2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Joe Garner (50')

Ipswich Town 1-0 Birmingham City

Ipswich got the new Championship season off to the ideal start with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham at Portman Road.
The only goal of the game came from Joe Garner in the 47th minute after he smartly tucked away a shot from just outside the six-yard box.
A foul in midfield in the second minute on Garner led to a free-kick inside the Birmingham area which came to nothing, and a couple of minutes later a through ball from Jonas Knudsen to Freddie Sears almost created an opening for the striker.
City nearly took the lead when a throw-in from Marc Roberts was headed goalwards by Michael Morrison, who beat Tommy Smith in the air but Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowksi smothered the ball on the line.
The first corner of the match came in the 13th minute and was taken by Grant Ward, but it resulted in a foul by Andre Dozzell on Emilio Nsue.
The best move of the first half came in the 21st minute when Garner freed up Ward in the box but his shot just sailed past the right-hand post.
Bialkowski went down sharply to save a shot from Roberts and then a headed clearance from Knudsen resulted in Che Adams firing a shot just over the bar.
Smart play in midfield by Craig Gardner led to the ball breaking loose for Morrison, who was just beaten to the shot by Ipswich goalkeeper Bialkowski.
And two minutes before half-time, neat build-up play between Dozzell and Garner resulted in Sears being left free in the box but his shot was saved by David Stockdale in the Birmingham goal.
Dozzell then fell on his ankle in the penalty area and was taken off the field on a stretcher to be replaced by Flynn Downes.
Stockdale came out to smother a shot from Sears as the second half got under way and Jordan Spence was fortunate to receive only a yellow card following a foul on Clayton Donaldson in the Ipswich area.
Garner then put Town in front two minutes into the half following a slick move down the left, with Knudsen crossing for the striker to fire home.
Ipswich now had a spring in their step and looked dangerous when Knudsen fired in another cross which was cleared, before Stockdale punched away a shot from Sears.
In the 74th minute Dominic Iorfa was replaced by Adam Webster and two minutes later Sears was flagged just offside as he attempted to slide the ball home from near the goal line.
Three minutes from time Ward broke clear down the right and put over a cross which Sears failed to connect with cleanly.

English League Championship Standings

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 +30 62
2 Derby County 27 +21 52
3 Cardiff City 27 +15 50
4 Aston Villa 27 +15 47
5 Bristol City 27 +8 47
6 Sheffield United 27 +9 43
7 Leeds United 27 +8 43
8 Fulham 27 +6 42
9 Middlesbrough 27 +8 41
10 Preston North End 27 +4 41
11 Brentford 27 +6 40
12 Ipswich Town 27 +1 39
13 Norwich City 27 -4 37
14 Queens Park Rangers 27 -6 33
15 Nottingham Forest 27 -10 32
16 Millwall 27 -1 31
17 Sheffield Wednesday 27 -4 31
18 Reading 27 -5 29
19 Barnsley 27 -10 27
20 Hull City 27 -5 25
21 Bolton Wanderers 27 -20 25
22 Burton Albion 27 -25 24
23 Birmingham City 27 -23 23
24 Sunderland 27 -18 22

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