Swansea City replaced Leeds United at the top of the Championship in dramatic fashion as a 90th-minute strike from Wayne Routledge earned Steve Cooper's men a 1-0 win at Elland Road.

Leeds dominated for much of the game on Saturday, but they were made to pay for a lack of cutting edge when Routledge swept home late on.

As a result, Swansea are two points clear at the top of the table heading into the international break, having won five and drawn one of their opening six games.

Charlton Athletic, promoted from League One last season, are also unbeaten and sit second after a 2-0 win at Reading.

At the other end of the table, the misery goes on for Stoke City and Huddersfield Town, who both remain winless after giving up leads in respective 2-1 defeats at Birmingham City and Luton Town.

Derby County also endured a horrible day as they were trounced 3-0 at Brentford.

 

SUPER SWANS DEFYING EXPECTATIONS UNDER COOPER

Cooper was something of a surprise appointment by the Swans after Graham Potter left for Brighton and Hove Albion, but the former England Under-17 coach could hardly have asked for a better start to his tenure at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans certainly rode their luck at Leeds, who created numerous chances to move ahead before being beaten by Routledge's last-gasp strike.

However, Swansea's resilience typified their early-season form under Cooper, which has seen them concede just four league goals thus far.

This win at Elland Road was their first in 70 years.

BAGGIES PREVAIL AFTER GOAL-FILLED FIRST HALF

Like Swansea, West Brom are yet to taste a Championship defeat after a change of boss in the close season. Slaven Bilic's men drew three of their first five games but are now up to fourth, a point behind Leeds, courtesy of a 3-2 win over a Blackburn Rovers side managed by former Albion chief Tony Mowbray.

All of the goals at the Hawthorns came in the first half, with Matt Phillips, Jake Livermore and Grady Diangana on target for West Brom after Bradley Dack's opener inside 25 seconds. Bradley Johnson pulled one back just before the break, but Blackburn could not rescue a point.

 

POTTERS STAY ROCK BOTTOM

Nathan Jones' future as Stoke's manager looks increasingly uncertain after they followed up a morale-boosting EFL Cup win at Leeds with a fifth league loss in six matches. Liam Lindsay put the Potters ahead after 58 minutes at Birmingham, but they were nevertheless beaten again, Jude Bellingham's deflected strike earning the hosts victory.

Huddersfield also have just one point, Andrew Shinnie claiming Luton's winner at Kenilworth Road, while Derby's struggles worsened as Ollie Watkins struck twice in an emphatic win for Brentford.

Bristol City and Middlesbrough played out a 2-2 draw in Saturday's early kick-off, while QPR came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 thanks to Jordan Hugill's brace.

Elsewhere, Millwall and Hull City drew 1-1, as did Nottingham Forest and Preston North End. There were no goals in the game between Wigan Athletic and Barnsley.

 

Fulham thrashed Millwall on Wednesday but are only third in the Championship table thanks to victories for Leeds United and Swansea City.

Sheffield Wednesday went top on Tuesday but have dropped three places following wins for three of the early-season pacesetters.

Cardiff City overcame Huddersfield Town in south Wales in a battle of two of last season's Premier League sides, while Jack Butland had a game to forget for Stoke City at Preston North End.

West Brom and Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, each earned a point by virtue of late goals.

 

FULHAM ON SONG AS CARDIFF EDGE HUDDERSFIELD

Fulham's front three of Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Aleksandar Mitrovic is starting to look a formidable attacking threat.

All three were on the scoresheet as the Cottagers saw off Millwall 4-0 for a third win in a row in England's second tier.

Cavaleiro fired home the opener and crossed for Knockaert to make it 2-0 at the end of a move that saw 26 completed passes involving all 11 Fulham players.

Mitrovic got the third from the penalty spot and Cavaleiro added a cool fourth for a Fulham side who enjoyed a remarkable 84 per cent of the possession and completed 934 passes.

Cardiff and Huddersfield, who joined Fulham in dropping out of the Premier League last season, played out a much more even encounter at Cardiff City Stadium.

Trevoh Chalobah cancelled out Joe Ralls' opener, but Neil Warnock's side snatched all three points in the 88th minute through Junior Hoilett's deflected strike.

LEEDS AND SWANSEA SETTING THE STANDARD

Leeds and Swansea are the only two teams with 10 points from their first four games of the season, although Marcelo Bielsa's side left it late at home to Brentford.

Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah was the hero on his Championship debut at Elland Road, tapping in Helder Costa's cross with nine minutes to go to seal a 1-0 win.

Swansea were a little more comfortable, although their 3-1 win away to QPR came despite them attempting 10 shots to the hosts' 22.

Bersant Celina put them ahead and, after Jordan Hugill headed in an equaliser, Borja Baston converted a penalty and Sam Surridge secured the points at Loftus Road.

BUTLAND IN DEEP TROUBLE AT DEEPDALE

Stoke's miserable start to the season continued with a 3-1 loss to Preston in which goalkeeper Butland had something of a nightmare.

Having failed to stop Daniel Johnson's improvised half-volley from finding the bottom-right corner, Butland allowed Billy Bodin's shot to squirm beneath his body and put Preston 2-0 up after 25 minutes.

Former Manchester United man Josh Harrop netted the third from a rebound after Butland denied Johnson, meaning James McClean's close-range finish was little consolation for a side who have taken one point from four games.

West Brom had been staring at a home defeat to Reading until the 88th minute, when Kenneth Zohore's penalty – conceded by Ovie Ejaria – cancelled out a stunning goal from the Royals' Liverpool loanee.

Charlton Athletic's meeting with Forest at The Valley also finished 1-1, with Albert Adomah earning a point after Lyle Taylor had headed in the opener.

Leeds United capitalised on favourable results elsewhere to go top of the Championship on goal difference on Saturday.

Patrick Bamford scored both goals for Marcelo Bielsa's men in a 2-0 victory away to Wigan Athletic, who had Joe Williams sent off in the 21st minute.

Sheffield Wednesday enjoyed a numerical advantage for over 45 minutes in their match at Millwall but failed to muster a response to Matt Smith's first-half effort.

That result, coupled with Charlton Athletic's draw against Barnsley, opened the door to the Whites and means no team can boast a perfect record after three matches.

 

BAMFORD BRACE ERASES WIGAN WOE

Two tap-ins from former Chelsea forward Bamford helped Leeds exact a measure of revenge on Wigan at the DW Stadium.

The Latics derailed the Yorkshire club's promotion push last season when, with 10 men, they came from behind to claim a shock 2-1 win at Elland Road.

There was no repeat this time as the dismissal of midfielder Williams for two bookable offences only left the home side's defence prone to a pair of close-range Bamford finishes.

The goals arrived either side of half-time and improved the 25-year-old's season tally to three in as many matches.

 

MILLWALL MUSCLE PAST WEDNESDAY AS CHARLTON SNATCH POINT

Wednesday's winning start under interim boss Lee Bullen came to a disappointing end in a 1-0 defeat to a resilient Millwall.

Connor Mahoney crossed for towering striker Smith to nod home in the 37th minute and that was all Neil Harris' side needed despite losing Jed Wallace six minutes later.

The midfielder was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Kieran Lee but MIllwall held on to bank a second win, which moves them a spot above sixth-placed Wednesday.

Charlton would have taken over in first had they beaten Barnsley.

Instead, the Addicks had to make do with a point courtesy of Lyle Taylor's late leveller from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw at Oakwell.

Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin twice gave Barnsley the lead, but Taylor held his nerve over the 89th-minute spot-kick to add to Conor Gallagher's earlier equaliser.

 

WAGHORN DENIES STOKE IN FOUR-GOAL DRAW

Stoke City and Derby County played out an entertaining 2-2 draw as Phillip Cocu avoided what would have been his first defeat in English football.

Cocu had Martyn Waghorn to thank, the striker converting a 70th-minute penalty to go with his early opener.

Liam Lindsay and Scott Hogan got on the scoresheet in between but Stoke were restricted to a point, their first of the campaign.

Derby are now eighth, two points adrift of third-placed West Brom, who rallied from a goal down to win 2-1 at Luton Town after Grady Diangana netted a second-half double.

The largest winning margin of the day saw Nottingham Forest cruise to a 3-0 triumph over Birmingham City.

Neil Warnock insisted the 2019-20 season is "absolutely" his last as a football manager as he prepared for a return to the Championship, where his Cardiff City side will battle for promotion in a division of contrasting football philosophies.

Former Leeds United boss Warnock will relish the Bluebirds' games against his old club more than ever as he pits his wits against Marcelo Bielsa following a turbulent first season in England for the former Argentina coach.

Slaven Bilic will embark upon his first adventure as a Championship boss as he aims to steer West Brom back into the Premier League, while Fulham's Scott Parker, Derby County's Phillip Cocu and Charlton Athletic's Lee Bowyer all make their managerial debuts in the division.

West Brom, Derby and Leeds come into the new season still smarting from play-off disappointment in 2018-19, while Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Cardiff arrive having tumbled out of the top flight last term.

Luton Town, Barnsley and Charlton are the newcomers from League One and all three will fancy their chances of causing more than a few surprises as they take on a division that looks wide open.

BIELSA IS BACK FOR A SECOND CRACK

Leeds fans breathed a sigh of relief when Bielsa agreed a one-year extension to his Elland Road contract, having seen their side transformed under the 63-year-old's guidance in 2018-19. While 'Spygate' and Leeds' play-off defeat to Derby dominated the headlines last season, they played some of the most attractive football in the division with veteran playmaker Pablo Hernandez instrumental in attack.

They acquired Helder Costa from Wolves and Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion, while losing centre-back Pontus Jansson to Brentford, but Leeds will rely on many of the same faces that helped them finish third last term. Bielsa's ability to get the best out of his resources - particularly influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips - should ensure they challenge for promotion once again.

WARNOCK TO HAVE ONE MORE GO

Last season was a difficult one for Cardiff, the disappointment of relegation put into context by the tragic death of Emiliano Sala before he even played for the club. The experience left Warnock shaken as he reflected on his bond with Bluebirds fans, and he has promised a title tilt to bring the curtain down on his long career.

Aron Gunnarsson and Victor Camarasa have departed, but Warnock has brought in Will Vaulks from Rotherham to reinforce his midfield, while £5.5million forward Robert Glatzel will be expected to deliver goals.

BEES AND ROVERS HARBOUR TOP-HALF HOPES

Brentford finished 11th last season after manager Dean Smith joined Aston Villa in October, but Thomas Frank got them playing attractive football again as they won four of their final six games. Said Benrahma and Neal Maupay will be out to fire the Bees up the table and turn Griffin Park - where they have lost just one league game in 2019 - into a fortress.

There is similar optimism around Ewood Park, where Blackburn Rovers lost just one of their final five Championship games last term, and where former Southampton striker Sam Gallagher will hope to rediscover the goalscoring touch he showed in a loan spell in Lancashire in 2016-17.

FULHAM AIM TO BOUNCE BACK, BAGGIES REINFORCED

Anthony Knockaert knows all about Championship promotion pushes, having starred in Brighton's ascent in 2016-17, and his creativity and goals could be vital to Fulham's hopes of bouncing straight back after he signed on a season-long loan.

The Championship's bargain hunters are West Brom, who have signed Romaine Sawyers, Darnell Furlong and Semi Ayaji for less than £6m combined, but the £8m capture of forward Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff is a real statement of intent.

West Brom have signed Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff City for a reported £8million, the Danish striker replacing the departed Salomon Rondon after his move to China.

Zohore, who scored a single Premier League goal in 19 top-flight appearances for the relegated Bluebirds last term, has signed a four-year contract with Slaven Bilic's side.

"He is a player who has got more than a bit of everything, he's strong, he has pace, he has good skill," Bilic told West Brom's official website.

"He knows the league, he knows the country, he's already got good experience but he's still got room to improve. He's not the finished article. I hope he's going to be a very good player for us."

Salomon Rondon has linked back up with former Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez after leaving West Brom for Dalian Yifang.

Venezuela striker Rondon joins the Chinese Super League side for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old played under Benitez on loan at Newcastle last season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

He previously netted 24 times across three Premier League seasons for West Brom following his arrival from Russian outfit Zenit for a reported £12million in 2015.

The Baggies were relegated to the Championship three years later and Rondon has now left the Hawthorns on a permanent basis.

His new team-mates at Dalian include Yannick Carrasco and Marek Hamsik. 

Barcelona have fended off reported interest from other European heavyweights to sign England youth international Louie Barry.

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be eyeing the West Brom forward, along with several Premier League clubs.

But it is Barca who have secured the 16-year-old, who will now be part of the Juvenil A side having signed a three-year contract.

Barry has spent 10 years at West Brom, and made his debut for the Championship club's Under-23 team last season.

Formerly a Republic of Ireland youth international, Barry switched allegiance to England in 2019, making his debut against Brazil in February, going on to score seven goals in nine appearances.

Jay Rodriguez has left West Brom and returned to hometown club Burnley in a deal reportedly rising to £10million.

The one-time England international heads back to Lancashire on a two-year deal, with an option of an additional 12 months.

Burnley reportedly parted with £5million to activate his release clause and will pay the second half of the fee in 2020.

Rodriguez, 29, scored 41 goals in 129 appearances during his first spell at Turf Moor before moving to Southampton in 2012.

He switched to West Brom in 2017 and hit 22 league goals last season as the Baggies lost out in the Championship play-offs to Aston Villa.

The striker joined up with Sean Dyche's squad, including fellow new signing Erik Pieters, in Portugal on Monday.

Manchester United are desperate to sign Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.

Maguire, 26, has reportedly told Leicester he wants to leave, with both Manchester clubs linked with a move for the centre-back.

But it seems Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to bring the England international to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED STARS GIVE MAGUIRE THUMBS-UP

Maguire is Manchester United's number one defensive target, according to the Mirror.

The report says Solskjaer received positive feedback from the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young, the United trio having played with Maguire for England.

The Mirror also say United assistant manager Mike Phelan is desperate for the club to sign Maguire, who he worked with briefly as Hull City manager in 2016-17.

It was reported earlier this week that United had made a £70million bid for Maguire.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford, Manchester United have offered goalkeeper David de Gea – who has been linked with a move away – a final £350,000-per-week contract, according to The Sun.

- Romelu Lukaku is set to join United's pre-season tour despite reportedly being set for a move away. The Sun say Inter are yet to meet United's £75m price tag for the striker.

- After 12-and-a-half years at the Santiago Bernabeu, Marcelo is set to leave Real Madrid. The left-back, who faced plenty of criticism during 2018-19, will leave the LaLiga giants in the coming weeks, according to Sport.

- It looks set to be a busy few days for West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG for £23m, according to the Daily Mail. The Mirror say the Hammers are looking at West Brom striker Salomon Rondon, while Football London report the club are trying to land Celta Vigo forward Maxi Gomez, who was set to join Valencia.

- There could be another talented forward heading to China, with Sky Sport Italia reporting Stephan El Shaarawy has agreed to move to Shanghai Shenhua. Roma reportedly want €20m for the forward.

- AC Milan have completed a €16m move for Empoli midfielder Ismael Bennacer, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, who also reports the club have enquired about Benfica's Gedson Fernandes. Still at San Siro, Sky Sports News report Liverpool are not looking to sell rumoured Rossoneri target Dejan Lovren.

Watford have announced the signing of Craig Dawson, who joins the Premier League side from West Brom.

Dawson made 225 appearances for the Baggies but has agreed a four-year deal with Watford, who paid WBA a reported £5.5million.

Former England Under-21 international Dawson becomes the beaten FA Cup finalists' first signing ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Heurelho Gomes penned a one-year contract extension last week, the veteran goalkeeper reversing his previously announced intention to retire.

Huddersfield Town face a tricky opening fixture against Derby County on their return to the Championship, while Fulham play newly promoted Barnsley first up.

Huddersfield and Fulham were relegated from the Premier League last season, along with Cardiff City, but start the new campaign with contrasting fixtures.

Beaten play-off finalists Derby - managed by Frank Lampard, the favourite for the Chelsea job - go to Huddersfield to conclude the opening round of fixtures on August 5.

Jan Siewert's side face a particularly tough start, with Fulham and Cardiff also on the agenda in their first four matches.

The season starts on August 2 with League One winners Luton Town hosting Middlesbrough, while Charlton Athletic travel to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff visit Wigan Athletic the following day.

The regular season will end on May 2, with Leeds United versus Charlton perhaps the pick of the final-day fixtures.

The 'spygate' saga from 2018-19 saw Leeds and Derby forge a rivalry that included a play-off semi-final win for Lampard's men, and they play at Elland Road on September 21, before a crunch clash at Pride Park on the penultimate weekend.

Cardiff's relegation means a reprisal of the South Wales derby with Swansea City on October 26 and January 11.

Luton host Fulham on Boxing Day, while West Brom - also beaten play-off semi-finalists - entertain Leeds on New Year's Day.

Slaven Bilic has been appointed West Brom's new head coach.

The Croatian, who was in charge of West Ham in the Premier League from 2015 to 2017, has signed a two-year deal with the Baggies.

West Brom missed out on promotion from the Championship after they lost on penalties to Aston Villa in the play-offs.

They sacked Darren Moore in March, with James Shan taking charge for the rest of the season.

"I'm delighted with this opportunity of course," Bilic told West Brom's official website.

"We want to improve, we want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project, and they do not clash.

"They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn't think twice once they had spoken to me."

Bilic, 50, previously spent six years in charge of Croatia, who reached the quarter-finals at Euro 2008 under his leadership.

Jed Steer saved two spot-kicks as Aston Villa advanced to the Championship play-off final with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out triumph over a 10-man West Brom at The Hawthorns on Tuesday.

Craig Dawson's first-half header left the aggregate score locked at 2-2 after 120 minutes but the visitors held their nerve from 12 yards to book a trip to Wembley for the second successive season.

Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi failed to convert before Tammy Abraham stroked home the decisive effort in a cruel end for Jimmy Shan's side, who had Chris Brunt sent off for a second yellow card in the 80th minute.

West Brom had returned from Saturday's 2-1 loss at Villa Park with work to do and found an unlikely route back into the tie when defender Dawson nodded in Holgate's long throw in the 29th minute.

Dean Smith's men almost gifted away a second beyond the interval as multiple ill-fated attempts at playing out from the back put them under needless pressure.

But the odds swung in their favour when Brunt earned a second booking for scything down John McGinn, and only former Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone's brilliant denial of Albert Adomah prevented the match from being settled inside 90 minutes.

West Brom hung on throughout 30 minutes of extra time, but Steer's twin saves in the shoot-out meant Adomah's subsequent miss counted for little.

Villa's hopes for Premier League promotion will now rest on a May 27 date with either Leeds United or Derby County, the winner of which will be decided at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard's outfit.

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