Sky Bet Championship review: Leeds go top after winning nine-goal thriller at Birmingham

Leeds celebrate Luke Ayling's goal against Birmingham

Reports and highlights from Sunday's action in the Sky Bet Championship, where Leeds won a nine-goal thriller at Birmingham.


Results

  • Birmingham 4-5 Leeds
  • Bristol City 3-0 Luton
  • Fulham 1-0 Stoke
  • Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn
  • Millwall 1-0 Brentford
  • Nottingham Forest 1-0 Wigan
  • Preston 0-2 Reading
  • QPR 1-2 Hull
  • Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Cardiff
  • Swansea 0-0 Barnsley
  • West Brom 0-2 Middlesbrough

Birmingham 4-5 Leeds

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Leeds United returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship and ended their mini-slump with a remarkable 5-4 win against Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

Goals from Helder Costa after 15 minutes and Jack Harrison on 21 appeared to put Leeds in control to end their three-match winless run.

But Jude Bellingham reduced the arrears six minutes later before Lukas Jutkiewicz levelled in the 61st minute.

Luke Ayling restored Leeds's advantage after 69 minutes and set up Stuart Dallas for their fourth goal six minutes from time, sandwiching Jeremie Bela's 83rd-minute header.

Jutkiewicz equalised again in the first minute of time added on, only for Wes Harding's own goal to make it 5-4 four minutes later.

Leeds were without 10-goal top scorer Patrick Bamford after the striker suffered a dead leg in the 1-1 draw against Preston North End on Boxing Day.

In his place, on-loan Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah made his first Championship start.

Marcelo Bielsa's side took the lead when they broke on a Birmingham corner.

Harrison collected a loose ball after Liam Cooper nodded away Gary Gardner's header and surged upfield before threading Costa through to turn Maxime Colin and bury a low, left-foot shot to Connal Trueman's left into the bottom corner.

Six minutes after his sixth assist of the campaign, Harrison made it 2-0 with his fifth goal of the season.

A cross from the right hit Harlee Dean and Ezgjan Alioski, with his back to goal, teed up Harrison for a half volley that took a hefty deflection off Dean to wrongfoot Trueman.

Birmingham gave themselves a lifeline when 16-year-old Bellingham fired home from 15 yards from Colin's cross.

Jutkiewicz had a half chance for an equaliser just before half-time when he seized on a loose ball after Dan Crowley had two shots blocked, but the ball wouldn't come down quick enough and he hooked over the bar.

There was still time for Ayling to steer the ball over at the other end from Kalvin Phillips' corner.

Birmingham equalised with the first meaningful chance of the second half.

Colin's corner was nodded goalwards by Kerim Mrabti at the far post and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla parried as far as Jutkiewicz, who nodded home his seventh goal of the season.

Leeds regained the lead when Ayling cut in from the right and lashed an unstoppable swerving shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Birmingham pegged them back again when Bela glanced in Pedersen's free-kick, only for the unmarked Dallas to hook home from Ayling's pass.

Jutkiewicz sent the home fans delirious when he stabbed home Bela's cross from close range to make it 4-4.

But Harding continued the drama when he fired into his own net while under pressure from Ayling's cross.


West Brom 0-2 Middlesbrough

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Middlesbrough sprung a surprise on promotion hopefuls West Brom at The Hawthorns as they claimed a deserved 2-0 victory in the Sky Bet Championship's final round of fixtures in 2019.

Daniel Ayala nodded the visitors in front in the 17th minute before Ashley Fletcher rounded off the performance with a quite astounding goal from all of 35 yards, deep into second-half stoppage time.

Albion enjoyed the opening stages of the game a little more, without asking too many questions of their rejuvenated visitors, and when the tables turned and the Teessiders decided to take the game to the home side, they made their own pressure count.

Boro got some early joy down the left-hand side and earned a corner, which towering defender Ayala headed home as he beat Sam Johnstone in the aerial battle.

From there Jonathan Woodgate's youthful side had their tails up; they almost doubled their lead moments later when George Saville's low strike was saved by the feet of Johnstone. Marcus Tavernier, shortly after, caught everyone out when his cross - meant for forward Fletcher - clipped the bar with the Baggies goalkeeper wrong-footed.

West Brom did look to reply after fashioning an attractive move of their own. Matt Phillips fed fellow winger Kyle Edwards, and he in turn picked out talisman Matheus Pereira at the back post.

Pereira's first-time cross back across goal was headed just over the bar by the charging Gareth Barry, and Boro would take their deserved goal lead into the interval.

That scoreline, and the first-half performance of his side, prompted Slaven Bilic into a double change at half-time and he introduced both Charlie Austin and Conor Townsend.

Albion did indeed return with renewed vigour, and with Boro perhaps not expecting such immediate pressure. Jake Livermore forced Aynsley Pears, who had watched from afar in the first period, into a smart save and Barry slashed a volley wide.

As the half wore on, the toll of the festive schedule began to grab hold of both sets of players. Tired challenges were in regular supply and referee Geoff Eltringham was busy with his yellow card.

Austin thought he might have drawn the hosts level when he met a Pereira cross on the run, but Pears - in excellent form - saved low.

Fellow substitute Marvin Johnson could have killed the game off there and then as Boro broke away towards the other end as part of a frantic finish but his shot, while well placed, was straight at Johnstone.

Boro would win the game by two clear goals, though, when Fletcher caught Johnstone off his line from distance and found the back of the net.


Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Cardiff

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Cardiff ended a run of four games without a win as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 thanks to early goals from Robert Glatzel and Junior Hoilett.

Tom Lees reduced the arrears but the home side were unable to get back on level terms, falling to their first Hillsborough defeat in the league since Garry Monk was named as manager in early September.

Cardiff took a fifth minute lead when Lee Tomlin found Glatzel inside the area and he brought the ball under control, held off Liam Palmer and fired low past Cameron Dawson.

Hoilett put the visitors further ahead three minutes later as he met Tomlin's low cross with a fine first-time finish.

Wednesday had a double chance to score when Sam Winnall had a low shot blocked by Jazz Richards and Barry Bannan's follow up was well saved by Neil Etheridge.

Skipper Lees pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 18th minute when his far post header from Bannan's corner went just inside Etheridge's left-hand post.

There was a break in play while Hoilett and Joe Bennett received treatment following a clash of heads. Hoilett was able to carry on but Bennett was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Will Vaulks.

Lees went close to scoring an equaliser, seeing his initial shot blocked and then his follow up cleared off the line by Leandro Bacuna.

In time-added-on at the end of the half, Glatzel slid in at the far post but couldn't direct the ball on target.

Vaulks sliced a shot wide from inside the area as Cardiff looked to establish a two-goal cushion after the restart.

A late challenge by Hoilett on Palmer resulted in the former receiving a yellow card amid strong protests from the home crowd, while the Wednesday player had to be helped off the field and was replaced by Julian Borner.

Etheridge punched clear from Jacob Murphy's ball played in from the left and Marlon Pack fired in a low drive which went narrowly wide of Dawson's right-hand post.

Curtis Nelson then threatened to break free with a strong run from his own half but his touch was heavy, allowing Dawson to gather the ball comfortably.

Vaulks put a powerfully struck free-kick on target in stoppage-time but it was straight at Dawson who dealt with it easily.

Wednesday substitute Atdhe Nuhiu burst through the centre but, under pressure from a couple of chasing defenders, he shot wide in the closing stages.


Bristol City 3-0 Luton

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Bristol City reignited their Sky Bet Championship play-off challenge with a convincing 3-0 home win over struggling Luton.

The hosts took a fourth-minute lead when Niclas Eliasson's cross from the left to the far post was met by a falling Marley Watkins, who bundled the ball past James Shea.

Famara Diedhiou doubled the advantage just before the break with a firm side-footed penalty after Jack Hunt had been brought down from behind by Kazenga LuaLua.

Andreas Weimann notched City's third from close range when latching onto a low near-post cross from the right in the 66th minute.

The winning margin would have been bigger but for some fine Shea saves as Luton plunged to their eighth successive away league defeat.

City could have been five up at the interval, making a mockery of the pressure being exerted on head coach Lee Johnson by a section of fans after a run of four losses.

Diedhiou should have done better when heading wide from a Weimann cross in the 16th minute and Shea had to produce a spectacular diving save to keep out Josh Brownhill's 25-yard curler nine minutes later.

The Luton keeper did equally well to smother a Watkins downward header in the 36th minute after another Eliasson cross to the far post.

Brownhill fired over from a 30-yard free-kick with the visitors almost exclusively on the back foot. Their only first-half threat was a 19th-minute header from Matt Pearson from a LuaLua cross that went well wide.

Eliasson, who has been racking up assists in the Championship this season, was a constant threat on the left flank for City and Diedhiou's spot-kick was just reward for his side's dominance.

Luton boss Graeme Jones made a change for the second half, sending on Martin Cranie for right-back Luke Bolton, who had been given a tough time by Eliasson.

It quickly made a difference and Hunt had to clear off the line when City keeper Dan Bentley could only take the pace off a Harry Cornick shot.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu sent a curling effort from distance inches wide with Luton enjoying their best spell of the match.

But City still carried a threat and Shea saved a Diedhiou header from Brownhill's chip into the box before Weimann's goal put the result beyond doubt.

The strike took any remaining stuffing out of Luton, who might have conceded more when pushing extra men forward in the closing stages.

There were few moments of anxiety for Bentley, who was well protected by the central defensive combination of Ashley Williams and Tomas Kalas. But City are likely to face a tougher test at home to Brentford on New Year's Day.


Fulham 1-0 Stoke

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Fulham will end 2019 in third place in the Championship table after Bobby Decordova-Reid's first-half goal earned them a 1-0 win at home to Stoke.

The Potters will hope for a happier 2020 as they end the calendar year fourth from bottom and out of the relegation places only because none of Barnsley, Luton or Wigan could win elsewhere.

Fulham were one of the six clubs Stoke had previously beaten in Championship action this season, with the Potters winning 2-0 in October thanks to goals from Tyrese Campbell and Lee Gregory.

Campbell came off the bench to net a stoppage-time winner in a thrilling 3-2 success over Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day but was back there for this one as Michael O'Neill named an unchanged side.

Fulham also required a goal in added time that day, from Decordova-Reid to secure a 3-3 draw at Luton. Scott Parker made one change, bringing Anthony Knockaert in for Ivan Cavaleiro.

Gregory's early header was easily saved by Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak and it was not until the 16th minute that the hosts created anything memorable in reply.

That required Jack Butland to pull off a fine parry to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic's drive after Josh Onomah had set up the Serbia striker in the box.

Tom Cairney's loss of footing on the edge of the Stoke box allowed Tom Ince to sprint away on a counter-attack that was stopped illegally by Decordova-Reid, who was booked. Ince was not best pleased by Knockaert landing on top of him either and was also cautioned for retaliating.

Mitrovic headed a decent chance over before Decordova-Reid broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.

Butland stretched to stop Knockaert's low shot from creeping in at the far post, where his team-mate was lurking for a tap-in. Stoke hopes of an offside flag failed to materialise.

Fulham were on top as Cairney unleashed a long-ranger that was only just too high, but they were forced into a change when Onomah had to be replaced by Cavaleiro in the 37th minute.

The half ended with Butland batting away a Mitrovic header and Stoke replacing Stephen Ward with Bruno Martins Indi at left-back.

Stoke were more menacing after the break, with Sam Clucas smashing a drive into the side netting and Ince screwing an effort wide.

Jordan Cousins was next to have a go, firing straight at Rodak before Alfie Mawson was off target at the other end from a corner. Ryan Shawcross was booked for tugging Mitrovic back but Fulham were no longer the force they were.

Stoke swapped Gregory for Sam Vokes for the final 20 minutes and sent Campbell on too but it was Fulham left-back Joe Bryan who came closest to adding to the scoreline with a shot from a corner routine that Butland did well to tip over.

Stoke piled forward near the end but Rodak kept out James McClean's first-time effort and a header from Danny Batth.


Millwall 1-0 Brentford

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Aiden O'Brien scored his fourth goal of the season as Millwall stunned play-off chasing Brentford with a 1-0 victory to go within two points of the Championship's top six.

The Bees began the afternoon third in the Championship table, eight points behind Leeds, but could not cope with Millwall's fast start as they went behind inside eight minutes.

After Murray Wallace's goal was ruled offside, Jayson Molumby harassed goalkeeper David Raya into a mistake before O'Brien slotted home into an empty net.

The Lions' fine run of form has got them dreaming of the play-offs as well since Gary Rowett took charge, and they twice went close to doubling their lead during a frenetic start at The Den.

More high pressing saw the ball break to the in-form Jed Wallace, who lashed a volley over the bar, before Shaun Williams' long-range drive drew a fingertip save from Raya.

Brentford eventually began to show signs of promise and registered their first shot of the game after half an hour when Bryan Mbeumo's left-footed effort forced Bartosz Bialkowski into his first save of the game.

The visitors threatened again as half-time approached, following some combination play down the left side, Rico Henry saw a deflected effort easily gathered by Bialkowski.

Brentford eventually produced some bright moments, with the Millwall defence put on high alert when Ollie Watkins' inviting cross from the byline came zipping across the Lions' goal.

And as the game entered a minute of added time, scuffles broke out when referee Robert Jones booked Said Benrahma for kicking the ball into Jake Cooper after the whistle had already been blown.

Millwall began the second half much like they did the first, as Jed Wallace and Mahlon Romeo went close, but were forced to cling onto their lead following the restart.

Mbeumo's header from Watkins' cross was thwarted by Murray Wallace before Bees skipper Pontus Jansson headed over the bar from Josh Dasilva's corner.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium in the cross-London clash and Brentford were left ruing the one substitute Jan Zamburek had near the end when he shot wide at close-range.

As Brentford piled bodies forward, Millwall dug deep and had to survive four minutes of added time to seal their first league win at home in three attempts.

For Brentford, the narrow defeat sees them lose now fail to win on their past four trips away from Griffin Park.


Nottingham Forest 1-0 Wigan

Goalkeeper Brice Samba was the hero for Nottingham Forest as unlucky Wigan were beaten 1-0 at the City Ground.

The Reds stopper made three vital saves, including one that kept out a second-half penalty from Josh Windass, as Paul Cook's side pushed their play-off chasing opponents all the way.

In the end Tobias Figueiredo's 60th-minute header was enough to secure three points for Sabri Lamouchi's side, who were lifted back into the top six as a result.

But the home side were left to hang on in the final stages, as Wigan looked to secure what would have been a precious point in their fight against relegation.

When Cedric Kipre clumsily pulled down Lewis Grabban it gave Forest a free-kick in a dangerous position but Joao Carvalho's curling shot was sent straight into the defensive wall.

A good passing move ended with Sammy Ameobi feeding Matty Cash just inside the box, but his low shot lacked power. When Carvalho was picked out on the left side of the area, his cut back only narrowly failed to pick out Grabban.

Wigan were almost rewarded for a positive spell of their own, with Joe Williams denied by a sharp save at his near post from Samba in the Forest goal.

Forest were finding it a grind against a side that had not won since they beat Forest at the DW Stadium back in October and the home fans were getting restless.

A better passing move ended with a shooting chance for Carvalho but his effort was wild from the edge of the box.

And it was Wigan who came closer again, as a fierce shot from Williams deflected narrowly wide of the upright.

The visitors had been the better side for long spells but it was still Forest who were kicking themselves for not going into half-time with the lead.

Grabban uncharacteristically headed wide when presented with a fine chance by Ryan Yates, who delivered a precise ball to the far post late in the half.

Nathan Byrne missed a superb chance for Wigan early in the second half, sprinting clear with great pace only to then jab a shot wide at the vital moment.

Forest made two changes, bringing on Joe Lolley and Tiago Silva in the 56th minute, and the latter had an immediate impact as he delivered a corner from the left side from which the home side took the lead.

The Portuguese sub's cross was inch-perfect, picking out his fellow countryman, Figueiredo, to glance a header across goal, sending it looping inside the far post.

Forest had already survived one penalty claim when Jamal Lowe had gone down in the box. But there was to be no reprieve when Alfa Semedo slid in with a clumsy challenge on sub Joe Gelhardt, seconds after he had come on, in the 77th minute.

Windass put the ball on the spot but Samba dived to his left to make a fine save, keeping out a penalty that was not quite fired into the bottom corner.

The Forest keeper then made another great save, keeping out an effort from Antonee Robinson at his near post.

There was a nervous finale for the home side, as Wigan threw everything they had at forcing an equaliser.


Preston 0-2 Reading

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John Swift and Lucas Joao struck early as Reading put a dent in Preston's promotion bid with a 2-0 win at Deepdale.

Defeat saw Preston slip out of the Championship play-off places after a run of three matches without a win.

The Lilywhites had lost their last four games against the Berkshire side and, with the Royals coming off back-to-back victories, the stage was set for a testing afternoon for the hosts.

But it was the home side had the first chance, Josh Harrop making a nuisance of himself and slipping a pass to Brad Potts who forced Rafael Cabral into a low save.

Reading took the lead with their first attack, with what proved a real cracker.

Charlie Adam played a lovely pass to Tyler Blackett and he pulled back for Swift to caress the ball to the left of Declan Rudd.

They soon doubled their lead. Blackett was again the provider, this time he slid a ball to Joao and the Portuguese forward fired left-footed across the sprawling Rudd, who got a hand to it but couldn't prevent it nestling in the far corner.

It seemed that the Royals had made it three when Ovie Ejaria struck the upright with a long-range piledriver, Joao put the rebound in the back of the net, but the assistant referee flagged for offside.

Roared on by an expectant crowd, Preston improved after the break and created chance after chance.

First Billy Bodin let fly from 20 yards and forced Cabral into a stunning finger-tip save.

Then Ben Pearson and Sean Maguire went close for North End. A heroic block by Michael Morrison retained Reading's advantage.

Next it was Cabral the Royals had to thank. Andrew Hughes' cross was met with a diving header by Tom Clarke. Cabral almost sat on the ball but recovered to gather.

A weak back header by Ben Davies saw Joao sneak in but his prod was well saved by the on-rushing Rudd.

It was wing-back Hughes' left foot that was relied upon to swing the crosses into the Reading box but even substitute Jayden Stockley, renowned for his heading ability, could not convert.

The Royals played Joao as a lone striker in the second half and he struggled to feed off scraps in a complete contrast to the first half.

But ultimately it was a disappointing afternoon at Deepdale for the team in white who will rue giving their mid-table opponents a cushion that they defended so well.


Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn

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Steve Mounie was Huddersfield's hero as they came from behind to claim a fine 2-1 win and beat promotion-chasing Blackburn at home for the first time in 20 years.

The Benin striker grabbed a 71st-minute winner for the Terriers as they bravely fought back to end Rovers' eight-game unbeaten league run at the John Smith's Stadium.

It was Huddersfield's first home league win since victory over Rovers back in August 1999.

Experienced striker Danny Graham headed the visitors into a seventh-minute lead with his second goal in four games.

But Slovenian centre-back Jon Stankovic equalised with a splendid diving header for his first goal since August 2018.

Mounie then took centre stage as he won it with a thunderous strike from distance to delight the home supporters.

Terriers boss Danny Cowley made two changes to his side, with the injured Jonathan Hogg replaced by Lewis O'Brien in the middle of the park, while full-back Florent Hadergjonaj dropped to the bench and Jaden Brown returned from an ankle injury.

And there were five changes for Rovers as manager Tony Mowbray shuffled his pack after Boxing Day's 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham.

Injured midfielder Lewis Holtby and defenders Derrick Williams and Ryan Nyambe all missed out, while Adam Armstrong and Amari'i Bell dropped to the bench.

In came Joe Rothwell, Stewart Downing, Lewis Travis, Tosin Adarabioyo and Graham as Rovers looked to make it four unbeaten on the road.

The visitors started brightly and Huddersfield goalkeeper Kamil Grabara pulled off a fine point-blank save to deny Sam Gallagher an opening goal after only five minutes.

But the opener was just around the corner when, two minutes later, Travis picked out an unmarked Graham and the striker headed into the bottom-left corner beyond Grabara.

Midfielder O'Brien rifled well wide as the hosts looked for an immediate response, before leading scorer Karlan Grant struck the frame of the goal with a chipped crossed that almost resulted in an equaliser.

Moments later referee Andy Woolmer turned down calls for a penalty after Grant went down in the box after a lunging tackle from Darragh Lenihan.

However, an equaliser came when midfielder Juninho Bacuna fizzed in a dangerous free-kick and the onrushing Stankovic lost his marker to head into the left corner.

O'Brien had a powerful shot charged down in the box by John Buckley as the Yorkshire outfit pushed for a second goal, while at the other end Buckley had a shot of his own blocked by Terriers skipper Christopher Schindler, only just back on the pitch after a head injury.

Rovers goalkeeper Christian Walton thwarted Grant with a superb one-handed fingertip save just before the break.

Grant also had a shot deflected inches wide in first-half stoppage-time as the home side came within a whisker of talking a lead in with them at the interval.

There were no chances in the opening 20 minutes of the second half but eventually Grant went close, his deflected header from a Bacuna header flying agonisingly wide of the back post.

And the game lit up when Mounie lashed a stunning right-foot shot into the top-right corner from distance.

Grabara denied Adarabioyo late on with a fine block from close range, but Huddersfield could have scored themselves.

Grant was thwarted by Walton at his near post and substitute Fraizer Campbell dragged a left-foot shot beyond the far post.

Rovers had nine minutes of time added on to try and snatch an equaliser, but the hosts comfortably held out for three vital points in their battle to avoid relegation.


QPR 1-2 Hull

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Jackson Irvine scored an 89th-minute winner as Hull came from behind to beat QPR 2-1 in the Championship.

Ilias Chair put Rangers ahead after 20 minutes at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, but goalkeeper Joe Lumley spilled Josh Bowler's cross just after the half-hour mark and George Honeyman was on hand to equalise.

And the defensive lapses which have plagued QPR this season were evident yet again when Irvine wandered in unchallenged to nudge Jarrod Bowen's free-kick past Lumley.

Chair opened the scoring with a low right-footed strike from near the left-hand edge of the penalty area following a short-corner routine involving Ryan Manning and Ebere Eze.

The home side then began to dominate and Stephen Kingsley, who later went off after picking up an injury, blocked Luke Amos' shot after the on-loan Tottenham youngster had been teed up by Nahki Wells.

Bright Osayi-Samuel then went close for Rangers, shooting over after cutting in from the right flank, before a cross by Amos was steered wide of the near post by Wells.

With their opponents seemingly in complete control of the game, Hull equalised out of nothing courtesy of Honeyman's first goal since joining the Tigers from Sunderland during the summer.

Lumley, whose season has been blighted by a number of errors, should have gathered the ball in routine fashion but failed to do so and Honeyman was able to score from close range.

Lumley atoned somewhat when he dived to his right to push away a left-footed effort from former QPR academy player Bowler.

Hull keeper George Long also produced a fine save before the interval, pushing over Chair's shot after the midfielder had been put through by Amos.

The second half produced fewer clear-cut openings as both sides laboured.

Amos and Dominic Ball went close for Rangers, shooting wide of the target, while Tom Eaves headed Honeyman's right-wing cross wide just after coming on as a substitute.

QPR manager Mark Warburton sent on striker Jordan Hugill with 12 minutes remaining in an attempt to find a winner.

But the on-loan West Ham man was unable to capitalise when a chance came his way.

Eze found Wells, who sent in a low cross from the left which the stretching Hugill could not connect with.

Irvine, on the other hand, made no mistake, condemning QPR to a third defeat in four games.


Swansea 0-0 Barnsley

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Barnsley held Swansea to a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium to claim another valuable point in their fight for Sky Bet Championship survival.

The Tykes are now unbeaten in their last five matches after goalkeeper Samuel Radlinger made a string of crucial saves to keep the scores level.

They are now level on 21 points with Stoke in the battle to stay in the second tier of English football.

Swansea moved a point away from the play-off places despite failing to win for the second game in a row.

Boss Steve Cooper made two changes to his Swans side following their Boxing Day defeat at Brentford.

Kyle Naughton came in at right-back in place of Connor Roberts and Jay Fulton replaced George Byers in the centre of midfield.

Barnsley's eight-point haul from five festive fixtures had given them fresh hope of survival.

Manager Gerhard Struber stuck with the XI that drew with Championship leaders West Brom after Alex Mowatt recovered from illness.

The Tykes midfielder saw yellow in the 22nd minute for tugging Andre Ayew's shirt after an uneventful opening quarter.

Barnsley thought they had snatched the lead when Conor Chaplin flicked Cauley Woodrow's back-heel past Freddie Woodman, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Radlinger then made two important saves to keep the visitors on level terms. He got down sharply to deny Bersant Celina after he was picked out by Ayew before using his lightning reactions to deny Sam Surridge's close-range shot at his back post.

The Tykes goalkeeper was almost caught out 10 minutes before half-time after racing out of his area to head a loose ball clear.

Surridge sent a dipping shot over the head of Radlinger from 30 yards after his header fell at the feet of Tom Carroll.

The goalkeeper scrambled back as the ball looped over his head, but he was able to breathe a sigh of relief as the ball rattled the crossbar.

Swansea were thanking the woodwork after half-time when Mowatt's cross found Jacob Brown, but the striker slammed a shot against a post from three yards.

Cooper's side had another clear-cut opportunity to break the deadlock in the 56th minute when Ayew headed Matt Grimes' corner towards goal, but Radlinger was there once again to scramble the ball away with his feet.

Substitute Byers was next to go close when he sent a first-time shot half-a-yard wide after being teed-up by Naughton's low cross.

But as the clock ticked down towards the final whistle, both sides seemed content with a point.


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