EFL

Championship Review: West Brom and Leeds United held

By Sports Desk October 22, 2019

Championship leaders West Brom came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against bottom club Barnsley on Tuesday.

Their lead over nearest rivals Leeds United remains at two points, however, after Marcelo Bielsa's side were held to a 1-1 draw at Preston North End.

Sheffield Wednesday moved up to third after a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke City, while Brentford and Birmingham City were victorious against Swansea City and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Elsewhere, new Millwall boss Gary Rowett was watching on as the Lions drew 2-2 with Cardiff City - the same result as the clash between Queen's Park Rangers and Reading.

BATTLING LEADERS BOUNCE BACK

Basement club Barnsley looked set for a precious win at the Hawthorns after Cauley Woodrow put them two goals ahead after 24 minutes.

Slaven Bilic's side turned things around in the second period, though, with an own goal from Bambo Diaby reducing the deficit in the 68th minute. They ensured a point with nine minutes remaining thanks to Matheus Pereira's third league goal of the season.

Leeds missed the chance to leapfrog the Baggies at the summit as they were held by fellow promotion chasers Preston at Deepdale.

Tom Barkhuizen fired home from close range in the 74th minute to give Alex Neil's side hope of jumping above Leeds into the automatic promotion places.

But on-loan Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah had other ideas, coming off the bench to head home a leveller three minutes from time.

 

OWLS SNEAKING UP ON TOP TWO

Sheffield Wednesday closed the gap to Leeds to just a single point after edging past Stoke City at Hillsborough.

The Potters have endured a woeful start to the season, yet two consecutive wins had given them hope of clawing their way out of the relegation zone.

It was not to be against Garry Monk's side, though, who only needed Massimo Luongo's solitary goal to seal all three points.  

Mark Bowen, meanwhile, remains unbeaten in his first two games as Reading boss, with his side playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with QPR.

Nahki Wells and Jordan Hugill scored either side of George Puscas' goal for the Royals, who sealed a point courtesy of Sam Baldock's strike 16 minutes from time.

 

BEES SWARM ALL OVER SWANSEA

Brentford were in ruthless form against Swansea, sealing a 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.

Said Benrahma claimed his first goal of the campaign to give the visitors the lead before Jake Bidwell's own goal doubled their advantage.

Any hopes the home team had of clawing their way back into the game were extinguished early in the second half when Bryan Mbeumo added a third.

Elsewhere, Maxime Colin's first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory for Birmingham, while Tom Bradshaw cancelled out goals from Danny Ward and Junior Hoilett to seal a point for Millwall against Cardiff.

Related items

  • The Moyesiah! Ex-Man Utd boss leads West Ham to club-record halfway points total in Premier League The Moyesiah! Ex-Man Utd boss leads West Ham to club-record halfway points total in Premier League

    David Moyes has led West Ham to their highest ever points total at the halfway stage of a Premier League season.

    The Hammers moved up to seventh in the table after Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were on target in a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened West Brom at London Stadium.

    The result moved Moyes' side to 32 points (W9 D5 L5) and they have never had more after 19 games in the competition.

    West Ham's previous best came midway through 2014-15 when they had 31 points under the leadership of Sam Allardyce, who was the defeated Baggies boss on Tuesday.

    Moyes' second spell in charge of the east London club is proving to be his most impressive spell in the dugout since an ill-fated stint at Manchester United as Alex Ferguson's successor.

    Indeed, in 2013-14 season, the Scot had only managed two more points by the same stage with the then-defending Premier League champions.

    United were sixth after 19 games, with 10 wins, four draws and five defeats.

  • Messi to Inter? Only if Zanetti convinces him, says Veron Messi to Inter? Only if Zanetti convinces him, says Veron

    Lionel Messi is free to negotiate a move to clubs outside LaLiga and Juan Sebastian Veron thinks Javier Zanetti will be key to Inter's hopes of signing the Barcelona superstar.

    Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi is in the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou, having failed to engineer a move away during the close season.

    The 33-year-old has long been linked with a switch to Serie A giants Inter, where his former Argentina team-mate Zanetti – the Albiceleste's most-capped player of all time – is vice-president.

    Former Nerazzurri and Argentina midfielder Veron does not expect Messi to be at Inter next season, but believes it will be down to Zanetti if he does complete a move to San Siro.

    "I don't think he can go to Italy. If he will, it is because of Javier Zanetti, who knows him and will try to talk to him, making him feel important again and to explaining the future projects of the club," Veron told Stats Perform News.

    "At the end of the day it is purely Messi's decision. But if Inter want to make an attempt, they have to use seduction and get to his heart to draw him near. 

    "I don't know how many more years Messi wants to play at this level, but if you want to sign him, Inter have to make Messi their flagship and make clear they want to be at the top level."

    After a 2-0 victory over Juventus on Sunday, Inter sit second in Serie A three points behind leaders Milan.

    Antonio Conte's side have not been lacking in attack this term, though, with Romelu Lukaku (12 goals, three assists) and Lautaro Martinez (nine goals, three assists) developing a potent partnership in the league.

    No forward in Serie A to have played at least 10 games this season has had more Opta-defined 'big chances' than Lukaku, whose tally of 20 is only matched by Edin Dzeko and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgium international has the best conversion rate of the trio, scoring from 12 such openings for a 60 per cent success ratio. Ronaldo is second on 55 per cent, while Dzeko is third on 35 per cent.

    Messi has scored 11 goals and assisted two more in LaLiga this term, while converting 58.3 per cent (seven out of 12) of his big chances.

    The Barca captain's 35 key passes are only bettered by Iago Aspas (37), and his 100 attempts on goal in the Spanish top flight this season are almost twice as many as Karim Benzema (51) in second.

  • Huntelaar leaves Ajax to join Schalke survival push: 'I want to play my part!' Huntelaar leaves Ajax to join Schalke survival push: 'I want to play my part!'

    Klaas Jan Huntelaar is heading back to Schalke for one last mission in his career after leaving Ajax to join a battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

    The 37-year-old former Milan and Real Madrid striker recently announced he would retire at the end of this season, and Huntelaar now says he wants to "play my part" in saving lowly Schalke.

    He previously played for Schalke from 2010 until 2017, scoring 126 goals for the Royal Blues before heading to Ajax, and he departs the Dutch giants to join a team now coached by Christian Gross.

    Schalke sit bottom of the Bundesliga with seven points from 16 games, having won only once in the league this season.

    Huntelaar told Schalke's website: "We need to win games and score goals to climb up the table. I want to play my part in the club staying up. Schalke belongs in the Bundesliga and it's our responsibility to make sure that we stay here."

    The moves means Huntelaar's Ajax playing career is over after a second spell in Amsterdam, having first caught the eye there from 2006-08, opening the door to his San Siro and Santiago Bernabeu stints and a career in the Netherlands national team.

    In all, Huntelaar scored 158 goals in 257 official games for Ajax. He won an Eredivisie title in the 2018-19 season.

    Marc Overmars, director of football at Ajax, said it was the honourable thing to do to let Huntelaar ride to the rescue of his old team.

    "It was Klaas Jan's wish to help Schalke avoid relegation in the last four months of his career," Overmars told Ajax's website.

    "We thought it was important for him to let this move go through and fill his shoes internally with Lassina Traore and Brian Brobbey. We wish the best for Klaas Jan with this transfer and thank him very much for everything he has done for Ajax."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.