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          The key results from Saturday's Football League madness

          EFL Winners & Losers

          2020/09/12 21:21
          By Connor Andrews
          E0

          Back for more as we pick out the key results from today's EFL action...

          We're back! After a pandemic ruined EFL campaign, all top four tiers were back in action with some surprise results all round. Let Playmaker guide you through a hectic day of football, and who came out best, and worst.

          »»Winners»»

          ©Getty / RK

          Birmingham: After a turbulent 2019/20, you could’ve easily forgiven Birmingham for buckling under the pressure in the weekend’s early game against promotion favourites Brentford, instead, Jérémie Bela’s first half goal was enough to claim a huge an unexpected three points in Aitor Karanka’s first game in charge of the Blues.

          Rotherham: In a tie between two promoted sides, Rotherham and Wycombe would have been excitedly anxious to have been given an excellent opportunity to kick off their Championship campaigns with a win. Instead nerves got the better of both sides, with a cagey affair decided in stoppage time by Michael Ihiekwe, giving Rotherham a huge confidence boost in their return to the second tier.

          Bournemouth: No one would have envied Jason Tindall after taking over a club as good as owned by Eddie Howe for nearly eight years, and after going ahead twice before being pegged back on each occasion Blackburn, his side could have looked for easy excuses. Arnaut Danjuma decided to make a statement though, with his 84th minute winner giving Tindall a dream start.

          Luton: They’ve had a while to think about it, and while Nathan Jones still has plenty of Luton fans to win over again after his awkward return, the results have been nothing short of excellent. A 1-0 win over Barnsley today thanks to Jamie Collins means since Jones returned to coach the Hatters in May, only five Championship sides have picked up more points.

          QPR: After a disappointing end to last season, and the loss of their best player to Crystal Palace, QPR had a tough opener against Nottingham Forest, a side they usually struggle to break down. Goals from Lyndon Dykes and Ilias Chair made it a solid 2-0 win for Rangers though, and a great start to build off.

          Plymouth: A third minute effort from impressive 20-year-old Welshman Luke Jephcott was enough to get Plymouth’s return to League One off to a flyer, with Blackpool unable to muster any form of comeback against the Pilgrims.

          Swindon: And it was a similar tale for Swindon, albeit even more comfortable, with a 3-1 victory over Rochdale making it seven wins in their last seven opening games, the best active run in the EFL.

          Harrogate: Football League newcomers Harrogate were dealt a fixture that could’ve been looked at either way against former League One outfit Southend, who it turns out are still pretty low on confidence as they slumped to an embarrassing 4-0 loss against the former National League side in a game that featured a brace from Jack Muldoon.

           



          ««Losers««

            

          ©Getty / Nigel French - PA Images

          Brentford: Expectations are high with a new stadium and play-off final appearance, but Brentford got off to the worst possible start in the EFL’s weekend opener, slumping to a 1-0 defeat to Birmingham. Without Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, Ivan Toney made his league debut for Brentford, but couldn’t get anything going in a frustrating loss.

          Barnsley: Barnsley have been rather good under Gerhard Struber, and their fans have been understandably excited to get this season going, but a 1-0 loss to fellow final day Championship survivors, Luton, is far from ideal.

          Cardiff: Neil Harris and Cardiff have been a pretty good match so far, but a 2-0 loss to a Sheffield Wednesday side with plenty of problems to deal with is far from ideal. Harris had a big dose of second season syndrome in his previous job at Millwall, and will be hoping this is just an opening day glitch. 

          Derby: Aiming to push on after an odd but promising 2019/20, Derby got off to a terrible start in a 2-0 loss against Reading. The Rams were unbeaten in their last 11 opening day games previous to today’s and it already poses questions over the promotion potential.

          Oxford: Another play-off finalist and another loss, Oxford held on to many of their key men from an impressive season last time out, including coach Karl Robinson, but an opening day 2-0 loss to Lincoln brought them right back down to earth.

           

           

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