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Championship

Sky Bet Championship: Five things you may have missed from the weekend's action

29 June 2020

There were significant results at both ends of the table as the Sky Bet Championship returned this weekend.

     1. Brentford put pressure on top two

In the first game of the weekend’s action Brentford recorded a 1-0 win over at-the-time league leaders West Bromwich Albion, with Ollie Watkins netting his 23rd goal of the season, pulling level with Fulham’s Aleksander Mitrovic.

The Bees’ victory over the Baggies pulls them within five points of the second automatic promotion place, which now belongs to West Brom after Leeds United's win over Fulham, and with seven games remaining in the league season, it is not far from their grasp.

Brentford have now won 19 games in the Championship this season – more than they managed in any of their previous three seasons.

 

     2. Leeds return to the top

After the result at Griffin Park on Friday night, Leeds knew that a win would see them head back to the top of the table and Marcelo Bielsa’s side made no mistake in taking full advantage of West Brom’s defeat.

As they returned to home soil for the first time since the restart, goals from Patrick Bamford, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison made sure they saw off fellow promotion rivals Fulham at Elland Road.

Despite Scott Parker’s side giving a good account of themselves, they couldn’t take their opportunities, leaving Biesla’s Leeds now three points clear of second place, but more importantly eight points clear of Brentford in third place.

 

      3. Cardiff up into the Play-Off spots

Cardiff City have certainly enjoyed life after the restart, picking up six points from a possible six with wins over high-flying Leeds United last weekend and Play-Off rivals Preston North End this weekend.

The Bluebirds ran out 3-1 winners against Alex Neil’s Lilywhites at Deepdale, further enhancing their credentials for that final Play-Off place. Goals from Joe Ralls, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Robert Glatzel made an albeit wet journey to Lancashire worth while.

Neil Harris’ outfit will be tested to the highest levels in the next few weeks, as they come up against promotion candidates such as Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham.

 

     4. Warnock cards first win as Boro boss

Despite announcing his retirement earlier this season, Neil Warnock was back in the dugout again in the Sky Bet Championship, and immediately returned to winning ways with his new side Middlesbrough.

With Jonathan Woodgate not making the grade at the Riverside, Warnock was brought in to steer the ship away from relegation, and three points over Stoke City on Saturday afternoon made one hell of a difference for Boro.

Despite only being two points off the relegation a sense of optimism has descended on the North East.

 

    5. Hatters handed relegation lifeline

It's fair to say that Nathan Jones’ return to the club has had a huge impact at Luton Town, as they have picked up four points from a possible six since the return of the Sky Bet Championship.

After nicking a point against Preston North End last time out, the Hatters were in positive mood as they travelled to Swansea City in one of the day’s early kick-offs.

A second-half header from striker James Collins was enough to walk away from the Liberty Stadium with all three points, and Luton are now just three points off safety.


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