Championship Review, Monday 8th March 2021
The emphatic and relentless madness of the English Championship never ceases to amaze us all and heading into this weekend, we all knew it was going to be more of the same. As the promotion and relegation scraps heat up with just a few months left of the season to go, so do the games themselves.
Huddersfield 0-0 Cardiff
Huddersfield and Cardiff both came up short in an anti-climactic 0-0 draw that leaves both clubs wanting more.
The Terriers were able to edge out one chance more and also controlled the possession game but in the end, that didn’t leave them with the three points they desired – or the over 2.5 goals that some punters would’ve hoped for.
Huddersfield will now visit London for a stern test against QPR this weekend with Cardiff having a huge task on their hands in the form of Watford.
Watford 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Watford’s pursuit of promotion continues after they put in a professional performance to beat Nottingham Forest at Vicarage Road.
Adam Masina got the ball rolling in just the 17th minute but in truth, this game felt over long before it actually was as Forest just couldn’t hit the target to save their lives.
Watford will know things should be a bit trickier when they take on Cardiff in their next outing, but Forest have a game that’s arguably equally as challenging in the form of Reading.
Barnsley 1-0 Birmingham
Barnsley’s stunning run goes on with a 1-0 success over Birmingham City that has vaulted them directly into the top six.
A goalless first half was followed up by an electric second as Daryl Dike scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in the 49th minute.
Derby and Bournemouth await for Barnsley but Birmingham only have one game on their schedule for the next few days against Bristol City.
Preston 1-1 Bournemouth
Preston North End were able to frustrate Bournemouth by holding them to a 1-1 draw after a tactical affair in Lancashire.
Arnaut Danjuma was at the heart of the action when giving the Cherries a first half lead that many bookmakers probably thought they’d hold on to. In the end, though, Daniel Johnson came to the rescue to salvage a much-needed point.
Preston have a favourable fixture ahead against Wycombe, but Bournemouth will be meeting the in-form team in the Championship – Barnsley.
Millwall 0-2 Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers may no longer be serious playoff challengers but they can still surprise a few people, as proven in their 2-0 win against Millwall.
Bradley Dack continues to be the shining beacon of hope for this Rovers side and proved why with a 15th-minute goal, but Sam Gallagher also got in on the act to seal the win with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Millwall’s next mission statement is to try and beat Derby County this weekend, with Blackburn knowing wins over Swansea and Brentford at home could do wonders for their season.
Bristol City 0-2 QPR
The resurgence of Bristol City didn’t last all too long as Queens Park Rangers neutralised them and edged out a 2-0 win at Ashton Gate.
Ilias Chair and Robert Dickie netted a goal each in a frantic 11-minute period that pretty much knocked all of the wind and momentum out of this Bristol City team.
The Robins return to the Midlands for a game against Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon whereas QPR have two Loftus Road dates ahead – versus Wycombe and Huddersfield.
Stoke 2-0 Wycombe
Stoke City pushed Wycombe Wanderers further towards the trap door with a victory that maintains their place in the top 10.
The bookies backed the Potters and they proved why quite emphatically through goals from Rhys Norrington-Davies and Harry Souttar.
Stoke head up north on Saturday to take on Middlesbrough in a game that could further improve their promotion desires. Wycombe will be hanging around the London area for a visit to QPR before hosting Preston North End.
Coventry 1-0 Derby
Coventry City dragged Derby County kicking and screaming back into the relegation fight with a gritty victory in the Midlands.
Maxime Biamou scored in the 11th minute and while there was some back and forth drama from there, we were never in danger of veering into over 2.5 goals territory.
It’s another six-pointer for Coventry this weekend as they travel up to Rotherham. Derby, on the other hand, have their hands full against Barnsley and Millwall.
Norwich 3-0 Luton
Norwich City are still the champions-elect and proved that with a composed and impressive 3-0 victory against Luton Town.
Teemu Pukki scored a brace, Todd Cantwell got in on the act and the Canaries unsurprisingly continue to fly as high as anyone would’ve expected.
The goliaths of the Championship turn their attention towards Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday as Luton prepare to lock horns with Swansea.
Swansea 2-1 Middlesbrough
Swansea are having to fight for everything they’ve got right now and they did so once again in beating Middlesbrough.
Andre Ayew made it 1-0 and until the final few minutes, those who had them in their accas would’ve been feeling pretty comfortable. That was, of course, until Sam Morsy equalised in injury time – but that elation for the visitors didn’t last because a 97th-minute Ayew penalty edged Swansea back up into 3rd place.
It’s a double header for the Swans this week with two away days against Blackburn and Luton, with Boro only having a home clash against Stoke to worry about.
Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Reading made it three straight league wins on the bounce with a 3-0 demolition of 10-man Sheffield Wednesday.
Julian Borner was sent off early doors, Michael Olise scored from the spot and Reading played with their food before putting Wednesday away thanks to goals from Lucas Joao and Andy Yiadom. From here, they’ll be thinking anything is possible.
Nottingham Forest awaits for the Royals on Saturday whereas Sheffield Wednesday fans will be horrified to learn their next opponents are Norwich.