After a 90 day wait, The Bees returned to competitive action on Saturday as the new Sky Bet Championship campaign got underway. First-up was a trip to last season’s League One champions Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, and it was the hosts who took the points, Billy Sharp scoring the only goal six minutes before the interval.
Head of Medical Neil Greig had positive news on the injury front concerning the recoveries of Alan Judge and Lewis Macleod from their respective long-term injuries. Alan, who has been out since last April, recently returned from a two-week rehabilitation trip to America while Lewis is stepping up his on-field work with a view to returning to first-team training next month.
Kevin O’Connor’s B Team made it six wins from six as they beat Southampton 2-1 last Thursday. The game saw a debut for Mads Sorensen who had joined on a four-year deal from Horsens earlier on in the week. Reece Cole levelled following Tyreke Johnson’s opener for The Saints with Theo Archibald scoring what proved to be the winner just after the break.
Sky Bet Championship news
A full weekend of Championship action got underway on Friday night as Derby County headed to recently relegated Sunderland while newly-promoted Millwall faced Nottingham Forest at The City Ground. Bradley Johnson scored the first goal of the EFL season early on for The Rams but former Bee Lewis Grabban levelled three minutes before the interval as the two sides opened their respective campaigns with a point. Forest’s 1-0 win over The Lions, given to them thanks to Barrie McKay’s stunning first-half effort, saw them top the first table of the campaign.
18 more sides got their season’s underway on Saturday with home wins for Bristol City, Ipswich Town, Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers while Cardiff City were the only away victors after Kenneth Zohore’s late goal at Burton Albion. Elsewhere, Nelson Oliveira struck with two minutes to go to secure a point for Norwich City at Fulham while big-spenders Hull City and Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Villa Park.
The final two teams to get underway were Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United who played out a Sunday afternoon thriller at The Macron Stadium. Youngster Kalvin Phillips scored twice, with Chris Wood opening his account for the season, to give United a 3-1 half-time lead. Adam Le Fondre netted from the spot midway through the second-half to set up a frantic finale but Thomas Christiansen’s side held on to secure the three points in the Dane’s first game in charge.
World Football News
Arsenal picked up the first major silverware of the domestic season after a 4-1 penalty shootout win over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Victor Moses gave The Blues the advantage early on in the second-half but the game turned on its head when Pedro saw red with nine minutes to go: Sead Kolasinac heading home the equaliser from the resultant free-kick. Trialling the new ABBA penalty format, Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata both missed for Antonio Conte’s side allowing Olivier Giroud to fire home the decisive spot-kick.
Burnley’s pre-season friendly against Hannover 96 on Saturday was postponed at half-time due to crowd trouble. The score was 1-0 to The Clarets when the travelling fans hurled chairs, and other items, at police and Burnley fans causing the match to be abandoned.
In France, Paris Saint-Germain smashed the existing transfer record to prize Neymar Junior away from Barcelona. The Parisiens paid €225 million for the Brazilian striker, with his yearly wages of €45 million, taking the total deal, over five years, to €450 million.