Champ stages huge weekend as top four face-off

          Leeds clear with huge Fulham win as Cardiff join top 6

          2020/06/27 19:36
          By Connor Andrews

          Goals from Patrick Bamford, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison swept Leeds past Fulham, and three points clear at the top of the table, in what looks to have been one of the most crucial weekends of Championship football so far this season.

          After Brentford capitalised on their last big chance to close down the top two last night, beating West Brom 1-0 at Griffin Park thanks to Ollie Watkins, Fulham were presented with an equally huge opportunity to boost their promotion hopes as they travelled to Elland Road knowing a win could be pivotal.

          But where their West London rivals Brentford succeeded, Fulham failed, with the much-maligned Patrick Bamford sweeping home the opener with just 10 minutes played.

          And despite Fulham gaining a footing in the match either side of half-time, it was Leeds who struck again shortly after the break, as some disastrous Fulham defending saw almost their entire back line fail to deal with Harrison’s low cross from the right, allowing Alioski time and space to almost end the game.

          And with 20 minutes to play, Harrison got to work again, latching on to a stunning first-time Pablo Hernandez pass before wrestling through one-on-one to put Leeds back in the driving seat for promotion following a worrying 2-0 loss to Cardiff in their first game back post-coronavirus.

          Meanwhile Cardiff also did themselves a huge favour in the battle to go up, with a third win on the bounce, this time a 3-1 away at Preston, that leapfrogs them over North End and into the Championship’s top six.

          And just three points back, Derby also closed in on the action, with a 2-1 home win over Reading thanks to usual suspects Wayne Rooney and Tom Lawrence. The Welshman was later sent off after the final whistle alongside Matt Miazga after a scuffle and a slap, but his Europe-leading eighth goal outside the area this season gives the Rams a fourth consecutive win and realistic chance of a top six finish.

          Elsewhere, there were some big results in for relegation battlers against promotion hopefuls, with Wigan making it a league-leading eight games unbeaten after a 2-0 win over Blackburn, while Nathan Jones’ Luton took three points off of Swansea and Barnsley nabbed a 0-0 draw at home to Millwall.

          And would you believe it, Neil Warnock was unsurprisingly back with a bang, his first game in charge of Middlesbrough saw a 2-0 win over Stoke thanks to Ashley Fletcher and Marcus Tavernier, that lifts Boro up to 19th, just behind Charlton.

          Charlton themselves making it two wins in two without their top scorer Lyle Taylor, seeing Darren Pratley boost their survival hopes whilst all but ending QPR’s play-off chances in a 1-0 win. And in the day’s highest scoring game, Hull ended a five game losing run against Birmingham where, despite taking 2-0 and 3-2 leads, they only took a point that that still lifts them out of the bottom three, before of Huddersfield’s trip to Nottingham tomorrow.

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