Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: -1°C Friday 4 December 2020

With 10 games left, you won't believe how tight it is at the top of the Championship

Four teams are in joint-first but it’s Bournemouth who lead the way on goal difference.

IF THE PREMIER LEAGUE title race is a bit of a damp squib owing to Chelsea’s ruthlessness and Manchester City’s decline, the same criticism can’t be levelled at the second tier of English football.

After another dramatic weekend and with just ten rounds of fixtures left, four teams all sit on 66 points with Bournemouth holding top-spot on goal difference. Six goals behind are Derby while Watford and Middlesbrough are both well in contention in their quests to claim the crown.


Just one point further back is Norwich while Brentford round out the top-six.

Meanwhile, Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich will still fancy their chances of promotion – their 61 points is good enough for seventh place.

Typifying the drama and intensity of the division, Derby seemed certain to take control of the table on Saturday when they led Birmingham by two goals with the the clock ticking towards injury time. But, Paul Caddis scored from the penalty spot to pull a goal back for Brum before Clayton Donaldson grabbed an equaliser deep in additional time.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Derby County v Birmingham City - iPro Stadium Clayton Donaldson celebrates his dramatic equaliser against Derby County - a goal that ensured four teams sit joint-top of the Championship table. Source: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It followed Friday night’s goal-fest as Bournemouth layed down a marker and thumped five past a hapless Fulham with Brett Pitman and Matt Richie both scoring twice.

Elsewhere across Saturday, Boro’s loss away to Nottingham Forest enabled Watford to leap-frog into third after Troy Deeney’s leveller ensured they picked up a point against Wolves.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Ipswich Town v Brentford - Portman Road Ireland's Daryl Murphy scored his 22nd goal of the season for Ipswich on Saturday and his side remain firmly in the promotion picture. Source: Stephen Pond/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Norwich moved into fifth thanks to a 4-1 away win over Millwall while Ipswich failed to jump into a play-off place, only managing a point against Brentford. Ireland’s Daryl Murphy continued his terrific campaign by netting his 22nd of the season but it was his compatriot, former Irish international Jonathan Douglas, who made it 1-1.

Speaking afterwards, Mick McCarthy said:

It is a bonkers league with Derby drawing today and Middlesbrough losing. It is going to go to the last game, the last minute.”

Liverpool frustrated by a plucky and resolute Blackburn at Anfield

David Luiz on Jose Mourinho: ‘He is special for you, not for me’

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

Read next: