Cardiff power on at summit as Aston Villa struggles continue

Cardiff maintained their 100 per cent start to stay top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United, but Aston Villa dropped into the relegation zone after losing at Reading.

Sean Morrison headed the Bluebirds in front from a corner just before the interval before m idfielder Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, a summer signing from Rochdale, netted his fourth goal of the season 10 minutes into the second half.

That left Cardiff flying high at the summit, but Vi lla are still searching for their first Championship win after going down 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Steve Bruce's men found themselves behind four minutes into the second half when Glenn Whelan deflected Adrian Popa's cross into his own net, which goal-line technology confirmed had crept in.

The Royals, beaten on penalties in last season's play-off final, then doubled their lead after 55 minutes through a close-range effort from Mo Barrow.

Villa, one of the pre-season promotion favourites under new skipper John Terry, pulled a late goal back through Conor Hourihane but it was not enough to prevent them slipping into the bottom two.

Wolves also made it three league in a row after they won 3-2 at Hull.

The visitors raced into an early lead through Ruben Neves, the £15.8m summer signing from Porto, but Hull were back on level terms after 27 minutes when Michael Dawson headed home a corner.

On-loan Atletico Madrid midfielder Diogo Jota put the visitors back in front two minutes ahead of the break, with substitute Ricardo Cavaleiro slotting home a third in stoppage time.

With nine minutes having been added on, Hull pulled a goal back through David Meyler's penalty, but there was to be no grandstand finale .

Ipswich also have maximum points after a late goal from Jordan Spence secured a dramatic 4-3 win at Millwall.

The Lions were in front after just 43 seconds when Jed Wallace swept home but Ipswich soon levelled through a long-range effort by Joe Garner.

There were then two goals in as many minutes as first Martyn Waghorn put Town ahead, only for Aiden O'Brien to square things up again with a close-range finish after 36 minutes.

Mick McCarthy's side found themselves in front once more in first-half stoppage time when Republic of Ireland forward David McGoldrick set up Waghorn, a recent signing from Rangers.

Tom Elliott looked to have earned Millwall a point when he made it 3-3 with 10 minutes left, but there was still time for Spence to head in an 87th-minute winner.

Barnsley picked up their first points of the new campaign with a 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest.

The Tykers took the lead after just four minutes through a header from Matty Pearson, but Daryl Murphy nodded Forest level after 26 minutes.

A close-range strike from Ryan Hedges proved to be Barnsley's winner five minutes into the second half.

There were no goals at St Andrew's between Birmingham and Bolton, while Leeds and Fulham were also unable to break the deadlock at Elland Road.

Bristol City grabbed an equaliser deep into eight minutes of stoppage time to bag a 2-2 draw at Brentford, where midfielder Josh McEachran was taken off on a stretcher late on.

City had raced ahead after only five minutes through Josh Brownhill before Ollie Watkins headed in an equaliser after 56 minutes .

Brentford substitute Neal Maupay looked to have secured all three points with 13 minutes to go, but the visitors grabbed a last-gasp draw when Bobby Reid scrambled the ball over the line.

A 58th-minute penalty from Matej Vydra was enough to give Derby a 1-0 home win over Preston while Britt Assombalonga scored twice as Middlesbrough beat 10-man Burton 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

Albion's miserable night on Teesside was compounded when substitute Hope Akpan, who had not been on long, was shown a straight red card for a clumsy challenge after 78 minutes.

Source: PA

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Bournemouth v Cardiff

If results go their way, AFC Bournemouth could reclaim top spot of the Championship if they can beat ninth place Cardiff City at Dean Court – who themselves are looking to move up the table into a play-off place.

Bournemouth’s current form suggests that they certainly are the favourites for this match with the Cherries not losing since the last game of September – a very impressive run, consisting of seven wins and three draws which have seen them shoot up the table.

With Cardiff being one of the relegated teams from last season, they almost pose a larger threat than some teams in the league, being able to have experienced the Premier League and want to return straight away. However, Cardiff are sat in ninth with two wins in their last five games, something that Cardiff boss, Russell Slade will know is a record that needs to improve if they want to make the quick return back to Premier League, and if they want to improve their form, they’ll have to do it against Bournemouth - one of the stand-out sides in the league.

Bournemouth can owe their success to good form at both ends of the pitch – with Brett Pitman being in fine form scoring the goals, and goalkeeper Artur Boruc protecting the Cherries net at the other end, conceding just seven goals in their last 9 league matches.

With all six of the current promotion hopefuls in action tomorrow, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will be confident his side can get their victory and keep piling the pressure on table toppers Derby and second place Ipswich and fight for automatic promotion.

Football Roundup Tuesday 27th November

Good evening everyone,


Here is the news from football today in brief.


Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has apparently provisionally agreed a new contract with the club that will see him earning £60,000 a week. The finer details will now be worked on between the club and Cleverley’s agent.


Arsene Wenger has insisted starlet Jack Wilshere will not be leaving the club in the near future. The arsenal midfielder has two years left on his current contract and Wenger is confident that this is more than enough time to sort out a new deal.


Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has leapt to the defence of goal keeper Ali Al Habsi today. Claiming that despite his howler against Reading on the weekend he wouldn’t swap the ‘keeper for any other in the world. He went on to say Al Habsi is even more determined after the mistake and that it will help him improve in future.


Leeds United are apparently close to extending the contract of striker El Hadj Diouf whose current deal expires in January. The Senegalese forward has impressed in his time at Elland Road and the club are confident a deal can be sorted out in time.


Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has assured fans they will be strengthening in January and won’t be looking to sell their best players. The Ulsterman said “I think that we will have to be looking at trying to strengthen the squad in January without doubt. Both me and the owner want to deliver a team that, not only will the fans be delighted with but will compete.”


Chelsea and Mark Clattenburg have today held ‘clear the air’ talks that ended with both parties reportedly happy with the outcome. Former referee Dermot Gallagher believes everyone else should now move on too.


Cardiff City manager Malky Makay has insisted star midfielder will not be moving in January. He said "It's nice when clubs take interest in your players, but he's certainly not going to be going anywhere in January, that's a promise.”


Follow: @andrew_willcox