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 Sheffield United 17 +12 36
2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 +14 35
3 Cardiff City 16 +9 31
4 Bristol City 16 +10 30
5 Middlesbrough 16 +8 26
6 Aston Villa 16 +7 26
7 Derby County 15 +4 25
8 Ipswich Town 15 +4 24
9 Nottingham Forest 16 -1 24
10 Leeds United 16 +5 23
11 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +2 23
12 Brentford 16 +4 22
13 Preston North End 17 0 22
14 Norwich City 16 -5 22
15 Queens Park Rangers 16 -3 21
16 Barnsley 15 +1 19
17 Fulham 16 -1 19
18 Reading 15 -1 18
19 Millwall 16 0 17
20 Hull City 16 -2 16
21 Burton Albion 17 -23 13
22 Bolton Wanderers 17 -16 12
23 Birmingham City 16 -17 12
24 Sunderland 16 -11 10

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