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Europa League round of 16 draw

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Nightmare start for James, Pompey

Portsmouth and their former goalkeeper David James both found the step down to the second tier of English football to be problematic as the Championship season started on Saturday.

Portsmouth - who this week defeated a challenge by HM Revenue & Customs to their Company Voluntary Agreement, allowing them to start the season and avoid liquidation - could name only four substitutes in their game against Coventry City and were defeated 2-0 at the Ricoh Arena, with Freddy Eastwood (4, 70) scoring twice.

The stricken club's former employee James had a debut to forget for Bristol City as his new side lost 3-0 at home to Millwall. James, who ended the World Cup as England's No. 1, was beaten by Darren Ward (42), Danny Schofield (48) and Paul Robinson (60). Millwall secured the comfortable win despite losing Darren Carter to a red card in the second half.

Two second-half goals inside a minute from Tamas Priskin and Tommy Smith pushed Roy Keane's Ipswich to a superb opening-day 3-1 win away at Middlesbrough.

The hosts were handed an early lead by Scott McDonald but never managed to assert their authority as Keane's men fought back with a quickfire double before Jon Stead added a third late on.

Forgotten men Heidar Helguson and Fitz Hall combined with new signings Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt to ensure QPR got their Championship season off to a flyer with a 4-0 win against Barnsley.

Icelandic forward Helguson, whose days in West London appeared to be numbered when he was farmed out to Watford last season, was ice-cool from the penalty spot in the first half and Hall, who spent the end of the campaign on loan at Newcastle, tapped in the fourth.

In between, former Plymouth forward Mackie opened his account with a predatory strike and Taarabt, who completed his permanent switch from Tottenham on Thursday, capped a sparkling display by tucking away the hosts' second spot-kick.

Crystal Palace put a summer of financial uncertainly behind them to edge a thrilling opening day contest against Leicester, running out 3-2 winners.

Last season's play-off semi-finalists were put to the sword in the first-half at Selhurst Park thanks to strikes from 17-year-old striker Wilfred Zaha, Darren Ambrose and Alan Lee. But Leicester dominated the second period and goals from Andy King and DJ Campbell saw them fall just short.

Chris Iwelumo marked his Burnley debut with the winning goal as the Clarets began life outside the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

The Scotland international, who was a summer signing from Wolves, headed home on the stroke of half-time to ensure a winning start for Brian Laws' men.

Garry Thompson's controversial goal helped Scunthorpe on their way to an impressive 2-1 win at Reading. Thompson appeared to have been flagged offside as he gave the Iron an early lead, but the goal stood to the fury of Reading boss Brian McDermott.

Gylfi Sigurdsson drew the Royals level with a typically fine hit but giant centre-half Rob Jones was able to head in a second-half winner for the visitors.

Teenager John Bostock inspired his Hull side to a 2-0 victory over Swansea as the Tigers made a winning start to life back in the Championship.

Bostock, signed on the eve of the campaign on a loan from Tottenham, laid the foundations for victory by rattling home a stunning 30-yard strike to help Nigel Pearson mark his first game in charge with a win. Returning captain Ian Ashbee made the points safe in the 49th minute, punishing Dorus De Vries' error, as new Swans boss Brendan Rodgers began his new job with a defeat.

New-look Preston endured a bitterly disappointing 2-0 opening-day defeat at the hands of ten-man Championship rivals Doncaster. Rovers established an early two-goal advantage with goals from James O'Connor and James Hayter to secure victory before the late dismissal of debutant midfielder Simon Gillett.

Leeds' return to the second tier of English football ended the same way as their last game in the division three years ago - with defeat to Derby.

Rob Hulse's goal and Kris Commons' penalty - either side of Luciano Becchio's equaliser - proved enough for the Rams to condemn Leeds to their first opening-day defeat in 21 years.


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