Winners and Losers from gameweek 5 of the EFL Championship
There was no shortage of drama, excitement, talking points and emotions in Round 5 of the 2019-20 EFL Championship this weekend and whilst some teams will be really happy with their position in the standings after the first five games, others are likely to know that they have plenty of work to do to achieve their goals.
Leeds United continued their unbeaten start to the season with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stoke City away from home following a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Brentford in the mid-week fixture.
Patrick Bamford, Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas all got their names on the scoresheet and Pablo Hernandez showed his class as the Whites drove past a disjointed and listless Stoke City who finished round 5 right at the bottom of the standings after suffering their fourth defeat of the campaign.
Apart from Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Swansea City also preserved their unbeaten start to the campaign, as goals from Kyle Naughton, Bersant Celina and Borja Baston guided the Swans to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Birmingham City at the Liberty Stadium.
Elsewhere, newcomers Charlton Athletic continued their dream run in the Championship, with Conor Gallagher’s solitary goal earning Lee Bowyer’s side a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Brentford.
The Addicks finished third in the standings at the end of Round 5 with 3 wins and 2 draws and the fans at The Valley should be mightily pleased with their club’s efforts so far.
Thomas Frank, though, will be a bitterly disappointed man after his team failed to make the most of the abundant possession and the multiple chances that they created, as the Bees suffered their third defeat of the campaign.
Fulham had a chance to sustain the pressure on the likes of Charlton, Leeds and Swansea but the Cottagers crumbled to a shock 2-1 defeat at home against Nottingham Forest, who bagged all three points courtesy of a Lewis Grabban brace.
Aleksandar Mitrovic netted his fourth goal of the campaign but that wasn’t enough for the wasteful Cottagers to capitalise on their resounding 4-0 victory over Millwall in the mid-week, whilst Forest climbed up to 9th in the standings with their second victory of the season.
Bristol City, on the other hand, continued their glorious run of form and finished Round 5 in fourth place, with the Robins bagging their third consecutive victory in the Championship.
Having triumphed over QPR and Derby County, Lee Johnson’s side put Hull City to the sword 3-1 away from home, thanks to a brace from Benik Afobe and an own goal from Reece Burke.
Preston, meanwhile, continued their merry way with another solid 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale following a 3-1 triumph over Stoke City in the mid-week game as Daniel Johnson scored twice from the penalty spot to guide Alex Neil’s side to their third victory of the campaign.
The Owls, on the contrary, missed the chance to finish Round 5 in the playoff places after a 1-0 victory over Luton Town in their previous fixture, as Steven Fletcher’s 78th-minute strike proved to be a mere consolation.
Elsewhere, West Brom and Derby County played out a 1-1 stalemate in what was a battle featuring two of last season’s playoff sides.
The Baggies preserved their unbeaten start to the season and Slaven Bilic would probably be a relieved man with that result, given how things shaped up over the course of the ninety minutes at Pride Park on Saturday.
Martyn Waghorn’s opener from the penalty spot was cancelled out by Kenneth Zohore’s penalty late in the game, albeit replays showed that there was hardly any contact on Matheus Pereira which led to the penalty and the subsequent equaliser.
Things would probably have been different for Phillip Cocu’s side had Waghorn managed to convert his second penalty kick of the game in the first half, which was kept out by a diving Sam Johnstone.
In a battle featuring two of the newly-promoted side – Luton Town and Barnsley, it was the former who emerged victorious, as goals from Jacob Butterfield, James Collins and Harry Cornick propelled the Hatters to a 3-1 victory away from home, earning Graeme Jones his first victory of the season.
There wasn’t much joy for the likes of Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town, as the Bluebirds played out a 0-0 draw against Blackburn Rovers, whilst a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Reading meant that the Terriers stretched their losing streak to three games in a row.
Moving to the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough started as favourites at home against Millwall but a 1-1 result was probably a fair reflection on the game, with Tom Bradshaw cancelling out Paddy Mcnair’s goal.
The 1-1 result meant that Boro finished Round 5 with just a solitary victory so far in the Championship and Jonathan Woodgate clearly has his work cut out ahead of a daunting trip to Ashton Gate next weekend.