In the sixth round of Championship games there were outstanding strikes, late lapses and a high-scoring thriller.
Here are four talking points from Saturday’s games:
Unlucky Burnley miss out on points and bragging rights
Along with Blackpool, Burnley have been the surprise package of the season so far. And yesterday they were superb for the majority of the match against fierce rivals Blackburn Rovers.
In a game full of chances and entertainment, Burnley finally took the lead in the 76th minute, and what a strike it was. Junior Stanislas exchanged passes with Danny Ings before curling an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was a goal fit to win any match, but as it was the Clarets dropped two points following a defensive mix-up that ultimately saw defender Michael Duff’s attempted clearance strike Jordan Rhodes and end up in the net.
Sean Dyche’s men deserved more from the game. But Blackburn played their part and Rhodes’ late strike meant Rovers haven’t lost to Burnley for 34 years and counting.
Bolton suffer their worst start for half a century
Prior to the new campaign, I tipped Bolton Wanderers to achieve automatic promotion. But with every passing week that prediction looks increasingly off-the-mark.
Dougie Freedman’s side lost 1-0 to Leeds United courtesy of an early glancing header from Luke Varney, and with both David Ngog and Darren Pratley foiled by Leeds’ ‘keeper Paddy Kenny, Bolton have now failed to score in three of their last four matches.
With just two points and a goal-difference of minus eight, something has to change quickly for Freedman’s side. Or he may soon find himself out of the job he seemed perfect for when he arrived last season.
Forest and Barnsley serve up a goal-fest
With Blackpool and QPR currently in possession of the automatic promotion places, Forest are performing admirably just behind them. Saturday’s 3-2 win over Barnsley was hard-fought and hugely entertaining, with own goals, penalties and late winners.
A stunning effort from Barnsley’s Tomasz Cywka to level the game at 2-2 was the pick of the goals, but Darius Henderson’s late winner grabbed the headlines.
Barnsley may currently be in the relegation places, but Saturday’s match suggested there are better things to come from David Flitcroft’s side…if they get the luck.
Is this Leicester’s year?
Every year I ask the same question, and every year they fall short. But Leicester City have started the new campaign in fine form and their 2-0 win over promotion rivals Wigan Athletic was both impressive and emphatic.
Questions will be asked as to why Foxes defender Liam Moore rose unmarked to open the scoring. But his thumping header was outstanding and set the tone for the match. Jamie Vardy was the standout performer, as time and again he caused problems with his direct running and refusal to allow the Latics time on the ball.
It was his run that led to the second goal – a penalty converted by David Nugent after Vardy had been fouled by Jean Beausejour – and he was a menace throughout. With him and the likes of Anthony Knockaert in fine form, could this be the season?
image: © lefty1007