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Sky Bet Championship 2016/17 Roundup: Week 1

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez had to deal with an opening day loss
Richard Lowe
ANALYST
Modified 16 Aug 2016, 17:32 IST
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The first week of games in the second tier of English football have taken place.  With the relegated teams from the Premier league being favourites to go straight back up, Newcastle United,  Norwich City and Aston Villa will all have been desperate to get off to a winning start,  but how did they do?

Result of the week

Fulham 1-0 Newcastle Utd

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has spent close to £47 million pounds during the transfer window,  but his team travel back from London up to the North East this weekend with a loss from the first game.

A neat header by Fulham's Matt Smith from Tom Cairney's corner was enough to take the spoils.

Newcastle had claims for a penalty turned down at the end of the first half when Ryan Tunnicliffe appeared to handle the ball. There were also several chances spurned by Matt Ritchie with Fulham 'keeper David Button saving well.

Despite these chances, the Newcastle manager was clearly frustrated at this performance and called this result a wake-up call. "At the beginning we were nervous,  in the second half we made the wrong decisions."  He said.

Fulham themselves will be delighted at the result as they clearly offered plenty of threat in attack despite selling several high profile players in pre-season.

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic recognised the importance of keeping their feet on the ground after this result.  "This is only the start,  but we have to be ready for what comes next" 

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Other Week 1 results

Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Leeds

QPR started their season in perfect fashion this weekend with a comfortable victory over Leeds United.  Their first goal arriving in scrappy fashion when Nedum Onuoha bundled the ball home from a yard out after Leeds failed to clear a corner.

A penalty from Tjaronn Chery made it 2-0,  before a last minute Polter strike compounded the misery on the away team.

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Aston Villa

A shock result for Aston Villa who were playing their first game outside the top tier of English football since 1988. A late strike from Wednesday favourite Fernando Forestieri was enough to take the spoils despite several good chances for the Midlands side.

Birmingham 0-0 Cardiff

A largely entertaining but goalless draw was fought out at St Andrews by two sides with aspirations of playoff places. Both sides spurned good chances but will also be pleased with the clean sheet to kick off their Championship campaign.

Blackburn Rovers 1-4 Norwich City

Norwich City made a near perfect start in the Championship with a comfortable win against Blackburn.

A 25 yard shot from Jacob Murphy saw the Magpies on their way and the game was over as a contest within 30 minutes with goals from Wes Hoolahan and then Cameron Jerome. Steven Naismith then added a fourth before a 67th-minute goal from Antony Stokes for the home team was struck home as nothing more than consolation.

Bristol City 2-1 Wigan Athletic

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Bristol City left it late as they came from behind to snatch the spoils from an unlucky Wigan.

The newly promoted side went ahead in the 32nd minute through an Alex Gilbey strike and must have thought they'd done enough until the 81st minute when Tammy Abraham equalised from close range. Not content with a point, the Ashton Gate side attempted to press home their advantage and were rewarded with Bobby Reid's shot deflecting in, after the Latics failed to clear their lines.

Derby County 0-0 Brighton Hove Albion

A largely forgettable goalless draw was served up at the iPro stadium.

Derby had more of the game but failed to press home their advantage. Tom Ince was denied by Albion 'keeper David Stockdale in the first half and he was tested again by Will Hughes late on but held firm to help the away side secure a point.

Huddersfield 2-1 Brentford

A close game at the John Smith's stadium saw the home team narrowly beat a stubborn Brentford side.

Debutant Elias Kachunga headed in from a cross shortly after the break. However, it wasn’t all one-way traffic as Brentford's Nico Yennaris nutmegged the Huddersfield 'keeper to pull the Bees level. Town weren't to be denied as Kasey Palmer, another player making his debut for the club, scored with just his second touch on 79 minutes to send the home support into raptures.

Ipswich Town 4-2 Barnsley

6 goals in the second half marked a thoroughly entertaining match as debutant Grant Ward struck a hat-trick for the home side.

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Brought on as a second half substitute, Ward wasted no time in getting on the score sheet with a low drive. His second followed 10 minutes after Barnsley's equaliser from Conor Hourihane, when Ward hit a smashing finish. Then David McGoldrick added a 3rd from the penalty spot to put the Tractor boys in control. Marley Watkins then scored for Barnsley to give them hope,  before Ward completed his Hat-trick with another low drive late on.

Nottingham Forest 4-3 Burton

Another Championship game with plenty of goals that ended in a home victory despite a late surge from newly promoted Burton Albion. 

Britt Assombalonga was first on the scoresheet for the home side before strikes from Lucas Atkins and Lloyd Dyer put Burton 2-1 up. Shortly after half-time, however, it was all change with goals from Thomas Lam and Oliver Burke. It was Assombalonga again that made it 4-2 before Tom Naylor's header in injury time sent the home sides nerves jangling.

Reading 1-0 Preston North End

Jaap Stam, the former Manchester United defender turned Reading manager, oversaw a deserved victory in his competitive debut.

John Swift, a summer signing from Chelsea, made his mark from a corner that turned out to be the winning goal. Preston offered more in the second half and grew into the game, but the home side were always in control and ran out comfortable and deserved winners at the end.

Rotherham 2-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Rotherham will be disappointed with the result which saw Wolves come back from 2-1 down with 10 men.

Rotherham had the perfect start when on 9 minutes Danny Ward headed in from a corner. It got even better for the hosts on 20 minutes when Will Vaulks hit a classy 25-yard strike. Wolves managed to get one back in the first half through George Saville before Dominic Iorfa was sent off for the home side in the second for a pull on Jon Taylor. Wolves had the last laugh however when on 65 minutes, Jon Bodvarsson fired home to earn the 10 men a point.

Published 09 Aug 2016, 13:03 IST
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