West Brom maintained their two-point lead at the Championship summit with a slender 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.

Preston North End and Leeds United remain within touching distance of the Baggies after wins over Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

At the other end of the table, Michael O'Neill inspired Stoke City to a 4-2 win over Barnsley in his first game since taking charge of the club – a result that lifts them above the Tykes at the foot of the table.

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest edged out Derby County in the East Midlands derby, while there also wins for Fulham, Millwall, Reading and Brentford.

 

BAGGIES STAY TOP AFTER LIVERMORE STUNNER

Jake Livermore's second goal of the season was enough for West Brom to edge out Hull at the KCOM Stadium.

The 29-year-old midfielder finished off a short corner routine in spectacular style after 28 minutes, taking a touch to control the ball 20 yards from goal and unleashing a rocket of a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the Tigers' net.

Hull started the second half brightly and Kevin Stewart missed crucial chances as Slaven Bilic's side found themselves exposed at the back.

But the visitors should have doubled their lead when Matheus Pereira – their outstanding creative player so far this season – sent a chip narrowly over the crossbar, but Bilic's table-toppers claimed all three points nonetheless.

BAMFORD ON TARGET AS WHITES WIN AGAIN

Leeds went into their clash against Blackburn unbeaten in four matches but striker Patrick Bamford was without a goal at Elland Road since April.

The former Middlesbrough striker ended his home drought after a foul on Luke Ayling earned a dominant Leeds side a penalty, Bamford coolly sending Christian Walton the wrong way as he stroked the ball home.

Bamford had a hand in the Whites' second, touching Kalvin Phillips' floated ball deftly into the path of Jack Harrison, who sent an angled shot in off the far post.

But slack marking allowed Derrick Williams to head Blackburn back into the game five minutes before half-time, the full-back rising to meet Stewart Downing's cross for his third goal of the season from 12 yards.

A combative Rovers side failed to break Marcelo Bielsa's men down, however, as they collected back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since August.

PRESTON TOO STRONG FOR RESURGENT TERRIERS

Huddersfield's recent revival came to a crashing halt at Deepdale as Preston registered a third consecutive league win with a 3-1 victory.

The Terriers were unbeaten in seven league games but never looked like clawing their way back into the game after Jayden Stockley had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead.

Alan Browne doubled that advantage shortly after the half-hour mark, while Paul Gallagher added a third with a penalty five minutes after the interval.

Juninho Bacuna pulled one back for the visitors 16 minutes from time, but it did little to take the gloss off another impressive win for Alex Neil's side.

O'NEILL MAKES INSTANT IMPACT AT STOKE

O'Neill made a superb start to life with struggling Stoke, guiding them to an emphatic win over Barnsley at Oakwell.

A Sam Clucas brace and goals from Joe Allen and Lee Gregory helped the Potters end a run of three consecutive defeats and start life after Nathan Jones in style.

Elsewhere, Lewis Grabban scored the only goal of the game as Forest edged out local rivals Derby, while Fulham registered a 1-0 win at Birmingham City.

Millwall overcame Charlton Athletic 2-1, Reading powered past Luton Town 3-0 and Brentford beat Wigan Athletic by the same scoreline.

In the day's other games, Middlesbrough drew 2-2 away at QPR and Swansea City scored deep into stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Leeds United carved out a 2-0 win against QPR to reclaim top spot in the Championship, while struggling Middlesbrough suffered another defeat to remain in the bottom three.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds had been held to back-to-back draws ahead of Saturday's match, but a goal in each half from Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison lifted them to the summit.

At the opposite end of the division, Jonathan Woodgate remains under pressure following Middlesbrough's 2-0 loss at Derby County, with Tom Lawrence scoring both goals.

Luton Town and Wigan Athletic also remain in trouble after losing to Nottingham Forest and Swansea City respectively on a dramatic day of Championship action.

 

LEEDS KEEP PACE WITH SWANSEA

With West Brom not in action until Monday, the chasing pack knew they had a chance to capitalise.

Swansea were first up in the early kick-off and followed up their 1-0 derby win over Cardiff City last time out with a late 2-1 victory at Wigan to temporarily move top.

Sam Surridge's late header snatched all three points for Swansea after Kieffer Moore had cancelled out Nathan Dyer's opener from the penalty spot.

However, the Welsh side dropped down to second a few hours later following Leeds' home win, Harrison adding to Roberts' first goal of the season.

FOREST CLIMB INTO PLAY-OFFS

Having had their game with Reading called off last week due to bad weather, Nottingham Forest put their fresh legs to good use by opening a two-goal lead at Luton Town.

Callum McManaman pulled one back late on for strugglers Luton, but goals from Lewis Grabban and Sammy Ameobi proved enough to move 2-1 winners Forest from 10th to fifth.

Sheffield Wednesday remain outside the top six after going down 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, all three goals at Ewood Park coming in the final seven minutes.

Jacob Murphy made the breakthrough for the Owls, only for Tosin Adarabioyo and John Buckley to net in quick succession to end Blackburn's six-match winless run.

 

PRESSURE BUILDING ON WOODGATE

The Championship's lowest scorers fired another blank - their fourth in a row - with Derby winger Lawrence's brace at Pride Park leaving under-fire Woodgate with two wins since becoming Boro boss.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield Town opened up a four-point gap on the relegation zone with a Karlan Grant-inspired 1-0 win at fellow in-form side Brentford.

Grant broke the deadlock just after the hour mark at Griffin Park to snap Brentford's three-match winning streak and continue Huddersfield's resurgence under Danny Cowley.

Meanwhile, Reading beat fellow strugglers Millwall 2-1 through first-half goals from Jordan Obita and Sam Baldock to give themselves some breathing space.

CARDIFF EDGE FIERY ENCOUNTER

Hull City picked up a third league win in a row with a clinical 3-0 victory over out-of-form Fulham, who have won just one of their last five matches.

A first goal in senior football from Josh Bowler gave Hull the lead and further goals followed from Jarrod Bowen and Tom Eaves after the break.

Grant McCann's ever-improving side are now in 11th place, one point better off than Cardiff City, who were 4-2 winners over Birmingham City in south Wales.

Joe Ralls scored a hat-trick in an eventful contest that ended with both teams reduced to 10 men, with Danny Ward and Harlee Dean the players to see red.

West Brom had a men sent off and were dramatically held to a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic after Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday missed the chance to apply pressure to the Championship leaders.

Slaven Bilic's side remain two points clear at the top after the Yorkshire rivals played out a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

Preston North End are up to second, above Leeds on goal difference, after coming from 2-0 down to claim a stunning 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers in the all-Lancashire clash at Deepdale.

Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten run to six matches and climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Barnsley that left their opponents bottom of the pile.

 

Cullen holds his nerve after Ferguson sees red

West Brom had to settle for a second consecutive 2-2 draw despite Matt Phillips finishing emphatically at the end of Matheus Pereira's 10th-minute run.

Macauley Bonne marked his birthday by heading the initial equaliser before highly rated West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson was eventually sent off for a reckless challenge on Chris Solly – referee Matt Donohue having initially dismissed Grady Diangana in a case of mistaken identity.

Hal Robson-Kanu restored Albion's lead despite their reduced numbers, but Josh Cullen dispatched a stoppage-time penalty after Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have fouled Naby Sarr as the pair collided.

Neither Leeds nor Wednesday were able to find a breakthrough but Preston found themselves in an all-action contest.

Sam Gallagher's header forced an own goal from North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd inside the first 30 seconds and the Blackburn striker soon made it 2-0 to the visitors.

Tom Barkhuizen reduced the arrears before the interval and would prove the match-winner – firing into the top corner eight minutes from time after Daniel Johnson scored his eighth of the season from the penalty spot.

 

Terriers' Cowley revival continues

Danny Cowley continued to work his magic at Huddersfield, with Karlan Grant netting his eighth of the campaign having created Christopher Schindler's opener.

Jacob Brown pulled a goal back for Barnsley, who are joined in the bottom three by Middlesbrough – Jonathan Woodgate's men held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham at the Riverside Stadium despite their visitors having goalkeeper Marek Rodak sent off for handling outside the area in the 17th minute.

Beleaguered Stoke City are level on eight points with Barnsley after they were beaten 2-0 by former boss Gary Rowett on his first outing as Millwall manager. Jed Wallace converted a penalty 15 minutes from time after teeing up Ben Thompson for the opener.

Bowen at the double, waterlogged Forest

Jarrod Bowen scored twice in the space of six minutes during the closing stages as Hull City saw off Derby County 2-0 to claim back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Lukas Jutkiewicz was Birmingham City's matchwinner in a 2-1 triumph over Luton Town, while torrential rain saw the match between Nottingham Forest and Reading postponed.

Josh Brownhill struck a dramatic 98th-minute winner as 10-man Bristol City beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 on Wednesday and moved to fourth in the Championship table.

Bristol City are now within three points of Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion after the late show.

Fulham, Hull City and Derby County also won on Wednesday, while Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough played out a goalless draw.
 

TENSE AFFAIR AT ASHTON GATE GOES TO THE WIRE

Lee Bowyer's Charlton took a 65th-minute lead at Bristol City through Macauley Bonne but the hosts levelled proceedings thanks to substitute Famara Diedhiou's close-range header.

Diedhiou was then shown a straight red card for violent conduct with just four minutes of normal time remaining after he appeared to kick Charlton's Jason Pearce.

The incident sparked a brawl and tensions remained high throughout a lengthy period of injury time.

Brownhill then proved the hero, taking two touches to control a Kasey Palmer cross before scoring with an excellent finish to send the Ashton Gate crowd wild.

MITROVIC'S MILESTONE

Fulham moved up to seventh as Aleksandar Mitrovic's hat-trick inspired a 3-2 win over Luton Town at Craven Cottage.

Scott Parker's men led 2-0 and 3-1 thanks to the Championship's top-scorer, who has now scored 11 times in 13 league matches this season.

"We know how good a player Mitro is - his hat-trick tonight summed that up, really," Parker told Sky Sports.

The hat-trick was Mitrovic's first in English football since arriving from Anderlecht in 2015 with Newcastle United.

FOREST'S MISSED CHANCE

Josh Magennis scored and was sent off as Hull City won 2-1 at Nottingham Forest, a result that saw Sabri Lamouchi's side drop to eighth.

Magennis and Jarrod Bowen netted before Matty Cash pulled one back for Forest, who could have moved second with victory.

Northern Ireland international Magennis was given a straight red card with 22 minutes remaining for a reckless challenge on Forest's Ben Watson but Grant McCann's side held on for all three points.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough remain just one point above the relegation zone after they were held by Huddersfield, who are one place below them in 22nd.

Graeme Shinnie scored a stoppage-time winner as Derby County edged Wigan Athletic 1-0, claiming a third consecutive home victory.

Hal Robson-Kanu snatched late winner to sink Middlesbrough 1-0 and keep West Brom top of the Championship.

The goal stopped Leeds United pulling level on points with Slaven Bilic's men thanks to a victory by the same scoreline over Birmingham City.

Preston North End suffered late heartache as Mark Bowen began his tenure as Reading manager with a 1-0 win, while Barnsley held Swansea City but slipped to the bottom of the table.

As a result, high-scoring victories for QPR and Charlton Athletic served to bunch up the chasing pack.

On a productive Saturday for teams at the other end of the table, Stoke City claimed back-to-back league victories for the first time since October last year by beating Fulham 2-0.

KANU BELIEVE IT?

Fresh from signing a contract extension, Wales striker Robson-Kanu was the man to benefit from an 82nd-minute goalmouth scramble at the Riverside Stadium.

It meant back-to-back wins for Albion since slipping up against Leeds at the start of the month, with the Elland Road outfit forced to be patient in their pursuit of three points against Birmingham this time out.

In the week the club celebrated its centenary, Leeds-born Kalvin Phillips made himself an appropriate match-winner with an emphatic 65th-minute finish.

The same scoreline belatedly arrived at the Madejski Stadium, when defender Matt Miazga turned home in the eighth minute of stoppage time after Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd saved from Jordan Obita.

Reading moved up to 19th, two points clear of the drop zone, with Preston dropping to sixth – Swansea climbed to third despite managerless Barnsley finding a swift response to Andre Ayew's 67th-minute opener through Alex Mowatt.

EZE HOLDS NERVE AMID LATE DRAMA

QPR were heading for a 1-1 draw at the KCOM Stadium until Ebere Eze won and converted a pair of late penalties.

Hull City, who led through Jarrod Bowen, set up a grandstand finish when Northern Ireland international Josh Magennis scored his first league goal for the club deep into stoppage time, but it finished 3-2.

Philipp Cocu's troubled Derby County tenure continued with a 3-0 loss at the Valley.

Macauley Bonne and Naby Sarr on target for Charlton before Conor Gallagher capped the triumph with a fabulous long-range effort.

IT'S THE SOUND OF THE TYRESE

Former Manchester City youngster Tyrese Campbell put Stoke on the way to a 2-0 win over Fulham that lifted them off the bottom of the table.

Scott Hogan was brought down by Cottagers goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli 10 minutes from time and Lee Gregory, who set up the opener with a flick-on, made light of the Potters' dismal recent record from the spot by converting.

Ollie Watkins missed a first-half penalty but was Brentford's injury-time hero as he sealed a 3-2 win over Millwall, who led 2-0 heading into a remarkable final six minutes at Griffin Park.

Luton Town were 3-0 winners against Bristol City, while Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town shared a 2-2 draw in the early kick-off.

Claudio Ranieri does not fear history will repeat itself after comparisons were drawn between Sampdoria's predicament and the one he faced at Fulham. 

The 67-year-old has taken the reins at a club residing bottom of Serie A, with the Blucerchiati posting just three points from their opening seven games to cost Eusebio Di Francesco his job.

Fulham were also rooted to the foot of the Premier League table when the Italian took charge in November 2018, but he was dismissed after winning only three of his 17 games at the helm. 

However, Ranieri considers the task at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to be vastly different from the one he took on at Craven Cottage. 

"Sampdoria are not Fulham. Don't forget, Fulham were a newly promoted club with players who had never been in the Premier League," he said.

"In the January transfer window, they followed the advice of algorithms. This is totally different. Sampdoria have played good football and are struggling, so now need the desire to fight hard.

"The quality towards the lower half of the table has improved significantly, which adds difficulties to us, but is also a sign that Italian football is returning to the top level."

It is Ranieri's birthday on Sunday and he will mark the occasion with a home match against his former employers and the club he supports, Roma.

"I am a Roma supporter, but have always appreciated Samp," he said, having also succeeded Di Francesco at Stadio Olimpico. 

"I was happy when they won the Scudetto [in 1991] and disappointed during the European Cup Final defeat at Wembley [in 1992]. I respect Di Francesco and hope he finds a new role as soon as possible.

"As for facing Roma on my debut – and my birthday – it's all wonderful. Naturally, when we step on to that pitch, there is no love, but only professionalism. May the best team win, we will try to give our best."

 

West Brom charged to the top of the Championship with a 4-2 win over Cardiff City as Slaven Bilic's side took advantage of shock losses for Swansea City and Leeds United.

Swansea went down 2-1 at home to struggling Stoke City, while 10-man Leeds were beaten by the same scoreline away to Millwall.

Those results allowed West Brom to surge to the summit, while Nottingham Forest – who beat Brentford 1-0 at home – moved up to second, with only goal difference keeping them off the top.

Preston North End and Bristol City are the other occupants of the top six after they won on Saturday, with Derby County, Huddersfield Town, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday also tasting victory.

 

SWANSEA AND LEEDS SHOCKED

Swansea were top of the league and playing winless bottom side Stoke, who had baffled many observers by sticking with manager Nathan Jones this week.

It looked like the match would go exactly as the form book suggested when Andre Ayew scored after 57 seconds, but Sam Clucas levelled the match and substitute Scott Hogan scored from close range in the last minute to seal a stunning victory.

Leeds were unable to overcome a 14th-minute incident that saw Gaetano Berardi sent off for conceding a penalty by fouling Tom Bradshaw, with Jed Wallace converting the Millwall spot-kick.

Bradshaw's backheel made it two on the stroke of half-time and despite Ezgjan Alioski getting a goal back 16 seconds into the second half, Leeds could not salvage a point as Millwall caretaker boss Adam Barrett – who has been linked with the vacant managerial role at Southend United – made a superb start.

 

WEST BROM TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE

Impressive loanee Matheus Pereira scored one and set up two more as West Brom won their third straight home game despite Cardiff making life interesting towards the end.

Long-range strikes from Pereira, Grady Diangana and Charlie Austin had the Baggies three goals clear with 15 minutes to go, but substitute Danny Ward scored twice for the Bluebirds before Romaine Sawyers sealed the hosts' victory in stoppage time.

Ben Watson's volleyed winner – his second goal in as many home games – was enough to earn victory for Forest, who are now 10 league games unbeaten.

Preston are one point behind the new top two after Daniel Johnson scored twice in a 5-1 home win over second-bottom Barnsley, Alex Neil's men scoring four times in 27 second-half minutes.

 

MITROVIC EARNS DRAMATIC DRAW

Fulham came from behind on two occasions to draw 2-2 with Charlton Athletic at Craven Cottage, a clever finish from on-loan Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher having put the visitors ahead in the first half.

Three goals in a mad eight-minute spell after the break meant the match was level after 63 minutes, Ivan Cavaleiro finding the top corner and Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring from close range for Fulham either side of a Macauley Bonne header.

Scott Parker's men dropped two places to seventh, one place behind Bristol City who beat Reading 1-0 courtesy of Famara Diedhiou's early diving header, Daniel Bentley impressing in goal for the home victors.

Elsewhere, Tom Lawrence – who has been charged with drink-driving – was among the scorers as Luton Town lost 2-0 at Derby.

Huddersfield beat Hull 3-0 to move out the bottom three, Massimo Luongo scored the only goal as Sheffield Wednesday saw off Wigan Athletic and Eberechi Eze netted in QPR's 4-2 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Leeds United reclaimed top spot in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over West Brom, while Huddersfield Town picked up their first win of the campaign away at rock-bottom Stoke City.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds side had won just one in four previous league outings, but Ezgjan Alioski's strike seven minutes before half-time at Elland Road lifted them back to the summit.

At the opposite end of the table, Huddersfield got off the mark under Danny Cowley - appointed as Jan Siewert's successor last month - thanks to a late 1-0 victory over Stoke at the bet365 Stadium.

Juninho Bacuna scored from Huddersfield's first shot on target to end a winless run spanning 19 league matches, a result that leaves Stoke at the foot of the table and with the pressure well and truly on boss Nathan Jones.

FOREST SLIP UP

Nottingham Forest had led the way at the top of the division after Saturday's action, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn Rovers in Lancashire.

Joe Lolley scored two minutes after Adam Armstrong had opened the scoring for Blackburn, though Forest could not find a winner and slip to third in the table, behind West Brom on goal difference.

Fulham are now just a point behind Forest and two adrift of league leaders Leeds after thumping Reading 4-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney helped themselves to a couple of goals apiece before Reading, who had John Swift sent off 20 minutes in with the score at 1-0, pulled one back through Yakou Meite.

BORO'S SLOW START CONTINUES

Middlesbrough had Darnell Fisher to thank as they recovered to earn a 1-1 draw against Preston, though it is now just two wins in 11 matches for head coach Jonathan Woodgate. 

Preston defender Fisher put the ball into his own net under pressure less than two minutes after Josh Harrop had opened the scoring for the play-off chasing visitors, who are unbeaten in seven league outings.

Sheffield Wednesday also have eyes on the top six, but they suffered a 1-0 loss at Yorkshire rivals Hull City.

Tom Eaves found a way through with a bullet header 18 minutes from time to score his first goal for the club and condemn Wednesday to their fourth defeat of the campaign.

Birmingham City also dropped down the table following a 1-0 defeat in their meeting with Wigan Athletic, who secured the three points through Anthony Pilkington's long-range striker on his return from injury.

Pep Clotet's side have now lost three games in a row and are 14th in the table, two points above their opponents.

Nottingham Forest are top of the Championship after a 3-2 comeback win at struggling Stoke City, while Fulham moved up to seventh place in the table by beating Wigan Athletic 2-0.

Nathan Jones' woes deepened as his Stoke side, knocked out of the EFL Cup by lower-league outfit Crawley Town this week, collapsed to their seventh league defeat of the campaign.

The Potters took a 10th-minute lead at the bet365 Stadium on Friday when Lee Gregory controlled the ball in the box and fired home from close range.

Forest hit back before half-time with a driven finish from Joe Lolley beating goalkeeper Jack Butland and Sammy Ameobi then crashed home a header from Matthew Cash's perfect right-wing cross.

Sabri Lamouchi's side extended their lead in the 61st minute when Lewis Grabban hit his fifth Championship goal of the season, but first in over a month, after fine work on the left from Ameobi.

James McClean struck to spark hope of a Stoke fightback but Forest, who have won four out of their past five league games, held on and climb above teams including Swansea City and Leeds United to take top spot by a point.

In Friday's other game at Craven Cottage, second-half goals from Joe Bryan and captain Tom Cairney saw Fulham end a run of five games without a win in all competitions, with Wigan still yet to record an away victory this season.

Dimitar Berbatov has announced his retirement from football, saying: "I played the way I wanna play, and I scored the goals I wanted to score!"

The 38-year-old former Manchester United, Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen striker played his last game for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League in February 2018.

He announced his retirement on the ninth anniversary of his hat-trick for Manchester United in a memorable 3-2 win over rivals Liverpool.

After starting his career at CSKA Sofia, Bulgarian Berbatov made a name for himself in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen and then enjoyed success in the Premier League with Spurs.

United paid £28million to take him to Old Trafford in August 2008 and he won two Premier League titles with the club, before going on to play for Fulham, Monaco, PAOK and Kerala.

In a post on his Instagram account, Berbatov said: "My last game was more than one year ago, so I think it's the right time now to stop and it's long overdue!

"Although when I think about it, it's never The End, because I will stay in the game in one way or another, the time has come to say that after almost 20 years playing football I am stopping with my professional ACTIVE football career!

"I will miss it! I will f***ing miss it! Everything! The games, trainings, the goals, preparations, the pressure, my teammates…the roar of the fans when I scored another banger.

"I was blessed and work hard to have the opportunity to play with one of the best ever and against some of the best ever! And coming from small country this makes it even more special for me!"

Berbatov reflected on the ups and downs of a career that included three Champions League final defeats – one with Leverkusen and two with United.

His most prolific spell came in Germany, where he netted 91 goals in 202 matches for Leverkusen, but he won his only league titles at United, along with the League Cup, the Community Shield and the FIFA Club World Cup.

He also netted 48 goals in 78 appearances for Bulgaria to become the country's all-time leading scorer before retiring from international football in 2012.

"I had my highs and of course some lows in my career, won my fair share of trophies, scored some goals along the way as well!" said Berbatov.

"I played the way I wanna play, and I scored the goals I wanted to score!

"Thank you to all the people who helped me develop, and became the player I always wanted to be!

"Thank you to all my former teams, my teammates and my coaches and staff! It was a pleasure! I know at times I was not easy to work with, but I always gave my everything for the teams I played for!

"I hope you all have enjoyed my game, and everything I gave to entertain you on the pitch!"

Jamaica international Michael Hector has officially completed a move from English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea to Championship club Fulham but will be unable to play until the next transfer window.

The 27-year-old Reggae Boy joined the Blues in a surprise move on deadline day in 2015 but was immediately loaned back to Reading for the 2015-2016 campaign.

 The defender spent the next three seasons on loan at clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City, and Sheffield Wednesday and never made an appearance for his parent club.  Although he cannot officially beginning playing for the club until January, Hector will join Fulham to immediately begin training with the squad.

“Although Michael can’t officially join our First Team until January, what’s important is he’s now a member of Fulham Football Club,” Fulham’s co-owner Tony Khan said.

“Michael will help us challenge for promotion and make us better in the second half of the season, at a time when depth, experience, and quality will be at a premium in the Championship. Come on Fulham!” he added.

He spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, playing in 37 Championship games for the Owls.

“It was an easy decision to make. My mum’s from Fulham, so it’s nice to join a club that some of my family support,” Hector told Fulham’s official club website.

Hector, who was close to completing a deal to join the club on deadline day before it fell through, signed a two and a half year contract.

 

 

Fulham have announced they will sign Michael Hector from Chelsea in January for an undisclosed fee.

Defender Hector joined the Blues from Reading in 2015 but has never made a competitive appearance for the club.

He spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, playing in 37 Championship games for the Owls.

The Jamaica international has also had time on loan with Hull City and Eintracht Frankfurt but has committed his future to Fulham until 2022, with the club also holding the option to extend for a further 12 months.

"It was an easy decision to make. My mum's from Fulham, so it’s nice to join a club that some of my family support," Hector told Fulham's official club website.

"It's good to now be a part of the set-up here. Hopefully things can work out well and we can get promoted. I know how tough the Championship is and it won't be any different for us.

"We'll have to work hard for it but the squad is very good and my job will be to help them push for promotion."

Hector will train with Fulham, who are sixth in the Championship table, until completing his move to Craven Cottage at the start of 2020.

I wish I could decide my career like in Football Manager.

That was the thought of Christian Eriksen after he was unable to engineer a move away from Tottenham.

The transfer window slammed shut on Monday but Eriksen is still in the headlines.

 

TOP STORY – INTER EYE ERIKSEN BID

Inter are interested in making a January move for Tottenham star Eriksen, claims The Express.

Eriksen wanted to leave Spurs prior to the transfer window closing but a departure did not materialise amid reported interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Now, Antonio Conte's Inter could be willing to offer Eriksen a way out of London.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Inter may have a battle to secure Eriksen's signature. Having been linked during the transfer window, Manchester United are reportedly preparing a shock move for the Spurs star in January.

- Marca says Neymar's father "harassed" Real Madrid with phone calls as a return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain became more unlikely.

- AS reports that Mariano Diaz rejected a move to Schalke prior to Monday's transfer deadline day. The Bundesliga side wanted Diaz, however, the Real Madrid forward opted to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Yannick Bolasie turned down the chance to join Russian giants CSKA Moscow over racism fears, according to the Daily Mail. He decided to swap Everton for Sporting CP on loan instead.

- What is better than one Sessegnon? Two. After signing Ryan from Fulham, Tottenham are targeting his twin brother Steven Sessegnon, says The Sun.

Cardiff City were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by 10-man Fulham, with Harry Arter sent off against his former club.

The contest between sides relegated from the Premier League last season saw two contrasting styles on display, but in the end neither Fulham's possession-based approach nor Cardiff's more direct outlook came up trumps.

Fulham started the brighter of the two teams, but Cardiff improved after the half-hour mark and found the breakthrough in the 42nd minute on the counter – Josh Murphy firing across Marcus Bettinelli.

But their lead did not even last until the break, Tom Cairney releasing Ivan Cavaleiro and his low delivery was tapped in by Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham's hopes took a hit 22 minutes from time when midfielder Arter – who spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Cardiff - was dismissed for a second bookable offence, appearing to dive just a few moments after being handed his first yellow card for a robust challenge.

The Cottagers understandably sat back more after the dismissal but Cardiff failed to break them down, with the point leaving Fulham fourth and their hosts in 10th place in the table.

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