020

David Nugent's own goal and Aboubakar Kamara's injury-time effort ensured Fulham edged past promotion rivals Preston North End to keep up the pressure on the Championship's top two West Bromwich Albion and Leeds.

Championship MatchDay 37 ~ Fixtures
Friday 6th March 2020
19:45N Forest Millwall Sky
Saturday 7th March 2020
12:30Bristol CityFulham Sky
15:00Barnsley Cardiff  
15:00Birmingham Reading  
15:00Brentford Sheff Wed 
15:00Charlton Middlesbrough  
15:00Leeds Huddersfield
15:00Preston QPR  
15:00Stoke Hull  
15:00Swansea West Brom 
15:00Wigan Luton  
Sunday 8th March 2020
15:00Derby Blackburn Sky
Results Table Fixtures
Nugent could only flick on an Anthony Knockaert corner and the ball looped past keeper Declan Rudd into the far corner to put the hosts ahead after the break at Craven Cottage.

Preston, who have now lost three of their past four games, had the better of the first half, with Sean Maguire having an effort ruled out for offside and Alan Browne forcing a decent save from keeper Marek Rodak.

But Fulham steadily improved and after Nugent's unfortunate intervention, substitute Kamara's breakaway 95th-minute goal wrapped up back-to-back home wins and kept Scott Parker's side five points adrift of Leeds United and closed the gap to six points behind leaders West Brom.

Second-placed Leeds had earlier thumped Hull City, while the Baggies were surprise losers at home to Wigan.

Preston remain sixth and in the final play-off spot but are now just two points ahead of seventh-placed Bristol City.

15:00Huddersfield 4-0Charlton 21539

Huddersfield Town moved five points clear of the Championship relegation zone as Karlan Grant scored twice in a convincing victory over Charlton Athletic at the John Smith's Stadium.

Former Addicks forward Grant pounced on a mistake from Adedeji Oshilaja before burying the ball past Dillon Phillips to open the scoring for the Terriers midway through the first half.

Charlton came close to a leveller in the second period, but substitute Steve Mounie put the hosts in control, deflecting home Harry Toffolo's cross with 15 minutes remaining to double the lead.

And Grant netted his second and the Terriers' third in stoppage time after being played through by Juninho Bacuna, who then scored himself from long-range.

A confident Huddersfield came into the fixture off the back of a fine 2-1 win over Bristol City in midweek, having been winless in their previous three.

15:00Luton 1-1Stoke 10070

A last-minute James Collins penalty saw Luton claim an important point in the fight against the drop as they drew 1-1 with Championship relegation rivals Stoke City.

Stoke got off to a great start as Sam Vokes was on hand to turn in Tommy Smith's deflected shot from close range inside the first 10 minutes in a game which lacked much spark throughout.

Luton did have the ball in the net midway through the second half, but Harry Cornick was offside as he turned the ball in after George Moncur's shot had been parried by Jack Butland.

But, right at the death, Callum McManaman was fouled in the box by James Chester and Collins was on hand to score from the spot.

The result sees Stoke drop to 21st place, two points and one place clear of the relegation places, while Luton are five points from safety at the foot of the table.

15:00Millwall 1-1Bristol City13584

Bristol City missed the chance to return to winning ways and the Championship play-off places as Millwall held them to a draw at The Den.

Pedro Pereira had fired the visitors into an early lead as he pounced on a loose ball from a corner but Millwall hit back after the break.

It was given as a Tomas Kalas own goal but Matt Smith was there putting pressure on the Robins centre-back moments before when a Connor Mahoney corner caused problems.

The Lions came close to coming from behind to lead when Smith had a header well saved by Niki Maenpaa low down but the draw sees Bristol City stay seventh, two points outside the play-off spots.

Both sides will argue they had the chances to take all three points, but City will feel the effect of two dropped points more.

Fellow play-off contenders Preston, Brentford, Blackburn and Swansea all failed to register wins meaning they missed the chance to gain valuable ground.

15:00QPR 2-2Birmingham 14113

In-form Scott Hogan scored twice to extend Birmingham City's unbeaten Championship run to 10 matches as they took a point from QPR.

Hogan, on loan from City's rivals Aston Villa, put Blues in front midway through the first half, latching on to Maxime Colin's ball before slotting home.

QPR turned the game on its head with two quick goals soon after the break, Marc Pugh levelling before Jordan Hugill's near-post finish put the hosts in front.

But Hogan had the last word, heading home from close range following Dan Crowley's corner.

Hogan, who has now scored six goals in seven appearances for Birmingham, could even have won it during eight minutes of injury time, but was denied by a block from QPR's Conor Masterson.

Blues' 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions, which dates back to their last loss at home to Wigan Athletic on New Year's Day, is their best since 15 matches without defeat under Chris Hughton, between December 2011 and February 2012.

They have drawn six of their previous eight games, however, and this result keeps both teams firmly mired in mid-table - a place behind QPR, who are also nine points off a play-off place with 10 games left.

15:00Reading 2-0Barnsley 13263

Reading brought Barnsley's Championship resurgence to a halt as goals from Yakou Meite and George Puscas gave them a long-awaited home league victory.

Meite bundled in their opener from close range as Barnsley failed to clear a free-kick before Puscas curled a shot past Bradley Collins on the hour to make it 2-0.

The Tykes failed to make the most of a number of first-half chances and may have found themselves ahead on another day had Reading goalkeeper Rafael not made some smart saves.

Cauley Woodrow was denied by his best on the stroke of half-time as he tipped an effort over the crossbar.

Barnsley saw their run of three straight wins come to an end and are five points adrift of safety while Reading recorded their first home win in the Championship since 26 December.

That win will give the Royals a welcome boost heading into their FA Cup fifth round home tie against Premier League Sheffield United on Tuesday after they were humbled on the same ground by Wigan on Wednesday.

Barnsley arrived in Berkshire buoyed by consecutive wins against Fulham, Middlesbrough and Hull. But they were punished for wasting a number of good openings in both halves.

15:00Sheff Wed1-3Derby 25148

Derby made light of their poor away form to beat Sheffield Wednesday and pile the pressure back on Owls boss Garry Monk.

The Rams arrived at Hillsborough having lost nine of their previous 12 Championship away games but were 3-0 up inside 30 minutes.

Tom Lawrence fired Derby in front from the edge of the box with the help of a deflection and doubled the lead with a first-time curling finish into the bottom corner from Chris Martin's pass.

Martin was the provider once again as Jason Knight drilled the ball in off the post from a tight angle for Derby's third, prompting some home fans to walk out.

Wednesday, who next face Manchester City in the FA Cup this week, slipped further out of the play-off picture as they suffered an eighth defeat in 13 league games since beating Bristol City to sit third in the table at Christmas.

Victory for Derby ended a run of four games without a win and sees them climb to 13th in the table, one place below the Owls who have a superior goal difference.

15:00West Brom0-1Wigan24942

Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook said his team have their "belief back" after victory over West Bromwich Albion moved them out of the relegation zone and helped reduce the Baggies' lead at the top of the Championship.

Sam Morsy drilled home from 12 yards to end West Brom's six-game unbeaten run and earn the in-form Latics a third successive victory.

The result lifted Wigan out of the bottom three for the first time in three months, while Leeds United's comfortable win over Hull City sees them breathing down West Brom's necks in the race for the title.

Cook's side had taken just four points from their opening 13 away games this season, but have now recorded a fourth victory in five on their travels - a run that has seen them win at both Leeds and, now, the Baggies.

Championship MatchDay 36 Wrap-up
Monday 2nd March 2020

19:45Middlesbrough 2-2N Forest 18884

Middlesbrough remain in the Championship's relegation zone after Lewis Grabban's late equaliser for Nottingham Forest denied Jonathan Woodgate's side their first win for two months.

Boro goalkeeper Aynsley Pears claimed Grabban had fouled him as Forest's top scorer poked in the leveller from close range with four minutes remaining, but referee Darren England waved away the hosts' protests.

Ryan Yates' low 20-yard shot put promotion-chasing Forest in front but Boro produced a stirring comeback before half-time.

Rudy Gestede nodded in Harold Moukoudi's header back across goal from a set-piece to equalise and Lewis Wing finished off a swift counter-attack to give Boro a 2-1 lead - a scoreline which would have been enough to lift them out of the bottom three.

After Grabban's 17th league goal of the season, the visitors almost grabbed a stoppage-time winner but Adama Diakhaby's shot from the edge of the box was blocked away to safety by Ryan Shotton.

A play-off spot now looks most likely for Sabri Lamouchi's team, who have a six-point advantage over seventh-placed Bristol City but are eight points behind second-placed Leeds with 10 games remaining.

Forest have taken only six points from the five games since they beat Leeds on 8 February to catapult themselves into serious contention for a top-two finish.

Source Will Unwin at The Guardian/BBCSports
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