Championship roundup: James McClean off the mark for Stoke

Leeds back on top, Bolton lose ground and QPR and Steve McClaren thrown a lifeline

 

Stoke ended their search for a first win of the Sky Bet Championship season in style by beating 10-man Hull 2-0 at the bet365 Stadium.

Goals in either half from Irish international James McClean and Mame Diouf confirmed a comfortable victory in the Staffordshire sunshine.

McClean, a summer signing from West Brom, sent Stoke on their way to registering their first win of the new campaign when he confidently drilled home within the opening stages of the fixture.

Diouf wrapped up a massive victory for Gary Rowett’s Potters just before the hour when his driven shot took a wicked deflection off Hull defender Jordy de Wijs.

Evandro then earned himself a red card from referee Darren Bond for a second bookable offence when he mistimed a poor tackle having been brought down by Wales international Joe Allen.

Stoke’s first goal came nine minutes in when the ball dropped to McClean on the edge of the penalty area after Hull failed to fully clear Allen’s pass from the left.

The Derry native struck left-footed through a crowd of players, beating Tigers goalkeeper David Marshall.

Leeds defied their pink changing room at Carrow Road to return to the top of the table with a crushing 3-0 victory over Norwich.

The Canaries have painted the away dressing room pink in the hope of lowering the testosterone levels of their opponents, but the ploy failed to deter Marcelo Bielsa’s men as two first-half goals in six minutes swept them clear.

Mateusz Klich and Ezgjan Alioski pounced to reward Leeds’ early dominance before the outstanding Pablo Hernandez added a third in the 67th minute following some individual wizardry from the Spanish playmaker.

United were vulnerable in defence at times but were unstoppable in attack against an overwhelmed Norwich.

Bolton lost ground in the title race after slipping to their first defeat of the season as Sheffield United emerged 3-0 winners at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Mark Duffy, Kieron Freeman and John Fleck were on target in a victory every bit as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests.

Under pressure QPR boss Steve McClaren was thrown a lifeline with a 1-0 victory over Wigan at Loftus Road.

Tomer Hemed’s first-half goal secured Rangers’ first points of the season following a run of four straight defeats that had rooted them to the foot of the table.

The home side defended well in the face of speculation over McClaren’s future, although Wigan had chances to equalise with Chey Dunkley squandering one of them late on.

Sam Baldock salvaged a point against Aston Villa after his 91st-minute header secured an unexpected 1-1 draw for Reading.

Villa lost playmaker Jack Grealish to a first-half injury but that did not prevent them from opening the scoring through Ahmed Elmohamady and they looked comfortable until Baldock intervened.

Brentford dropped out of the play off-places after Kasey Palmer gave Blackburn a 1-0 victory at Ewood Park.

Derby surged up the table after strikes from Mason Mount and Richard Keogh completed a 2-0 win against struggling Preston.

Lucas Joao plundered the opener and winner as Sheffield Wednesday overcame Ipswich 2-1.

Toto Nsiala equalised for Ipswich only to then be sent off for a foul on Fernando Forestieri.

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