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.

Leeds United beat Reading 1-0 at Elland Road to move five points clear of the chasing pack in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship.

Third-placed Fulham were held 1-1 by Derby County on Friday and Brentford in fourth played out a 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

Nottingham Forest and Bristol City also dropped points, drawing 0-0 with QPR and losing 3-0 to leaders West Brom respectively, with the Baggies maintaining their four-point gap on Leeds.

Elsewhere, Wigan Athletic and Barnsley picked up wins to boost their survival hopes.

LEEDS, WEST BROM PULLING AWAY

Pablo Hernandez's 57th-minute strike earned Leeds back-to-back 1-0 home wins.

West Brom appear over their mid-season wobble after making it four wins in five matches with a comfortable victory.

Callum Robinson put Slaven Bilic's side on course for an 11th away win of the campaign with a fortuitous opener and Hal Robson-Kanu netted twice, either side of Romaine Sawyers' straight red for grabbing Jamie Paterson by the throat.

CHASING PACK FALTER

Brentford fought from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Blackburn as they joined west London rivals Fulham in dropping points.

Ollie Watkins scored an impressive volley and Said Benrahma netted from the penalty spot to cancel out Adam Armstrong's double.

Forest missed out on the chance to move up to third after failing to break down QPR in a stalemate at City Ground, while Preston North End recovered from a goal down to beat Hull City 2-1.

HOPE FOR WIGAN, BARNSLEY

Shaun Hutchinson's own goal was enough for Wigan to earn just an eighth league win of the campaign at home to Millwall, while Barnsley built on their shock 3-0 win at Fulham last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

Wigan and Barnsley are now two and five points adrift of 21st-placed Huddersfield respectively following the Terriers' 3-1 defeat at Swansea City.

Luton Town are now occupying bottom place, with Lyle Taylor's double earning Charlton Athletic a 3-1 win.

Elsewhere, a Callum Paterson own goal and a scrambled finish from Joe Allen saw Stoke City earn a 2-0 home win against Cardiff City that leaves them three points clear of the drop-zone.

SIX-GOAL THRILLER AT ST ANDREW'S

Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday remain locked on 45 points following a 3-3 draw.

Garry Monk was denied a winning return to one of his former clubs by Scott Hogan's equaliser in added time, the Aston Villa loanee's fourth goal in five matches.

Wednesday had twice battled back from a goal down before Jacob Murphy put them in front, but they are now winless in six outings.

Substitute Tom Eaves scored deep into stoppage time as Hull City left it late to secure a 4-4 draw with Swansea City in a Championship thriller.

Wayne Routledge had cancelled out Leonardo Da Silva Lopes' opener as the two teams were level at half-time on Friday.

However, the game exploded into life early after the interval, goals from Marcus Maddison and Mallik Wilks for the hosts sandwiching an effort from Kyle Naughton.

Play-off hopefuls Swansea made it 3-3 thanks to Jordan Garrick and appeared on course for all three points when another of their substitutes, Rhian Brewster, scored to put the visitors in front.

The on-loan Liverpool forward's third goal for the Swans seemed set to seal all three points, only for Eaves to tap in Josh Magennis' cross in the fifth additional minute.

Kiko Casilla made another alarming blunder in the Leeds United goal on Tuesday, but Marcelo Bielsa's men nevertheless managed to avoid a fifth Championship defeat in six matches as they drew 1-1 at Brentford.

Out-of-form Leeds were always expecting a tough tussle with fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford, but in the end the home side failed to live up to expectations having won each of their previous two games.

Nottingham Forest would have moved level on 56 points with Leeds had they beaten Charlton Athletic, but the struggling Addicks came away from the City Ground with a shock 1-0 win to boost their survival hopes.

Swansea City will feel they missed an opportunity to close in on the play-off places, as they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to QPR.

CASILLA CULPABLE BUT LEEDS SHOW SPIRIT

Although they remain second in the Championship, Leeds' form of late has been utterly wretched, with a 3-2 win over Millwall their solitary victory in any competition this year.

Casilla has been a regular problem, with the experienced Spanish goalkeeper making several high-profile errors and he was at it again at Griffin Park in the first half, allowing a routine back-pass to slide under his foot and the in-form Said Benrahma pounced to open the scoring.

But generally, Leeds performed well and equalised late in the first half, Liam Cooper netting from close range following a corner.

A second half of few chances resulted in the two sides cancelling each other out, with Brentford unable to really get their much-vaunted attack into the match.

CHARLTON SPRING A SURPRISE

Heading into Tuesday's fixtures, Forest knew a victory could potentially put them up to second – as it was, they dropped down a place into fifth.

Charlton claimed only their second league win since Boxing Day, and the decisive goal was worthy of winning any match.

Naby Sarr made a wonderful challenge on the halfway line, ran on to the loose ball and then delivered a delightful cross towards the back post – Lyle Taylor turning it in on the volley.

Forest piled the pressure on at times in the second half, but they failed to find a way through, seemingly paying the price for significant rotation from the team that beat Leeds 2-0 on Saturday.

BLACKBURN CRUISE WITH LATE FLURRY

Rovers appeared to be heading for a third successive Championship match without a win, but three goals in the final 17 minutes ultimately secured them a straightforward 3-0 victory against Hull City.

Darragh Lenihan finally broke the deadlock, prodding home from close range after George Long failed to hold on to a corner, and Adam Armstrong made it 2-0 six minutes later with a ferocious strike.

Dominic Samuel wrapped up the three points soon after, moving Blackburn to within three points of the play-off spots.

Birmingham City were also victorious, beating Barnsley 1-0 in Yorkshire thanks to Scott Hogan's fine effort, while Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

West Brom returned to the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory over Luton Town after Leeds slumped to another stunning home defeat against struggling Wigan Athletic.

Leeds started their clash with third-bottom Wigan holding a two-point lead at the summit, but a Pablo Hernandez own goal was enough for Wigan to pull off a repeat of their victory at Elland Road last season.

A Donervon Daniels own goal and Semi Ajayi's header moved Albion a point clear of Leeds, while Fulham are just three points adrift of Marcelo Bielsa's men following their 3-2 defeat of Huddersfield Town.

Just six points separate the top six following wins for Brentford and Bristol City, with Nottingham Forest slipping to fourth after they went down 2-1 at Birmingham City.

Charlton Athletic's 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Barnsley moved them four points clear of the relegation zone. 

Preston North End were held to a 1-1 home draw Swansea City, while it was also all square in the encounters between Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall and Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers.

DEJA VU AT ELLAND ROAD FOR TOOTHLESS LEEDS

Leeds mounted a storming fightback to beat Millwall in midweek and a home encounter with Wigan appeared to be a great opportunity to build on what was their first win in four league matches.

Yet Wigan inflicted a costly 2-1 defeat late in the Yorkshire club's bid for automatic promotion last year and Paul Cook's side headed back to Lancashire with three precious points again this time around.

Joe Williams' corner deflected off Hernandez and into the net just before the hour-mark and wasteful Leeds were unable to respond, slumping to a third loss in four.

BAGGIES RESPOND, FIVE-STAR BEES THUMP HULL

West Brom were beaten at Cardiff on Tuesday after losing their previous Championship encounter with Stoke City, but there was no slip-up against bottom side Luton at The Hawthorns.

Brentford had failed to score in their previous three matches in all competitions, but Said Benrahma scored a hat-trick as they thrashed Hull City 5-1 at the KC Stadium to move four points behind Leeds.

All five goals came in the first half of Fulham's 3-2 victory over Huddersfield, while Bristol City have won four in a row in the league without conceding following a 1-0 success at QPR.

CHARLTON CLAIM PRECIOUS RARE WIN

Only a second Championship win in 18 games moved Charlton above Stoke, hammered by Derby County on Friday, and Huddersfield.

Lyle Taylor and Andre Green were on target for the Addicks, leaving Barnsley seven points behind a Stoke side sitting just above the bottom three.

Manchester United left it very, very late, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the extra striker he wanted in the form of Odion Ighalo.

With a move for Bournemouth's Joshua King dead in the water, the Red Devils focused their efforts on a loan deal for the 30-year-old, who has been playing for Shanghai Shenhua since last February.

Ighalo's deal, which Omnisport understands does not include a purchase option, will give Solskjaer another option up front during the injury absence of Marcus Rashford.

He is expected to travel to England in the coming days before United publicly announce the signing.

Ighalo was far from the only major deal to be concluded late in the transfer window, though, as West Ham just managed to finalise the signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported initial fee of £22million.

Aston Villa also announced a new striker signing about 10 minutes before the window closed, Borja Baston joining on a free transfer from Swansea City.

Elsewhere in England, Tariq Lamptey took the decision to leave Chelsea and sign for Brighton and Hove Albion on a contract until 2023. The Seagulls have also brought back Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors, where he was on loan.


LOANS GALORE

Sheffield United had a busy end to the window, securing the arrival of Panos Retsos - initially on loan but with the option of a permanent deal - from Bayer Leverkusen, while Ravel Morrison has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough, having made one Premier League appearance this season.

Leicester City have loaned Ryan Bennett from Wolves, with Filip Benkovic allowed to leave for Bristol City for the remainder of the campaign with a view to earning regular game time.

Everton have sent Jonas Lossl back to Huddersfield Town on loan, while Connor Wickham is also heading to the Championship, the Crystal Palace striker moving to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Wolves have secured the signing of Luke Matheson, who famously scored at Old Trafford in September as a 16-year-old, and loaned him back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season.

Leverkusen have also brought in a signing for the future, with Edmond Tapsoba arriving from Vitoria SC for a fee said to be between €16m and €18m.
 

SERIE A FLURRY

Italy's window closed a little earlier than some others and there was a flurry of deals around the deadline.

Marko Pjaca will get the chance to kick-start his career with Anderlecht, Juventus having allowed the winger to leave on loan for the remainder of the season as he looks to earn regular first-team football.

Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers, a highly rated 20-year-old from Anderlecht who arrives on loan with the option of a permanent move.

Fiorentina have had a busy end to the window. Kevin Agudelo has joined the Viola from Genoa on an 18-month loan deal, while Valentin Eysseric has been sent to Hellas Verona until June.

Maya Yoshida secured a switch to Sampdoria from Southampton, while Gaston Pereiro's move from PSV to Cagliari was ratified. He will be joined in Sardinia by Alberto Paloschi, with Alberto Cerri heading the other way to SPAL.

Gervinho, meanwhile, has taken another step in his nomadic career by moving to Al Sadd from Parma, who brought in Vasco Regini on loan from Samp.
 

BUSY BARCA

Barcelona will give new €10m signing Matheus Fernandes for time to acclimatise to LaLiga, spending the rest of 2019-20 with Real Valladolid.

Barca have also sent Moussa Wague on loan to Nice, who have the option of a €10m permanent deal, while Ligue 1 rivals Lyon have signed Camilo Reijers de Oliveira for €2m.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a shock signing for Barca 12 months ago and the experienced forward is on the move again, this time heading to Besiktas on loan from Fiorentina.

Leganes bolstered their attacking depth with two loan deals, bringing in Roger Assale from Young Boys and former player Miguel Angel Guerrero from Olympiacos.

Getafe have landed Erick Cabaco on a permanent deal, the defender joining from Levante, Granada have signed Gil Dias on loan from Monaco, and Real Sociedad have sold Ruben Pardo to Bordeaux.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have loaned Emre Mor to Olympiacos, while a late, late deal that saw Nicolas Gaitan sign for Lille for the rest of the season was completed in time.

Jarrod Bowen landed a deadline-beating move to West Ham as the Premier League strugglers raided Hull City for the Tigers' biggest asset.

The in-demand 23-year-old forward has signed a five-and-a-half year deal with the London club for a fee reported to be in excessive of £20million.

Bowen has scored 16 Championship goals and produced seven assists for Hull this season, and West Ham were not the only top-flight club linked with a move for the former Hereford player.

Newcastle and Crystal Palace were both said to be admirers of Bowen, who was also strongly linked with a move to Leeds United.

Bowen showed flashes of his potential in the FA Cup fourth-round match against Chelsea last weekend and he has been one of the standout performers in the Championship.

He joins a team who have plummeted towards the Premier League relegation zone, with David Moyes identifying Bowen as a player capable of adding some fire to his attack ahead of their survival battle.

Bowen netted 15 goals in the 2017-18 season before breaking the 20-goal barrier last term, and this campaign has been one of continuing progress for a player who can play in wide or central roles.

Moyes said of his new recruit: "We are delighted to welcome Jarrod to West Ham United. I think he could be a big success.

"He's probably what you’d call a wide forward these days, or perhaps an old-fashioned inside-right. He has played a couple of games as a second centre forward or as a number 10..

"When you score goals like he does, and in the numbers he does, in the Championship, it will give you a great chance of scoring goals in the Premier League.

"We were attracted to the goals he has scored over the years; not just in one year, but over the last three years."

Leeds United soared back to the top of the Championship as Patrick Bamford's double inspired a 3-2 victory over Millwall.

Marcelo Bielsa's side had trailed 2-0 early in the game at Elland Road but came roaring back to take the three points, while rivals West Brom tripped up 2-1 at Cardiff City.

Third-placed Nottingham Forest sit just two points adrift of struggling West Brom now, after edging out Brentford.

Wayne Rooney's first goal for Derby County, helped by a big deflection, gave Phillip Cocu's side the lead at Luton Town, but the former England captain finished on the losing side as the Hatters came back to score a 3-2 victory.

Blackburn were 2-1 victors against QPR, Huddersfield Town won 2-1 at Hull City, Bristol City recorded an away-day success at Reading, and lowly Wigan saw Jamal Lowe grab a stoppage-time winner to record a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday.

 

BAMFORD THE HERO AS LEEDS RISE AGAIN

It would have been reasonable to ask if the wheels were coming off the Leeds bandwagon when they fell 2-0 behind against Millwall inside 23 minutes, as Shaun Hutchinson and Jed Wallace gave the visitors a dream start.

There have been worrying signs for Bielsa's Leeds in recent weeks but just as thoughts turned to their previous failures to capitalise on strong starts to league campaigns, the West Yorkshire side roused themselves.

Bamford began the recovery by striking from close range in the 48th minute, Pablo Hernandez cracked an equaliser just after the hour, and Bamford had Elland Road rocking when he stooped to head home Luke Ayling's cross to put the hosts ahead.

A 3-2 win, a long-standing rival sunk, a first win of 2020 secured. Crisis? What crisis?

NOW THIS IS A CRISIS: WEST BROM IN TURMOIL

Seven games without a win in the Championship for West Brom spells trouble - and the only saving grace is that they are still in the automatic promotion places.

Any hopes that the weekend win over West Ham in the FA Cup would prove a turning point were soon shattered at Cardiff.

Callum Paterson fired the Bluebirds ahead in the first minute of the second half, and despite Charlie Austin's penalty levelling up the match, Cardiff had the final say.

Lee Tomlin's free-kick was a sublime goal, curled over the West Brom wall and into the top left corner to clinch the points. Luton are next for West Brom, visiting the Hawthorns on Saturday.

 

FOREST EYE RETURN TO PROMISED LAND

It is worth remembering Nottingham Forest have not played Premier League football this century, having been relegated in 1999. Truth is, they have rarely looked like getting back, but maybe their time is approaching.

With the top two having looked suddenly vulnerable over recent weeks, Brentford and Forest have been among the teams making up ground at a rapid rate, which added spice to Tuesday's clash between the clubs.

Joe Lolley's strike made all the difference for Sabri Lamouchi's side, with the former Huddersfield player firing home with the help of a deflection in the 14th minute.

Forest last lost in the league at Huddersfield on December 21, their seven-game unbeaten run raising real hope in Nottingham of a return to the top flight for the former European Cup winners.

Frank Lampard said Chelsea must "get it right" in the transfer market after a narrow FA Cup win at Hull City fuelled the head coach's concerns.

A 2-1 victory at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday carried Chelsea through to the fifth round, but they were clinging to their lead late on against the Championship side.

With Tammy Abraham injured and fellow striker Olivier Giroud looking like leaving before the transfer window closes, it is clear where Chelsea must strengthen.

Head coach Lampard knows where Chelsea are lacking, despite expressing enthusiasm for goalscorer Michy Batshuayi's performance against Hull.

Chelsea's transfer ban prevented Lampard making signings when he came into the club in the last close season, but they are free to bring in players now, and the countdown to the window closing at the end of January is on.

"My job, I suppose, is to work every day on the training ground," Lampard said on BT Sport. "The other part for the club is how do we move forward by bringing in players, and we lost ground last summer.

"We're trying to now, we need to now for the short term to push for this top four [in the Premier League]. I have a strong feeling about where we can improve personnel-wise to take us forward."

Lampard said he believed money from the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid was still available, but stressed that aspect of transfers was not his focus.

"Recruitment when you've missed a [transfer] window is of course important and in the short term now it feels very important," Lampard said.

"That's something we're working on and we have to get it right."

Fikayo Tomori headed Chelsea's second goal just after the hour mark, but a deflected free-kick gave Hull a late lifeline, which they almost grabbed.

Speaking in his post-match news conference, Lampard admitted Chelsea's failure to build on their first-half dominance was disappointing.

"You don't expect it to be easy coming here, but we probably made it harder on ourselves by not capitalising," Lampard said.

"Hull probably weren't at it in the first half, I think we had chances to score. Then with passages we got slightly sloppy. At half-time I wasn't delighted and then in the second half Hull gave us a real game of it.

"If you don't take those chances when you can then teams stay in it for 90 minutes, like they did.

"I don't know how many shots we had. Recently we have been having a lot of good chances and not taking them."

Chelsea would love to have a driving force in the Lampard mould, given he became the club's record scorer in his playing days.

The loss of Abraham to an ankle problem has left the team short of their most clinical finisher, and Lampard said he was still unsure of the exact nature of the injury sustained by the striker in the midweek draw with Arsenal.

"He has been getting lightly into the water and all these things, but I said [on Friday] that there's no fracture, but other than that there is still some swelling so I don't know," Lampard said.

Cesar Azpilicueta said Chelsea lost their grip and control in the FA Cup win at Hull City, claiming players were too eager to put themselves before the team's best interests.

The Spaniard played the full 90 minutes against the Championship side, as Chelsea battled out a 2-1 victory on their travels.

Chelsea were dominant for the first 70 minutes and should have added to goals from Michy Batshuayi and Fikayo Tomori, but they allowed Hull too much of the ball after that point and almost paid the price.

A fortunate reply from Kamil Grosicki, whose free-kick took a big deflection off Mateo Kovacic to wrong-foot Willy Caballero, saw the Tigers claw their way back into the match with 12 minutes remaining.

Hull had chances to force a replay too, with Chelsea forced into some desperate and often untidy defending to remain ahead.

"With the chances we had, we cannot concede in these kind of circumstances and we have to control better," Chelsea captain Azpilicueta said.

"We know we have to improve our game if we want to improve as a team and go far, because tonight was a night we could have handled much better.

"It's not the first game where we didn't manage the game well, and at the end there we were on our box suffering. Sometimes we can be punished but tonight not, but we know we have to improve."

Speaking on BT Sport, Azpilicueta added: "For moments we stopped playing as a team and we started doing individual actions that is not our game and we got punished.

"And if we want to play against the best teams and to fight for trophies, we have to improve."

The absence of top scorer Tammy Abraham, who has an ankle injury, meant Chelsea were reliant on the likes of Batshuayi and Pedro – the latter could have scored at least twice but failed to convert chances.

Goalscorer Tomori, who headed in a free-kick from Ross Barkley to put Chelsea 2-0 up after 64 minutes, said Frank Lampard's men would have been able to cruise home if they were able to finish the openings they carved out when on top.

"In the first half we probably could have killed the game, but we didn't take our chances," Tomori said.

"We said at half-time that because we hadn't taken our chances we had to be solid at the back, try to score another one, but we need to be more clinical.

"I think my goal came at a good time, but it got a bit difficult towards the end when they scored the free-kick.

"It's a one-off game and teams want to go for it. They were never going to stop and we knew that.

"If we'd got a third goal it would have been a lot easier for us but we didn't manage to get that so we had to ride it out."

Michy Batshuayi and Fikayo Tomori sent Chelsea through to the FA Cup fifth round with a 2-1 win at Hull City.

An early opener from striker Batshuayi calmed any Chelsea nerves, before Tomori's header stretched their lead in the second half. 

Hull's reply was a fortunate one, Kamil Grosicki's free-kick taking a giant deflection off Mateo Kovacic.

The hosts began to believe they could force a replay, but Chelsea withstood the late scare to clinch a place in the last 16 of the competition.

Chelsea swept ahead in the sixth minute from their first serious attack, with the ball falling to Batshuayi close to the penalty spot. The Belgian striker clattered his shot and a deflection off Ryan Tafazolli carried it beyond George Long in the Hull goal.

That made it look bleak for the hosts, given they had never beaten Chelsea in 10 previous FA Cup matches.

Despite showing eight changes from the side that drew with Arsenal on Tuesday, Chelsea's starting XI was strong and signalled boss Frank Lampard's eagerness to win the tie at the first attempt.

Lampard, a four-time FA Cup winner in his playing days, would have been encouraged by Chelsea's forward momentum as Cesar Azpilicueta had a shot blocked before Batshuayi saw an effort deflect wide.

The visitors should have doubled their lead when Ross Barkley made a bright run through the heart of the Hull defence, but the England midfielder's strike was unconvincing and Long blocked, with the Hull goalkeeper later also twice denying Mason Mount and parrying an Azpilicueta shot.

Lampard led Derby County to the fifth round last season before Brighton and Hove Albion ended their campaign, but with Chelsea the trophy is always a target.

The FA Cup represents their best chance of silverware this season, given the Premier League is a Liverpool procession, their EFL Cup campaign is over, and Bayern Munich await the Blues in the Champions League's first knockout round.

Jarrod Bowen has been a goalscoring phenomenon in the second tier of English football and gave a glimpse of his quality just before the hour with a darting run from midfield and a shot that cleared the Chelsea bar by barely a foot.

Hull's hopes were fading when Tomori headed a wonderfully clipped Barkley free-kick inside the left post in the 64th minute for Chelsea's second.

Pedro drilled narrowly wide before chipping into the side-netting, before Hull's reply came with 12 minutes remaining when substitute Grosicki's free-kick took its wild deflection off Kovacic and flew inside the left post.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has challenged Michy Batshuayi to step up and show some consistency with Tammy Abraham seemingly facing a spell on the sidelines.

Abraham collided with the pitchside advertising hoardings late on in Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday and was later seen limping as he left Stamford Bridge.

Lampard revealed on Friday that the England international did not suffer serious ankle damage in the incident, but the full extent of the injury is still unknown.

Chelsea will be without their 15-goal top-scorer for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round trip to Hull City, meaning just a fourth start of the season in all competitions for Batshuayi.

And the 26-year-old has been urged by his manager to make the most of his rare opportunity to shine.

"He starts [on Saturday], yes, this is a chance for him," Lampard told reporters.

"Part of that has been how Tammy's been - we have seen his breakthrough and the consistency of his game.

"But yes, this is a chance for him and clearly he certainly has got to take that chance in terms of his all-round game and goals and his overall performance."

Batshuayi has scored three goals in his three previous cup starts this term and has five goals in 21 appearances overall.

Asked what he hopes to see from the Belgium striker against Hull, Lampard added: "I don't want to sit here and dissect Michy's game, but I just want to see a performance and every time he gets to be on the pitch.

"There have been times this season where he has come on and he has made a difference, and that needs to be consistent.

"To be fair to Michy - his approach and work ethic, I cannot complain about it at all in training.

"I'm sure he will say he hasn't had that many opportunities that would be normal for a player that's played as much as him this season.

"But the reality of it is, when you get those opportunities, whether it's ten minutes coming on to try and affect a game, or starts in whatever game they are, you need to try and absolutely make an impact.

"At times he's made an impact. At other times not so much. The brutal reality is, I suppose Tammy's had a really good season and his [Batshuayi's] moments have probably not been as much as he would want.

"But he does have to try and make the impact in every little moment and chance he gets."

Frank Lampard has urged Kepa Arrizabalaga to "go back to basics" and has assured the under-fire goalkeeper Chelsea are not looking to bring in a replacement this month.

Kepa was criticised for his slow reactions in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle United and 2-2 draw with Arsenal, the Gunners scoring twice from their only two shots on target.

The Spain international has the lowest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League and Lampard admitted the 25-year-old has to sharpen up.

"He will have to deal with the pressure. That is what football is," Lampard said a news conference previewing Chelsea's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Hull City. "Every player, no matter great you are in your career, the best, the absolute best of all time, will get criticised and you have to deal with it. 

"There is maybe slightly more spotlight on goalkeepers, but it is a similar thing, really. I think the important thing for that is not to get too embroiled in what is said on the outside and look at your own game. 

"It is always the basics, how hard can I work. This is not just Kepa, any player. If you feel in a lack of form, fight to get it back. Go back to basics.

"I think with Kepa he knows – he'll be honest that there have been some mistakes that have cost us goals. It is the nature of it, so that needs to improve."

Willy Caballero has started all three domestic cup games for Chelsea this season and will return against Hull.

Burnley's Nick Pope has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but Lampard is not looking to bring in another keeper in the closing stages of the window.

"I am not looking at it now. I am not affected by criticism from the outside as much," he said. "I am aware of it, not affected by it."

Chelsea beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in round three of the FA Cup and face another Championship side in Hull this weekend.

Lampard won the competition four times as a player and is targeting another run in his debut managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.

"We just want to win it. We respect the FA Cup. I do, the players do and this club has been fortunate to win it a number of times in the modern era," he said.

"I don't think we evaluate it like what's the best chance of us with top four and is it more important than the FA Cup.

"People will argue that but I don't need to get into that battle. We are professionals so can we win the game and get to the next round."

Leeds United remain top of the Championship after a 1-1 draw with West Brom at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.

Semi Ajayi put the Baggies ahead in only the second minute but was unfortunate in deflecting Patrick Bamford's header into his own net to bring Leeds level.

The result means Marcelo Bielsa's side stay above West Brom on goal difference after 26 matches.

The earlier fixtures were largely a feast of goals as 2020 started in enthralling fashion, with Stoke City winning 5-2 at Huddersfield Town and QPR thrashing Cardiff City 6-1.

Brentford were big winners away to Bristol City, Nottingham Forest edged out Blackburn Rovers in a five-goal thriller and Wigan Athletic held on to win 3-2 at Birmingham City.

Fulham's promotion bid suffered another setback with a 2-1 loss to Reading, Middlesbrough made it back-to-back away victories and Hull City snatched three points at Sheffield Wednesday.

In the first game of the new decade, Millwall came from behind to beat Luton Town 3-1 and climb into the top six.

BAGGIES MISS CHANCE TO GO TOP

Ajayi poked home after a penalty-box scramble to give West Brom an early lead against Leeds and Slaven Bilic's side were good value for their advantage in the first half.

Kiko Casilla did superbly to keep out Matheus Pereira's free-kick and then saved with his legs from Matt Phillips, who had been through on goal.

Leeds introduced Bamford at the break and it proved a crucial move, as the striker's header from Jack Harrison's cross deflected off Ajayi's shoulder and into the net.

Neither side could find a winner in the end-to-end closing minutes, meaning each are on 52 points, nine clear of the chasing pack.

 

SIX-GOAL SHOWDOWNS

Stoke dominated the first half at John Smith's Stadium but Sam Vokes' opener was forgotten when Steve Mounie and a Danny Batth own goal put the hosts ahead.

However, Stoke struck a further four times through Nick Powell, Lee Gregory and a Tyrese Campbell double in a game otherwise marred when a stadium announcement was required to warn against further alleged discriminatory chants aimed at James McClean.

QPR's victory was a more straightforward affair, as a Nahki Wells hat-trick inspired them to a 6-1 thrashing of Cardiff, who got a late consolation through Will Vaulks.

Cardiff stay 12th, though, given Bristol City were dispatched 4-0 at home by Brentford, Ollie Watkins making the points safe with a late double to send his side third.

MILLWALL INTO PLAY-OFF SPOTS

Sheffield Wednesday's loss at home to Hull meant Millwall's earlier 3-1 win over Luton, in which they trailed until the 69th minute, was enough to see them into the top six.

Nottingham Forest are up to fourth thanks to Lewis Grabban's two goals securing a 3-2 defeat of Blackburn Rovers, with Fulham slipping to fifth after John Swift and Charlie Adam consigned them to a fourth defeat in seven league games.

Preston's top-six chase was dealt a blow, though, as Rudy Gestede and a Ben Davies own goal gave Middlesbrough a fourth win in a row.

At the other end of the table, Wigan gave their survival bid a boost after they held onto a 3-2 win at Birmingham, Cedric Kipre's 73rd-minute goal proving the difference.

Leeds United overcame Birmingham City in a nine-goal thriller to move top of the Championship table as previous leaders West Brom suffered a shock home defeat to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds benefited from an injury time own goal at St Andrew's, Wes Harding turning Luke Ayling's low cross into the net to settle a post-Christmas cracker.

The visitors had previously let slip a lead on three occasions during a see-saw contest, though by finding a late winner they leapfrog West Brom, who lost for just the second time in the league this season.

Fulham are up to third after a 1-0 triumph over Stoke City, with Brentford slipping back a spot in the standings after going down to Aiden O'Brien's eighth-minute goal at in-form Millwall.

Nottingham Forest moved up to fifth by beating bottom club Wigan Athletic, overtaking Sheffield Wednesday after the Owls went down 2-1 at home to Cardiff City. Preston North End also slipped up, beaten 2-0 at home by Reading. 

Elsewhere, Bristol City eased past Luton Town, Steve Mounie was the hero for Huddersfield Town in a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers and Hull City won by the same scoreline at QPR. Swansea City's meeting with Barnsley, meanwhile, ended in stalemate, the only goalless draw on a busy day in England's second tier.

 

LEEDS LEAVE IT LATE

There was no sign of the drama to come when Leeds moved into a 2-0 first-half lead, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison getting the goals.

However, Birmingham would continuously peg their high-flying opponents back. Lukas Jutkiewicz was on target twice for the hosts in the second half, including netting a stoppage-time equaliser that seemed certain to see the game finish at 4-4.

Yet full-back Ayling – who had put his team 3-2 up with a sensational long-range strike – made one final, telling contribution to proceedings, his run and cross from the right resulting in Harding's own goal.

 

FLETCHER FLATTENS BAGGIES

Middlesbrough recorded their first away win under Jonathan Woodgate as they upset the odds against promotion-chasing West Brom.

Centre-back Daniel Ayala put the visitors in front in the 17th minute and they defended stoutly until doubling their advantage in stunning fashion deep into stoppage time.

Ashley Fletcher opted to take aim from distance when a throw-in reached him midway inside the West Brom half, the forward smashing the ball over the head of Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to wrap up all three points and end Woodgate's wait for success on the road.

 

TOUGH FINISH TO 2019 FOR STRUGGLERS

It was a good day for Derby County – and they did not even play. The lowly Rams face Charlton Athletic on Monday but only one team – Barnsley, who kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Swansea – managed to close the gap on them at the foot of the table.

Wigan could have climbed off the bottom had they avoided defeat at Nottingham Forest, who took the lead through Tobias Figueiredo on the hour.

However, Forest needed a fine penalty save from Brice Samba – who guessed correctly to turn away Josh Windass' spot kick – to preserve their narrow advantage through to the final whistle, meaning Wigan will welcome in 2020 at the foot of the standings.

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