Championship roundup: Bournemouth go top while Derby woes continue

Bournemouth climbed to the top of the Championship with a 2-1 victory over Luton as the Cherries continued their unbeaten start to the season.

West Brom’s victory over QPR on Friday night had knocked Scott Parker’s side off the top, but they restored their position thanks to Philip Billing’s volley in the 17th-minute – his fifth goal of the season – and Dominic Solanke’s header. Reece Burke pulled one back for the visitors in the 64th minute.

Ben Brereton Díaz scored a hat-trick as Blackburn stretched their unbeaten run to five matches with a 5-1 mauling of Cardiff. Sam Gallagher opened the scoring in the 24th minute on his return after two matches out with a thigh injury, then Brereton Díaz netted twice against a side who are still without a first-half goal this season.

Tyrhys Dolan made it 4-0 eight minutes into the second half and, although the Bluebirds pulled one back through Sean Morrison, Brereton Díaz had the final say with a 90th-minute penalty.

Bristol City’s dismal home form looked like continuing when Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header five minutes into the second half put promotion hopefuls Fulham ahead, but Chris Martin levelled 11 minutes from time as it finished 1-1 at Ashton Gate.

Mario Vrancic and Nick Powell were on the scoresheet as fellow high-flyers Stoke beat visiting Hull 2-0, while Derby’s troubles continued with a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United. The Rams – who plunged to the foot of the table on Wednesday when they went into administration, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction – were down to 10 men when goalkeeper Kelle Roos was dismissed 12 minutes into the second half for bringing down Billy Sharp just outside the penalty area. Sharp added insult to injury at the end when he struck the only goal from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.

Stoke City’s Nick Powell celebrates
Stoke City’s Nick Powell celebrates scoring his side’s second goal. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Shayne Lavery’s 32nd minute goal gave Blackpool a 1-0 home win over Barnsley which lifts them further clear of the bottom three, and it was a similar story for Swansea as Joel Piroe’s 17th-minute goal saw off Huddersfield in south Wales.

Max Lowe’s 52nd-minute goal earned Nottingham Forest a 1-1 draw at home to Millwall, who had led through Matt Smith’s 32nd-minute header, while Birmingham and Preston finished goalless at St Andrew’s.

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In the lunchtime kick-off, Reading beat Middlesbrough 1-0 to record a third successive win. Alen Halilovic made the decisive breakthrough in the 55th minute, before forward Matt Crooks was sent off four minutes from the end after clashing with home goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

After the game, Reading manager Veljko Paunovic vowed to ignore matters out of his control with the club potentially facing a nine-point deduction for breaching EFL financial guidelines. “I don’t want distractions,” he said. “We are only focused on the things that we can control – and that is our performance.”


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