Two Lasse Vibe goals gave Brentford fans some early Christmas cheer after Friday night’s 2-1 win at Norwich City. The Danish striker netted twice just before the break as Dean Smith’s side took the points at Carrow Road. A late Nelson Oliveira goal spoiled The Bees clean sheet but the side held on to record victory on the road.
Brentford B finished their 2017 programme with a 2-2 draw at Jersey Road against Manchester City. Theo Archibald netted a sixth-minute opener and when Joe Hardy made it two, against his former club, after the break, the game looked to be done. However, the visitors struck twice in the final five minutes to deny Kevin O’Connor’s side the win.
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Bristol City made the big waves last week as they knocked Manchester United out in the Quarter-Final of the Carabao Cup last Wednesday night. Joe Bryan and Korey Smith got the second-half goals, either side of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike, as The Robins became the first second tier side to knock out four higher division sides in consecutive rounds of the EFL Cup.
In league action, a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town means Wolverhampton Wanderers remain on course for a return to the top flight. The three points, coupled with a defeat for Cardiff City and Bristol City’s draw, means that the Molineux side are now seven points clear of second and ten clear of third. Derby County’s fourth straight win has elevated Gary Rowett’s side to third with Leeds United and Aston Villa rounding out the top six.
At the other end of the table, Birmingham City are now bottom of the pile after their draw with Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers’ win over Cardiff City. Victory at Reading saw Burton Albion exit the relegation places at The Black Cats expense.
In a rare event, Middlesbrough’s win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday saw both managers lose their jobs within 24 hours. Despite Boro’s win leaving them just three points outside the top six, Garry Monk departed The Riverside Stadium that evening with Carlos Carvalhal departing the following day: Tony Pulis taking over in North East earlier today.
Paul Clement’s time in charge of Swansea City came to an end last Wednesday with The Swans bottom at Christmas, four points from safety. Manchester City’s unwavering march to the title continued as Pep Guardiola’s side beat Bournemouth 4-0 at home on Saturday to maintain their 13 point at the head of affairs.
In Spain, Barcelona tightened their grip at the head of La Liga with a convincing El Classico win over Real on Saturday. Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Aleix Vidal got the goals as Barca opened up a 14 gap over their big rivals.