Another action-packed Championship game-week saw Reading, Cardiff City and Watford emerge as the biggest winners. After 14 games, it is the trio that were relegated from the Premier League that occupy the top three positions. On the flip side of things, the bottom three all picked up draws and with a defeat for Nottingham Forest, they have all moved a point closer to safety.
Reading, Cardiff City and Watford Star Latest Game-Week
Royals Back to Winning Ways in Style
Reading 3-1 Bristol City
Reading ended an appalling run of form with a comfortable 3-1 victory over fellow promotion chasers Bristol City. After picking up a single point from their last five games, victory for the Royals has solidified their place in the play-offs.
The hosts dominated the first half, but neither side were able to find an opener. It was Reading though, who did eventually open the scoring when Ovie Ejaria‘s deflected effort sailed past Bristol City keeper Dan Bentley. Nakhi Wells restored parity 20 minutes later, latching onto a loose ball and expertly guiding the ball past the on-rushing Rafael Cabral in the Reading net.
Reading regained the advantage just three minutes later through Yakou Meite, who slotted past Bentley after latching onto Michael Olise‘s perfectly weighted defence-splitting pass. Lucas Joao then sealed the three points in stoppage time, coolly finishing off a well-worked counter-attack.
Reading move up to fifth place and are within two points of Norwich City, who lead the way. The Robins, however, now sit a place below The Royals but are occupying that much desired final play-off spot.
Struggling Cardiff City Thrash Dismal Hatters
Cardiff City 4-0 Luton Town
On a day where Neil Harris needed a result more than anything or anyone, he certainly got it. Luton Town, who had been a tough side to break down during this Championship campaign, looked toothless in attack but equally as shocking in attack.
Captain Sean Morrison opened the scoring after just five minutes, volleying home Harry Wilson‘s inviting corner from close range. On the nine-minute mark, 21-year-old Mark Harris netted his first goal in a Bluebirds shirt in his first start of the season, when he converted from Sheyi Ojo‘s low cross.
Things went from bad to worse for the Hatters in the second half, who completely lost any attacking threat they possessed in the first half and were confined under Cardiff’s dominance. Kieffer Moore headed home a third from another Wilson corner on the hour mark and Ojo sealed the 4-0 victory in the 82nd minute when the Liverpool loanee hammered in from the left side of the box.
Despite such a comfortable victory over a lacklustre Luton side, they remain two positions below The Hatters. However, such a convincing victory will give the South Wales club much-needed confidence and keeps Harris’ head above water.
Hornets Cruise to Victory Over Preston North End
Watford 4-1 Preston North End
Watford applied even more pressure on the Championship’s top two with a hefty 4-1 victory over a Preston North End side who had been travelling well.
Domingos Quina gave the hosts the advantage after nine minutes, hammering home from Ismaila Sarr‘s superbly weighted cross. Troy Deeney then doubled his side’s advantage from the penalty spot seven minutes into the second half. The visitors halved the deficit just three minutes later when Tom Barkhuizen‘s deflected effort wrong-footed Ben Foster in the Watford net.
Nathaniel Chalobah almost instantly restored Watford’s two-goal advantage, volleying home after a well-worked one-two with Deeney. Joao Pedro inflicted further damage on the travelling Liltwhites, tapping home from no more than two yards out.
Victory for the Hornets sees the club progress up to third in the table, whilst an eighth defeat for Preston already this season leaves them in 18th place.