A re-cover of Relegation
In some cracking Championship matches, all clubs played as if their target position was at stake, not merely a place in the second-tier competition. All club players covered every inch of the pitch and pushed their opponents to exquisite extremes because they showed such the utmost respect. They made a special occasion out of what might have been a routine encounter between their counterparts in local derby, infusing a result with more passion than a scoreline could ever convey.
Yakou Meite’s 97th-minute goal eventually settled matters at Madejski stadium, moving Jose Gomes’ team three points ahead of relegation rivals Rotherham United who lost 2-0 to Sheffield United. The game, which the Royals trailed from 1-2 at 64th-minute was ended in 3-2 after a remarkable comeback.
Although Wigan Athletic created few clear opportunities against a determined Reading defence, they took the early lead through Nick Powell. After his goal, he turned to provider in acrobatic style and assisted Joe Garner to find the net in second-half.
Steve Bruce has endured a testing time since moving to the Hillsborough in mid-season and he acknowledged the significance of their draw against Lampard’s Derby County.
This was Owl’s 5th draws in last nine league games, a run which has allowed them to explore the 5-point lead over Millwall held in December. It was some late dramas and surges after the Christmas with only a goal difference between Hull City and Wednesday separating the sides, both on 24 point since the early December.
The result avenged Wednesday’s shock 1-2 home defeat by Derby County in Yorkshire last November.
Millwall crashed 2-1 away from home to Bolton Wanderers to increase pressure on head coach Neil Harris in their bid to survive in relegation fight.
However, a 60th-minute goal from Gary O’Neil contributed the Trotters inflicting the Lion’s fourth successive loss.
At the bottom-of-the-table, Ipswich Town also earned a point after Jon Nolan’s low drill drawing level in second half in the Hawthorns. It could mean to share a spoil while it is the last game for WBA’s head coach Darren Moore although they still stay in the Play-off place.
On the other side of the table, the top two, Norwich City and Leeds United, both broke the deadlock with a single goal in their victories. Leeds United still sit just two points off the leader.
Preston North End broke their previous record and extend their unbeaten run to ten games by winning their Lancashire rival Blackburn Rovers 1-0. Now, they maintain their form to challenge the last spot of Play-off.
Brentford’s Bech Sorensen is regarded as the surprise selection at the Bee’s back to start at Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough. But Thomas Frank’s side recovered from the early goal down setback and earned the full three points. Thanks to Algerian Said Benrahma’s goal to clinch the 2-1 triumph.
Hull City were thumped 3-0 in Nottingham while Stoke held to goalless stalemate by London side QPR.
Aston Villa face Birmingham City away on 10 March in Championship looking to resurrect their recent dip of form. (Only one win in last six league games)