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Five talking points from the weekend

12 December 2022

There was plenty to digest this weekend across the three divisions. Here are five stories from the EFL weekend action...

Clarets fit and firing

Burnley’s 3-0 showing over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday afternoon established the Clarets as the top scorers among England’s top four divisions as the Sky Bet Championship table toppers netted maximum points.

Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson opened the scoring for the visitors in the first period with a sublime free-kick to put Vincent Kompany’s side ahead before Ian Maatsen doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time with an impressive finish. And Nathan Tella’s seventh strike of the season took Burnley to 43 goals for the season in the league.

The Clarets are now three points clear of Sheffield United in second place in the Championship.

Pools victorious on the road 

A long-awaited first victory on the road in nine months for Hartlepool United lifted Keith Curle’s men out of the relegation zone in Sky Bet League Two. The Pools saw off Crawley Town in a 2-0 win to give them a much-needed boost after making the 600-mile-round trip to Broadfield Stadium.

Hartlepool picked up their first three points away from home, and their third league win of the 2022/23 campaign, courtesy of loanee Rollin Menayese, who struck in the 64th minute for the Pools, and a Travis Johnson own goal.

New League One leaders

There’s a new leader in Sky Bet League One as Ipswich Town claimed pole position on the back of the Tractor Boys’ 2-1 triumph over Peterborough United, taking advantage of Plymouth Argyle’s goalless draw with Cambridge United.

Conor Chaplin’s brace ensured that Ipswich remain unbeaten in seven with one defeat in their last 11 league outings, whilst the Pilgrims are now winless in four in the wake of their stalemate against the U’s.

Just a point separates the two teams with Plymouth slipping in to second as the race for promotion heats up.

Boro press repeat 

As the Championship returned this weekend, so did the late drama that comes with it and Middlesbrough’s own architect of a last gasp winner Matt Crooks was on hand to seal a 2-1 victory over Luton Town.

Crooks, who was introduced as a substitute in the 83rd minute in place of Marcus Forss, bagged a 90th minute winner for Boro, following on from the midfielder’s late decider against Norwich City in an almost carbon copy 2-1 win time out in November, making it four wins in their last five.

Grecians mark milestone

Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday marked the 400th consecutive game that an Exeter City Academy graduate has started a game for the Grecians, with a handful of the Club’s homegrown talent named among Gary Caldwell’s matchday squad.

Cheick Diabate, the 20-year-old who made his debut in November 2020, and Alex Hartridge, the Torquay-born defender who signed his first professional deal in April 2017, lined up together in defence for Exeter.

Joshua Key, the 23-year-old who made his bow in November 2018, and Archie Collins, who has amassed over 150 appearances for the Club, also featured in the starting XI. And Jay Stansfield, who spent time among the Grecians’ youth ranks before making the switch to Fulham, featured for Exeter.

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