Fulham shoot to top of Champions league

Fulham returned to the top of the Championship with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Birmingham, while another defeat for last-placed Nottingham Forest to Middlesbrough is reportedly set to cost Chris Hughton his job


Denis Odoi ended a three-year wait for a league goal as his 10th-minute header put Fulham in front at St Andrew’s before Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty doubled Fulham’s advantage.

Impressive debutant Nathaniel Chalobah won the spot-kick, and the deadline-day signing from Watford played a key role in the game’s third goal.

The 26-year-old former Chelsea youngster cut open the Blues defence with a delightful pass which was finished off in equally clinical style by Harry Wilson in the 54th minute.

Mitrovic got his second goal of the game after 83 minutes, before Troy Deeney opened his Birmingham account from the penalty spot with three minutes remaining.

Coventry are up to fourth and just a point behind Fulham following a 1-0 home victory against Cardiff.

Viktor Gyokeres maintained the 10-man Sky Blues’ 100 per cent home record in the Championship.

On-loan pair Andraz Sporar and Onel Hernandez secured a 2-0 win for Middlesbrough at Forest in what will reportedly be the final straw for Hughton’s time at the City Ground.

Forest have now taken just one point from their opening seven Championship matches and a run of 13 league games without a success under Hughton represents the club’s worst run since February 2004.

Luton substitute Danny Hylton extended Bristol City’s home jinx with a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.

The Robins are still without a home win since January, a club-record run of 14 games, 11 of them under boss Nigel Pearson.

Mario Vrancic’s first-half penalty miss proved costly as 10-man Stoke were held to a 1-1 draw by Barnsley in an ill-tempered clash.

The hosts would have fired themselves into the top two if it was not for a superb Brad Collins save just before the break.

After Tommy Smith was sent off late on for the home side, Stoke coaches Dean Holden and Rory Delap, plus Barnsley assistant Joe Laumann were also shown red cards following an ugly touchline melee.

Swansea were held to a goalless draw for the second successive home game as Millwall goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski proved the Lions’ hero.

Bialkowski made several excellent second-half saves to deny Swansea a first home league win under Russell Martin, with his 90th-minute stop from Liam Walsh’s free-kick the pick of the bunch.