West Brom take back top spot:
The race for the Championship title took another twist at the weekend as a 2-0 win against Luton Town returned West Bromwich Albion to the top of the table.
The Baggies move to the summit marks another week in the blow for blow title race between the midlands club and their nearest rivals Leeds United.
Slaven Bilic’s side were able to move ahead of Leeds after the Whites slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic. The loss illustrated a familiar feeling for Leeds fans under Marcelo Bielsa; ninety minutes of domination without any fruition in the score line.
The two sides have been interchanging the automatic places for the majority of the season, with neither team able to grasp top spot with both hands.
In their last twenty games combined, the top two have managed just five wins, ultimately seeing a gap of thirteen points to third place cut to three.
Whilst the top spot has been a two horse race for the past few months, the poor form of both sides is sure to be punished soon, with the chasing pack showing no signs of slowing down.
Brentford demolish Hull:
For the neutrals, many have pegged Brentford as the favourites to close the gap on West Brom and Leeds. The Bees did very little to distinguish this belief during in Saturday’s early kick-off, defeating a poor performing Hull City side 5-1 in Yorkshire.
Despite leading 2-1 at half time, only conceding through a serious goalkeeping mishap from David Raya, it was clear Brentford were yet to move out of first gear.
The second half the London side began to purr. The Bees finished the match with 66% possession and twenty-five shots; total domination by the away side.
The highlight of Brentford’s performance, as it has been for the season, was the potency of their front three, Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo, and Ollie Watkins, otherwise known as ‘BMW’.
Benrahma scored three of the five, Watkins one, whilst Mbeumo chipped in with an assist. The trio have thirty-eight goals between them this season- the most dangerous front line in the division.
The result sees Brentford sat fifth in the league, five points behind Leeds in second place.
Relegation battle too tight to call:
Wigan Athletic’s surprise win at Elland Road means they remain 22nd in the table, yet the gap to 21st placed Stoke City has been cut to just two points with the Potters losing 4-0 away to Derby County on Friday night.
Whilst Luton Town and Barnsley remain seven points away from safety, it is still all to play for with sixteen games still left to play.
The bottom three will also be boosted by the result at Craven Cottage over the weekend, as Fulham finished on the right end of a frantic first half to defeat Huddersfield Town 3-2.
Town sit just one place above Stoke in the table and just a single point better off, meaning they remain just three points of the bottom three.
Charlton Athletic managed to defeat relegation rivals Barnsley 2-1 at The Valley and the result moved them away from the drop zone. However, with just four points separating the Addicks from Wigan, all six teams from Luton at the bottom to Charlton in nineteenth are far from safe as the season draws into it’s final few months.
Play-off picture finally taking shape:
The Championship top six has constantly interchanged throughout the campaign, yet now, at the thirty-game mark, the top six seem to be pulling away from the chasing pack.
This weekend saw Preston North End draw with Swansea City, and Millwall draw with Sheffield Wednesday; four of the five teams immediately behind Bristol City in sixth place.
The Robins themselves found victory against Queens Park Rangers, whereas Fulham and Brentford also picked up three points.
The gap between Bristol and Preston is only three points, yet this is large considering how tight the play-off chase has been this season.
Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest dropped points away to Birmingham City, failing to cut the gap to third to just one point.
With the top six opening up a slight gap, are they ready to consolidate their league position for the remainder of the season or will their be more twists and turns in the future?