Championship Review: Fulham and Cardiff lose on return to second tier

By Sports Desk August 03, 2019

Fulham and Cardiff City suffered defeats on their Championship returns on Saturday, as Charlton Athletic and Barnsley were victorious following promotion from League One.

Sheffield Wednesday also made a commendable start to the season with a 3-1 win at Reading, despite being without a permanent manager in the wake of Steve Bruce's departure to Newcastle United.

QPR beat a much-changed Stoke City 2-1 on the road, while Birmingham City also succeeded away from home, beating Brentford 1-0.

Millwall claimed a 1-0 victory at home to Preston North End and Hull City went down 2-1 away to Swansea City.

BLUEBIRDS DOWNED BY WIGAN

Cardiff's return to the Championship following Premier League relegation proved they are in for a testing campaign, as Wigan edged a five-goal thriller at the DW Stadium.

Joe Ralls volleyed the Bluebirds in front after 20 minutes and they remained ahead when Josh Windass hit the post with a penalty following a foul by Sean Morrison early in the second half.

Wigan levelled prior to the hour when a deflected free-kick fell to Michael Jacobs to turn home, before Windass made amends by rifling into the bottom-left corner.

Omar Bogle tapped in from close range against his former club in the 70th minute to equalise, but back came Wigan – Lee Evans finding the top-right corner with a screamer to seal the victory.

 

BARNSLEY MAKE IMPRESSIVE RETURN

Barnsley and Fulham were almost in two entirely different worlds last season, with one clawing their way up from League One and the other rubbing shoulders with the elite in the Premier League.

The only goal of their meeting at Oakwell came in the 13th minute, when debutant Luke Thomas beat his man and fired home from inside the box.

Barnsley had two lucky escapes past the hour mark, with Mads Andersen clearing efforts from Tom Cairney and then Floyd Ayite off the line, allowing the hosts to get off to a winning start.

 

LATE WIN DELIGHTS CHARLTON

Promoted via the play-offs, Charlton got off to a flying start in the Championship thanks to an applaudable 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.

Ben Purrington opened the scoring just before the break, converting at the back post from Jonny Williams' delivery.

Blackburn levelled early in the second half in fortuitous fashion – Naby Sarr cleared a goal-bound effort off the line, only for it to hit goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and ricochet into the net.

But Lyle Taylor had the last laugh, applying a deft flicked finish to Jason Pearce's header, meaning none of the three promoted teams suffered defeat upon their returns to the Championship, with Luton Town drawing at home to Middlesbrough on Friday.

 

BULLEN'S OWLS SOAR

It was a turbulent close season for Sheffield Wednesday due to the saga surrounding Bruce's exit to Newcastle, but they looked sharp as they claimed an impressive 3-1 win away to Reading in their opening match under caretaker manager Lee Bullen.

Kadeem Harris put them ahead on the half-hour mark, but Yakou Meite's looping header restored parity in the 54th minute.

Wednesday swiftly retook the lead, however – Sam Hutchinson nodding in Barry Bannan's corner on his birthday for his first league goal since December 2016.

Keiren Westwood was sent off for clattering Modou Barrow in the 80th minute, but Lucas Joao wrapped things up late on for the visitors with a neat finish from the edge of the box.

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    Manchester United v Portsmouth: January 30, 2008

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    Porto v Manchester United: April 15, 2009

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    Almeria v Real Madrid: April 15, 2010

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    Sevilla v Real Madrid: December 17, 2011

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    Real Madrid v Valencia: May 4, 2014

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    Real Madrid v Espanyol: January 31, 2016

    Although his game had become more refined from those buccaneering early days, Ronaldo showed here he was not quite done when it came to solo runs and spectacular finishes.

    With Madrid already 3-0 up in what would prove to be a 6-0 thrashing, James Rodriguez's pass was deflected into Ronaldo's path and he did the rest, showing brilliant footwork to skip beyond three challenges before rifling home from the edge of the area with his left foot.

     

    Hungary v Portugal: June 22, 2016

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    Juventus v Real Madrid: April 3, 2018

    Arguably the finest goal Ronaldo has produced.

    Moving away from goal as Dani Carvajal dug a cross towards the penalty spot from the right, the Portuguese lept into the air and connected with a marvellous overhead kick. His leg was at a right angle to his body as he struck with the sweetest of volleys that flew past an idle Gianluigi Buffon.

     

    Portugal v Spain: June 15, 2018

    Having twice given his side the lead, Ronaldo found Portugal 3-2 down to their Iberian neighbours in their thrilling opener at the 2018 World Cup.

    The was a sense of inevitability when he stood over an 88th minute free-kick, but the execution was sheer perfection – power and dip combined to leave David de Gea with no chance.

     

    Juventus v Manchester United: November 8, 2018

    Another decorated Portuguese was celebrating at full-time when Jose Mourinho watched his Manchester United team complete a 2-1 comeback win.

    But Ronaldo struck first with a sumptuous and technically brilliant strike, watching Leonardo Bonucci's raking ball over his shoulder to volley home.  

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