Tammy Abraham scored his 23rd Championship goal (26th in all competitions) and put in an excellent overall display as Bristol City pulled off an inspired comeback against Barnsley, winning 3-2 after trailing at 0-1 and 1-2. Tammy is now the sole occupant of second position in the race for the Championship’s top scorer, although that could change if Dwight Gayle scores in Newcastle’s Monday night clash against Preston. Tammy is two goals behind Leeds United’s Chris Wood; with Leeds in free fall and Tammy in fine form, I wouldn’t put it beyond him to score two or more in the last two games of the season!
Also, with this victory, Bristol City have all but secured their safety; there are now six points between them and Blackburn, who occupy 22nd place with Burton, QPR, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City all between them.
Upcoming fixtures: Brighton (A, April 29)
Izzy Brown made his much-awaited return from injury on Saturday, making a 54th minute substitute appearance in a 1-4 loss to an excellent Fulham side, for whom Tomas Kalas started and Lucas Piazon was a 77th minute substitute. With the loss, Huddersfield, who do have a game-in-hand, dropped down to 5th place, level on points with 4th-placed Sheffield Wednesday, two points ahead of Fulham in 6th and five ahead of the current outliers, Leeds. Automatic promotion remains possibility but at this point, mostly just a mathematical one.
There was terribly unfortunate news as far as Kasey Palmer was concerned. Palmer, who has been out since the beginning of February, suffered an untimely setback during his rehabilitation at Cobham and has been ruled out for the season. The following tweets pretty much sum it all up.
The real shame in Kasey Palmer effectively missing the last 5 months of the season is that he looked PL-calibre before he got injured.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 20, 2017
Some work still do, as with all prospects, but the speed and quality of his decision-making was getting better each week. Really impressive.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 20, 2017
Here’s to wishing Palmer a speedy recovery; he’s a youngster with tons of promise and hopefully he’ll pick up right where he left off next season.
Huddersfield - Wolves (A, April 25), Birmingham (A, April 29)
Fulham - Brentford (H, April 29)
Fikayo Tomori was an unused substitute as not one, but two own goals from Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale saw them lose 2-0 at Carrow Road to Norwich. Nevertheless, only if Newcastle win tonight will Brighton be required to actually win a game to finish as Champions. If Newcastle lose tonight and Brighton’s status as champions is secured, who knows, perhaps we might even see Tammy Abraham versus Fikayo Tomori next weekend!
Upcoming fixtures: Bristol City (H, April 29)
Christian Atsu started as Newcastle United made light work of a 10-man Preston side, 4-1. Atsu scored his side’s second goal to put them ahead 2-1 at the stroke of half-time, and was subbed off after 68 minutes. This victory meant that Newcastle finally secured the second automatic promotion place, and will be heading straight back up to the Premier League (which they really ought to have, given the level of their squad). They could still clinch the title, but only if Brighton lose both their remaining games and Newcastle pick up four or more from theirs.
Atsu has kept himself in and around the XI during his time at Newcastle; not always the first name on the team-sheet but has always done well when called upon, and has been rewarded with starts accordingly. I could definitely see Rafa Benitez wanting to exercise the buy option apparently available to him as part of the loan deal.
Swindon Town were officially relegated to League Two after their 1-2 loss to Scunthorpe. Charlie Colkett and Fankaty Dabo played 70 and 73 minutes respectively.
Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute as Bristol Rovers’ promotion play-off hopes were ended by a 4-2 loss to Peterborough United.
Jay Dasilva, who turned 19 on Saturday, played another 90 minutes and helped Charlton to a 1-2 win against Chesterfield.
Jamal Blackman started in goal as Wycombe beat League Two Champions-elect, Doncaster Rovers 2-1. Wycombe have it all to play for in the last two games of the season. There are three points between them and 5th-placed Exeter City, with every team from 4th-placed Luton to 12th-placed Colchester United looking to seal a promotion play-off spot at the eleventh hour.
Alexander Kiwomya was an unused substitute in Crewe’s 3-0 win against Leyton Orient.
Nathan Baxter started for Solihull Moors and kept a clean sheet in their 2-0 win against Eastleigh. Baxter was featured in Chelsea’s “Steps Up” series, and his interview makes for a very enlightening read.
Andreas Christensen started for Borussia Monchengladbach against Borussia Dortmund, who came back from 2-1 down to defeat the Foals 3-2.
Upcoming fixtures: Eintracht Frankfurt (DFB Pokal Semi-Final, H, April 25), FSV Mainz (A, April 29)
Michael Hector was not involved for Eintracht Frankfurt. Hector has fallen to fifth-choice center back and according to Kicker, Eintracht have not been convinced by his displays and will not pursue a permanent move for him in the summer.
Upcoming fixtures: Borussia Monchengladbach (DFB Pokal Semi-Final, A, April 25), Hoffenheim (A, April 30)
Vitesse simply didn’t show up against the league leaders Feyenoord and lost quite easily, 0-2. Lewis Baker played the whole 90, while Nathan and Mukhtar Ali were half-time and 73rd-minute substitutes, respectively. Matt Miazga was ruled out of this game due to a minor hamstring injury sustained in Vitesse’s previous match, but should be back in time for next week’s cup final against AZ Alkmaar.
Upcoming fixtures: AZ Alkmaar (KNVB Beker Final, N, April 30)
Bertrand Traore played 82 minutes as Ajax somehow managed to score two goals in the last 9 minutes of extra time and oust Schalke from the Europa League (4-3 on aggregate), at the Veltins Arena. He then started as a winger against PSV on Sunday but was replaced by Justin Kluivert after just 43 minutes, after picking up a knock. The severity of the injury remains unknown. PSV prevailed over Ajax 1-0, which coupled with Vitesse’s loss to Feyenoord means that Ajax would require Feyenoord to pick up only one point from the last two games of the season to stand any chance of winning the title.
There’s also the matter of a Europa League semi-final clash against Lyon, on the 3rd of May. Hopefully Traore will return to fitness well in advance.
Upcoming fixtures: Olympique Lyonnais (H, May 3), Go Ahead Eagles (H, May 7)
Marco van Ginkel played 90 minutes in PSV’s 1-0 win against Ajax. PSV are well out of the title race but are playing for Champions League football. In order to achieve that, they will need to displace Ajax, who are three points ahead of them, from 2nd place.
Upcoming fixtures: Groningen (A, May 7)
Danilo Pantic was not involved for Excelsior.
Matej Delac returned to the Mouscron XI in a largely inconsequential play-off fixture against Genk, which they lost 6-0. Cristian Cuevas was not involved for STVV.
Jeremie Boga and Victorien Angban were unused substitutes as Tony Adams’ Granada lost 2-0 to Sevilla. Granada still have a mathematical chance to not get relegated; they are 7 points behind 17th-placed Leganes, with five games to play.
Upcoming fixtures: Malaga (H, April 25)
Mario Pasalic played 90 minutes in AC Milan’s 1-2 loss to Empoli.
Upcoming fixtures: Crotone (A, April 30)
Kenneth Omeruo played 90 minutes in Alanyaspor’s 0-1 loss to Osmanlispor.