Brighton sit top of the Championship following a very impressive away win at Craven Cottage, with new boy Tomer Hemed scoring a late penalty.
We picked Hemed as one of our players to watch, and he did the business for the Seasiders, who continue to be seen as an outside shot for promotion this year.
Many people’s favourites to go up, Middlesbrough, brushed Bolton aside thanks to a Diego Fabbrini masterclass. A belter of a goal and two assists for the on-loan attacking midfielder helped Boro to a 3-0 victory against Bolton. Neil Lennon’s team have had a poor start to the season and need to turn that around quickly.
The highest scoring game of the day came at Ashton Gate, where Brentford ran out 4-2 winners over Bristol City, who are finding Championship life difficult. A catalogue of defensive and goalkeeping errors stopped them getting any points against last year’s surprise package. Luke Freeman’s red card did little to help the home side, but ultimately, two goals at home should be enough for at least a point.
Charlton’s impressive start continued, as they got a point at Pride Park. Tony Watt’s first half strike was cancelled out by Chris Martin, who could have won it late on for the Rams. Derby have been tipped for promotion by quite a few, so an away draw is a great result for Charlton, but Paul Clement will want a few more points on the board. Two draws in two games isn’t bad, but it’s also not promotion form. They have the quality – do they have the mentality?
Charlton’s first game of the season was a great win against QPR, who were denied three points late on by a superb strike from Scott Malone. Charlie Auston, despite rumours of his impending departure, scored QPR’s second as they went 2-0 up, after Clint Hill’s earlier goal. Cardiff pulled one back through Sean Morrison’s header, then Malone’s delightful half-volley in the last minute won them a point. A disappointing start for the R’s, but Cardiff fans will be pleased with the resilience and character shown by their side.
Birmingham City are fifth after today’s action, as they were pegged back twice at Turf Moor. Matty Taylor’s free-kick was the pick of the goals, curling in from 25 yards. Birmingham got a slice of luck with the penalty decision, which looked incredibly soft, but there was no error with the first strike. Jon Toral bagged his second in two games with a clean half volley from just outside the area. An enthralling game to start the action, but Burnley will be annoyed that they couldn’t get a first three points of the season.
Preston got their first win of the season, to put them into seventh place, by beating MK Dons 1-0 at Stadium MK. Paul Gallagher got the decisive goal, but Preston were on the ropes near the end as substitute Jordan Hugill saw red for kicking out at a Dons defender. MK Dons should take heart from the game – they created chances, they just failed to take them. Preston will be extremely happy with their start to the season, and the clean sheet to go with it.
Tommy Smith scored a scrappy winner as Ipswich edged past Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road. Wednesday took the lead early on through Ross Wallace, smashing home after a neat counter attack, but were pegged back immediately as Freddie Sears buried a difficult chance. Smith bundled home a winner in the second half to leave Ipswich in the playoff places – where they finished last year. Wednesday are left on three points in midtable, but they will also be hoping to push into the playoff places by the end of the season.
Rotherham are bottom of the table after losing at the City Ground. Forest ran out 2-1 winners, but had to come from behind as ex-Forest defender Danny Collins headed in during the opening 15 minutes. Goals from Matt Mills and Michail Antonio gave Forest the much needed three points, however, as they try and get over a difficult start. Rotherham on the other hand will take heart from the fact they went ahead, but to lose is extremely disappointing. A big change is needed for them, and quickly, else they may be left behind.
Finally, Huddersfield and Blackburn both got their first points of the season, sharing a 1-1 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium. Nahki Wells fired the Terriers into an early lead, but Nathan Delfouneso volleyed home an equaliser. Blackburn lost Jordan Rhodes to injury, which will be a big worry, but Delfouneso deputised well today. Neither side will be overjoyed with a point, but it keeps them both outside the relegation zone at this early stage.