Sunday, December 4 2022

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom insisted there was more to come from his Championship leaders after they extended their lead at the top with a 2-0 win at Preston on Saturday.

Senegal international Iliman Ndiaye opened the scoring at Deepdale with a fine strike just before the 40-minute mark before Oli McBurnie doubled the visitors’ lead 15 minutes from time as the Blades went three points clear after Norwich could only draw 1-1 with West Brom.

“I think our goal woke us up, to be honest,” said Heckingbottom.

“We were lethargic in the first half and weren’t aggressive as we normally are. We were second to things and that’s what we needed to improve.”

Norwich lost ground after being held at home by the Baggies who opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Dara O’Shea.

Sam Byram was credited with the 68th-minute equaliser after Teemu Pukki’s effort deflected in off him.

West Brom manager Steve Bruce was unhappy at both John Swift being denied a penalty and the Canaries’ goal standing following what he insisted was a handball by Byram.

“We should have won,” said Bruce. “We have had big decisions go against us. It is handball, their goal.

“Absolute stonewall penalty… Swifty has got a touch and the boy (Grant) Hanley has barged into him.”

– Ince fires Reading into third –

Reading kept pace with the leaders following a 1-0 win over Wigan where a superb free-kick just after the hour mark by Tom Ince took them into third place.

Burnley went fourth with a 2-1 win at home to Bristol City. Manuel Benson opened the scoring early on before Nahki Wells equalised after 27 minutes. Jay Rodriguez, however, sealed victory for the Clarets.

Benik Afobe’s second-half strike earned Millwall a 2-1 victory at home to Blackpool.

Millwall led early in the first half through a header from Zian Flemming header that went in off Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw before Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino levelled for the Tangerines only for Afobe to secure a win for the Lions.

Second-half goals from Carlton Morris and Reece Burke saw Luton register a first home win of the season at the seventh attempt as Blackburn were beaten 2-0 at Kenilworth Road.

Sunderland twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Watford.

Keinan Davis and a Luke O’Nien own-goal twice gave the Hornets the advantage but Aji Alese and an 87th-minute equaliser from Jewison Bennette earned the Black Cats a point.

Swansea defeated Hull with a trio of second-half goals from Ryan Manning, Luke Cundle and Joel Piroe, while Jordan Rhodes’ eighth-minute strike gave Huddersfield a 1-0 win over Cardiff.

QPR and Stoke played out a goalless draw, as did Birmingham and Coventry.

jdg/mw

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