CHRISTIANSEN’S FAIRYTALE START
LETHAL Leeds United took advantage of Cardiff City’s stumble to capture top spot in the second tier – and boss Thomas Christiansen couldn’t hide his delight.
Spanish striker Samuel Saiz gave the Whites a first half lead against Harry Redknapp’s struggling Birmingham City, but it wasn’t until stoppage time that they made the game safe. Sub Stuart Dallas bagged the second to clinch the points and send most of the Elland Road crowd home happy.
While Leeds were notching another three points, Neil Warnock’s Cardiff succumbed to their first Championship defeat of the season. The Bluebirds were brushed aside 3-0 at impressive Preston.
Stunning strikes from Josh Harrop and Alan Browne, plus a Sean Maguire effort, earned Alex Neil’s Lilywhites a major scalp and lifted them to fifth.
It meant Leeds were, preweekend, the only club in the second tier yet to suffer a defeat.
Danish-born former Spain international Christiansen, 44, who has enjoyed a brilliant start in English management, said: “I am a very happy coach, but I’ll be even more happy and proud if we finish the season in the position we’re in now! Birmingham made it a very difficult game for us.” Sheffield United continued their impressive start to life in the Championship with a hardfought win at Bolton. Both sides have stepped up from League One, but the Blades have settled faster into their new surroundings.
Debut-making on-loan Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, 19, fired into the roof of the net at the second attempt on 33 minutes to seal all three points for the visitors, who climbed to third. Rock-bottom Bolton remained without a win.
Wolves slipped back to fourth place following a 3-3 thriller against Bristol City. Goals from Wolves’ Leo Bona- tini and Diogo Jota were cancelled out by the Robins’ Aden Flint and Famara Diedhiou (penalty) to leave it 2-2 heading into the last ten minutes.
It appeared as though Lee Johnson’s visitors would take the spoils when the in-form Bobby Reid gave them an 82nd-minute lead, but skipper Danny Batth headed home three minutes later to earn Wolves a point. Sheffield Wednesday climbed into the play-off positions by coming from behind to beat lowly Brentford. A shock looked on the cards when Nico Yennaris gave the Bees an early lead, but the Owls drew level through Gary Hooper on the stroke of half-time.
With 20 minutes left, Ross Wallace notched Wednesday’s winner to leave the secondbottom Londoners still searching for a first victory. Brentford’s neighbours QPR battled back from 2-0 down to earn a point from their London derby against ten-man Millwall.
Conor McLaughlin gave the Lions an early advantage, but striker Lee Gregory was sent off after a crunching challenge on Josh Scowen shortly before the break.
Despite being a man down, Jed Wallace doubled Millwall’s lead five minutes into the second half. QPR piled the pressure on after that. Massimo Luongo pulled one back before substitute Matt Smith cracked in an 85th-minute leveller. Striker Daryl Murphy returned to haunt former club Sunderland by scoring four minutes from time to earn Nottingham Forest a 10 win at the Stadium of Light. Aston Villa made it two 0-0 draws at home in four days when they were held by Middlesbrough. Boro had ex-Villan Adama Traore sent off after just four minutes for fouling Conor Hourihane, but the numbers were levelled up when Villa’s Henri Lansbury saw red for bringing down Boro’s Marvin Johnson. Norwich and Burton also played out a goalless draw last Tuesday. The following night, Fulham overcame Hull City 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Floyd Ayite and Stefan Johansen scored for the Whites, while Jarrod Bowen replied for the Tigers.
NO JOSHING: Josh Harrop celebrates Preston’s first in their superb 3-0 win against Cardiff Insets: Leeds scorer Stuart Dallas, left, and Cameron CarterVickers scores Sheffield United’s winner at Bolton