scha•den•freu•de (n.) – pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune
Newcastle United 1, Huddersfield Town 2
Oh man, this was neat. Wells opened the scoring for the visiting Terriers just before halftime, but the Magpies drew level at the hour mark, when Dwight Gayle headed in on the rebound from his missed penalty.
Instead of Gayle or another one of the to-be unbeaten champions grabbing the winner, it was Jack Payne who scored for the visitors in the 82nd minute, leading the Terriers to a perfect start through two matches — and dooming the Magpies to an imperfect one.
But don’t worry, Newcastle have already won promotion, right? That’s the award they give to the club with the highest attendances, yeah?
Norwich City 0, Sheffield Wednesday 0
Hosts Norwich were the better side early, but Wednesday had the run of play in the second half, in a match that ultimately ended 0-0, a great result for Villa. There weren’t many great chances either way, though, and the key storyline wasn’t the one unfolding on the pitch.
Fernando Forestieri, Wednesday’s key cog in their promotion push a year ago, reportedly refused to play. He’s been linked with a move away from the club, to Derby County or Newcastle United, and that’s something that could seriously alter the promotion mix.
Barnsley 2, Derby County 0
Speaking of Derby, they lost away to Barnsley at the weekend, as the Tykes made their season debut at Oakwell as a second-tier side. Goalkeeper Scott Carson’s own goal — after Conor Hourihane’s shot hit the post — put Barnsley ahead 11 minutes in, and things got worse for the visiting Rams after halftime, when Alfie Mawson headed home from a Hourihane free kick to provide the winning margin.
It’s a bit of a poor start from the Rams, who have just one point from two, given their status as a perceived promotion candidate. They’re managed by some guy named Nigel Pearson. Who’s he?
Brighton & Hove Albion 3, Nottingham Forest 0
It’s an extremely solid start to the season for the Seagulls, who went to four points after a romping home win Friday night to open the window. Anthony Knockeart opened the scoring for Brighton in the first half, before a brace from Bournemouth loanee Glenn Murray sealed the result in the second half.
Brighton finished joint-second in the division last year, so it’s no surprise to see them off to a good start.
Cardiff City 0, Queens Park Rangers 2
I’ve been a little impressed by QPR’s start to this season, so I’ll give them some publicity here. After a 3-0 home romping of Leeds to open the season, they’ve now scored five goals without concession and looked defensively solid in Wales yesterday, as Cardiff had just one shot on target.
Of course, it’s not like QPR created much, but they were clinical from set pieces: Steven Caulker headed home a free kick for 1-0 in the 76th minute before Tjarron Chery secured the three points with a penalty in the 85th. Of the four sides to start with two wins — the Rs, Bristol City, Fulham and Huddersfield — I think these guys might have the best chance of hanging around the promotion picture. So keep an eye on the squad from Loftus Road.
The rest of the league…
Brentford 2, Ipswich Town 0: John Egan was at the double for the host Bees, as Brentford opened their points account for the season with the 2-0 home win over Ipswich.
Burton Albion 1, Bristol City 2: The Brewers were hard-luck losers in their first home Championship match, with Tammy Abraham’s 95th-minute winner giving Bristol City all three points. The Robins are off to a quick start; Villa visit Ashton Gate in 12 days.
Leeds United 1, Birmingham City 2: In front of, like, all of 900 travelling supporters, Blues got their first points of the season with a win at Leeds, who might be terrible. Leeds really shouldn’t have scored, with a Tomasz Kuszczak error gifting the hosts an equalising goal.
Preston North End 1, Fulham 2: Former Villa man Callum Robinson scored for Preston, but it wasn’t enough as the home side couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit. Fulham have two wins from two to open the season, but will it hold up in the long run?
Wigan Athletic 3, Blackburn Rovers 0: Okay, Leeds might be bad, but Blackburn are probably terrible. Will Grigg [fire emoji here] bagged the opener as the Latics were on cruise control all afternoon at the DW Stadium.
Wolves 2, Reading 0: Strikes either side of halftime earned Wolves the three points Saturday, running their total to four after an opening-day draw at Rotherham. I think they’ll be in the promotion mix this season, which should make for a fun local derby when Villa meet them.