Goal fever shakes up the Championship promotion race

Whilst the battle for the Premier League title has become a foregone conclusion, it’s clear that things aren’t quite so simple in the EFL Championship. Last weekend saw an incredible 34 goals scored in twelve matches that certainly shook up what’s been a thrilling season so far.

The biggest shock result happened at Craven Cottage where Fulham beat Wolves 2-0. It was another disappointing result for the league leaders who are now three games without a win and Nuno Espírito Santo will be looking long and hard at what Wolves can do to reverse this sudden loss of form.

The result will have boosted Fulham’s hopes of gaining a play-off place, but there were plenty of other goals at the top of the Championship table. The Stadium Of Light experienced something of a goal-scoring bonanza as Aston Villa beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-2. It was a well-timed return to form for Villa who had previously suffered from some mediocre performances against Preston and Fulham.

But the biggest goal-scoring extravaganza took place at Loftus Road where fans were treated to a seven-goal thriller. In the end it was Nottingham Forest who emerged the 5-2 winners against QPR, and it would have certainly helped Aitor Karanka’s in their fight to escape the relegation zone.

There was plenty of goalmouth drama in the North East too where a fierce clash between Sunderland and Middlesborough ended up gridlocked at 3-3. Whilst this bruising showdown didn’t quite make the shortlist of the highest scoring matches in football history, it was another thrilling local derby that was full of red cards, spectacular goals and even a wayward flock of seagulls for good measure.

Derby would have been hoping to edge closer to automatic promotion with what should have been an easy game against lowly-placed Reading. But it seems that it Derby just didn’t have what was necessary to beat a strong performance by Jaap Stam’s team, and the end 3-3 result was yet another remarkable goal-scoring feast in the Championship.

Of course, it wasn’t always the games with the largest amount of goals that proved to be most important. Cardiff took advantage of Wolves’ slip-up by beating Bristol City 1-0 in a close match, and the Welsh team look like they could have a strong chance of making an automatic promotion spot this season.

Down towards the bottom of the table, Birmingham City and Barnsley were locked in a vicious battle to avoid relegation. In the end, the visitors, Barnsley, emerged victorious with two goals against an underwhelming Birmingham team.

There were also important goals for the likes of Leeds and Millwall as both teams cling onto the slight hopes of gaining a play-off spot this season. And even Hull City managed to score an all-important goal against Sheffield United as they hope to keep on playing Championship football next season.

And with only one goalless result between Norwich and Bolton, it shows just how exciting a weekend’s Championship football can be.

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