West Brom move to top of English Championship as Middlesbrough, Derby falter

West Brom move to top of English Championship as Middlesbrough, Derby falter
West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion signalled their determination to bounce straight back into the Premier League as their 3-2 victory at bottom club Preston North End powered them to the top of the Championship on Saturday.

With all five goals coming after the break, a header from Jay Rodriguez, an own goal from Ben Davies and an 88th-minute free kick from Dwight Gayle looked as if they would ease Darren Moore’s Baggies to victory.

Yet Albion had to suffer a few nervous moments, hanging on in the dying seconds after Alan Browne had headed struggling Preston’s second goal deep into stoppage time.

The victory saw West Brom, who were relegated from the top-flight in May, leapfrog Leeds United and Middlesbrough at the top of the table.

The Baggies have 20 points from 10 games, one point ahead of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, who had been held 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday on Friday, and Middlesbrough, who missed the chance of going top after drawing 1-1 at Hull City.

Brit Assombalonga opened the scoring for Boro soon after halftime but Hull pegged them back with Jarrod Bowen’s 69th-minute penalty.

Sheffield United also moved on to 19 points thanks to David McGoldrick’s double in the last 11 minutes, which helped the Blades come from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Millwall.

Derby County’s brief stay on cloud nine following their League Cup win at Manchester United in midweek ended when Craig Noone’s header earned Bolton Wanderers a 1-0 win over Frank Lampard’s team.

Derby’s loss was Norwich City’s gain, as they moved into the playoff places with a late 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic.

Brentford’s 100% home record came to an end, but they managed to salvage a 2-2 draw with Reading in stoppage time despite being reduced to ten men.

Swansea recorded their biggest win of the season, beating Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

At St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City fought from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Ipswich Town, while Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest played out the same scoreline at Ewood Park.

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