Well, here it is! Week One of many…
After a month of watching the nations go head to head at the World Cup, we weren’t made to wait long for the Football League to return. And it was back with a bang.
Reading vs Derby
Friday night lights. It was a perfect introduction for legendary box-to-box midfielder-turn managerial genius Frank Lampard. Jón Dadi Bödvarsson began the scoring but new signing Mason Mount got on the score sheet and a very late goal from Tom Lawrence sealed a win on an ultimately successful managerial debut. It was a huge disheartening result for Reading with Paul Clement’s men so close to earning a valuable point. 1-2.
Millwall vs Middlesborough
Millwall performed very well last season and they brought their great form right into this one with another quick start. 2-0 up at halftime and with a win looking likely, The Boro, a promotion favourite, showed why they are people’s favourites to go up, by scoring two late goals to earn a very good draw at a hard place to go. 2-2.
Wigan vs Sheffield Wednesday
After promotion back to the championship at the first time of asking, Wigan returned in the new season with a well-earned victory. The game was back and forth before a brace from Michael Jacobs and a Nick Powell strike sealed a good win back in the Championship for Paul Cook’s side. Wednesday however, saw a defeat end worse with a red card for goalscorer Atdhe Nuhiu. 3-2.
Brentford vs Rotherham
Rotherham found the hard truth about the Championship with a crushing defeat at Griffin Park. Brentford pushed them aside, dominating possession and having over double their shots. A late consolation goal by Will Vaulks was all the Millers could celebrate on a bad return to the Championship. 5-1.
Preston vs QPR
An Alan Browne goal was enough to award Preston with the win as it was a game thin on chances. A late Sylla chance was QPR’s best opportunity of coming away from Deepdale with a point. Preston will be hoping to reproduce the season they had last whilst QPR will be struggling after being dealt a severe financial blow. 1-0.
Bristol City vs Nottingham Forest
My beloved Nottingham Forest went down to Ashton Gate for what was a tightly contested game. I saw it myself and can say it was probably a tale of two halves. The home team were lightning out the blocks with an early Andreas Weimann debut goal. However! Second half, it was my boys in red who started the quicker with a Murphy goal a minute in. A draw was fair but overall both sides probably felt a win was possible. 1-1.
Birmingham vs Norwich
Another close encounter was at St Andrews where a dull first half exploded into life in the second forty-five with the Blues taking the lead after 56 minutes. They never looked like they could hold out and a deserved equaliser was scored by Onel Hernandez with ten minutes to go leaving the game open for a winner. With one minute left of normal time, Birmingham thought they had scored the winner at 2-1 but it was cancelled out by another late equaliser by saviour Onel Hernandez. 2-2.
West Brom vs Bolton
The big shock of the first week back in the Championship took place at The Hawthorns, where a relegation tipped Bolton Wanderers side managed to overcome a strong West Brom side away from home. It was a late winner from new boy Yanic Wildschut, signed on loan from Norwich, who sent the travelling Trotters fans into delirium. 1-2.
Ipswich vs Blackburn
Portman Road was treated to a classic with a very late Tayo Edun equaliser salvaging a deserved point against the recently promoted Blackburn. It had started well for Ipswich with new boy Gwion Edwards getting an early goal on his debut as well as looking very tidy with his feet. However, Rovers struck back twice with goals from Graham and Bradley Dack giving them the lead before halftime. They couldn’t hold out for the win though and both teams left with a point. 2-2.
Sheffield Utd vs Swansea
In the late kickoff on Saturday it was Swansea who came away with the three points under the management of new man Graham Potter. Swansea seemed almost similar to the way Manchester City play with Bersant Celina pulling the strings. After going behind to a George Baldock goal, they fought back and came out as victors. 1-2.
MY PICK OF THE BUNCH: LEEDS VS STOKE
My favourite game this week was the eye-catching event that came at Elland Road. Both teams under new management and both being tipped for promotion made for an interesting affair. It was the home side that came away the happier. After Klich had opened the scoring it was a moment to forget for Jack Butland as his error gave Leeds a two-goal lead. After Afobe had given the potters hope, Leeds captain Cooper restored the two-goal lead, quashing any chance of a Stoke fightback. 3-1.
Hull vs Aston Villa
The final game of the first week took place at the Kcom stadium where it was the home side who started the quicker with Evandro scoring with a speculative effort. Although Hull had started brightly Villa fought back and equalized through Elphick. In the second half the game opened up and Villa took advantage as ex-Tigers man Elmohamady scored after a mistake from Hull goalkeeper Marshall. Alan Hutton took the game away from Hull as his superb solo goal sealed the victory. 1-3.