Watford, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers Star in Championship
Watford Apply Promotion Pressure on Championship Top Two
Watford have struggled away from home thus far, and before their trip to Stoke City, they had only scored five goals on their travels. However, a 2-1 win over the play-off chasing Potters means that they are in amongst the automatic promotion places once more.
After a well contested first 45, the teams went in at half-time goalless, in a game that both sides felt they could go on to win. 20 minutes into the second half, Troy Deeney fired the visitors into the lead from the penalty spot after Josef Bursik was adjudged to have taken Joao Pedro down in the area. Deeney turned provider just four minutes later, finding Ismaila Sarr with his first-time through ball, with the forwards’ low drive finding the bottom corner. The hosts replied in the 83rd minute when Steven Fletcher finished off a well-worked Stoke move, but it proved to be just a goal of consolation as Watford held on to a rare away win.
Derby County Edge Past Struggling Queens Park Rangers
This Championship campaign has been particularly difficult for both QPR and Derby County, with the pair struggling to break clear of the emerging relegation scrap. And, that is exactly how the opened exchanges felt. After the first half of limited chances for both sides, Derby started the second 45 brighter and subsequently opened the scoring in the 56th minute when Colin Kazim-Richards tapped home after Kamil Jozwiak saw his fine effort saved by Seny Dieng in the Rangers net.
A win for Derby sees them move to five points above the relegation zone, but still just a single place above the dreaded drop. QPR sit just two points above them in 17th but are by no means clear of the relegation scrap that is forming just behind them.
Rovers Claim All Three Points at Riverside
In a battle for the Championship play-offs, Blackburn Rovers secured a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Riverside.
The hosts started brightly with both Britt Assombalonga and George Saville coming close in the opening exchanges before Nathan Wood hit the post from a tight angle. Blackburn – who were unable to create many opportunities in the first half – opened the scoring in 64th minute, when Joe Rothwell tapped in Harvey Elliott’s low-cross. Adam Armstrong should have made it two when he was unable to curl his effort on target.
The win for the division’s highest goal-scorers sees them jump to ninth and move to within six points off the play-offs. Middlesbrough on the other hand, remain three points off the top six; seemingly missing a bit opportunity to make up ground.