Every EFL team took to the field on Boxing Day in an action-packed afternoon of fixtures.
The day’s Championship action got under way with an early meeting between Millwall, and the league leaders Wolves. Wolves went behind at The Den but replied with two goals of their own - Diogo Jota and Romain Saiss the players to get on the scoresheet. Millwall salvaged a point with a goal from Jake Cooper and gave the chasing pack the chance to close the gap at the top.
Bristol City joined Wolves in the automatic promotion spots thanks to their 2-0 win over the struggling Reading. Second-half strikes from Jamie Paterson and Lloyd Kelly ensured the three points were secured to take full advantage of Cardiff’s defeat.
It was a six-goal thriller at the Cardiff City Stadium, and Fulham came out 4-2 victors to inflict the first home defeat of the season on Neil Warnock’s side. Tim Ream, Floyd Ayite, Ryan Sessegnon and Stefan Johansen found the net to put the Cottagers within six points of the Play-Offs.
Derby County remain fourth after being held to a goalless draw away at Nigel Adkins’ Hull City.
It’s now six games unbeaten - including five wins - for Leeds United, who now sit five points off the automatic promotion places. Thomas Christiansen’s side travelled to Burton Albion in a fixture screen live of Sky Sports and trailed 1-0 at the break. Two goals in three second-half minutes won it for the Whites, though, with Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe firing home.
Sheffield United got back to winning ways against Sunderland and recovered from a six-match winless streak. Chris Wilder’s men won 3-0 with John Lundstram, Richard Stearman and George Baldock finding the net at Bramall Lane.
Prior to the day’s fixtures, Tony Pulis was announced as Middlesbrough manager, and he would watch his team win from the stands. Boro defeated 23rd-placed Bolton Wanderers 2-0 thanks to goals from Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga.
The divisions’ other managerless team also registered a victory. Sheffield Wednesday visited Nottingham Forest and ran out 3-0 winners at The City Ground.
Elsewhere, Norwich City triumphed 2-0 at Birmingham City, and there were draws between; Ipswich Town and QPR, and Barnsley and Preston North End.
In the evening kick off Brentford defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at Griffin Park.
In League One, there were two early kick-offs. Gillingham and Oxford played out a 1-1 draw, and Southend United ended their four-game losing streak with a 3-1 home win over Charlton Athletic, who were sixth at the start of the day’s play.
First played second in the division too with Wigan Athletic welcoming Shrewsbury Town to the DW. The action didn’t live up to the high-flyers’ league position as it ended a stalemate.
Blackburn Rovers remain in third place thanks to their 2-0 win over Rochdale. Bradley Dack and Charlie Mulgrew scored within seven first-half minutes of each other to wrap up the three points.
In fourth, remain Scunthorpe United. The Iron were 3-2 victors away at Blackpool. Tom Hopper and Duane Holmes scored in the opening 10 minutes, but Danny Philliskirk pulled one back before the break for the Seasiders. EFL Young Player of the Month Hakeeb Adelakun restored the Iron’s two-goal advantage after the break. Blackpool got a goal back late on, but it was not enough.
Bradford City’s gap over the pack chasing a Play-Off spot was reduced after they fell to defeat at home to Peterborough United. The Posh ran out 3-1 victors, moved into the sixth spot, and closed the gap on the Bantams to four points.
Portsmouth are level on points with Peterborough, and sit seventh - they were 2-1 winners at home to AFC Wimbledon.
Rotherham United’s 3-0 away triumph to bottom-of-the-league Bury moved them up to eighth. Goals from David Ball, Lee Frecklington and Will Vaulks wrapped up a comprehensive three points.
At the Keepmoat Stadium, there was also a 3-0 scoreline, but this time to the hosts. Doncaster welcomed Northampton Town and sent them back down south empty-handed.
Uwe Rosler’s Fleetwood Town were eight league matches without a victory before today’s trip to Oldham Athletic - a side who had not lost a league match at home since October. The Cod Army left 2-1 victors to ease the pressure on themselves, and climb to 14th spot.
Elsewhere, Plymouth moved four points clear of the drop zone with a win away at Milton Keynes Dons, and Walsall and Bristol Rovers played out a goalless draw.
Luton Town and Notts County continued to pull away at the top of League Two with comprehensive wins over Swindon Town and Morecambe respectively.
The Hatters were 5-0 victors away to the Robins, James Collins, Danny Hylton, Harry Cornick, and Elliot Lee registered goals alongside a Matt Taylor own-goal as Nathan Jones’ side maintained their four-point cushion at the summit.
Kevin Nolan’s Notts County are still seven points clear of third and were also triumphant on their travels. The Magpies won 4-1 against Morecambe.
Lincoln City moved into third spot with a 3-0 win over Stevenage. They’re level on points with Wycombe Wanderers after they grabbed a 2-0 victory at home to Newport County.
Colchester United travelled to Crawley Town and won 2-0 to move fifth.
Exeter City’s match at home to Forest Green Rovers was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions, the Grecians drop to sixth, and Forest Green remain bottom.
Elsewhere, there were away wins for Crewe Alexandra and Yeovil Town, while Port Vale and Cambridge United both made the most of home advantage by securing three points.
Grimsby Town and Mansfield were the day’s early kick-off and played out a 1-1 draw.