Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard promised Kai Havertz's three-goal haul against Barnsley will be the first of many impressive displays from the club's new signing.

Havertz put in some underwhelming performances in his first two Premier League appearances, but came to the fore with a hat-trick in Wednesday's 6-0 EFL Cup demolition of Championship side Barnsley at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany international star also played a part in another goal as Lampard's side made light work of Barnsley in London midweek.

Lampard has consistently urged patience with the 21-year-old, and suggested his treble showing is merely a sign of what is to come.

"I was delighted with Kai and everything of the night that I wanted from him," Lampard told a news conference.

"It was a great exercise for him, another game to see how we want to work off the ball, but also have freedom on the ball and combinations.

"It's the first of many great nights for him."

Tammy Abraham played ahead of Havertz and opened the scoring, with Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud also getting in on the act.

In defence, Lampard handed a debut to former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva, while Ben Chilwell came on for Havertz midway through the second half.

"It's exciting for us," Lampard said of Silva's debut, which lasted just over an hour.

"He has just had a weeks training with us. But he gave something off for us with a leader of authority. At the minute, the fact he can't speak the language doesn't matter too much."

Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both left out of Chelsea's squad, and Lampard acknowledged the duo could move on before the transfer window closes if it suits Chelsea.

"They weren't in the squad and that was just a choice," Lampard said. "There may be movement, but don't read too much in to them not being in the squad. It will have to be right or the club."

Kai Havertz scored a hat-trick as Chelsea sealed their progression into the EFL Cup fourth round with a dominant 6-0 win over Barnsley.

Havertz had struggled to stamp his authority in his first two Premier League appearances, but the former Bayer Leverkusen star got up and running in English football in style on Wednesday.

With Tammy Abraham opening the scoring, Havertz doubled Chelsea's lead before playing his part in Ross Barkley putting the hosts 3-0 up.

Havertz added to his tally with a superb finish soon after, subsequently rounding off his first senior hat-trick 10 minutes later – Olivier Giroud making it six for Chelsea late on.

Callum Hudson-Odoi squandered a great chance in the opening two minutes and Chelsea were fortunate not to be made to pay when debutant Thiago Silva gifted possession to Patrick Schmidt, whose cross just evaded Cauley Woodrow.

Yet it was the hosts who struck first – Abraham slotting in after dispossessing Aapo Halme.

Mason Mount should have put Chelsea 2-0 up but Havertz made no mistake from the next opportunity, coolly dispatching beyond Bradley Collins from close range.

Willy Caballero kept Barnsley at bay three more times before the break, though hopes of a comeback were ended when Havertz forced Alex Mowatt into an error and Barkley drilled home.

Havertz had his second six minutes later, picking out the bottom-right corner with a wonderful strike.

His hat-trick goal came courtesy of a Collins howler – Barnsley's goalkeeper caught stranded on the edge of his box as Havertz nudged it past him and slammed into an empty net before being subbed off.

Barkley missed a glorious opportunity to add a sixth, but Giroud was on hand to pile further misery on Barnsley when he headed in Ben Chilwell's cross late on.

 

What does it mean? Mourinho reunion next up?

Tottenham may receive a bye to the fourth round due to several Leyton Orient players testing positive for coronavirus, and Chelsea's reward for their victory would be a meeting with their former manager if that proves to be the case. Frank Lampard's side came out on top in both league clashes with Spurs last season.

Havertz arrives with a bang

Lampard has urged patience with Chelsea's new signing and Havertz repaid his manager's belief with an excellent display. Across Europe's top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (35), Lionel Messi (32) and Cristiano Ronaldo (31) have been involved in more goals in all competitions in 2020 than the 21-year-old, who has 18 goals and eight assists.

Barnsley no match for the big boys

Gerhard Struber set his side up to attack, but though the Tykes caused Chelsea problems at times, they have now lost 15 of their last 17 EFL Cup matches against top-flight opponents.

What's next?

Chelsea travel to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, while Barnsley are in action against Coventry City in the second tier.

Frank Lampard is not ruling out a move away from Chelsea for Antonio Rudiger or Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Rudiger is yet to feature for Chelsea this season and was left out of the matchday squad for the 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Hudson-Odoi has struggled for regular game time since returning from an Achilles injury in September last year and has only started one match since January.

Chelsea have added Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr to their ranks since last season, while goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to joint his week.

Asked if his squad was too big and he had some major decisions to make before the transfer window closes on October 5, Lampard said: "Yeah, there are decisions for me to make, for the club to make and for the players themselves to make. That's the situation.

"Of course, I have an idea in my head of the number I want to make the squad healthy, to have healthy competition but not have too many players feeling like they're out of squads, not getting the minutes they want.

"Those are very much conversations we'll have moving forward. It doesn't mean we're forcing any one of those positions or areas to move players on, but those conversations will be ongoing in the next few weeks."

On whether Rudiger or Hudson-Odoi could be on their way out, he said: "It remains to be seen because we're also in a period where the market is not acting like it has done in recent years, in terms of how players move or what level they move at.

"Again the competitive games have just started, I'm very open to those conversations with the players as the next couple of weeks go along. My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can for this club.

"Of course, after that, the individual questions, individual conversations will happen within that, and I will try and make sure I go into the season once the window shuts with a squad that is competitive in a healthy way."

Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori established themselves in the Chelsea squad last season having spent previous campaigns out on loan.

Despite signing a five-year contract after a move to Bayern Munich failed to come to fruition, Hudson-Odoi remains on the fringes and Lampard urged the 19-year-old winger to prove he merits a regular place in the starting XI.

"You say the players we've got in his position, I think at the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured, we played Timo Werner on the wing the other day, but the absolute natural winger at the minute if he's fit is Callum," said Lampard.

"We know in a Premier League squad and the amount of games we're going to play that we're going to need competition in various areas and back-up in those areas, and competition to make those positions their own. And that's where Callum's at.

"When I talk about Callum, he needs to train, he needs to show in training every day and when he gets opportunities in games he has done, and he will tomorrow [Wednesday] – alright, he will play against Barnsley [in the EFL Cup] – to show in every minute what he can do on and off the ball for the team. That's the position he's at at the minute.

"He's had an early breakthrough in his career because he came through with the talent he had, he's had the injury. Now I just want to see him flourish again."

Thiago Silva is proud to have joined Chelsea at the age of 36 after his career was threatened by tuberculosis.

While on loan at Dynamo Moscow from Porto in 2005, Silva experienced chest pains and was hospitalised for five months after being diagnosed with the illness.

The centre-back opted against an operation on one of his lungs that would likely have brought a premature end to his time in football and returned to boyhood club Fluminense the following year.

He has since gone on to win the Serie A with Milan, 23 trophies at Paris Saint-Germain – with whom he lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich last month – and the Copa America with Brazil.

Asked about the serious illness he suffered a decade-and-a-half ago, Silva said: "It was one of the worst experiences in my life because you have a dream as a child to be playing as a professional footballer and when I got TB, it seemed the dream would be over. But, thank God, I had the strength to overcome it and get well.

"It's difficult to talk about it because it brings back these memories, these moments. I remember my last day in the hospital, the doctor told me that I hadn't been cured, that I needed an operation on my lung and that my football career would be over.

"But, thank God, thanks to the qualified people and the specialists, little by little I got better. Little by little, with dedication I managed to return to playing football.

"Definitely it's something that not many people have gone through in their lives and a lot of people didn't recover from a similar illness, so I think about it a lot, these moments and what I've been through and I thankfully had the strength to overcome it.

"I'm very grateful to my family, to my wife, who was very supportive. At the time she was my girlfriend and she was 17, and she helped give me the strength to get over it so I was able to then chase my dreams. Now I can say today that I'm a champion, not just in football but also in life."

With health at the forefront of many people's minds amid the coronavirus pandemic, Silva said: "I'd like to send a message to the young people to tell them to really make the most of their lives.

"If someone is playing football, to really dedicate themselves to playing football. Some people have football as a hobby, but football is a job and life is short and goes by quite quickly.

"In 2005 my life could have been over, but thank God I overcame that illness and today I can now say that I am victorious, both personally and professionally. It's a wonderful experience to now be 36 and a player in the Premier League and to put on a Chelsea shirt at 36. It's immense responsibility and a great source of pride."

Silva was signed to provide experience to Frank Lampard's youthful squad and it is not weighing on his mind that he is on a one-year contract at a club that does not typically hang on to older players.

The veteran defender - who could make his debut against Barnsley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday - hopes to prove he is still capable of being an asset at the highest level and earning a place in the Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup.

"I think when you get to a certain age, the tendency is that you sign this type of contract. I have no doubt that I will give everything and do my best and contribute," Silva added.

"I prepare and work really hard in everything I do. I love football, I love preparation, and it's not a case of preparing on a Friday for the Saturday, this type of preparation goes way back, so I'm totally relaxed about the contract.

"Whether Chelsea will want to renew it or not, I don't know. If Chelsea feel I haven't met expectations or contributed, we'll sit down and talk about that. I'm not worried at all and I will prepare to do my best possible and really help to contribute to this new team and new project.

"I've accepted this new challenge. It's going to be really good for me. Everyone knows my ambition is to play in the World Cup in two years, when I'll be 38 years old."

Thiago Silva insists "age is just a number" and he is not worried about adapting to the speed of Premier League football following his move to Chelsea.

Chelsea signed 36-year-old centre-back Silva on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international is set to make his debut in the EFL Cup third-round meeting with Barnsley on Wednesday, three days before the Blues head to West Brom in the Premier League.

Silva is not concerned about being shown up in England's top flight, referring to Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti's statement that he would have signed Usain Bolt over James Rodriguez if he wanted a sprinter.

"I don't worry at all because I know where I want to get to. I really have high hopes about this young team," said Silva on his birthday on Tuesday.

"Physically, I feel really good – age is just a number on your documentation. Physically, I feel very young and I've been preparing my whole life.

"People who know me know I put 200 per cent into my work and this is a great opportunity that Chelsea and Lampard have given me and I really don't want to let them down.

"I never saw myself in the Premier League before, because I thought it was too difficult style of football. I didn't have any desire to play in the Premier League because my impression of the football played was of long balls, high balls and long shots.

"I couldn't really see myself playing in this league but over time I saw that it developed tremendously, there's a lot more technical quality. A lot of teams play with the ball on the ground, with the full-backs attacking in the area and every team has their own idea and strengths but I previously saw it characterised by long balls and that didn't appeal to me.

"I know how to play that way, but my preference is to play with the ball on the ground. I know my quality, little-by-little, the Premier League football really won me over. Anyone who knows me, knows that.

"At 36, I am arriving to play in one of the best championships in the world. This is usually a league of young players but I am coming here as an older player and I see it as because Frank Lampard and Chelsea want a player of my experience.

"If someone wants a runner, then I refer to the words that Carlo Ancelotti used for James: 'If you want someone to run, they can sign Usain Bolt'.

"With my experience and the young players here, I hope to help them in this new adventure."

Bournemouth will start life back in the Championship at home to Blackburn Rovers, while Watford host Middlesbrough and Norwich City travel to Huddersfield Town.

The Cherries were relegated after a five-year stay in the Premier League, while Watford and Norwich were also demoted in a top-flight campaign that was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

That halt means the new Championship season starts on September 12, with beaten play-off finalists Brentford travelling to Birmingham City on the opening day, while south Wales rivals Cardiff City and Swansea City – who also made the top six – host Sheffield Wednesday and visit Preston North End respectively.

Wycombe Wanderers – playing in the second tier for the first time – welcome fellow new boys Rotherham United for their first game, while Coventry City's return to the Championship starts with a trip to Bristol City.

Derby County and Barnsley start at home against Reading and Luton Town, with Stoke City and Nottingham Forest heading to London to face Millwall and QPR.

Bournemouth host Norwich in the third round of matches, the same weekend Watford renew acquaintances with fierce rivals Luton. Watford and the Canaries face off at Vicarage Road on December 26.

The three relegated teams will hope to be in the promotion hunt come the final day on May 8, with Bournemouth and Watford at home to Stoke and Swansea, while Norwich go to Barnsley.

West Brom clinched the second automatic promotion place in the Championship on a dramatic final day of the season as Wigan Athletic's spirited survival bid failed.

After both West Brom and Brentford were beaten at the weekend, the Baggies only needed to match the third-placed side's result to seal a return to the Premier League after two seasons away in England's second tier.

A seemingly straightforward home fixture against QPR did not go entirely to plan for West Brom, but a 2-2 draw took them up as Brentford went down 2-1 to Barnsley on Wednesday.

That result saw Barnsley stay up, but Wigan could not join them as they drew 1-1 with Fulham – who could have been promoted with a win – and went down due to a looming 12-point deduction.

Charlton Athletic and Hull City were also demoted, while there was a similarly chaotic finish in the play-off race.

BAGGIES BEST BRENTFORD

Both West Brom and Brentford lost their nerve with two matches of the campaign remaining, but a return of just a single point from a pair of games proved enough for Slaven Bilic's team.

Following Friday's defeat to Huddersfield Town, West Brom were boosted by Brentford's own reverse at Stoke City yet could not beat QPR.

West Brom trailed to Ryan Manning's strike before turning the match on its head with goals either side of half-time through Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson, only for Eberechi Eze to equalise just past the hour-mark.

It mattered not, though, as Brentford failed to capitalise, instead losing again.

Josh Dasilva cancelled out Callum Styles' Barnsley opener, but as Brentford pushed for a precious winner, Clarke Oduor tapped in at the other end in the 91st minute.

BRAVE BARNSLEY, WIGAN WOE

There were contrasting scenes at full-time in the final regular league match at Griffin Park after Barnsley celebrated as Brentford collapsed.

The visitors were heading down until Oduor struck but stayed up at Charlton's expense, the Addicks going down 4-0 at champions Leeds United.

Hull propped up the table after a 3-0 defeat at Cardiff City, while Luton Town stayed up thanks to a rallying 3-2 success at home to Blackburn Rovers, aided by two own goals.

Wigan needed to win due to their deduction following administration, but one of the form teams in the division let a lead slip against Fulham, their total of 59 points bumped down to 47 to fall a painful point short.

 

It isn't just a game of football, it's absolutely everything to our players, staff and supporters.

Hold your heads high!#wafc pic.twitter.com/5oTj7eV4jV

— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) July 22, 2020
SWANS SAVOUR GOAL SWING

With rivals Cardiff comfortable in claiming their play-off place, Swansea City needed to beat 10-man Reading while Nottingham Forest lost to Stoke City, along with a five-goal swing.

Improbably, the Swans stole sixth place from Forest after a remarkable finale.

The Welsh side won 4-1, netting their fourth in the 91st minute as Wayne Routledge headed in his second.

That scoreline left Forest – 3-1 down at home to Stoke at the time – needing to score, but instead they conceded, their promotion bid derailing in spectacular fashion as Nuno da Costa stabbed into his own net in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The 4-1 defeat meant Forest – without a win since July 1 – finished seventh.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Derby County, Millwall and Middlesbrough, bringing the curtain down on another season in gripping fashion.

Leeds United celebrated their Championship title with a 3-1 victory at Derby County as Marcelo Bielsa's team looked forward to life among the elite.

Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton scored before a late Matt Clarke own goal wrapped up a 3-1 victory at Pride Park for the Premier League-bound champions.

Messy defending from Leeds had allowed Derby to edge ahead after 54 minutes when Chris Martin's shot deflected in off Luke Ayling.

But Hernandez had Leeds back on level terms within two minutes, striking from 18 yards after his initial effort was charged down.

Young midfielder Shackleton fired his first goal for Leeds after bursting forward in the 75th minute, before Clarke miscued into Derby's net late on.

Leeds had been afforded a guard of honour from Derby before the game, to mark their title success, with former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney among those applauding the champions.

Barnsley gave themselves hope of beating the drop after stunning fifth-placed Nottingham Forest with a last-gasp winner at Oakwell.

Austrian forward Patrick Schmidt came off the bench in the 82nd minute and scored in the third minute of stoppage time to give Barnsley a 1-0 victory.

The three points lifted Barnsley off the foot of the Championship. They now must look to beat promotion-chasing Brentford in Wednesday's final round of regular-season games to have any chance of staying up.

Leeds United need one more point to secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League after beating rock-bottom Barnsley 1-0.

Michael Sollbauer's own goal proved the difference in a tense clash at Elland Road on Thursday, putting Marcelo Bielsa's men on the brink of promotion.

In the face of a relentless challenge from Brentford, Leeds – relegated from the top flight in 2004 – now have a six-point cushion over the third-placed Bees, with a trip to Derby County coming up on Sunday.

Barnsley, meanwhile, must now win their final two matches to have any chance of staying up.

Brentford and Fulham claimed crucial wins in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship, but a point apiece does little for Barnsley and Luton Town at the foot of the table.

With top two Leeds United and West Brom not in action, Brentford closed the gap after a late turnaround saw them record a sixth successive league win at the expense of Charlton Athletic.

Fulham boosted their own hopes of finishing in the top two with an away victory at Nottingham Forest, while seventh-placed Cardiff City slipped up at home as they lost 3-2 to Blackburn Rovers.

 

BEES KEEP ON BUZZING

Brentford's impressive streak appeared in serious danger when they trailed with 15 minutes to play at home to Charlton, Macauley Bonne giving the visitors an early lead.

However, after being fouled by Josh Cullen, Said Benrahma converted from the penalty spot before Ethan Pinnock's 85th-minute header secured all three points. The result leaves the in-form Bees on 73 points, just two behind second-placed West Brom.

Fulham are up to 71 points themselves after Harry Arter's superb long-range strike was enough for a 1-0 triumph at fifth-placed Forest.

Cardiff were beaten by a stunning goal from Adam Armstrong, who seized on a loose pass to lob Alex Smithies from long range. Rovers had previously fought back twice to draw level before their outrageous winner.

 

HALME HARMS LUTON'S HOPES

Luton remain stuck at the foot of the table after conceding a late equaliser against fellow strugglers Barnsley.

Luke Berry put the hosts ahead in the 13th minute at Kenilworth Road, following up after Elliott Lee had hit the post. Yet Luton's hopes of moving above their opponents were dashed six minutes from time, Aapo Halme prodding in an equaliser.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town kept a third successive clean sheet in a stalemate with Reading. The result leaves the Terriers three points clear of Middlesbrough, who occupy the final relegation spot.

Leeds United moved another step closer to automatic promotion from the Championship with a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. 

Marcelo Bielsa's side have been inconsistent since last month's restart but saw off Blackburn to remain six points clear of third-placed Brentford. 

West Brom, who sit in second, are not in action until Sunday and in-form Brentford took full advantage by closing the gap to two points with a convincing 3-0 win against Wigan Athletic. 

Stoke City were also big winners in Saturday's second-tier fixtures, thrashing fellow strugglers Barnsley 4-0 to climb out of the relegation zone and into 18th place. 

Cardiff City, Reading and Fulham picked up valuable victories of their own, while two other matches - including the east Midlands derby - finished level. 


TOP-FLIGHT RETURN IN SIGHT FOR LEEDS

Leeds had collected four points from nine since resuming their campaign, but there is surely no stopping them from ending their 16-year wait for top-flight promotion. 

Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips put Leeds two goals ahead and while Adam Armstrong scored a free-kick early in the second period, Mateusz Klich made sure of the points. 

West Brom play their game in hand against Hull City on Sunday and now have a four-point gap to make up on Leeds, though holding down second place could become their main priority. 

Brentford have now won five in a row after Said Benrahma helped himself to a hat-trick against Wigan, who had Joe Garner sent off late on. 

PROMOTION BATTLE HEATING UP

Derby County and Nottingham Forest played out a 1-1 draw in the early kick-off - Chris Martin scoring in the 97th minute to cancel out Joe Lolley's goal. 

Cardiff saw a number of promising chances go begging against Bristol City before Lee Tomlin played in fellow substitute Danny Ward to snatch a 1-0 win. 

As well as earning bragging rights for Cardiff, Ward's clinical strike five minutes from the end also opens up a three-point buffer on seventh-in-the-table Derby. 

Fulham also needed a late goal to overcome Birmingham City at Craven Cottage, Josh Onomah popping up deep into added time to prolong the visitors' bad run of form. 

STOKE STEER CLEAR OF DANGER

Stoke entered their match with Barnsley sitting just above their opponents in the relegation zone. By the final whistle, they had risen clear of the drop zone. 

Tyrese Campbell struck twice while a goal apiece for Sam Vokes and Tom Ince resulted in a crushing win at the bet365 Stadium. 

Luton Town were unable to give their own survival hopes a much-needed boost as they went down 5-0 at home to Reading, a result that leaves them five points from safety. 

Yakou Meite was the hero for Reading, netting four of their goals - including an 18-minute hat-trick before half-time - while George Puscas was also on target for the visitors. 

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town played out a goalless stalemate with a Preston North End side now winless in six matches.

West Brom nudged ahead of Leeds United at the top of the Championship but a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City appeared to be a blow to the title hopes of Slaven Bilic's team.

Yet the top two in England's second tier look increasingly likely to be the pair promoted to the Premier League, with third-placed Fulham suffering a damaging home defeat against Brentford.

In the first matches following the league's three-month coronavirus suspension, a new hero emerged for mid-table Derby County as 18-year-old Louie Sibley scored a hat-trick in their win at Millwall.

And Rhian Brewster, a striker on loan from Liverpool, gave Swansea City's play-off hopes a boost by netting twice at Middlesbrough, as well as making a powerful political statement.

POINT A MIXED BLESSING FOR BAGGIES

With Leeds in action at Cardiff City on Sunday, West Brom had an opportunity to go two points clear of Marcelo Bielsa's team as the league resumed.

Bilic's players dominated the derby clash and had a host of chances but could not find a breakthrough, and a stalemate at the Hawthorns potentially plays into the hands of Leeds.

The top two are now level on points, with West Brom top on goal difference, but Leeds will have the chance to go three clear before the next round of games.

BEES STING NEIGHBOURS

Said Benrahma and Emiliano Marcondes scored late for Brentford in a 2-0 win at promotion rivals Fulham, a result that leaves West Brom and Leeds seven points clear with eight games remaining for the play-off pack.

Nottingham Forest were heading for victory at Sheffield Wednesday after Joe Lolley gave the visitors a 69th-minute lead, only for Connor Wickham to grab a stoppage-time leveller for the Owls.

Forest sit fifth, four points clear of a Preston North End side who were held 1-1 at Luton Town, Callum McManaman firing a late equaliser for the hosts, who nevertheless fell to the foot of the table.

KING LOUIE

Blackburn Rovers beat Bristol City 3-1 in a battle between teams fighting with Preston for sixth place, but the individual performance of the day came from Sibley, whose heroics guided Derby to their 3-2 win at Millwall.

"I'm absolutely buzzing," Sibley told Rams TV. "To get that hat-trick was just unbelievable. When the third goal went in, I couldn't stop smiling."

Brewster was not far behind, his double steering Swansea to a 3-0 victory at lowly Middlesbrough.

Brewster held up a shirt that read "our colour is not a crime" after his first goal, expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

TIGERS ON THE SLIDE

Wigan Athletic were 2-0 winners at fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town, while Hull City slipped into the bottom three after losing 1-0 at home against Charlton Athletic.

Barnsley climbed off the bottom by winning 1-0 at QPR, and Stoke City drew 1-1 at Reading.

Two individuals connected to Championship clubs have tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing, the English Football League (EFL) has confirmed.

This most recent figure marks a significant decrease from the previous two batches, which saw a combined total of 19 positive tests.

One of the positive results came at Barnsley, the Tykes have confirmed, with the club saying the individual is "safe" and "remains upbeat".

The overall sample size was 1,179 this time around, meaning over 5,000 tests have been carried out on players and staff associated with Championship clubs since May 21.

An EFL statement read: "Following the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the EFL can confirm that 1,179 players and club staff from the 24 Championship clubs were tested over the course of Wednesday June 3, Thursday June 4, Friday June 5 and Saturday June 6, with two individuals testing positive from two clubs.

"Those players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities."

The Championship is set to resume on June 20, three days after the Premier League recommences.

Across League One and League Two, 267 players and staff were tested - one returned a positive result.

 

Leeds United moved top of the Championship after they capitalised on West Brom's draw at Swansea City with a 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.

Marcelo Bielsa's men are two points clear at the top of the table after West Brom were held to a 0-0 draw in their match at the Liberty Stadium.

It was not all bad for West Brom as third-placed Fulham also failed to win, instead drawing 1-1 at Bristol City.

Cardiff City, Reading, Brentford, Middlesbrough, QPR and Stoke City were Saturday's other winners.
 

LEEDS LOOKING GOOD

Leeds' mid-season stumble is firmly behind them after a winning a fifth straight game without conceding.

Luke Ayling's stunning volley in the third minute capped a sublime team move at Elland Road and Patrick Bamford made sure of the points with a simple finish six minutes after the break, Jack Harrison later hitting the post.

West Brom, who registered only one shot on target against the Swans, have now gone three games without winning in all competitions, with the pressure on ahead of their home derby with Birmingham City next week.
 

CAIRNEY HITS BACK BUT FULHAM LOSE GROUND

Captain Tom Cairney scored a long-range equaliser with six minutes remaining as Fulham salvaged a point against Bristol City.

Nahki Wells' clever 71st-minute header appeared to have put the hosts on course for victory before that intervention.

Scott Parker's men are now six points behind the automatic promotion spots as opposed to the five they trailed by at the start of the day.

Brentford moved above Nottingham Forest into fourth place with a magnificent 5-0 home win over struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

Josh Dasilva was at the double as Thomas Frank's side ended a five-match winless run in spectacular style.

Preston North End are looking vulnerable in sixth after QPR came from behind to defeat them 3-1 at Deepdale.

Despite Geoff Cameron seeing red for a second bookable offence, Eberechi Eze inspired a comeback with a goal and an assist for QPR, who scored three times in the last 29 minutes.
 

BARNSLEY BOTTOM AS STOKE AND BORO RISE

Barnsley fell to the bottom of the table after they lost 2-0 at home to Cardiff while fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic and Luton Town shared a goalless draw.

Middlesbrough moved out of the bottom three with a 1-0 away win over Charlton Athletic, with Paddy McNair scoring the winner.

Stoke, who started the day fourth-bottom, are up to 17th after a rampant 5-1 home win over Hull City. 

The Potters were three goals up inside 18 minutes and their midfielder Sam Clucas ended the match with a double against his former club, though they lost Joe Allen to what looked like a serious Achilles injury.

Leeds United closed the gap to Championship leaders West Brom on Wednesday, while there were welcome wins for Barnsley and Wigan Athletic at the bottom of the table.

The Baggies had moved seven points clear at the summit with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End 24 hours earlier, but Leeds cut the deficit by completing a league double over lowly Middlesbrough.

Fulham are back up to third after they left it late to see off Swansea City, while Steven Fletcher struck deep into stoppage time as Sheffield Wednesday triumphed 1-0 over Charlton Athletic.

Millwall missed the chance to move closer to the play-off places as they were held 0-0 at home by Birmingham City. There were also no goals at Ewood Park, as Blackburn Rovers drew with Stoke City.

 

KLICH-ING INTO GEAR FOR LEEDS

Marcelo Bielsa's side triumphed 1-0 for a third successive league outing, Mateusz Klich scoring the only goal in first-half stoppage time at the Riverside.

The hosts managed just two shots on target as they drew a blank yet again – they have not found the net since a 2-2 draw away at fellow strugglers Wigan on February 11.

Fulham are five points behind Leeds in the standings; Aleksandar Mitrovic missed an 89th-minute penalty but made amends before the final whistle, grabbing the winner in added time at Craven Cottage.

 

BATTLE TO BEAT THE DROP HEATING UP

After Luton Town upset Brentford on Tuesday, Barnsley found themselves propping up the rest prior to kick-off at Hull City.

However, their recent revival continued with a 1-0 victory, Cauley Woodrow the scorer for the visitors in the 42nd minute.

Wigan still occupy the third and final relegation berth but now only trail Middlesbrough on goal difference after a resounding 3-0 result away at Reading.

Kieffer Moore broke the deadlock with an audacious back-heeled finish, with Jamal Lowe and Michael Jacobs – who struck in the ninth minute of added time – also scoring for the Latics.

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