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Recap: Championship round one


Recap: Championship round one

Lewis Grabban earned Sunderland a point on the opening day

The SkyBet Championship took centre stage this weekend as all twenty-four teams got their 2017/18 seasons underway, with ambitions of making it to the promised land of the Premier League. First, each team must overcome forty-six gruelling games in one of the most competitive divisions around, with any team capable of providing a shock result against another.  

On Friday night, we saw two fixtures to get us up and running. Newly promoted Millwall travelled to Nottingham Forest and will feel unfortunate that they came away from the City Ground with nothing after a 1-0 defeat. 

Derby County faced an away tie at Sunderland, who were playing their first match in the Championship since 2007. The Black Cats went behind early on thanks to a Bradley Johnson goal, but Lewis Grabban equalised from the spot and that's how it finished. 

Nine more matches were played on Saturday, including promotion favourites Middlesbrough being beaten 1-0 by big spending Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. 

John Terry made his Aston Villa debut against Hull City, but was unable to lead them to an opening day victory, with the scoreline at Villa Park ending 1-1. 

Fulham and Norwich City are expected to be challenging for a promotion spot in May and they drew 1-1 at Craven Cottage when Nelson Oliviera equalised after a Russel Martin own goal. 

Elsewhere on Saturday, there were victories for Sheffield United, QPR, Ipswich, Preston, Bristol City and Cardiff. 

The final game of the weekend came on Sunday, where Bolton Wanderers hosted Leeds United. The visitors went 2-0 up inside half an hour thanks to goals from Kalvin Phillips and highly rated Chris Wood. Bolton got one back via Gary Madine, only to go 3-1 down before half time with a close range finish from Phillips again. The only goal of the second half was an Adam Le Fondre penalty, but it wasn't enough to get Bolton anything out of the game. 

The first weekend of the Championship was as close and entertaining as expected and all sides will now turn their attentions to the first round of the League cup in midweek. 

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