Leeds United remain top of the Championship after a 1-1 draw with West Brom at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.

Semi Ajayi put the Baggies ahead in only the second minute but was unfortunate in deflecting Patrick Bamford's header into his own net to bring Leeds level.

The result means Marcelo Bielsa's side stay above West Brom on goal difference after 26 matches.

The earlier fixtures were largely a feast of goals as 2020 started in enthralling fashion, with Stoke City winning 5-2 at Huddersfield Town and QPR thrashing Cardiff City 6-1.

Brentford were big winners away to Bristol City, Nottingham Forest edged out Blackburn Rovers in a five-goal thriller and Wigan Athletic held on to win 3-2 at Birmingham City.

Fulham's promotion bid suffered another setback with a 2-1 loss to Reading, Middlesbrough made it back-to-back away victories and Hull City snatched three points at Sheffield Wednesday.

In the first game of the new decade, Millwall came from behind to beat Luton Town 3-1 and climb into the top six.

BAGGIES MISS CHANCE TO GO TOP

Ajayi poked home after a penalty-box scramble to give West Brom an early lead against Leeds and Slaven Bilic's side were good value for their advantage in the first half.

Kiko Casilla did superbly to keep out Matheus Pereira's free-kick and then saved with his legs from Matt Phillips, who had been through on goal.

Leeds introduced Bamford at the break and it proved a crucial move, as the striker's header from Jack Harrison's cross deflected off Ajayi's shoulder and into the net.

Neither side could find a winner in the end-to-end closing minutes, meaning each are on 52 points, nine clear of the chasing pack.

 

SIX-GOAL SHOWDOWNS

Stoke dominated the first half at John Smith's Stadium but Sam Vokes' opener was forgotten when Steve Mounie and a Danny Batth own goal put the hosts ahead.

However, Stoke struck a further four times through Nick Powell, Lee Gregory and a Tyrese Campbell double in a game otherwise marred when a stadium announcement was required to warn against further alleged discriminatory chants aimed at James McClean.

QPR's victory was a more straightforward affair, as a Nahki Wells hat-trick inspired them to a 6-1 thrashing of Cardiff, who got a late consolation through Will Vaulks.

Cardiff stay 12th, though, given Bristol City were dispatched 4-0 at home by Brentford, Ollie Watkins making the points safe with a late double to send his side third.

MILLWALL INTO PLAY-OFF SPOTS

Sheffield Wednesday's loss at home to Hull meant Millwall's earlier 3-1 win over Luton, in which they trailed until the 69th minute, was enough to see them into the top six.

Nottingham Forest are up to fourth thanks to Lewis Grabban's two goals securing a 3-2 defeat of Blackburn Rovers, with Fulham slipping to fifth after John Swift and Charlie Adam consigned them to a fourth defeat in seven league games.

Preston's top-six chase was dealt a blow, though, as Rudy Gestede and a Ben Davies own goal gave Middlesbrough a fourth win in a row.

At the other end of the table, Wigan gave their survival bid a boost after they held onto a 3-2 win at Birmingham, Cedric Kipre's 73rd-minute goal proving the difference.

Leeds United overcame Birmingham City in a nine-goal thriller to move top of the Championship table as previous leaders West Brom suffered a shock home defeat to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds benefited from an injury time own goal at St Andrew's, Wes Harding turning Luke Ayling's low cross into the net to settle a post-Christmas cracker.

The visitors had previously let slip a lead on three occasions during a see-saw contest, though by finding a late winner they leapfrog West Brom, who lost for just the second time in the league this season.

Fulham are up to third after a 1-0 triumph over Stoke City, with Brentford slipping back a spot in the standings after going down to Aiden O'Brien's eighth-minute goal at in-form Millwall.

Nottingham Forest moved up to fifth by beating bottom club Wigan Athletic, overtaking Sheffield Wednesday after the Owls went down 2-1 at home to Cardiff City. Preston North End also slipped up, beaten 2-0 at home by Reading. 

Elsewhere, Bristol City eased past Luton Town, Steve Mounie was the hero for Huddersfield Town in a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers and Hull City won by the same scoreline at QPR. Swansea City's meeting with Barnsley, meanwhile, ended in stalemate, the only goalless draw on a busy day in England's second tier.

 

LEEDS LEAVE IT LATE

There was no sign of the drama to come when Leeds moved into a 2-0 first-half lead, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison getting the goals.

However, Birmingham would continuously peg their high-flying opponents back. Lukas Jutkiewicz was on target twice for the hosts in the second half, including netting a stoppage-time equaliser that seemed certain to see the game finish at 4-4.

Yet full-back Ayling – who had put his team 3-2 up with a sensational long-range strike – made one final, telling contribution to proceedings, his run and cross from the right resulting in Harding's own goal.

 

FLETCHER FLATTENS BAGGIES

Middlesbrough recorded their first away win under Jonathan Woodgate as they upset the odds against promotion-chasing West Brom.

Centre-back Daniel Ayala put the visitors in front in the 17th minute and they defended stoutly until doubling their advantage in stunning fashion deep into stoppage time.

Ashley Fletcher opted to take aim from distance when a throw-in reached him midway inside the West Brom half, the forward smashing the ball over the head of Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to wrap up all three points and end Woodgate's wait for success on the road.

 

TOUGH FINISH TO 2019 FOR STRUGGLERS

It was a good day for Derby County – and they did not even play. The lowly Rams face Charlton Athletic on Monday but only one team – Barnsley, who kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Swansea – managed to close the gap on them at the foot of the table.

Wigan could have climbed off the bottom had they avoided defeat at Nottingham Forest, who took the lead through Tobias Figueiredo on the hour.

However, Forest needed a fine penalty save from Brice Samba – who guessed correctly to turn away Josh Windass' spot kick – to preserve their narrow advantage through to the final whistle, meaning Wigan will welcome in 2020 at the foot of the standings.

West Brom and Leeds remain separated by three points in the Championship's automatic promotion places after each being held to draws on Boxing Day.

Leeds needed an 89th-minute equaliser from Stuart Dallas to earn a 1-1 draw at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Preston North End, while West Brom conceded in the 90th minute to share the same scoreline with Barnsley.

Brentford, 3-1 victors over Swansea City, were the only winners in the top six as Fulham came from behind three times in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday conceded twice in stoppage time to lose 3-2 at Stoke City.

There was also late drama at Wigan Athletic, with Derby County's Martyn Waghorn snatching a 1-1 draw against the division's bottom side.

 

THREE DRAWS OUT OF FOUR FOR BAGGIES

Filip Krovinovic capitalised on a poor clearance from Barnsley goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger to give West Brom a fifth-minute lead at Oakwell but Aapo Halme converted Conor Chaplin's cross from close range to earn a point.

West Brom extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches – the longest sequence since 1901-02.

Any designs Leeds had on trimming the gap at the top were compromised by Alan Browne giving Preston the lead midway through the first half at Elland Road.

Mounting second-half pressure finally told but after winning seven consecutive games from the start of November, Marcelo Bielsa's men are now winless in three.

Brentford are eight points further back in third, with Ollie Watkins helping himself to a brace in their fifth successive victory at Griffin Park.

DRAMA AT THE BOTTOM

Along with Barnsley, all of the bottom four claimed positive results – most notably Stoke.

James McClean gave Michael O'Neill's Stoke an early lead but Morgan Fox and Tom Lees converted second-half corners to suggest further misery for the Potters.

Tyrese Campbell had other ideas, however, netting an acrobatic volley before Sam Vokes scrambled home in the 97th minute to lift Stoke off the foot of the table.

Waghorn scored Derby's first goal in seven Championship away games to cancel out Joe Garner's opener and leave Wigan bottom.

Fulham are fifth and one of three teams on 39 points after a remarkable contest at Kenilworth Road, where Bobby Decordova-Reid's second of the game in the fourth minute of injury time ensured a share of the spoils.

BONNE ENDS CHARLTON'S VICTORY WAIT

Macauley Bonne hit a brace and set up Alfie Doughty's winner as Charlton Athletic overcame Bristol City 3-2 – their first victory in 12 games.

Middlesbrough and Reading were two other teams moving clear of trouble thanks to respective 1-0 wins at home to Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers.

Blackburn Rovers were unable to close on Preston in the final play-off spot as they shared a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City, while Cardiff City and Millwall did likewise to remain on 34 points apiece.

Lewis Grabban scored both goals in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory at Hull City.

Leeds United's chief executive has confirmed Jack Clarke's loan spell at Elland Road will be cut short after Tottenham opted to recall the teenager due to a lack of playing time.

Teenage winger Clarke became Spurs' first signing in 18 months when he joined from Leeds in July, though he was loaned straight back to the Championship side for the 2019-20 season.

However, having appeared in 24 league matches last season, Clarke has played only 19 minutes in one substitute's appearance in this Championship campaign.

That has led to Spurs making the decision to cut short his spell at Elland Road, with Clarke due to return to Tottenham next month.

"We thank Jack Clarke for his services and wish him the best of luck in his career as Spurs have confirmed, due to a lack of playing time, he will be recalled in the January transfer window," Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear wrote in his programme notes.

The Whites, who will end the calendar year in the Championship's top two regardless of how they fare in their next two games, could also lose Eddie Nketiah back to Arsenal.

Nketiah, 20, is on a season-long loan from the Gunners - though he could be recalled in January - and has scored three times, but he has yet to start in the Championship.

"I appreciate much speculation still surrounds the immediate future of Eddie Nketiah and although Arsenal have the right to call him in January, we still believe he can make a huge impact over the remainder of the season at Leeds United," Kinnear added.

"Accordingly, we are endeavouring to convince Eddie and the technical team at Arsenal that the coaching environment and profile of the playing opportunity at Thorp Arch and Elland Road is still the best choice for his long-term development."

Josh Onomah scored the winner as Fulham boosted their hopes of making a push for automatic promotion in the second half of the Championship season with a 2-1 victory over second-placed Leeds United at Craven Cottage.

On a day when leaders West Brom were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford, Fulham ended a three-match losing streak and moved back up to third, nine points behind Leeds, courtesy of their triumph.

Scott Parker's men could be overtaken by Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday if the Owls beat Bristol City, but victory over high-flying Leeds nevertheless represents a significant boost.

At the other end of the table, Barnsley climbed off the bottom with a first away win of the season, thanks to a 94th-minute winner from Patrick Schmidt at Millwall, while Derby County's disappointing campaign continued as they had Scott Malone sent off after four minutes and conceded two penalties in a 3-0 defeat at Reading.

 

TOP TWO DROP POINTS BUT STILL CLEAR AT CHRISTMAS

West Brom and Leeds may have both dropped points on Saturday, but they remain firmly on course to finish as the top two.

The table-topping Baggies are three points clear of Leeds and 12 ahead of Fulham after Darnell Furlong took just three minutes to cancel out Henrik Dalsgaard's opener for Brentford at The Hawthorns.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was predictably prominent in Fulham's victory. The Championship's top scorer converted an early penalty before Patrick Bamford pulled Leeds level. Onomah's decisive goal then came on the rebound after an attempted overhead kick from Mitrovic had been blocked. 

Preston North End sit fourth after drawing 0-0 at Cardiff City in the day's early kick-off.

 

BARNSLEY REVIVAL CONTINUES

After beating QPR 5-3 last weekend, Barnsley made it back-to-back wins thanks to Schmidt's injury-time header at Millwall. 

The Yorkshire club have leapfrogged Stoke City and Wigan Athletic at the foot of the table, although the latter could jump from 24th to 21st by beating Blackburn Rovers on Monday.

 

NO MALONE AT CHRISTMAS! RAMS SCUPPERED BY SCOTT'S EARLY RED

Derby have not won away since the opening week of the season and their hopes of ending that dismal run were swiftly dented at Reading when Malone was dismissed for bringing down Yakou Meite as the last man inside four minutes.

Charlie Adam converted the penalty, Lucas Joao added a second for Reading after the break and Meite converted a late penalty of his own on a miserable day for the Rams, who sit seven points above the bottom three in 17th.

Elsewhere, Swansea City snuck into the top six with a 1-0 win at Luton Town, Hull City thumped Birmingham City 3-0 and Huddersfield Town beat slumping Nottingham Forest 2-1 in a contest that saw managers Danny Cowley and Sabri Lamouchi involved in a furious confrontation. Naby Sarr's 95th-minute goal rescued a 2-2 draw for Charlton Athletic at QPR.

Manchester United could be set to land the most sought-after striker in Europe.

According to a new report, Erling Haaland has identified the Red Devils as his preferred choice from a long list of suitors containing Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

The teenager met with the two Bundesliga clubs in midweek, but United appear to have moved to the front of the queue.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND SENDS MESSAGE TO SOLSKJAER

Salzburg star Haaland has told compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he wants to move to Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

United have been linked with the 19-year-old for several months and the Norwegian connection could lead him to the Premier League.

However, Haaland's high-profile agent Mino Raiola reportedly wants to keep all options on the table as the January transfer window moves nearer.

The striker's father, Alf-Inge, was said to have visited United's training ground in November, while Haaland held talks with Bundesliga teams Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig this week.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's firm interest in Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa could lead to a transfer tug-of-war with Serie A title rivals Juventus, according to CalcioMercato.

- The Nerazzurri have been linked Alessandro Florenzi, but Atalanta are now in pole position to sign the Italy international if he leaves Roma in January, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Rest time might be at a minimum for Kylian Mbappe when the club season winds down. According to Le Parisien, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet will give the Paris Saint-Germain star the chance to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final.

- Chelsea are considering launching a January bid for Leeds United loanee Ben White, claims the Daily Mail. Brighton and Hove Albion, White's parent club, are reportedly willing to accept offers of £25million.

- Mundo Deportivo suggests LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona are monitoring Thiago Alcantara's situation amid rumours the midfielder has become unhappy at Bayern Munich. Thiago swapped Barca for Bayern in 2013.

- West Ham's victory over Southampton will not be enough to save Manuel Pellegrini from the sack, says the Daily Star. Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes are among the possible replacements.

West Brom sit at the top of the Championship after Charlie Austin's double helped them to a 3-2 win over Birmingham City in Saturday’s early game.

Leeds United looked set to reclaim first place later in the day but threw away a three-goal lead at home to Cardiff City to draw 3-3.

Preston North End are now 10 points behind Marcelo Bielsa's side after a 2-1 win over Luton Town, while Brentford leapfrogged Fulham into fourth with a slender 1-0 win.

At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Barnsley registered a remarkable 5-3 win over QPR but Middlesbrough slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Swansea City.

 

AUSTIN INSPIRES BAGGIES COMEBACK

Charlie Austin took his tally for the season to eight with a brace to help West Brom record a vital win at Birmingham City.

Slaven Bilic's side looked set for a first defeat in 12 league games after Lukas Jutkiewicz and Harlee Dean had scored either side of Grady Diangana's goal.

Austin drew his side level three minutes after being introduced, though, when he flicked up Jake Livermore's pass and rifled a half-volley past Connal Trueman.

The 30-year-old sealed all three points nine minutes from time, powering home Darnell Furlong's cross with his head.

LEEDS CAPITULATE AGAINST BLUEBIRDS

Leeds conceded three goals inside the final 30 minutes to miss the opportunity to quickly reclaim top spot from the Baggies.

Helder Costa gave the hosts a wonderful start at Elland Road, scoring after six minutes, before Patrick Bamford struck twice to open up a commanding lead.

However, Lee Tomlin gave the Bluebirds hope with a goal on the hour mark to spark an unexpected comeback.

Sean Morrison added another with eight minutes remaining, before receiving his marching orders four minutes later for a late tackle.

Their numerical disadvantage did not daunt the visitors, however, as Robert Glatzel struck with two minutes remaining.

STOCKLEY FIRES PRESTON INTO THIRD

Jayden Stockley scored with six minutes remaining to help Preston beat Luton and climb to third in the table.

Paul Gallagher opened the scoring early on, slotting home after his penalty had been saved, before James Collins levelled from the spot.

Brentford, meanwhile, are a point behind Preston in fourth after Bryan Mbeumo scored the only goal of the game against Fulham.

Sheffield Wednesday are level on points with the Bees, the Owls cruising to a resounding 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Jordan Rhodes.

CHAPLIN TREBLE LIFTS CLOUDS OVER BARNSLEY

Barnsley moved to within four points of safety as Conor Chaplin's hat-trick helped them to a stunning win over QPR at Oakwell.

Cauley Woodrow and Bambo Diaby were also on target in what was only the Tykes' third league win of the campaign.

Fellow strugglers Stoke City and Wigan Athletic were held to 0-0 and 1-1 draws by Reading and Huddersfield Town respectively.

Andre Ayew scored twice in Swansea's comfortable win over Middlesbrough, while Bradley Johnson and Adam Armstrong helped Blackburn Rovers to a 2-0 triumph at Bristol City.

Leeds United put pressure on West Brom in the Championship, displacing them at the top of the table thanks to a 2-0 win over Hull City at Elland Road on Tuesday.

With West Brom not in action until a trip to Wigan Athletic on Wednesday, Leeds moved a point clear of Slaven Bilic's side with a seventh victory in succession.

The top two were boosted by Bristol City losing 2-1 at home to Millwall and Preston North End handing Fulham a 2-1 defeat at Deepdale.

Nottingham Forest were unable to take advantage as they were held by Middlesbrough at the City Ground, while Stoke City and Huddersfield Town earned much-needed triumphs in the battle against relegation.

 

Leeds take the lead

After a tame first half that did not see a single shot on target, Leeds finally took the lead against Hull when Jordy de Wijs turned Helder Costa's cross into his own net.

Kiko Casilla did brilliantly to keep out a header from Tom Eaves and Marcelo Bielsa's side instantly launched a counter-attack that ended with substitute Ezgjan Alioski finishing on the follow-up after Patrick Bamford hit the post.

 

Big wins at the bottom

Stoke claimed their first win in four Championship matches by beating Luton 3-0 at the bet365 Stadium.

James McClean seized the initiative for the hosts in the 35th minute and teed up Joe Allen for the second in first-half stoppage time.

Allen doubled his tally five minutes after the restart as Stoke moved above Wigan into 22nd place in the standings.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, are up to 19th following a 1-0 triumph at out-of-form Charlton Athletic.

Teenager Matty Daly struck his first senior goal in the 92nd minute of his fifth appearance for Huddersfield, ending their five-game winless run and leaving Charlton without a victory in nine.

 

Nugent ends wait to notch

Preston moved into the play-off places with an enthralling 2-1 victory over Fulham that saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Denis Odoi was sent off for an elbow on Patrick Bauer after Sean Maguire had put Preston ahead, but the hosts' numerical advantage was lost when Joe Rafferty saw red for a lunge on substitute Joe Bryan.

Nugent scored his first goal for Preston in 12 years after the restart, with Aleksandar Mitrovic's deflected long-range strike was not enough to stop Fulham falling to a second straight defeat.

Leeds United reclaimed top spot in the Championship with a 2-0 derby win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Hull City all won at home to boost their play-off chances, while Bristol City earned a key victory away to Fulham.

Under-fire Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate saw his team collect a precious three points at home to Charlton Athletic and Stoke City's misery continued with a defeat at the KC Stadium.

West Brom, now second, can bounce back above Leeds when they host Swansea City on Sunday.


LEEDS MARCH ON 

Marcelo Bielsa's men have won six in a row, conceding just twice in that run, after easing to victory in a Yorkshire derby away to the struggling Terriers.

Second-half goals from Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez saw the new leaders continue their momentum against a THuddersfield team now without a win in five league games.

The play-off picture is still typically congested but Wednesday jumped to sixth spot thanks to a 2-1 home win against fellow hopefuls Brentford, who led at Hillsborough thanks to Bryan Mbeumo.

Steven Fletcher struck twice as Garry Monk's Owls came from behind to secure successive wins after their previous run of five Championship matches without a victory.

Preston North End dropped out of the top six after losing 2-0 away to QPR, for whom Eberechi Eze scored both goals.

JOHNSON'S CHARGES END FULHAM RUN

Fulham had won four straight league games but missed the chance to exert pressure on the top two as a late fightback was not enough to avoid a home defeat against Bristol City.

Goals from Josh Brownhill and Famara Diedhiou had Lee Johnson's men in control at Craven Cottage but substitute Aboubakar Kamara struck to set up a grandstand finish.

The Robins held firm despite nine added minutes being played and they moved fourth, level on points with third-placed Fulham, ahead of successive home games.

Lee Tomlin's injury-time goal earned Cardiff City a 3-2 win at home to rock-bottom Barnsley, the Bluebirds' third straight victory moving them up to eighth, only a point behind Wednesday.

A fourth consecutive win for Blackburn was secured by Adam Armstrong, a 1-0 defeat at Ewood Park meaning Derby County have taken only four points from their past five league games.

MUCH-NEEDED WIN FOR BORO

Middlesbrough are up to 19th, easing the pressure on hometown hero Woodgate, after a 1-0 win against Charlton at the Riverside.

George Saville scored with 52 seconds on the clock and Boro held on to secure back-to-back 1-0 home victories to move four points clear of the bottom three.

The big game in the battle for survival saw Luton Town host Wigan Athletic and it was Graeme Jones' side who came out on top, bouncing back from a 7-0 thrashing at Brentford last time out.

Wigan led through Kieffer Moore but a chaotic finale left the Latics in the bottom three, Callum McManaman levelling for Luton with three minutes of normal time to play.

Cheyenne Dunkley was shown a second yellow card in added time and the Hatters made the 10 men pay as George Moncur scored from a corner to complete a stunning late comeback.

Stoke slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Hull despite Sam Vokes opening the scoring, with Jarrod Bowen's brace taking his Championship tally to 14 for the season.

Jurgen Klopp suggested Premier League leaders Liverpool could look to sign a striker in January if Rhian Brewster leaves on loan.

Brewster, 19, has been linked with a short-term stint away from Anfield – Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Swansea City reportedly interested.

The highly rated England Under-21 international impressed in pre-season but has managed only a pair of EFL Cup appearances this term.

Allowing him to gain experience elsewhere would leave Champions League holders Liverpool without a recognised centre-forward beyond Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi.

"Yes, we have to see," Klopp told UK media when asked whether Brewster's departure could lead to a new arrival.

"We can't just give the boys on loan because we have built this squad.

"We have three long-term injuries and four with Paul Glatzel. Two of them were pre-season, two came later with Joel [Matip] and Fabinho.

"That gives us a 16-player squad and I count the kids, but we cannot only give players on loan and think it is good for him, we always have to consider both situations, the boy's and ours.

"In the end we try to make the perfect solution. Sometimes it works out, others it does not."

Klopp said of Brewster: "Maybe Rhian is the one, age-wise, experience-wise, [to go out on loan].

"If he had not been injured he would already have been on a different level, but that is the situation and we constantly think of the situation for the boys.

"He is very young, but still a bit advanced. But I don't know, we don't make decisions right now. If we do it then it 100 per cent needs to be the right club."

Liverpool have been drawn at home to Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round, while holders Manchester City will start the defence of their title at home to third-tier Port Vale.

The Toffees face Jurgen Klopp's side on Wednesday in the Premier League and will make the short trip to Anfield for a second time this season during the first week of January.

Pep Guardiola's City thumped Watford 6-0 in last season's final and have been given a favourable draw to kick-start their 2019-20 campaign, with John Askey's League Two side pitching up at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United face a difficult away tie against Premier League rivals Wolves, who knocked them out of the competition last season's quarter-finals, while Arsenal welcome Championship leaders Leeds United to the Emirates Stadium.

New Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho takes his side to Middlesbrough, managed by former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate, and Chelsea host Nottingham Forest.

Ties will take place between January 3 and 6.

Leeds United moved top of the Championship with an emphatic 4-0 home win over struggling Middlesbrough, while Brentford stormed to a 7-0 victory over Luton Town on Saturday.

With West Brom not in action until Monday, Leeds took full advantage of the chance to reach the summit with a fifth consecutive victory.

West Brom will have the chance to go back above Marcelo Bielsa's men when they travel to face Preston North End.

Josh Dasilva scored a hat-trick for Brentford as Luton endured a chastening afternoon, and Bristol City were also big winners, thumping Huddersfield Town 5-2.

Barnsley, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday were the other triumphant teams, with Derby County drawing against QPR as Birmingham City and Millwall also shared the points.
 

KLICH KEY IN LEEDS ROMP

Leeds, unbeaten in eight matches, continued their fine form by cruising past struggling Boro courtesy of Mateusz Klich's double.

The outcome was rarely in doubt from the moment Patrick Bamford headed in Pablo Hernandez's cross from close range in the third minute.

Klich struck in first-half stoppage time and later added a superb clincher after Helder Costa had scored his first Championship goal for Leeds in the 67th minute.

Leeds are a point clear of West Brom and five ahead of third-placed Fulham.
 

BUOYANT BRENTFORD AND BRISTOL CITY 

Brentford had scored five by half-time against Luton and eventually settled for seven at Griffin Park. 

Former Arsenal youngster Dasilva's treble included a late penalty, while Said Benrahma also scored from the spot.

Dasilva also assisted a strike for Ollie Watkins, who created two goals himself, with Bryan Mbeumo and Mathias Jensen the other Brentford players to find the target.

Bristol City scored all five of their goals by the 49th minute as they demolished Huddersfield at Ashton Gate.

Andreas Weimann ended with a goal and an assist as Lee Johnson's men moved up to fifth in the table, with Brentford two points and two places behind.

Elsewhere, Cardiff won 1-0 at Nottingham Forest, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's goal meaning the hosts missed a chance to go third.
 

BOOST FOR BARNSLEY AT THE BOTTOM

After 18 matches without a win, bottom-of-the-table Barnsley recorded a surprise 3-1 home victory over Hull City.

That moved them two points behind Stoke City, who lost 2-1 at home to Blackburn, with Wigan Athletic also in the bottom three after being stunned by Reading's George Puscas.

Joe Garner's close-range strike had Wigan on course for victory and they led with 12 minutes to go, only for Puscas to score a hat-trick in the space of five minutes as Reading won 3-1.

Eberechi Eze gave QPR a 1-1 draw at Derby, who had new player-coach Wayne Rooney watching from the dugout, while on-loan Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter's late header saw Birmingham avoid defeat at home to Millwall in a match that finished with the same scoreline.

In the early game, two goals from Steven Fletcher helped Wednesday win 3-1 away to Charlton Athletic.

Jack Harrison struck late on against Reading as Leeds United moved top of the Championship with a 1-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Marcelo Bielsa's side seemed to be heading for a frustrating draw on Tuesday, which would have seen them sit two points behind West Brom, who play Bristol City on Wednesday.

However, Harrison popped up with the winner three minutes from time to send the Whites top of the pile.

Below the top two sit Fulham, who made it three wins from three with a comfortable 3-0 win over sorry Derby County.

At the other end of the table, Luton Town moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 comeback triumph against Charlton Athletic, while Michael O'Neill suffered his first defeat as Stoke City manager away at Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town drew with Swansea City.

LEEDS LEAVE IT LATE AGAIN

A bit like Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, Leeds seem to be making a habit of scoring late goals.

After an own goal in the 90th minute handed Bielsa's side the points against Luton on Saturday, Harrison headed in from Helder Costa's cross to secure a vital win at Reading.

Mark Bowen has rejuvenated Reading since taking charge, and the Royals could easily have taken the lead through Michael Morrison earlier in the second half.

Stuart Dallas came the closest to making the breakthrough to Leeds before Harrison's header, striking the crossbar in the 63rd minute, but Bielsa's men ultimately got the job done.

O'NEILL'S HONEYMOON PERIOD OVER

Two wins from O'Neill's first two matches in charge had lifted Stoke off the foot of the table, but Leandro Bacuna's early goal did the damage for Cardiff in south Wales.

O'Neill's side had over 65 per cent of the possession, yet failed to create many meaningful openings, and it was Cardiff who came closest to getting the game's second goal in the second half.

The Bluebirds are now in 10th, four points off the play-off places, while Stoke sit 23rd, five points above lowly Barnsley, who would close the gap with a win over Middlesbrough.

IN-FORM FULHAM FLYING HIGH

Alexander Mitrovic – the Championship's leading scorer – netted his 13th goal of the season to help Fulham to a routine 3-0 win over Derby at Craven Cottage.

Heading into Tuesday's encounter having lost their last three away matches by an aggregate score of 6-0, Phillip Cocu's side were no match for the Cottagers throughout.

Bobby Reid got things up and running in the seventh minute, with Mitrovic heading home shortly before half-time before turning provider for Tom Cairney to round off a win that takes Fulham, temporarily at least, up into third place.

The battle for Jadon Sancho's signature looks set to begin.

Four high-profile clubs in England and Spain are reportedly monitoring the teenager, one of Europe's brightest prospects.

Aggrieved with recent events at Borussia Dortmund, Sancho could now seek a new home for next season.

 

TOP STORY – CLUBS QUEUE UP FOR 'SCAPEGOAT' SANCHO

Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid are the "leading quartet" of suitors for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Athletic.

Former club Manchester City have also asked to be "kept informed" following a string of events that have upset the 19-year-old England winger, notably his first-half substitution in the 4-0 Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Sancho's representatives are said to have deemed that move "disgraceful", paving the way for his Dortmund departure at the end of the Bundesliga season.

 

ROUND-UP

Paul Pogba's prolonged absence for Manchester United is part of a concerted effort to force through a January transfer to LaLiga giants Madrid, claims Spanish journalist Paco Gonzalez. Pogba, not sighted since September, is recovering from an ankle injury.

- According to Calciomercato, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is weighing up a move to AC Milan. The 38-year-old is available on a free transfer after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy. Ibrahimovic has been linked to Bologna, Tottenham, Napoli and Perth Glory.

West Ham are considering replacing Manuel Pellegrini with Chris Wilder, reports The Mirror. The Hammers are languishing 16th in the Premier League after 13 games, while Wilder's Sheffield United are riding high in sixth. Chris HughtonDavid Moyes and Rafael Benitez are reportedly among the other candidates should West Ham lose patience with Pellegrini.

- Wolves defender Owen Otasowie is wanted by Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Bundesliga team Schalke, reports The Sun. 18-year-old centre-back has also been watched by Liverpool and Arsenal.

- The Mirror reports Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Rhian Brewster on loan in January. Brewster, 19, has been unable to break his way into Liverpool's Premier League plans this term. The report states Villa face competition from Crystal PalaceLeeds United and Swansea City.

West Brom and Leeds United benefited from late winners as they took full advantage of a defeat for Preston North End in the Championship.

Leaders West Brom defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at home on Saturday, while Marcelo Bielsa's men won by the same scoreline away to Luton Town.

Preston fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Derby County, meaning Leeds moved above them into second place, two points behind the Baggies, who have only suffered one defeat in 17 league games.

Blackburn Rovers, Brentford, Stoke City and Millwall were the other winners in Saturday's action.

BAGGIES AND LEEDS LAND LATE BLOWS

West Brom and Leeds looked like they were heading for draws that would have stalled their promotion bids before late interventions.

Charlie Austin netted a penalty with two minutes remaining for the Baggies after goalkeeper Keiren Westwood brought down Matheus Pereira in the box.

Steven Fletcher had previously scored from the spot at the other end to level the match after Hal Robson-Kanu's first-half opener, but Wednesday were left frustrated and saw Liam Palmer sent off in stoppage time.

Leeds' winner came even later, Matty Pearson's last-minute own goal gifting them victory as Luton suffered a fifth consecutive defeat. Patrick Bamford and James Collins had exchanged strikes earlier in the second half.

PRESTON & SWANS SLIP UP

Preston fell to Derby, who have now won five consecutive home games. 

Derby substitute Martyn Waghorn, only just on for the injured Mason Bennett, scored a close-range effort after 33 minutes which proved decisive.

Swansea also lost 1-0, their first defeat in four coming courtesy of an excellent free-kick from Millwall's Jed Wallace with 25 minutes left at the Liberty Stadium.

DIOUF CAPS STOKE COMEBACK AS DACK DENIES STRUBER

Only goal difference separates Stoke from fourth-bottom Luton after Mame Biram Diouf's strike in the third minute of added time earned a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic.

Michael O'Neill's first home game in charge had appeared to be heading for a draw when Danny Batth levelled the contest following Sam Morsy's opener, but Diouf ensured the new Stoke boss secured a second victory from as many matches.

Bradley Dack scored twice, including the winner with four minutes left, as Blackburn earned a thrilling 3-2 triumph over bottom-of-the-table Barnsley, who were being managed by Gerhard Struber for the first time.

Elsewhere, Cardiff City came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic in Neil Harris' opening game in charge, while Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, who had Ryan Yates sent off, played out a goalless draw.

A late Marc Roberts equaliser, the defender's first goal since April 2018, gave Birmingham City a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town, while Brentford are two points off the play-off places after Ollie Watkins' 11th league goal of the season earned a 1-0 home win over Reading.

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