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Championship midweek Review

Reading moved to the top of table after their win on Tuesday. The Royals with their fifth win of the season sit three points clear of Bristol City. City suffered a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday evening going down to Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.

Wednesday night saw Bournemouth earn at point at Cardiff, a home win for Watford and Brentford win at Sheffield Wednesday. Bournemouth remain unbeaten so far and are currently fourth. Watford’s win sees them in thrid spot three points behind leaders Reading.

Tuesday’s Action

Reading won at the Madejski thanks to a Lucas Joao goal on 64 minutes. A long ball from the back was taken down by Joao with his back to goal. Turning past two Wycombe defenders he then fired low into the net. Another clean sheet for Reading who have the best defence in the division. A sixth defeat for Wycombe, and having managed only one goal puts them in a difficult position in their first ever Championship Campaign.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said after the game:

“Defensively, we’re looking solid so far but we have to keep working to improve going forward and game by game, we’ll keep building and progressing”.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth, meanwhile, had this to say:

“I think six defeats on the spin is a first for me and it’s not a nice feeling. We need to get a win on the board and I’m sure that’s just around the corner”.

Bristol City dropped to second after gifting Middlesbrough the winning goal at Ashton Gate. Playing out from the back Bristol defender Luke Moore got caught and lost the ball to George Saville who then slotted it past the advancing keeper.

This was Bristol City’s first defeat of the season, manager Dean Holden told BBC Bristol:

“We were nowhere near the level we were at previously, we didn’t have a shot on target during the game and our performance levels were well below where we’ve been”.

Neil Warnock’s Boro are 11th and the veteran manager told BBC Tees:

“We were always dangerous going forward, we just couldn’t get the bit of luck and we get a goal like that, we worked on closing down and George Saville did exactly that and it’s nice when you get your reward”.

Millwall moved into a Play-off place courtesy of a 2-0 win at home to Luton. A Cranie own goal in first half stoppage time and a stunner from Connor Mahoney. Mahoney’s shot form the edge of the box going in off the post.

Derby’s poor start continued as they lost at Huddersfield by a goal from Juninho Bacuna. Its four games unbeaten for the Terriers. Derby have now lost five of their six games who are in the relegation places.

Swansea remain in the play-off places following their draw with Coventry City. Jordan Shipley after 19 minutes gave Coventry the lead. Andre Ayew equalised on 41 minutes.

Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United shared the points after a 1-1 draw at the City Ground. Daniel Barlaser with a penalty for Rotherham after 51 minutes was cancelled out by Sammi Ameobi goal on 79 minutes. Norwich made it two wins in a row beating Birmingham City by a goal to nil. Mario Vranic with the goal on 87 minutes.

Wednesday’s Action

Watford moved up to third after a 3-1 win over Blackburn. A lovely piece of passing was finished by Pedro to give Watford the lead after just 13 minutes. Ismaila Sarrs’ skilful control gave him the chance to shoot, his shot was saved but fell to Tom Cleverley who headed in an open goal. Rovers hit back before half time when Brereton brought the ball down with his chest and volleyed into the bottom right corner from outside the box.

Watford restored their two goal lead just after the restart. A cross from the Watford left was turn into the Blackburn net by Darragh Lenihan. Blackburn had a lifeline to salvage something from the game on 69 minutes when Lewis Holtby was brought down in the box. Alex Armstrong took the spot kick putting it to Ben Forsters right. The keeper went the right way and pushed the ball wide.

Bournemouth dropped below Watford after drawing at Cardiff. The Cherries lead at half time thanks to a Dominic Solanke goal on 35 minutes. Jack Stacey’s cross from the Cardiff left found Solanke free inside the six yard box to tap home. Cardiff had chances in the first half, Harry Wilson shot from the edge of the box zipped just past the post.

The Stacy-Solanke combo almost made it two nil if not for a stunning close range save from Alex Smithies. The game was wide open and Harry Wilson struck the bar from a free kick as Cardiff looked to level. Will Vaulks saw his header from Wilson’s corner tipped over by Asmir Begovic. Cardiff did get level on 62 minutes. Hoiletts’ low ball across the box missed Robert Glatzel but went to Harry Wilson who sent his side footed shot into the corner. Stanislas struck the bar from a free kick, as Bournemouth press for a winner. Cardiff held on to get their first home point of the season.

Two goals from Ivan Toney either side of a Callum Patterson goal gave Brentford all three points at Hillsborough. The win sees Brentford one point behind sixth placed Swansea. Wednesday still have a navigate points tally of -4 which leaves then 7 points adrift of Barnsley.

Barnsley twice lead at Stoke with goals from Elliot Simoes and dominik Frieser. Stoke leveled first though Tyrese Campbell and then Tom Smith. Stoke’s Nathan Collins saw red for an off the ball incident with Frieser.

Preston continued their good away form with a 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers. Daniel Johnson with a first half penalty and Scot Sinclair with another in the second half. Preston top the table on away form so if they can fin some form at Deepdale they could really challenge towards the top this season.

Aubameyang double sees Arsenal secure their fourteenth FA Cup against Chelsea

This season was not the easiest for Arsenal as they struggled with manager Unai Emery, before making the change and bringing in former player and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta. After an improvement in their form since the restart, The Gunners were able to win the London Derby FA Cup matchup against Chelsea, 2-1.

The Blues were able to capitalise first after Christian Pulisic received the ball from Olivier Giroud and found the back of the net just five minutes into the game.

 

Twenty-minutes later, however, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from César Azpilicueta, who was shown a yellow card for his actions.

 

In the beginning parts of the first half, Chelsea were looking dominant and it seemed like Pulisic’s goal was going to be the start of a great match. However, the latter half of the half was all Arsenal. Overall, it was not a great first 45 minutes for either of the defences.

After both teams had their fair share of chances to score, it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 67th minute. Captain Aubameyang was once again able to punish Chelsea, who felt that the goal should have been disallowed after an incident between Andreas Christensen and Héctor Bellerín.

 

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Mateo Kovacic was shown a controversial second yellow card of the game by referee Anthony Taylor for his challenge on Granit Xhaka.

Ultimately, the fourth-place finishers of the Premier League were down to nine men when Pedro, who is set to depart London for AS Roma, needed to receive oxygen before being stretchered off the field to put the cherry on the top of what was already a horrendous match for The Blues.

Although Chelsea were able to have 60 percent of the possession throughout the match, it was Arsenal who were able to finish their chances. The eye-opening statistic was that The Blues committed 14 fouls compared to two for The Gunners. 

The North London-side were subsequently able to their 14th FA Cup in the competition’s history, which has helped them clinch a spot in next season’s Europa League, while also knocking out Wolverhampton from the competition.

 For Arsenal, they will start its preparations for the next Premier a League season, which is set to start on September 12. Chelsea, meanwhile, will face off against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena next Saturday, but are currently trailing 3-0 on aggregate.