Championship Round-Up: Gyokeres Ends Goal Drought While Blues Stage Late Comeback

Gyokeres' solitary strike was enough to earn Coventry an important 1-0 win over Stoke
22:00, 25 Jan 2022

Viktor Gyokeres ended a run of 12 games without a goal as his solitary strike was enough to give Coventry City a vital three points over play-off hopefuls Stoke City at the CBS Arena. The Swede, who scored nine in the opening eleven games of the season, was stuck in a goalscoring rut, having failed to find the net since October 2nd, when he bagged a brace in a 4-1 win over Fulham.

But that wait for a goal that was clearly bothering the forward is now over as he bagged his tenth of the season. Ben Sheaf won the ball back, as he has so often for the Sky Blues and fed the striker, who fired in from outside the box in the second half, beating Jack Bonham at the near post.

His celebration was one of utter relief as he fell to the floor in front of the Coventry fans, who have just been just as desperate to see their striker score over the winter months. It had looked as if his bad form would continue in the first half after he missed the gilt-edged chance. Stoke’s January signing Phil Jagielka mis-controlled the ball near his own box, yet the Swede saw his effort saved by Bonham in the Stoke goal, after electing to take a touch rather than shoot first time. 

The Sky Blues didn’t allow the visitors a single shot on target as they put in a resolute defensive performance that saw them rise up to ninth, with Middlesbrough to come on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest continued their play-off push under Steve Cooper with a handsome 3-0 win over basement side Barnsley, who look destined for the drop. Having won just two games all season, after finishing in the top six last term, it has been quite the regression for Barnsley who were once again outplayed and well-beaten. 

Brennan Johnson has drawn Premier League interest from Brentford but started tonight and showed his quality with a goal and an assist, as Keinan Davis, on loan from Aston Villa, opened the scoring, his first since joining the club. Midfielder Ryan Yates tapped in a second from close range after a great ball from Johnson on the left, and from that point, Forest were cruising. Johnson made it three with ten minutes to go and bagged his seventh of the season after some excellent wing play from Djed Spence. 

The Reds are now just a point behind sixth placed Huddersfield, and have looked like a different side completely since Cooper took the reins, although keeping hold of Johnson this season will be key to their promotion hopes.

At St Andrews, Birmingham City staged a late comeback to avoid an embarrassing defeat at home to Peterborough as goals from Gary Gardner and Scott Hogan rescued a 2-2 draw. The home side looked to be getting dragged into relegation trouble when Jack Marriott opened the scoring for the visitors with a sliding finish from inside the box. Then in the second half, Jonson Clarke-Harris added a second with a smart penalty into the bottom corner to the disgust of the home fans, who have been protesting against their owners in recent weeks. 

However that late comeback sees the Blues remain 12 points clear of Peterborough, who occupy the final relegation spot as things stand. 

Luton Town continued their strong season and are now into the top ten after a 2-1 win over Bristol City. Tom Lockyer scored a first half header that gave them a 1-0 lead at the break as Bristol City gave him the freedom of the box and Lockyer gratefully headed home from close range.  Andreas Weimann equalised for the visitors in the second half but Elijah Adebayo secured all three points for the home side and lifts them up to tenth. 

Meanwhile, QPR missed their chance to go into third as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea, who were reduced to ten men when Flynn Downes was sent off in injury time. 

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