Winners & losers from gameweek 21 in the Championship

26 December 2020 08:45

'The hectic Christmas schedule' is a term often banded about at this time of year, though in truth playing three games in a week isn't particularly out of the ordinary when you're in the Championship.

The second tier is renowned for being furious, frantic and quite honestly bonkers, and the latest round of fixtures was no different.

We're at a pivotal point in the season where teams can begin to get cut adrift at the bottom or forge ahead at the top, so let's take a look at the winners and losers from the Championship's Boxing Day clashes.

1. Winners - Reading

Reading notched a great victory over Luton | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Reading have been inconsistent of late - losing their last two games - and have subsequently lost their grip on the top two, so they'll have been desperate to get back to winning ways.

The visit of Luton represented a fantastic chance to get back to winning ways - with Nathan Jones' side in wretched form - and the Royals didn't disappoint.

First half goals from Tom McIntyre and Alfa Semedo secured the three points for the home side as they moved back into the top six, with Luton's late consolation only halving the deficit as Reading picked up a 2-1 win.

2. Losers - Derby

Wayne Rooney's side were within minutes of a point | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Oh Derby, you were so close.

Having been forced to play with ten men for most of the game following Martyn Waghorn's 20th minute dismissal, Wayne Rooney's men dug in and looked to have crawled their way to a precious point in their bid for survival.

Then, in the 96th minute, Alan Browne curled a sumptuous left-footed strike into the top corner and Derby's point evaporated into thin air.

1-0 to the visitors. So near yet so far.

3. Winners - Brentford

Brentford picked up a superb away win | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Cardiff have enjoyed a bit of a mini revival over the past month, so when they went 1-0 up at home to Brentford thanks to a Will Vaulks' wonder goal everything looked to be going to plan. That's until Sergi Canos decided to turn up, anyway.

The Spaniard had scored one goal in 40 games prior to his side's trip to Cardiff, but he popped up with a superb hat-trick in south Wales to ensure his side would be taking all three points home, as the Bees keep pace with those above them in the league.

4. Losers - Wycombe

Gareth Ainsworth's side slumped to another defeat | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Oh dear Gareth Ainsworth. It just doesn't look like it's meant to be.

Wycombe battled well all afternoon and looked like coming away from their trip to Bristol City with a great point against one of the sides battling for automatic promotion, but just as the finish line was in sight they threw it away.

Famara Diedhiou's strike three minutes from time meant the Robins secured a 2-1 win and left Wycombe stranded in the relegation zone.

5. Winners - Swansea

Swansea grabbed a great away win at SPR | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Every season there's a team in the Championship that nobody pays much attention to, yet they continue to slowly go about their business and end up grabbing promotion - this year could well be Swansea City's year.

Steve Cooper's side have showed no signs of suffering from the departure of Joe Rodon in the summer, and their 2-0 win over QPR was the sort of efficient display you need to prosper in a league as demanding as the second tier.

6. Losers - Huddersfield

Huddersfield succumbed to a late Barnsley goal | William Early/Getty Images

Aside from their horror away day at Bournemouth, Huddersfield have been pretty solid of late and have found themselves edging closer and closer to the playoff spots.

An impressive win last time out against Watford gave them real hope of adding their name to the mix and they travelled to Barnsley full of confidence.

However, Michal Helik's last minute strike saw them come away from Oakwell empty-handed, with the home side notching a 2-1 win.

Undoubtedly the cruellest way to lose a game.

Source: 90min