Championship round-up: Despair for Owen Coyle as Norwich thrash Blackburn, while Nottingham Forest edge new boys Burton

6 Aug

Blackburn 1-4 Norwich

Jacob Murphy scored Norwich’s first goal of the season after 12 minutes in what became a nightmare managerial debut for Owen Coyle. Wes Hoolahan doubled the lead just five minutes later, with Cameron Jerome finishing off a well-work team goal to make it 3-0 to the visitors before the 25 minute mark. Hoolahan then turned provider, setting up Steven Naismith for the fourth goal of the game in the second half. Anthony Stokes did net a debut goal for the hosts, but it was nothing more than a consolation goal in what was a horror start for Coyle at Ewood Park.

Nottingham Forest 4-3 Burton Albion

Championship debutants Burton failed to enjoy a dream start in the second tier, losing to Nottingham Forest despite putting in a spirited performance. The hosts lost goalkeeper Dorus de Vries through injury early in the game, although they managed to take the lead – Britt Assombalonga grabbing the first goal of Philippe Montanier’s managerial reign. However, Lucas Akins equalised four minutes later, before Lloyd Dyer put the Brewers in front with a fine left-footed finish. Thomas Lam restored parity just before the break, and Oliver Burke restored the hosts lead early in the second period. The hosts then took the game beyond Burton, with goalscorers Burke and Assombalonga combining for the latter to grab his second, and Forest’s fourth, of the game. Tom Naylor scored a third for Burton, but they were unable to net the equalising goal before the final whistle blew.

Rotherham 2-2 Wolves

Alan Stubbs and Walter Zenga were facing off in their managerial debuts for their new clubs, and it was the latter who was dealt the first blow. Danny Ward headed Rotherham in front inside the opening 10 minutes, before Will Vaulks grabbed a second for the hosts with a screamer on the 20 minute mark. George Saville managed to reduce the deficit on the cusp of half-time, but Dominic Iorfa was shown a red card early in the second period to truly put the pressure on the visitors. However, they fought back to equalise, recent arrival Jon Dadi Bodvarsson netting the tying goal. The 10-men of Wolves managed to hold on to claim a point, with Zenga’s men putting in an impressive showing after going two goals behind.

Bristol City 2-1 Wigan

Bobby Reid scored an injury time winner for Bristol City, as they started the season with a home win over Championship new boys Wigan. Alex Gilbey scored the Latics’ first goal of the season following their return to the second tier, but Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham scrambled the ball home to equalise in the second half. Reid then secured all three points for the hosts, deflecting Gary O’Neil’s attempt past Adam Bogdan in the Wigan goal.

Huddersfield 2-1 Brentford

Elias Kachunga netted the first goal of the season for Huddersfield as David Wagner’s men started the campaign with a win over Brentford. The Terriers loanee headed home Tommy Smith’s cross early in the second half to hand the hosts the lead, but the visitors pulled level through Nico Yennaris. However, there was not parity for long, as Kasey Palmer netted the winner for Huddersfield with his debut goal having signed on loan from Chelsea over the summer.

Ipswich Town 4-2 Barnsley

Grant Ward enjoyed a dream debut for Ipswich following his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, netting a hat-trick in just 45 minutes in a resounding win over Barnsley. Coming on at half-time, Ward scored with his first touch, although the lead was short-lived, as Conor Hourihane equalised just three minutes later. Ward put the hosts back ahead shortly after, and a David McGoldrick penalty extended the lead further just after the 60 minute mark. Marley Watkins headed home a Hourihane delivery to reduce the lead, but the former Spurs youngster put the result beyond all doubt with his hat-trick goal in the final 10 minutes.

Reading 1-0 Preston

Jaap Stam celebrated a win in his managerial debut at the Madejski Stadium, as Reading beat Preston 1-0 to open their campaign. Summer signing from Chelsea John Swift grabbed the opening goal in the first half, and the hosts managed to hold on for all three points with a solid performance.

Birmingham 0-0 Cardiff

An entertaining game only ended as a scoreless draw due to impressive goalkeeping performances from Tomasz Kusczak and David Marshall. The former kept Peter Whittingham out brilliantly, whilst Frederic Gounongbe also missed an open goal for the visitors in the first half. Marshall then earned his stripes in the second period, making solid saves from Diego Fabbrini and Jack Storer.

Derby 0-0 Brighton

Two teams expected to be fighting for promotion this season could only start the campaign with a bore draw at the iPro Stadium. The visitors had more chances, but Tom Ince had the best opportunity of the game, forcing a fine point-black save from Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale in the opening stages. Tomer Hemed twice tested Scott Carson, but the Rams did enough to earn a point in Nigel Pearson’s managerial debut.


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