2019-20 English Football League season began with a Friday night football and what a way to begin a league season. Promoted side Luton Town played out an entertaining 3 all draw with Middlesbrough at home ground Kenilworth Road.
Luton Town, popularly known as The Hatters were returning to the Championship for the 1st time in 12 years, having gained promotion into England’s 2nd tier football by finishing last season as League 1 champion. Their manager Graeme Jones was making his managerial debut as he tasted his 1st baptism of fire in style.
Middlesbrough also referred to as Boro were aiming to start the league season campaign on a high, having finished the last a-disappointing 7th, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot to Derby County by a point. Boro has since parted ways with their then-manager Tony Pulis, replacing him with Jonathan Woodgate, who like Luton’s Jones, was making his debut at the dugout and he sure will have a debut to remember.
It was an entertaining end-to-end encounter with both teams matching each other with possession, 50%-50% it was and a 4-goal rush in the 1st-37 minutes, 2 each for both sides. Boro drew the 1st blood 7 minutes into the kick-off through an Ashley Fletcher glancing header that came off Marvin Johnson’s inswing cross, but the lead lasted 10 minutes as the home side leveled matters through Shinnie Bradley who fired in a spectacular left-footed shot from outside the box. The Hatters then took the lead in the 24th minute when Marvin Cranie nodded in Andrew Shinnie’s corner kick, however, Boro took the turn to equalize before half-time, Britt Assombalonga right-footed the leveler in the 37th minute.
Boro took a 2nd-half lead in the 68th minute through a delightful, swerving Lewis Wing‘s shot from the edge of the box and should have extended their lead and probably sealed victory in the 82nd minute when Martin Cranie conceded a foul in the box, but Assombalonga blasted against the crossbar from 12 yards. The miss would then hunt Boro as they conceded an 85th-minute goal, James Collins to the rescue for Luton Town, as it finished 3-3 on the night.
With the result, Luton Town remains unbeaten at home in 28 league matches, the last time Luton lost at home was a 2018 league two 1-2 defeat by Accrington Stanley. Middlesbrough, on the other, has avoided opening league match defeat for the 1st in 4 seasons including the 2016-17 premier league opener.
SOME OF EFL LAST SEASON’s CLUB & INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS:
Norwich City emerged as the SkyBet Championship winner with 94 points from 47 league matches ahead of 2nd place Sheffield Unite(89 points) and thus gained promotion into the English Premier League alongside Sheffield United.
Aston Villa joined Norwich and Sheffield United in the premier league having won the Championship playoffs by defeating Derby County in the final at the Wembley Stadium.
Player Of Season
Finland international Teemu Pukki had a remarkable season where he was the league-leading scorer with 29 goals in 37 matches, beating Aston Villa’s on-loan striker Tammy Abraham and Brentford’s Neal Maupay to the award. Pukki was also named the EFL player of the season for his league performances having also made 9 assists.
Team Of the Season
It is a strong start to the new season and I guess EFL fans are all in for another breathtaking league campaign. Thank you all for your time.
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