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EFL Championship 2017/18: Week One Recap

How did Middlesbrough, Hull and Sunderland get on upon their return to the second tier?


Nottingham Forest 1-0 Millwall 

Over the weekend, round one of the EFL Championship took place with Nottingham Forest and Millwall clashing swords on Friday night. 

With Forrest dominating most of the possession in the match, the result eventually went their way after new signing Barrie McKay put the hosts in front just before half time. 

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With Millwall doing everything they can to get back into the match, they couldn’t find the back of the net, despite having more chances out of the two teams. 

Sunderland 1-1 Derby County

Heading across to the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland hosted Derby County in a very even affair. New manager, Simon Grayson, who was signed from Preston, was looking to make an impact in his first season in charge of the Black Cats.

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However, Derby struck first after Bradley Johnson put the Rams in front in the 11th minute. The lead was cut short just before half time after Jacob Butterfield handled the ball in the penalty area, awarding Sunderland a penalty. Up stepped Lewis Grabban to slot home the equaliser.  The match ended all square with both sides walking away with a point each. 

Bristol City 3-1 Barnsley 

Down at Ashton Gate Stadium, Barnsley were away against Bristol, looking to pick up all three points against a relegation threatened City side last season. 

However, an impressive start by the home team kicked things off, as the Robins were leading Barnsley by 3-0 at half-time.  A double from Bobby Reid and a goal from new record signing Famara Diedhiou were enough to give Bristol all three points. 

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A consolation goal for Barnsley, though, as Ryan Hedges’ left-footed strike found the back of the net in the 93rd minute. 

Burton Albion 0-1 Cardiff City 

A very tight affair as Welsh giants Cardiff travelled to Pirelli Stadium to take on Burton Albion for their first match of the season.  Cardiff dominated the match in an attacking sense, with more shots on goal than Albion. It soon paid off as Kenneth Zohore struck a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net in the 87th minute. 

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Cardiff held on to take all three points from the match. 

Fulham 1-1 Norwich 

The Canaries travelled to Craven Cottage as Daniel Farke made his competitive debut as new Norwich City manager. Last season, the two sides met with 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage and a 3-1 win to Fulham at Carrow Road. 

This season, the encounter between Norwich and Fulham started with a 1-1 draw as Canaries skipper Russell Martin was unfortunate to turn a low cross from Floyd Ayité into his own net, which put Fulham 1-0 up in the 25th minute. 

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Nelson Oliveira found the back of the net in the 88th minute after Wes Hoolahan dinked a ball over the back of the Fulham defence. This meant both teams were to share the points at the end of the match. 

Ipswich Town 1-0 Birmingham City 

The Blues travelled to Suffolk to take on the Tractor Boys in their first match of the 2017/18 EFL Championship.  The match was a very even event as both sides shared almost equal possession over the ball as well as the same amount of strikes on goal.  Ipswich found the winner in the 50th minute through Joe Garner who put his left foot through the ball in the centre of the box. 

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The Tractor Boys took home all three points as Ipswich went on to beat Birmingham 1-0.

Preston North End 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday 

New manager Alex Neil was looking to make an impact at Preston after being sacked by Norwich. The former Canaries manager took Norwich into the Premier League in 2014/15, but could not avoid relegation the following season. After failing to gain promotion back into the Premier League last season following poor results, Neil was sacked. 

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Preston played host to Sheffield Wednesday, who had ambitions of their own as they looked to build on a stunning fourth placed finish and missing out promotion via the playoffs.  Preston showed plenty of promise in their first match of the season and eventually took the lead after Tommy Lees brought down Jordan Hugill in the penalty box.  

Daniel Johnson took the honours as he was able to convert the penalty from the spot and earn Preston a well-deserved three points. 

Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Reading

Reading will look to forget about last season and progress forwards after missing out on promotion against Huddersfield in the play off final on penalties. They began their campaign against Queens Park Rangers, who look to bounce back into the Premier League after starting their second season inside of the second tier. 

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Conor Washington provided the Hoops with the win after scoring a brace of goals as he broke the deadlock with a header in the 22nd minute and also converted a penalty in the 59th minute. QPR gathered all three points at home. 

Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford 

Sheffield United looked to adjust at life back inside the Championship as they welcomed last season’s 10th place finishers, Brentford, to Bramall Lane. 

The Blades finished top in last year’s League One and are seeking to make the step up inside the Championship. Brentford, on the other hand, are looking to build on their top ten finish from last year and are aiming for a spot inside the top six, just like any side in the Championship.

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One of the new arrivals at Bramall Lane, Billy Sharp, was the centre of attention in the Sheffield dugout as he put his side up 1-0 in the 39th minute. Sheffield held on to take all three points off Brentford. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Middlesborough 

Wolves welcomed newly relegated side Middlesborough to Molineux Stadium. Middlesborough have spent a huge amount of money on transfers rising up to a total of £42.29m during the summer and will hope that their new signings will make an impact this season on their road to the Premier League. 

Both sides had a fair share of possession throughout the match, with Wolves showing more attacking intent with ten shots on goal, with Middlesborough just under that.  Eventually, the attacking domination paid off, as Leo Bonatini put a left footed shot from the centre of the box in the bottom left corner to put Wolves in the lead. 

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Wolves held on, as Middlesborough mustered some late chances as Wolves earned all three points from the match. 

Aston Villa 1-1 Hull City 

Hull City travelled to Villa Park to open their EFL Championship season against former EPL side Aston Villa.  Hull make a return to the Championship after being relegated last season from the Premier League.  Unfortunately for them, Villa opened the scoring inside the seventh minute, with Gabriel Agbonlahor taking a right-footed shot into the centre of the goal. 

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The Tigers found the equaliser in the 62nd minute as Jarrod Bowen found the back of the net to put Hull level.  The match was held at an even standard, and both teams were unable to break out for three points. 

Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Leeds United 

Leeds looked to build on their disappointing end to last season, finishing outside the top six after consistently sitting within that range throughout the season. They travelled to the Macron Stadium, where they took on Bolton in a tight affair. 

Kalvin Philips opened the scoring in the seventh minute to put Leeds up 1-0. At the half-hour mark, last season’s top goal scorer, Chris Wood, made it 2-0 to Leeds after putting in a header from close range. 

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Gary Madine found a consolation goal just before half time, where Bolton were into the break, trailing by 2-1. However, that was cut short as Philips found his second in the 42nd minute, where Leeds were leading 3-1 at the break.

In the second half, Bolton applied all the pressure, but could only find the back of the net once as Adam La Fondre converted from the spot. Bolton could not find an equaliser, and Leeds took home all three points. 

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Mark Casson

Loves Football - Norwich Supporter

Follow me on twitter! @MarkBruhz

EFL Championship 2017/18: Week One Recap

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