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The Week in Football

Catch up with the stories you might have missed from a hectic seven days

15 January 2018

Brentford news

The Bees got back to winning ways in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday thanks to goals late in each half from Florian Jozefzoon and Neal Maupay. Florian’s sweeping finish and Neal’s cheeky late backheel ensured that Bolton Wanderers were added to the list of sides to have left Griffin Park with nothing this season. The victory moved The Bees to within three points of the top six and means that it is now 13 unbeaten at home in the league for Dean Smith’s side.

Brentford B’s opening game of the New Year against Exeter City proved to be a classic as Herson Alves’ last gasp goal earned Kevin O’Connor’s side a draw at Jersey Road. After David Titov’s early opener, Exeter struck twice to hold the advantage at the interval. Zain Westbrooke levelled for The Bees on the hour only for The Grecians to strike again through former Brentford striker Robbie Simpson. However, Alves had the last say with a fine individual goal eight minutes from time.

With the January transfer window open, The B Team added Finnish Under-19 international midfielder Jaakko Oksanen to their ranks last week on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Sky Bet Championship news

Aitor Karanka was confirmed as the new Head Coach at Nottingham Forest last week, taking over in the wake of Forest’s Emirates FA Cup upset of Arsenal. The former Middlesbrough boss's tenure at The City Ground didn’t get off to the best start on Saturday however, as Scott Hogan’s first-half goal saw Aston Villa take the three points from his first game in charge.

That win elevated Aston Villa to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship table and kept Steve Bruce’s side in touch with the automatic promotion places. Wolverhampton Wanderers saw their lead trimmed slightly after being held at Barnsley while, in behind, Derby County and Cardiff City wrapped up convincing wins over struggling Birmingham City and Sunderland respectively. A third straight league defeat for Bristol City leaves them fifth ahead of Sheffield United, who occupy the final Play-Off spot. However, just three points separates The Blades and Brentford in 11th.

At the other end of the table, none of the bottom ten won so it is very much a case of as you were. Sunderland, Birmingham City, and Burton Albion occupy the relegation spots with Bolton and Hull City level on points just above the waterline.

It’s been a quiet start to the January transfer window in the second tier with very little player movement thus far. The deals that have gone through in the first-half of the month have seen Kieffer Moore swap Ipswich Town for Barnsley, Ryan Leonard arrive at Sheffield United from Southend United, and Laurens De Bock join Leeds United from Club Brugge. Former Brentford loanee Alex Pritchard has been this month's most high-profile piece of business so far after he signed for Huddersfield Town from Norwich City for a reported £11 million.

Football news

The world of football was stunned today by the sudden death of former England international Cyrille Regis at the age of 59. Alongside Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham, Regis was a pioneer for black footballers during the 1970s and 1980s at West Bromwich Albion. The striker earned five caps for England and ended his career with 158 goals in 614 professional games.

In the Premier League, the invincibles are no more after Manchester City’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side fought back from 4-1 down to quicken the pulses of the home supporters in the final few minutes but The Reds held on to become the first side in 23 attempts this season to beat City in the top flight. Results this weekend mean that Liverpool and Chelsea join Manchester United on 47 points, although the Red Devils have a game in hand against Stoke City tonight.

One interested spectator at Old Trafford tonight will be Paul Lambert who was appointed as The Potters new manager earlier today. The former Aston Villa and Norwich City boss has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal and officially takes over at the Bet365 Stadium tomorrow with Stoke 18th in the table, a point from safety.

There was farce in France last night as referee Tony Chapron appeared to kick a FC Nantes player he felt had tripped him during their 1-0 defeat to PSG. The incident took place in injury time as Chapron and Nantes’ Diego Carlos collided. The referee fell to the floor and then appeared to lash out at Carlos before showing him a second yellow card and sending him off. 

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