EFL

Championship: West Brom extend lead as Brentford, Bristol City slip up

By Sports Desk February 25, 2020

Championship leaders West Brom extended their advantage over Leeds United to seven points on Tuesday but Brentford's winless run goes on after they slipped up on their travels.

With their nearest rivals in the table not in action until Wednesday, the Baggies recorded a fifth win in six league outings as they overcame a Preston North End side who had Darnell Fisher sent off in the second half.

While Nottingham Forest moved up to third place thanks to a narrow triumph away to Cardiff City, fellow promotion hopefuls Bristol City slumped to a 2-1 loss at Huddersfield Town.

QPR prevailed by a 2-1 score at home to Derby County, too, with Ilias Chair grabbing the winner for the hosts in the 75th minute.

 

HAL JUST HEAVENLY FOR BAGGIES

Preston are still searching for their first away win over West Brom since 1992 after going down 2-0 at a snowy Hawthorns.

Hal Robson-Kanu opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Jake Livermore doubled the advantage for Slaven Bilic's side in first-half stoppage time, with the visitors' hopes of a comeback curtailed when Fisher was shown a straight red for a challenge on Callum Robinson.

Leeds will hope to cut the gap when they visit Middlesbrough, but Forest are now only three points behind the Yorkshire club after Tiago Silva's 49th-minute goal was enough to beat Cardiff.

 

BEES BUZZED IN PROMOTION FIGHT

Brentford have now gone four league games without a victory after they were beaten 2-1 at struggling Luton Town.

The Bees were stung by an own goal by Shandon Baptiste in the ninth minute, with Martin Cranie then putting the hosts 2-0 up before the break.

Ollie Watkins pulled one back late on, yet Luton hung on for their 10th win of the campaign, lifting them off the bottom of the table as they climbed above Barnsley.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, moved further clear of the drop zone. Chris Willock and Karlan Grant, who converted from the spot, secured them the three points at the expense of seventh-placed Bristol City.

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    Youri Tielemans’ long-range strike in the 63rd minute was enough to give the Foxes a 1-0 victory over their more celebrated rivals.

    “We are extremely happy for Wes,” said JFF President Michael Ricketts. “He has been a great soldier for Leicester City and a willing servant for Jamaica. There is no better way to bow out of the professional game than with a prestigious trophy. We wish nothing but the very best for him in the future.”

    Morgan hinted at retirement following Saturday’s victory that gave Leicester City their first-ever hold on the trophy.

    “Nothing’s been announced yet, I need to discuss it with the club, but I don’t think I’ve got too many more miles on the clock, we’ll say that,” said Morgan who played the last eight minutes of the match after being out with a back injury since December.

     “I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the squad. The gaffer asked me if I could make it on the bench and I said if I’m needed for the last 10 minutes, I’ll be available. We were 1-0 up and the last thing I expected a week ago was to be playing again, but I came on and now I have won the FA Cup.”

    The FA Cup is the second major trophy captain Morgan has won with Leicester City. He lifted the English Premier League with the club in 2016.

    Morgan made 30 appearances for the Reggae Boyz between 2013 and 2016.

     

  • Mancini extends Italy deal until after 2026 World Cup Mancini extends Italy deal until after 2026 World Cup

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    Ventura had failed to guide Italy to the 2018 World Cup, the Azzurri losing out to Sweden in a play-off.

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    "I am very happy, because as Roberto knows, it was an objective of the federation to continue this job and give it continuity in the future."

    Mancini, who was also in attendance, added: "I am very happy, I thank the Federation and I thank the president.

    "We have extended the contract, there will be many events and as the president said it is not easy to win, but we are trying to carry out a job that was started three years ago, which up to now has given good results.

    "We have many young players to focus on, especially in the youth national teams, so our hope is that this work can bear fruit very quickly, we are very positive."

    Mancini's Italy broke a longstanding national team record in November 2019 as they won 10 consecutive matches with a 3-0 result against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the streak eventually ending at 11.

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    "After a complicated start to the season, we showed good character going 19 matches unbeaten – but we weren't able to keep this form.

    "I have decided together with the medical team of the club that I will do a complementary intervention on my knee.

    "I'm sad that I will miss Euro 2020 this summer with Germany. For the first time in many years I will be a fan at home supporting my country, I hope we win it!

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    Ter Stegen has featured 31 times in the league in 2020-21 for Barcelona, but his overall performance for the season has not been quite up to the high standards he has set previously.

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    Ter Stegen's xGOT differential of -2.93 this term is by far his worst across a single season at the club. In 2015-16, it was -1.44, though he only played seven LaLiga matches, while his next worst was -0.16 in 2019-20, a narrow margin which essentially meant he conceded as many goals as would be expected given the quality of the shots on target he faced.

    But for this procedure the ex-Borussia Monchengladbach man certainly would have been a part of the Germany squad next month, though he would have been playing back-up to Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer.

     

    While Ter Stegen has let in more goals than he should have this season, Neuer has conceded 40 times in the Bundesliga from an xGOT value of 42.09, therefore preventing two goals in 2020-21.

    The Neuer or Ter Stegen debate has been a hot topic for Germany for a while now, though the data suggests that, at least this season, the Bayern star remains the safer option between the posts.

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