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Championship Review: Boro go second, Birmingham still winless

20 September 2018 00:31

Middlesbrough moved up to second in the Championship after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0, while lowly Birmingham City remain winless after a goalless draw at Sheffield United.

Queens Park Rangers scored two first-half goals in a 2-0 victory over Millwall on Wednesday and the Hoops are unbeaten in their last four league games.

Norwich City's 2-1 win at Reading earned them back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday – held 2-2 at home by Stoke City in their last outing – slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Nottingham Forest.

BORO BOUNCE BACK AT FIRST ATTEMPT

Beaten for the first time in the Championship this season by Norwich in their last outing, Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis called for a response against Bolton and he got one.

Jordan Hugill took advantage of a sloppy pass by Bolton defender Gary O'Neil and put George Saville through to score his first goal for the club since arriving from Millwall after 34 minutes.

Bolton cut out the errors in the second half but were still second best and another goal was no less than Boro deserved, Britt Assombalonga guiding his third of the campaign home deep into second-half stoppage-time.

ROYALS REVIVAL SHORTLIVED

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scored a 72nd-minute equaliser, cancelling out Teemu Pukki's opener, to give Reading hope of a precious point against Norwich, only for Mario Vrancic to score his second goal of the game a minute later as the Canaries inflicted a fifth defeat of the season of Paul Clement's beleaguered Royals.

Reading had fought hard for their first league win of 2018-19 in their previous outing, beating Preston North End 3-2, but they fell behind at home to Norwich when Pukki scored his fourth goal of the season after 14 minutes.

Bodvarsson's leveller from a rare Reading shot on goal gave the Madejski Stadium hope of a turnaround that might have delivered a first home win of the season but Vrancic struck before the hosts could react to extend Norwich's unbeaten run to three Championship matches.

OWLS' UNBEATEN RUN FALTERS AT FOREST

Wednesday arrived at the City Ground unbeaten in the Championship since August 19 and thought they had taken the lead when Atdhe Nuhiu headed Barry Bannan's free-kick into the net, only to see the attempt ruled out for offside.

Forest then took the lead when Lewis Grabban scored his first goal for the club since his arrival from Bournemouth, glancing Ben Osborn's free-kick into the far corner of the net.

Antunes Carvalho, who joined the club from Benfica in June, followed suit with his first Forest goal after 63 minutes, curling the ball beyond Cameron Dawson from the edge of the penalty area.

Though Wednesday substitute Steven Fletcher pulled one back in the dying minutes of the second half, it was too late for Jos Luhukay's men to turn the game around.

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