EFL

Championship Review: Leeds and Swansea held as chasing pack close in

By Sports Desk September 21, 2019

None of the top four sides in the Championship won on Saturday, meaning Leeds United remained top of the table despite a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Derby County.

Bristol City and Swansea City, who started the day third and second respectively, played out a 0-0 draw, while Charlton Athletic suffered a second straight defeat, going down 2-0 at Wigan Athletic.

Preston North End, QPR and Nottingham Forest all gained ground towards the top of the standings with victories, while Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Hull City were also among the winners.

Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 with Fulham and Stoke City moved off the bottom of the table after a goalless encounter at Brentford.
 

FRUSTRATION FOR LEEDS

Other results meant Leeds stayed top even though they suffered frustration against Derby, the team with whom they were embroiled in last season's 'spygate' controversy.

Marcelo Bielsa's men led through Max Lowe's own goal, but Mateusz Klich fired wide with a penalty that would have sealed victory 20 minutes from time, while Patrick Bamford, who had won the spot-kick, squandered multiple opportunities.

Chris Martin then punished the hosts with a stoppage-time equaliser, finishing off a slick move completely against the run of play to score his first Derby goal since November 2017 and give his side their fifth draw in eight games.


CHARLTON FALLING AWAY

Charlton lost a second straight game without scoring, as defender Chey Dunkley scored a double for Wigan to send Lee Bowyer's men down to seventh.

Dunkley netted in each half to follow up his goal at Hull last week, having failed to net in 39 Wigan appearances last season. The result ended a six-match winless league run for the hosts.

Swansea are still level on points with Leeds at the top after their draw at Ashton Gate. The Welsh side had Jake Bidwell sent off in the last-minute for a lunge on Niclas Eliasson.


CHASING PACK GAIN GROUND

Sean Maguire scored for a second straight week to give Preston a 1-0 win at Birmingham City, Alex Neil's men moving up to third - just a point behind the leaders - as a result. 

Nahki Wells' double – his second coming courtesy of a huge goalkeeping blunder from Bartosz Bialkowski – gave QPR a 2-1 win away to Millwall, ensuring Mark Warburton's men sit level with Preston.

Forest are one point further back after Ben Watson's first goal for the club ensured Barnsley were beaten 1-0 at The City Ground. It was the home side's only shot on target.
 

NUHU DENIES FULHAM

Fulham remain in mid-table after Atdhe Nuhiu headed in a Sheffield Wednesday equaliser three minutes into stoppage time, cancelling out Tom Cairney's first-half opener.

Elsewhere, Ashley Fletcher's second-minute own goal gave Cardiff a narrow 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, Hull scored three times in the final 27 minutes to thump Luton Town 3-0 at Kenilworth Road and Blackburn Rovers won 2-1 away to Reading.

Sergi Canos had an effort cleared off the line as Brentford were frustrated by struggling Stoke.

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    Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division challengers, St Anthony’s College and Presentation College both took advantage of idle leaders and defending champions Naparima College with wins in Saturday’s round of games.

    Getting into the business end of the tournament, the defending champions will have to keep winning now, as St Anthony’s College are three points adrift of the leaders, while last season’s runners up, Presentation College are four points away, having played one less game.

    The difference between the teams if everybody keeps winning is just one point. Presentation kept things close by virtue of a 1-0 win over Trinity College East, while St Anthony’s kept up the pressure by dominating relegation-troubled Malick Secondary 4-1.

    At the other end of the table, St Mary’s College continue to find this season more than a little challenging, remaining rooted to the foot on four points after a 5-0 loss to Carapichaima East Secondary.

    In other games on Saturday, Pleasantville Secondary were 3-1 winners over Speyside, East Mucurapo College beat Trinity College Moka 5-2, while Queen’s Royal College clipped St Benedict’s College 1-0.

    San Juan North Secondary continued to do good work toward the top of the table, with a 3-1 win over St Augustine Secondary, leaving them lying seventh.

     

    Pos

    Team

    P

    W

    D

    L

    F

    A

    +-

    Pts

    1

    Naparima College

    11

    9

    2

    0

    30

    10

    20

    29

    2

    St Anthony's College

    11

    8

    2

    1

    35

    11

    24

    26

    3

    Presentation College

    10

    8

    1

    1

    26

    6

    20

    25

    4

    Carapichaima East Secondary

    11

    6

    4

    1

    21

    14

    7

    22

    5

    East Mucurapo Secondary

    11

    6

    3

    2

    23

    11

    12

    21

    6

    Queen's Royal College

    10

    6

    1

    3

    19

    20

    -1

    19

    7

    San Juan North Secondary

    11

    5

    2

    4

    26

    10

    16

    17

    8

    St Augustine Secondary

    11

    3

    4

    4

    26

    21

    5

    13

    9

    Pleasantville Secondary

    11

    4

    1

    6

    15

    17

    -2

    13

    10

    Trinity College East

    10

    3

    2

    5

    13

    17

    -4

    11

    11

    St Benedict's College

    11

    3

    1

    7

    12

    20

    -8

    10

    12

    Speyside Secondary

    11

    2

    2

    7

    14

    34

    -20

    8

    13

    Malick Secondary

    11

    2

    1

    8

    16

    26

    -10

    7

    14

    Trinity College Moka

    11

    1

    1

    9

    13

    38

    -25

    4

    15

    St Mary's College

    11

    1

    1

    9

    5

    39

    -34

    4

     

     

     

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    Zinedine Zidane refused to say he is "worried" after Real Madrid lost to Real Mallorca but has called on his side to show greater consistency.

    Madrid's unbeaten start to the LaLiga season was ended at Son Moix on Saturday thanks to a solitary goal from Lago Junior.

    Zidane's side had beaten in-form Granada 4-2 prior to the international break, but his much-changed side struggled to create goalscoring chances against Mallorca as they fell to a defeat that leaves them a point behind league leaders Barcelona.

    The Madrid head coach said it is a lack of consistent performances that is holding his side back at present, even if he is not overly concerned by the result.

    "The problem is that we have to show every three days that we're good," Zidane said. "That's the difficulty - we don't do it.

    "I won't say that I'm worried because I don't like the word, but if we want to win something this season, we need consistency."

    Madrid were without the injured Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez, with Luka Jovic failing to impress in only his third league start for the club as Zidane set his side up in a 4-4-2.

    Zidane insisted the absences were no excuse for their display as he laid down a challenge to his squad players to step up a show they are worthy of a place in the team.

    "The injuries aren't an excuse," Zidane said. "There are players who aren't injured; we have more good payers, too.

    "When it comes to their turn, they have to show that they're at the level to be here. We can't do anything about the injured players.

    "We can't be surprised by a team playing in their own stadium. We knew what would happen. They surprised us because they scored, but then they backed down and we didn't find a solution."

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    The Bianconeri established a four-point lead over Inter at the top of Serie A after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Miralem Pjanic secured the victory.

    However, Sarri was unhappy with the manner in which some of his attacking players took to excessively showing their skills rather than killing the game off.

    Bologna almost snatched a point amid some late drama that included a penalty appeal against defender Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Santander hitting the bar before forcing a save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with an overhead kick.

    "It was a good game, tainted by some mistakes," Sarri said.

    "The boundary between dribbling in a productive way and becoming a bit superficial, however, is thin: for 40 minutes we did it well, for five minutes incorrectly.

    "We have to dribble with substance and not just for the sake of it.

    "We must manage the result and the energy levels. We have to secure games and in the second half we had the chance to do so."

    Pjanic felt Juventus' victory was merited even though they were hanging on at the end as Bologna threw caution to the wind in stoppage time.

    "We knew it would be a complicated game, we have seen them play often," he said.

    "Bologna are in good shape, play well and are organised on the pitch. 

    "We deserved it. We had to score one more goal to secure the result but in the end they are three precious points, after the [international] break it is never easy. 

    "In the end they too got tired, because they had to run a lot. We are happy and move forward."

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