Most Read Football

Top 50 managers of all-time (clockwise from top left): Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa and Rafa Benitez all included by France Football1

Top 50 football managers ever?

Ferguson second? Well-respected France Football has published a list of the top 50 managers ever. See if you agree with them here.

Northern Ireland's Windsor Park2

Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying tips

Paul Higham has a four-team accumulator for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifiers and says Austria could be the bet of the night to start their campaign with a win.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages3

Paper Talk: United on Griezmann alert

Man Utd have been alerted to Antoine Griezmann's possible availability, while there's news on Thibault Courtois in today's back pages round-up.

Our look at the battle for the play-offs in the Sky Bet Championship4

Championship: The play-off battle

The battle for the play-offs in the Sky Bet Championship sees nine teams in the running. Tom Carnduff analyses it on a game-by-game basis.

Sporting Life goes inside the title race as Liverpool challenge champions Manchester City5

Inside the Premier League title race

As we pause for the international break, Paul Higham takes a look at the remaining fixtures and see who has the upper hand as the title race goes the distance.

Sky Bet EFL: Five things from the latest round of games across the three divisions

Pontus Jansson goes in goal following Kiko Casilla's red card
Pontus Jansson goes in goal following Kiko Casilla's red card

Tom Carnduff takes a look at the key events and big goals from the latest round of games in the Sky Bet EFL.

It's been another exciting weekend in the Sky Bet EFL with a number of eye-catching incidents at what is becoming a crucial part of the season.

In Saturday's big game, Sheffield United beat promotion rivals Leeds at Elland Road while Norwich extended their lead at the top thanks to victory over Rotherham.

Sunderland kept in the race for automatic promotion, as did Portsmouth, with both grabbing three points in League One.

Sol Campbell's Macclesfield are off the bottom of the Football League pyramid at the expense of Notts County, while Crewe hit six in a convincing victory over Crawley.

Our Sky Bet EFL man Tom Carnduff takes a look at five things from the latest round of games.

A dream start

How about this for introducing yourself to the Sky Bet Championship?

Making his first league start, West Brom's Kyle Edwards picks up the ball and beats several Brentford players before a tidy finish on his first league start.

It was also the only goal in the contest and gave the Baggies three crucial points in the race for promotion. A dream start, you might say.

Baggies caretaker boss Jimmy Shan was eager to praise the youngster following his performance.

"I have a lot of faith and trust in Kyle and have watched performances like that at every age group," said Shan after the game.

"He's a talented boy - his goal was a special moment for him and it was a special, special goal.

"You always think they have the potential to do that but until they set foot on the pitch at this level you don't know."

Five-star Latics

It was an afternoon to remember for Wigan.

They're battling against the drop back down to League One, despite a promising start to the season. Paul Cook's side were winless in seven before welcoming Bolton to the DW Stadium.

They were desperate for points having lost their last three, but a wonderful performance not only saw them pick up the three points, but also boosted their goal difference - not to mention confidence levels.

Wigan boss Cook was delighted at a first win in eight that sees his side move up two places on the ladder.

"It was just what the doctor ordered, without a shadow of a doubt," he said.

"The early goal helped calm the nerves, and we rode our luck once or twice in certain situations.

"But we created more than enough chances to win a game of football, that's for sure.

"I'm delighted for the players on the back of a really tough week. We never in a lifetime deserved to lose at Reading last weekend.

"We had people from the referee's association apologising for all three of their goals, saying they should never have stood.

"We then go to Blackburn on Tuesday and produce our flattest performance of the season.

"The pressure was mounting on everybody, which is just football today. But I'm just so pleased for the players, it's a great win."

The pick of the goals came from midfielder Michael Jacobs, who found the top corner from the edge of the area with a powerful strike that would have made Alan Partridge proud back in 1994. Traction engine.

Prolific Ajayi

This one makes the list as it landed a 14/1 winner in our Sky Bet EFL tips.

Semi Ajayi, a centre-back by trade, has been moved to a permanent role in midfield since Rotherham's game against Leeds in January.

Prior to that, he had only scored five goals in 101 Football League appearances. Following the tactical switch, he now has seven goals in ten games!

Unfortunately for the Millers, they were unable to continue their decent run of results against Norwich, who are in pole position to pick up the Championship title in May.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne took the positives from the game, though, despite leaving empty-handed.

"I thought the lads were excellent," Warne explained, "If Norwich have their best day and we have our best day, we're always going to struggle because they are a formidable side.​

​"With eight games to go, if we can keep that level of performance up, we can have a great end to the season.​

​"Going a goal down before half-time, when we played well, was a bit of a hammer blow.​ It was disappointing to concede a set-piece. We should mark better than that, it's inexcusable. Overall the lads were virtually blemish-free."

'He was absolutely useless'

Chris Basham was the hero as his second-half strike meant that Sheffield United snatched all three points in a 1-0 win over promotion rivals Leeds.

The defender, playing in midfield, stormed forward and connected with a Billy Sharp pass at the edge of the area to give the Blades a vital victory at this point in the season.

However, he may not have been in a position to score what proved to be the deciding goal, with manager Chris Wilder stating that his start to the game was not the best.

"He's done well to be the match-winner because he was coming off after 25 minutes because he was absolutely useless," Wilder said.

"I was going to do what their manager does and drag him off, but we kept him in it and I think he epitomised what a Sheffield United player is.

"He dug himself out of a hole and other players dug him out of a hole because he didn't have the greatest of halves of football.

"To come up with the winner was great for him. They're a good side, a really good side."

It was a game full of incident. Leeds, who had already used all three substitutions, saw Kiko Casilla shown a straight red card and injured defender Pontus Jansson wear the gloves for the final few minutes.

The Blades didn't take advantage, but they managed to hold on for a crucial three points.

Make up your mind...

This might be the most confusing end to a football game we've seen.

Jamie Mackie scores for Oxford in the 94th minute, everything looks fine and the crowd, as you'd expect, go wild.

However, the referee blows the whistle and seems to rule out the goal - instead pointing for what appears to be a re-take of a goal kick.

Now, a minute or so before the goal, Bradford missed an empty net to snatch a winner. The officials ruled it was a goal kick and from there, Oxford went up the other end and scored.

It's hard to give anymore detail because we still don't know what happened. It was a farce, and one that left Bantams boss Gary Bowyer furious.

"There are players in the penalty box (for the goal-kick), which you’re apparently not allowed to have," Bowyer stated, "and it didn’t go out the penalty area.

"They then go down that flank and the linesman stands still level with the 18-yard box and he’s talking down the mic about not taking the goal-kick properly.

"They have a shot that ricochets off (Jerome) Sinclair’s back. Richard O’Donnell has got it covered and then (Jamie) Mackie volleys it in.

"Then all chaos commenced. Three quarters of their dug-out were all the way down by the corner flag and nothing happens about that. So, the referee in terms of the rules and regulations has completely lost it."

The club's social media channels tried to highlight the issue and the refereeing decision - instead, what they're highlighting is how their player missed an open goal.

Bizarre. To add insult to injury, the result left Bradford bottom of the Sky Bet League One table.


Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Top 50 managers of all-time (clockwise from top left): Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa and Rafa Benitez all included by France Football1

Top 50 football managers ever?

Ferguson second? Well-respected France Football has published a list of the top 50 managers ever. See if you agree with them here.

Northern Ireland's Windsor Park2

Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying tips

Paul Higham has a four-team accumulator for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifiers and says Austria could be the bet of the night to start their campaign with a win.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages3

Paper Talk: United on Griezmann alert

Man Utd have been alerted to Antoine Griezmann's possible availability, while there's news on Thibault Courtois in today's back pages round-up.

Our look at the battle for the play-offs in the Sky Bet Championship4

Championship: The play-off battle

The battle for the play-offs in the Sky Bet Championship sees nine teams in the running. Tom Carnduff analyses it on a game-by-game basis.

Sporting Life goes inside the title race as Liverpool challenge champions Manchester City5

Inside the Premier League title race

As we pause for the international break, Paul Higham takes a look at the remaining fixtures and see who has the upper hand as the title race goes the distance.

Football Tips

Northern Ireland's Windsor Park

Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying tips

Paul Higham has a four-team accumulator for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifiers and says Austria could be the bet of the night to start their campaign with a win.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Nathan Aspinall is the UK Open champion (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in March 2019.