Michael O’Neill, the new Stoke manager, had an instant impact as his side hammered Barnsley 4-2 at Oakwell in the bottom-of-the-table Championship clash while the top three, West Brom, Preston and Leeds, won.
The Northern Irishman was named as Nathan Jones’ successor at Stoke on Friday and the away team got off to a fine start after three successive defeats courtesy of Sam Clucas’ early goal and Lee Gregory’s penalty on the half hour.
Cameron McGeehan gave Barnsley hope in the 47th minute but further goals from Joe Allen and Clucas left them without a win since the opening day of the season, although Patrick Schmidt grabbed a late consolation.
Jake Livermore’s 28th-minute goal preserved West Brom’s position at the top with a 1-0 victory over Hull.
Second-placed Preston ended Huddersfield’s seven-game unbeaten run with a 3-1 victory at Deepdale. Alex Neil’s side have now lost only once in their last 13 league game, as goals from Jayden Stockley, Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher ended Huddersfield’s seven-match unbeaten run.
Huddersfield struggled to live with the attacking force of the hosts for the majority of the game as Danny Cowley’s side saw their seven-game unbeaten run come to an end in wet conditions in Lancashire.
Patrick Bamford ended his goal drought in Leeds’ 2-1 win over Blackburn at Elland Road. The striker netted from the penalty spot in the 30th minute, his first goal for 11 games, and then set up Jack Harrison for a second. Derrick Williams’ 40th-minute header gave Rovers hope, but Leeds held on to stay third.
Ben Wilmot scored at the death to deny the Sheffield Wednesday manager, Garry Monk, a win over his former side, Swansea, at Hillsborough. Late goals from Fernando Forestieri and Morgan Fox had looked to have given the Owls a dramatic victory, having gone behind to André Ayew, but Wilmot salvaged a 2-2 draw.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 12th goal of the season ensured Fulham beat Birmingham 1-0 and move into sixth place, but the striker will be banned for next week’s clash with QPR after collecting a fifth yellow card.
Britt Assombalonga scored twice to rescue a 2-2 draw for Middlesbrough at QPR. The striker headed Boro in front but after Nahki Wells’ ninth effort of the season and Jonny Howson’s own goal he was forced to salvage a point which left Boro without a win in nine.
Matt Smith’s late header helped Millwall win the London derby 2-1 against Charlton. After Shaun Hutchinson’s sixth-minute effort was cancelled out by Jonathan Leko, Smith struck at the death.
Reading made it four games unbeaten under their new manager, Mark Bowen, after goals from Michael Morrison, Ovie Ejaria and Garath McCleary gave them a 3-0 triumph over Luton, who slipped to one point above the bottom three.
Wigan are only two points off the relegation zone after goals from Bryan Mbeumo, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Josh Dasilva gave Brentford a 3-0 victory.
The Latics defender Cédric Kipré and Brentford’s Julian Jeanvier were sent off.