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Sky Bet Championship 2016/17 Roundup: Week 2

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez is a worried man with two defeats in the opening two games of the season
Richard Lowe
ANALYST
Modified 15 Sep 2016, 20:22 IST
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Wigan Athletic with a convincing derby victory, Newcastle United struggling again and the other relegated clubs from the Premier League, Aston Villa and Norwich City, both playing at home, there is plenty of action in this week's Sky Bet Championship review Week 2.

Game of the week:

Newcastle 1-2 Huddersfield

This was yet another slip up for Rafael Benitez's beleaguered side, who now have no points from two games after another desperate loss, this time against Huddersfield Town. The Geordies, despite signing 8 players already this season, clearly have to improve if they are to make an impact and challenge for the league title.

Rafa Benitez highlighted the poor game his players had but remained upbeat. "We improved a lot in the second half, but it disappointing. I've seen the team do well in training, but we have to show the same things in the match, the quality, the personality and the character."

The match itself was decided by a late Jack Payne shot drilled past goalkeeper Matz Sels in the 82nd minute. This, after Huddersfield striker Nakhi Wells had opened the scoring at the end of first half with a shot into the bottom corner from a La Parra cross.

Newcastle levelled on the hour mark after a penalty was conceded by a Mark Hudson handball. Dwight Gayle took the penalty, it was saved, but Gayle followed in and headed in the rebound. The late goal by Payne, however, was enough to win it for the Terriers and that meant their first victory at St James' park since 1953.

Aston Villa 3-0 Rotherham United

This was a comprehensive victory for Villa against a Rotherham side that showed signs of promise up until Rudy Gestede's first goal. The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute when Gestede headed in a cross from Aly Cissokho. He then doubled his tally just before half-time, chipping over Rotherham's 'keeper, Lee Camp from Ross McCormack's pass.

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The game was finally put to bed by Jack Grealish who tapped in a finish after rounding Camp. This was Villa's first competitive victory in over six months and will come as great relief to their manager. "I can see we are improving and we will keep improving." Roberto Di Matteo said after the game.

Barnsley 2-0 Derby

Newly promoted Barnsley earned their first 3 points with a confident victory at home to Derby County.

The Rams will count themselves unlucky with the first goal after a shot from Captain Conor Hourihane rebounded off a post and hit the Derby 'keeper Scott Carson before going into the net. The Tykes Captain was again involved shortly after half-time when he set up the second, Alfie Mawson heading home his free kick.

There were more chances for the home side as Ryan Kent also hit the post.

Nothing went smoothly for Derby with injuries affecting their continuity during the game. Jeff Hendrick was forced off early, just after the goal. Then former England international, Darren Bent, didn't return for the second half after an injury just 10 minutes into the contest.

Brentford 2-0 Ipswich Town

Two second half goals by one of Brentford's summer signings was enough to settle the match and condemn Mick McCarthy's Ipswich side to an away day defeat.

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Defender John Egan scored twice in the second half in an 8-minute spell. The first coming from a powerful header when he met Lewis McCleod's cross. The second, a left foot shot after goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski could only parry Nico Yennaris' shot into the defender's path.

This brings about Brentford's first victory of the season after their away day loss on the opening day of the season away at Huddersfield.

Burton 1-2 Bristol City

Burton Albion will consider themselves extremely unlucky not to have come away with at least a point after Bristol City's Tammy Abraham scored a dramatic last minute winner.

The striker, on loan from Chelsea, had put the Robins ahead on the brink of half-time. The lead was cancelled out by Tom Naylor's shot in the 88th minute and the home fans must have thought that was enough for a share of the spoils before Abraham stepped up to steal the points.

Bristol City now sit second in the Sky Bet Championship after 2 games and are unbeaten this season so far after a victory in the EFL cup. City manager Lee Johnson was happy with the performance and the way in which his team keep winning, "We are a new team and we showed a lot of resilience. That's the third time we've had to do that and it’s a good trait to have."

Cardiff 0-2 QPR

QPR overtook Bristol City by beating Cardiff on Sunday afternoon. It was a comfortable victory for Rangers who dominated the game and scored both goals in the second half.

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A cross from Jake Bidwell in the 76th minute saw Steven Caulker rise highest and head home to break the deadlock. The second resulted from a penalty scored by Tjarron Chery after the Bluebirds ‘keeper brought down Sebastian Polter.

Cardiff managed just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes and their manager Paul Trollope lamented the 2 goals conceded, “We didn’t think our goal was under too much threat. It’s very disappointing to concede two goals from set plays”

Leeds United 1-2 Birmingham City

Leeds are still yet to register a win in this campaign and find themselves 2nd bottom of the Championship after goals in both halves for the Blues.

Despite the unavailability of both newly signed strikers, Che Adams and Greg Stewart, Birmingham were ahead after just 15 minutes. A collision between ‘keeper Rob Green, defender Charlie Taylor and Blues striker Jacques Maghoma resulted in the first goal. The striker being credited with the final touch.

The scores were level on 27 minutes when Leeds’ Hadi Sacko struck a low shot that was missed by keeper Tomasz Kuzczak. A close range shot on 55 minutes by Michael Morrison however, was enough to take the spoils and 4 points from 2 games for the Blues.

Norwich City 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday

The only goalless draw of the week saw the Canaries and the Owls fight out a stalemate at Carrow Road. Norwich City had the better of the first half, with Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson striking his own bar.

But Norwich almost had the last laugh when Gary Hooper went close, only to be denied by substitute goalkeeper Michael McGovern. The two sides will be happy enough with a point as they both remain unbeaten so far this season.

Preston 1-2 Fulham

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Preston North End remain winless and in the bottom three of the Championship after another narrow loss. The visitors, by contrast, maintain their 100% record and sit third.

Fulham were ahead on 33 minutes as Sone Aluko took advantage of some average defending to head home inside the 6-yard box. The advantage was doubled in the second half when Matt Smith rifled home a shot, being set up after some excellent build up play from Tom Cairney.

Preston came back into it with 20 minutes to go through a Callum Robinson header – his first for his new club – but Fulham held on in the end and celebrated a deserved victory.

Preston manager Simon Grayson was disappointed, “When you go 2-0 down it’s difficult to come back, but we certainly made Fulham work for the win.”

Wigan 3-0 Blackburn

Wigan had a comprehensive victory against local rivals Blackburn rovers in this largely one-sided affair.

Will Grigg got the first goal of the game, pouncing on a scuffed shot from teammate Max Power and nodding the ball home to send Wigan ahead. The match was all but over on 33 minutes when former Manchester United player, Nick Powell bent a superb free-kick in from all of 25 yards.

The second half saw one further goal, again for Wigan. This time, the unfortunate Shane Duffy, inadvertently bundled the ball into his own net after Michael Jacobs cross caused havoc in the Blackburn defence.

Blackburn are now rooted to the bottom of the table and Manager Own Coyle was disappointed at how the team performed, “Looking at their goals, we never gave ourselves a real opportunity.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Reading

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A comfortable victory for Wolves saw them remain unbeaten in their first 3 games as Reading were defeated by 2 goals either side of half-time. Matt Doherty was first on the score sheet, sweeping home a vicious shot from 12 yards. Shortly after half-time, their lead was doubled by a Joe Mason header from a corner.

Walter Zenga, the Wolves coach was extremely happy with the result and the performance. “The team played very well. The spirit of the team is amazing; this is what we have to bring onto the pitch every time.”

Published 16 Aug 2016, 16:18 IST
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