Overview-Championship Game week 21

In the Hawthorns, Dwight Gayle and Gareth Barry both shook off their injuries and replaced James Morrison and Robson-Kanu who featured on Monday’s Brentford game at home. A deflected goal from Villa’s El Ghazi took the early initiative. Aston Villa could easily see out a win in this derby day. But the Baggies’ Gayle returned his faith to his gaffer with netting a volley to level before the break after Harvey Barnes delivery from Villa’s right back position. The Dutch who also struck with his right-foot on target to add his second restored the lead after the break. The goal answered the selection dilemma why he retained his place in Villa’s starting line-up. Midland club’s Dean Smith named his unchanged side who won 3-0 in Riverside last week. Until the extra minutes beyond official 90th minute, Gayle’s striking partner Jay Rodriguez scored a controversial equaliser which is enough to rescue another draw within five days time to share a point with their midland rival who now got 6-match unbeaten run under Smith’s reign.

Norwich City’s top scorer Teemu Pukki added a late third to wrap up their 8th win in last nine games this season under Daniel Farke, although the Canaries were surrendered their lead (Vrancic and Stiepermann’s goal in either half) after Mark Beevers’ 88th minute leveller under unfavourable condition with 10-man playing in stoppage time in which their first equaliser scorer, Sammy Ameobi, were booked and sent off by two offences.  

McClaren’s QPR dropped from the chasing pack with a 2-1 loss to Leeds United and moved them back to 14th. Leeds got slightly disadvantage in physio table before the game when Stuart Dallas and Skipper Liam Cooper both ruled out for six weeks. Their replacements are Samuel Saiz and Conor Shackleton. Kemar Roofe notched the winner from penalty spot after netting in first half from close range to cancel out the early lead from the Rs’ Nahki Wells.

Sheffield United’s third away win and Derby’s first away win with clean sheets in both league matches enough lift them up by three places to the third and fourth in table while WBA and Middlesbrough only got a draw and their second home defeats for the hosts respectively. 

Blackburn Rovers Captain Charlie Mulgrew broke the deadlock by his free-kick rocket in the 22nd minutes in resulting of the straight red-carded Mo Besic’s foul. The sorry home side did pull one back in 62nd minutes, Britt Assombalonga blasting home. Both team share a point apiece but the 6th Boro’s draw at home cut their own advantage at top six to 2 points.

A rare clean sheet was claimed by Alex Neil’s Preston from a visitor point of view in City ground. The 1-0 loss was the first time for the Aitor Karanka’s side, Nottingham Forest in all eleven home league games which are registered five clean sheets. The game was largely one-way traffic with much possession in the Reds’ side. With the industrious Joe Lolley and goal-scorer Lewis Grabban both failed to find the net and missed several chance, it showed how importance a precious goal from Louis Moult in second half.

Bristol City’s joint top scorer Diedhiou added his fifth goal to his tally in 1-0 win over Birmingham which included three goals from coming off the bench in all six substitution appearances out of sixteen in total.

Under Thomas Frank’s era, Brentford ended with their seventh defeats of his ninth games in charge. Nicholas Yennaris and Said Benrahma returned to starting lineup and repaid his faith to reproduce some sort of goal threats at home. The deficit only reduced by two-third. Thanks to both Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma on target. The scorers were Wayne Routledge, Leroy Fer from the Swans and an own goal from the host to give the visiting Swansea a 3-2 victory over Brentford.

Millwall recovered from the early goal down setback. Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory were both on scoresheet but cannot prevent a second goal from Hull City. The Tiger’s skipper Markus Henriksen put in a performance to protect their make-shift injury-plagued defensive line. While nodding a goal in corner set piece in second half, he completely showed his character to salvage a point.

Millwall moved out of the bottom three with a 2-2 draw at home against Hull City.

Sheffield Wednesday bounced back from their last league defeat in Ewood Park 4-2 to see out a 2-2 draw with Rotherham United. A double from Lucas Joao earned the home side a point. It was the 12th occasion the hosts had conceded more than 1 goal. The visitor came back from behind and took the lead at 55th minute after Richard Towell pulling a long strike on target while an equaliser was found by their forward Michael Smith in the restart of second half.   

The 10th Stoke City who won over Ipswich Town 2-0 are unbeaten in 8-match run heading into their December Festive clashes with Aston Villa, Millwall, Birmingham and Bolton Wanderers. 

Bolton Wanderers and Reading make up the remainder of the relegation places and tied on 18 points while Ipswich Town still sit at the bottom without a win in 4-matches losing streak.

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