Aiden O'Brien equalised deep into second-half stoppage time as Millwall salvaged a 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Friday.

Millwall were deservedly ahead at the interval thanks to Shaun Williams' header from a corner in the 15th minute, but their superiority did not last.

Lewis Grabban made a stunning impact from the Forest bench when he scored with his first touch 55 seconds after coming on, nodding in from close range.

He then appeared to have won the game for Forest by tapping in from Sammy Ameobi's ball in the 88th minute.

But O'Brien rescued a point for the Lions near the end, the Republic of Ireland international turning home after Brice Samba could only palm Williams' long-range effort into his path.

Forest remain fourth in the table but could be overtaken by several teams over the weekend. Millwall move up to 11th.

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.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk avoided defeat on his first meeting with Birmingham City since being sacked in June as his side snatched a late 1-1 draw in the Championship clash.

Monk hit out at Pep Clotet on the eve of the match, accusing his former assistant of being "disloyal" for succeeding him as Birmingham's interim head coach in June.

The game finished all square after Kadeem Harris cancelled out Alvaro Gimenez's goal nine minutes from time at Hillsborough.

Elsewhere, West Brom regained top spot with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Bristol City.

Slaven Bilic's men cruised to all three points at The Hawthorns to leapfrog Leeds United, who had climbed to the summit with a late win at Reading 24 hours beforehand.

Preston North End lost ground on the automatic promotion places with a heavy 4-0 loss at Hull City, while Nottingham Forest put four unanswered goals of their own past QPR.

 

HONOURS EVEN AT HILLSBOROUGH

Wednesday's winless run now spans five matches under Monk, who was clearly keen to get one over on his former employers.

Gimenez found a way through early in the second half to give the visitors a lead somewhat against the run of play in Yorkshire.

However, Harris took advantage of some hesitant defending to snatch a point for Wednesday, who remain two points better off than their opponents.

WEST BROM KEEP UP THE TITLE PACE

Leeds put the pressure on West Brom with their win at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday and Bilic's men responded in style.

First-half goals from Kieran Gibbs and Matheus Pereira put the second-tier leaders on their way to an eighth match without defeat, the last four of those ending in victory.

Famara Diedhiou pulled one back for promotion-chasing Bristol City 10 minutes from time, but Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin made it a straightforward win for West Brom.

 

. @WBA respond and head back to the top of the table.

Here's how it stands after this week's fixtures! #EFL | #SkyBetChampionship pic.twitter.com/blMNWt6LW5

— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) November 27, 2019 PRESTON SLIP UP, FOREST CLIMB

Preston, beaten 1-0 by Derby County at the weekend, fell to back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season with a thrashing at the hands of Hull.

Jarrod Bowen made it nine goals in seven games with strikes in both halves, either side of a Josh Magennis penalty and Kamil Grosicki's strike from a tight angle.

Alex Neil's side are now fifth in the table and a point behind Forest, who punished 10-man QPR at Loftus Road.

Already 1-0 up through Tobias Figueiredo's header when Lee Wallace was shown a red card, Forest put their opponents to the sword with late goals from Lewis Grabban, Joao Carvalho and Alfa Semedo.

 

Full-Time: Hull City 4-0 #pnefc

The hosts take the points at the KCOM Stadium. pic.twitter.com/SItAyA66CZ

— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) November 27, 2019 VITAL WIN FOR WOODGATE'S BORO

Middlesbrough eased some of the growing pressure on boss Jonathan Woodgate with a 1-0 win at home to Barnsley, Ashley Fletcher earning his side a first victory in 11 matches.

Boro were in the relegation zone heading into the match at Riverside Stadium, but they held their nerve to edge past bottom-side Barnsley through Fletcher's 54th-minute strike.

Elsewhere, Blackburn Rovers climbed four places up the table with a Bradley Dack-inspired triumph against Brentford.

The in-form midfielder converted Stewart Downing's cross with 11 minutes played to make it three goals in two matches.

West Brom maintained their two-point lead at the Championship summit with a slender 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.

Preston North End and Leeds United remain within touching distance of the Baggies after wins over Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

At the other end of the table, Michael O'Neill inspired Stoke City to a 4-2 win over Barnsley in his first game since taking charge of the club – a result that lifts them above the Tykes at the foot of the table.

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest edged out Derby County in the East Midlands derby, while there also wins for Fulham, Millwall, Reading and Brentford.

 

BAGGIES STAY TOP AFTER LIVERMORE STUNNER

Jake Livermore's second goal of the season was enough for West Brom to edge out Hull at the KCOM Stadium.

The 29-year-old midfielder finished off a short corner routine in spectacular style after 28 minutes, taking a touch to control the ball 20 yards from goal and unleashing a rocket of a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the Tigers' net.

Hull started the second half brightly and Kevin Stewart missed crucial chances as Slaven Bilic's side found themselves exposed at the back.

But the visitors should have doubled their lead when Matheus Pereira – their outstanding creative player so far this season – sent a chip narrowly over the crossbar, but Bilic's table-toppers claimed all three points nonetheless.

BAMFORD ON TARGET AS WHITES WIN AGAIN

Leeds went into their clash against Blackburn unbeaten in four matches but striker Patrick Bamford was without a goal at Elland Road since April.

The former Middlesbrough striker ended his home drought after a foul on Luke Ayling earned a dominant Leeds side a penalty, Bamford coolly sending Christian Walton the wrong way as he stroked the ball home.

Bamford had a hand in the Whites' second, touching Kalvin Phillips' floated ball deftly into the path of Jack Harrison, who sent an angled shot in off the far post.

But slack marking allowed Derrick Williams to head Blackburn back into the game five minutes before half-time, the full-back rising to meet Stewart Downing's cross for his third goal of the season from 12 yards.

A combative Rovers side failed to break Marcelo Bielsa's men down, however, as they collected back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since August.

PRESTON TOO STRONG FOR RESURGENT TERRIERS

Huddersfield's recent revival came to a crashing halt at Deepdale as Preston registered a third consecutive league win with a 3-1 victory.

The Terriers were unbeaten in seven league games but never looked like clawing their way back into the game after Jayden Stockley had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead.

Alan Browne doubled that advantage shortly after the half-hour mark, while Paul Gallagher added a third with a penalty five minutes after the interval.

Juninho Bacuna pulled one back for the visitors 16 minutes from time, but it did little to take the gloss off another impressive win for Alex Neil's side.

O'NEILL MAKES INSTANT IMPACT AT STOKE

O'Neill made a superb start to life with struggling Stoke, guiding them to an emphatic win over Barnsley at Oakwell.

A Sam Clucas brace and goals from Joe Allen and Lee Gregory helped the Potters end a run of three consecutive defeats and start life after Nathan Jones in style.

Elsewhere, Lewis Grabban scored the only goal of the game as Forest edged out local rivals Derby, while Fulham registered a 1-0 win at Birmingham City.

Millwall overcame Charlton Athletic 2-1, Reading powered past Luton Town 3-0 and Brentford beat Wigan Athletic by the same scoreline.

In the day's other games, Middlesbrough drew 2-2 away at QPR and Swansea City scored deep into stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday.

In-demand Salzburg striker Erling Haaland has ambitions to play in the Premier League, according to his father.

Former Leeds United and Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Haaland confirmed his teenage son, one of Europe's most sought-after young players, would like to play in England at some point in his career.

Serie A champions Juventus have been linked to the 19-year-old, as have LaLiga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The younger Haaland has scored seven goals in four Champions League appearances in what is his first full season with Salzburg.

While expecting his Leeds-born son to follow in his Premier League footsteps, Alf-Inge suggested the path he took would have no sway over Erling's potential destination.

"He was a Leeds fan and a [Manchester] City fan and a Nottingham Forest fan. He followed me but that's what you do in your youth," Haaland senior told talkSPORT.

"There's a difference between being a supporter and having it as a job.

"I think at one stage he would like to play in the Premier League. When that's going to happen, I don't know. It's a very tough league.

"Up to now he's ahead of the stage we thought he would be at. He's built for the Premier League at one stage, I think. Whether that happens now or at a later stage, we don't know."

Recent reports have suggested Salzburg could ask for up to €100million for the impressive centre-forward, already a two-cap Norway international

Alf-Inge doubts the club would demand such an exorbitant fee, however.

"There are always stories," he said.

"He's at Salzburg and he's at a fantastic club and playing in the Champions League, so in a way there's no hurry.

"But Salzburg have shown in the past they're sort of a middle-step club and if they're going to recruit players in the future they can't put a stupid price tag on the players, otherwise nobody would like to go there."

Leeds United carved out a 2-0 win against QPR to reclaim top spot in the Championship, while struggling Middlesbrough suffered another defeat to remain in the bottom three.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds had been held to back-to-back draws ahead of Saturday's match, but a goal in each half from Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison lifted them to the summit.

At the opposite end of the division, Jonathan Woodgate remains under pressure following Middlesbrough's 2-0 loss at Derby County, with Tom Lawrence scoring both goals.

Luton Town and Wigan Athletic also remain in trouble after losing to Nottingham Forest and Swansea City respectively on a dramatic day of Championship action.

 

LEEDS KEEP PACE WITH SWANSEA

With West Brom not in action until Monday, the chasing pack knew they had a chance to capitalise.

Swansea were first up in the early kick-off and followed up their 1-0 derby win over Cardiff City last time out with a late 2-1 victory at Wigan to temporarily move top.

Sam Surridge's late header snatched all three points for Swansea after Kieffer Moore had cancelled out Nathan Dyer's opener from the penalty spot.

However, the Welsh side dropped down to second a few hours later following Leeds' home win, Harrison adding to Roberts' first goal of the season.

FOREST CLIMB INTO PLAY-OFFS

Having had their game with Reading called off last week due to bad weather, Nottingham Forest put their fresh legs to good use by opening a two-goal lead at Luton Town.

Callum McManaman pulled one back late on for strugglers Luton, but goals from Lewis Grabban and Sammy Ameobi proved enough to move 2-1 winners Forest from 10th to fifth.

Sheffield Wednesday remain outside the top six after going down 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, all three goals at Ewood Park coming in the final seven minutes.

Jacob Murphy made the breakthrough for the Owls, only for Tosin Adarabioyo and John Buckley to net in quick succession to end Blackburn's six-match winless run.

 

PRESSURE BUILDING ON WOODGATE

The Championship's lowest scorers fired another blank - their fourth in a row - with Derby winger Lawrence's brace at Pride Park leaving under-fire Woodgate with two wins since becoming Boro boss.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield Town opened up a four-point gap on the relegation zone with a Karlan Grant-inspired 1-0 win at fellow in-form side Brentford.

Grant broke the deadlock just after the hour mark at Griffin Park to snap Brentford's three-match winning streak and continue Huddersfield's resurgence under Danny Cowley.

Meanwhile, Reading beat fellow strugglers Millwall 2-1 through first-half goals from Jordan Obita and Sam Baldock to give themselves some breathing space.

CARDIFF EDGE FIERY ENCOUNTER

Hull City picked up a third league win in a row with a clinical 3-0 victory over out-of-form Fulham, who have won just one of their last five matches.

A first goal in senior football from Josh Bowler gave Hull the lead and further goals followed from Jarrod Bowen and Tom Eaves after the break.

Grant McCann's ever-improving side are now in 11th place, one point better off than Cardiff City, who were 4-2 winners over Birmingham City in south Wales.

Joe Ralls scored a hat-trick in an eventful contest that ended with both teams reduced to 10 men, with Danny Ward and Harlee Dean the players to see red.

West Brom had a men sent off and were dramatically held to a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic after Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday missed the chance to apply pressure to the Championship leaders.

Slaven Bilic's side remain two points clear at the top after the Yorkshire rivals played out a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

Preston North End are up to second, above Leeds on goal difference, after coming from 2-0 down to claim a stunning 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers in the all-Lancashire clash at Deepdale.

Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten run to six matches and climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Barnsley that left their opponents bottom of the pile.

 

Cullen holds his nerve after Ferguson sees red

West Brom had to settle for a second consecutive 2-2 draw despite Matt Phillips finishing emphatically at the end of Matheus Pereira's 10th-minute run.

Macauley Bonne marked his birthday by heading the initial equaliser before highly rated West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson was eventually sent off for a reckless challenge on Chris Solly – referee Matt Donohue having initially dismissed Grady Diangana in a case of mistaken identity.

Hal Robson-Kanu restored Albion's lead despite their reduced numbers, but Josh Cullen dispatched a stoppage-time penalty after Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have fouled Naby Sarr as the pair collided.

Neither Leeds nor Wednesday were able to find a breakthrough but Preston found themselves in an all-action contest.

Sam Gallagher's header forced an own goal from North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd inside the first 30 seconds and the Blackburn striker soon made it 2-0 to the visitors.

Tom Barkhuizen reduced the arrears before the interval and would prove the match-winner – firing into the top corner eight minutes from time after Daniel Johnson scored his eighth of the season from the penalty spot.

 

Terriers' Cowley revival continues

Danny Cowley continued to work his magic at Huddersfield, with Karlan Grant netting his eighth of the campaign having created Christopher Schindler's opener.

Jacob Brown pulled a goal back for Barnsley, who are joined in the bottom three by Middlesbrough – Jonathan Woodgate's men held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham at the Riverside Stadium despite their visitors having goalkeeper Marek Rodak sent off for handling outside the area in the 17th minute.

Beleaguered Stoke City are level on eight points with Barnsley after they were beaten 2-0 by former boss Gary Rowett on his first outing as Millwall manager. Jed Wallace converted a penalty 15 minutes from time after teeing up Ben Thompson for the opener.

Bowen at the double, waterlogged Forest

Jarrod Bowen scored twice in the space of six minutes during the closing stages as Hull City saw off Derby County 2-0 to claim back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Lukas Jutkiewicz was Birmingham City's matchwinner in a 2-1 triumph over Luton Town, while torrential rain saw the match between Nottingham Forest and Reading postponed.

Josh Brownhill struck a dramatic 98th-minute winner as 10-man Bristol City beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 on Wednesday and moved to fourth in the Championship table.

Bristol City are now within three points of Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion after the late show.

Fulham, Hull City and Derby County also won on Wednesday, while Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough played out a goalless draw.
 

TENSE AFFAIR AT ASHTON GATE GOES TO THE WIRE

Lee Bowyer's Charlton took a 65th-minute lead at Bristol City through Macauley Bonne but the hosts levelled proceedings thanks to substitute Famara Diedhiou's close-range header.

Diedhiou was then shown a straight red card for violent conduct with just four minutes of normal time remaining after he appeared to kick Charlton's Jason Pearce.

The incident sparked a brawl and tensions remained high throughout a lengthy period of injury time.

Brownhill then proved the hero, taking two touches to control a Kasey Palmer cross before scoring with an excellent finish to send the Ashton Gate crowd wild.

MITROVIC'S MILESTONE

Fulham moved up to seventh as Aleksandar Mitrovic's hat-trick inspired a 3-2 win over Luton Town at Craven Cottage.

Scott Parker's men led 2-0 and 3-1 thanks to the Championship's top-scorer, who has now scored 11 times in 13 league matches this season.

"We know how good a player Mitro is - his hat-trick tonight summed that up, really," Parker told Sky Sports.

The hat-trick was Mitrovic's first in English football since arriving from Anderlecht in 2015 with Newcastle United.

FOREST'S MISSED CHANCE

Josh Magennis scored and was sent off as Hull City won 2-1 at Nottingham Forest, a result that saw Sabri Lamouchi's side drop to eighth.

Magennis and Jarrod Bowen netted before Matty Cash pulled one back for Forest, who could have moved second with victory.

Northern Ireland international Magennis was given a straight red card with 22 minutes remaining for a reckless challenge on Forest's Ben Watson but Grant McCann's side held on for all three points.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough remain just one point above the relegation zone after they were held by Huddersfield, who are one place below them in 22nd.

Graeme Shinnie scored a stoppage-time winner as Derby County edged Wigan Athletic 1-0, claiming a third consecutive home victory.

Nottingham Forest saw their 10-game unbeaten run come to an end at Wigan Athletic, who claimed a 1-0 win thanks to Jamal Lowe's first goal for the club.

Forest had not lost in the league since a home defeat to West Brom on the opening weekend of the season.

However, Forest missed the chance to go level on points with West Brom at the top as Lowe linked up cleverly with Gavin Massey before converting from close range.

That proved to be enough for Wigan to get back to winning ways and go five points clear of the bottom three. Forest stay fourth.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

ROUND-UP

- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

West Brom charged to the top of the Championship with a 4-2 win over Cardiff City as Slaven Bilic's side took advantage of shock losses for Swansea City and Leeds United.

Swansea went down 2-1 at home to struggling Stoke City, while 10-man Leeds were beaten by the same scoreline away to Millwall.

Those results allowed West Brom to surge to the summit, while Nottingham Forest – who beat Brentford 1-0 at home – moved up to second, with only goal difference keeping them off the top.

Preston North End and Bristol City are the other occupants of the top six after they won on Saturday, with Derby County, Huddersfield Town, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday also tasting victory.

 

SWANSEA AND LEEDS SHOCKED

Swansea were top of the league and playing winless bottom side Stoke, who had baffled many observers by sticking with manager Nathan Jones this week.

It looked like the match would go exactly as the form book suggested when Andre Ayew scored after 57 seconds, but Sam Clucas levelled the match and substitute Scott Hogan scored from close range in the last minute to seal a stunning victory.

Leeds were unable to overcome a 14th-minute incident that saw Gaetano Berardi sent off for conceding a penalty by fouling Tom Bradshaw, with Jed Wallace converting the Millwall spot-kick.

Bradshaw's backheel made it two on the stroke of half-time and despite Ezgjan Alioski getting a goal back 16 seconds into the second half, Leeds could not salvage a point as Millwall caretaker boss Adam Barrett – who has been linked with the vacant managerial role at Southend United – made a superb start.

 

WEST BROM TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE

Impressive loanee Matheus Pereira scored one and set up two more as West Brom won their third straight home game despite Cardiff making life interesting towards the end.

Long-range strikes from Pereira, Grady Diangana and Charlie Austin had the Baggies three goals clear with 15 minutes to go, but substitute Danny Ward scored twice for the Bluebirds before Romaine Sawyers sealed the hosts' victory in stoppage time.

Ben Watson's volleyed winner – his second goal in as many home games – was enough to earn victory for Forest, who are now 10 league games unbeaten.

Preston are one point behind the new top two after Daniel Johnson scored twice in a 5-1 home win over second-bottom Barnsley, Alex Neil's men scoring four times in 27 second-half minutes.

 

MITROVIC EARNS DRAMATIC DRAW

Fulham came from behind on two occasions to draw 2-2 with Charlton Athletic at Craven Cottage, a clever finish from on-loan Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher having put the visitors ahead in the first half.

Three goals in a mad eight-minute spell after the break meant the match was level after 63 minutes, Ivan Cavaleiro finding the top corner and Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring from close range for Fulham either side of a Macauley Bonne header.

Scott Parker's men dropped two places to seventh, one place behind Bristol City who beat Reading 1-0 courtesy of Famara Diedhiou's early diving header, Daniel Bentley impressing in goal for the home victors.

Elsewhere, Tom Lawrence – who has been charged with drink-driving – was among the scorers as Luton Town lost 2-0 at Derby.

Huddersfield beat Hull 3-0 to move out the bottom three, Massimo Luongo scored the only goal as Sheffield Wednesday saw off Wigan Athletic and Eberechi Eze netted in QPR's 4-2 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Leeds United reclaimed top spot in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over West Brom, while Huddersfield Town picked up their first win of the campaign away at rock-bottom Stoke City.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds side had won just one in four previous league outings, but Ezgjan Alioski's strike seven minutes before half-time at Elland Road lifted them back to the summit.

At the opposite end of the table, Huddersfield got off the mark under Danny Cowley - appointed as Jan Siewert's successor last month - thanks to a late 1-0 victory over Stoke at the bet365 Stadium.

Juninho Bacuna scored from Huddersfield's first shot on target to end a winless run spanning 19 league matches, a result that leaves Stoke at the foot of the table and with the pressure well and truly on boss Nathan Jones.

FOREST SLIP UP

Nottingham Forest had led the way at the top of the division after Saturday's action, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn Rovers in Lancashire.

Joe Lolley scored two minutes after Adam Armstrong had opened the scoring for Blackburn, though Forest could not find a winner and slip to third in the table, behind West Brom on goal difference.

Fulham are now just a point behind Forest and two adrift of league leaders Leeds after thumping Reading 4-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney helped themselves to a couple of goals apiece before Reading, who had John Swift sent off 20 minutes in with the score at 1-0, pulled one back through Yakou Meite.

BORO'S SLOW START CONTINUES

Middlesbrough had Darnell Fisher to thank as they recovered to earn a 1-1 draw against Preston, though it is now just two wins in 11 matches for head coach Jonathan Woodgate. 

Preston defender Fisher put the ball into his own net under pressure less than two minutes after Josh Harrop had opened the scoring for the play-off chasing visitors, who are unbeaten in seven league outings.

Sheffield Wednesday also have eyes on the top six, but they suffered a 1-0 loss at Yorkshire rivals Hull City.

Tom Eaves found a way through with a bullet header 18 minutes from time to score his first goal for the club and condemn Wednesday to their fourth defeat of the campaign.

Birmingham City also dropped down the table following a 1-0 defeat in their meeting with Wigan Athletic, who secured the three points through Anthony Pilkington's long-range striker on his return from injury.

Pep Clotet's side have now lost three games in a row and are 14th in the table, two points above their opponents.

Nottingham Forest are top of the Championship after a 3-2 comeback win at struggling Stoke City, while Fulham moved up to seventh place in the table by beating Wigan Athletic 2-0.

Nathan Jones' woes deepened as his Stoke side, knocked out of the EFL Cup by lower-league outfit Crawley Town this week, collapsed to their seventh league defeat of the campaign.

The Potters took a 10th-minute lead at the bet365 Stadium on Friday when Lee Gregory controlled the ball in the box and fired home from close range.

Forest hit back before half-time with a driven finish from Joe Lolley beating goalkeeper Jack Butland and Sammy Ameobi then crashed home a header from Matthew Cash's perfect right-wing cross.

Sabri Lamouchi's side extended their lead in the 61st minute when Lewis Grabban hit his fifth Championship goal of the season, but first in over a month, after fine work on the left from Ameobi.

James McClean struck to spark hope of a Stoke fightback but Forest, who have won four out of their past five league games, held on and climb above teams including Swansea City and Leeds United to take top spot by a point.

In Friday's other game at Craven Cottage, second-half goals from Joe Bryan and captain Tom Cairney saw Fulham end a run of five games without a win in all competitions, with Wigan still yet to record an away victory this season.

Unai Emery does not believe Hector Bellerin will be able to start for Arsenal against Manchester United in the Premier league despite his successful return to action on Tuesday.

Bellerin, sidelined since January with a knee injury, ended his prolonged absence by coming off the bench in Arsenal's 5-0 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

The 24-year-old Spaniard replaced debutant Kieran Tierney in the 77th minute and made an instant impact, teeing up Joe Willock for Arsenal's third goal.

Bellerin was a key figure in the starting XI for Arsenal prior to his injury, but head coach Emery is not anticipating the full-back being fast-tracked into the team for Monday's trip to Old Trafford.

Asked about Bellerin at a media conference, Emery told reporters: "He wanted to play 90. He said I'm ready and wanted to play.

"I think no [he won't be ready to start against Manchester United]. Maybe in his mind yes. We need to listen to the doctor.

"The first minutes were amazing for him... The most important for him is his attitude. He wants to help us."

Rob Holding marked his comeback from a knee problem that kept him out nearly 10 months with a thumping header to put Arsenal 2-0 up.

"It is perfect to have more options at centre back. His spirit, his positive minutes. Every day in training he helps us to have more performances like a team," Emery said of Holding.

"He needed to take minutes and confidence. It was a perfect match. He was a little tired at the end, he's happy."

Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring on his first start for the club and the 18-year-old rounded off a rout with a deflected stoppage-time strike.

"We were waiting and watching him [Martinelli], how he could improve with us," added Emery. "He played very well in pre-season, he was working each training with a big spirit and performance.

"I spoke with him and told him to have some patience for his opportunity to do like he was doing. Tonight he did that. He deserved it.

"He is very humble, he fights, he's hungry to have that opportunity to help us."

Gabriel Martinelli opened his Arsenal account with a double on his first start as Kieran Tierney enjoyed a successful debut in a 5-0 EFL Cup third-round thrashing of Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Unai Emery completely changed his starting XI from the side that beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the Premier League on Sunday but a youthful Gunners side dominated throughout at Emirates Stadium.

Tierney, playing in his first game since recovering from groin injury following his transfer from Celtic, was rarely tested at left-back as Arsenal's defence enjoyed a comfortable evening.

Forest, sixth in the Championship, offered little as an attacking force and their defence was breached 31 minutes in when 18-year-old Martinelli headed in his first goal for the club.

Rob Holding, making his return after nearly 10 months out with a knee problem, converted from a corner in the 71st minute to put the game beyond any doubt.

Joe Willock and the excellent Reiss Nelson got in on the act before Martinelli doubled his tally with the aid of a deflection in stoppage-time.

 

 

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