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West Brom defeat Sheffield United to top Championship

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West Bromwich Albion’s English midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles (left) vies with Leeds United’s English defender Luke Ayling (right) during the English Premier League football match on May 23. AFP

West Brom defeat Sheffield United to top Championship

West Brom moved top of the early English Championship table with a commanding 4-0 win at home to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

The Blades left out Aaron Ramsdale ahead of a reported move to Arsenal, with replacement goalkeeper Michael Verrips struggling at The Hawthorns against the might of Albion’s aerial threat.

But an own goal gave the Baggies the lead when Jack Robinson headed Darnell Furlong’s long throw into his own net on 26 minutes.

Verrips was at fault, however, when he dropped Alex Mowatt’s corner into the path of Darragh O’Shea early in the second half.

Mowatt made it 3-0 six minutes later, and Robinson completed the scoring on the hour after the Blades failed to deal with another long throw.

QPR, Bournemouth and Blackburn all moved up the table with away wins at Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest respectively.

London club QPR just had the better of a five-goal thriller in the northeast despite Moses Odubajo being sent off when the teams were locked at 1-1.

Uche Ikpeazu put Boro ahead from the penalty spot on seven minutes but Rangers equalised when Jonny Howson diverted Lee Wallace’s cross into his own net.

Odubajo was sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes after the restart before Lyndon Dykes put QPR ahead from a tight angle.

Matt Crooks levelled for Boro in the 72nd minute, but Chris Willock scored the winner for 10-man Rangers four minutes later.

Bournemouth moved into fourth place with a 2-0 victory at Birmingham as Dominic Solanke and Jaidon Anthony – with his first senior goal – struck in the final 13 minutes to give the Cherries a second successive away win.

Meanwhile, Blackburn enjoyed a 2-1 win over bottom club Forest.

Daniel Ayala’s stooping header gave Rovers the lead two minutes into the second half at the City Ground before Philip Zinckernagel’s powerful shot drew Forest level.

But Darragh Lenihan restored Blackburn’s lead four minutes from time and Forest, still without a point this season, had Jordan Gabriel sent off in the final seconds.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney’s Derby claimed their first win of the campaign at Hull, with Sam Baldock’s 57th-minute goal securing all three points for the former England striker’s team.

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