Favourites QPR off to winning start in Championship

Updated: 04 August 2013 12:34 IST

FA Cup final hero Ben Watson was on the mark as Wigan, another of the teams relegated from the Premier League last term, swept to a 4-0 win over 10-man Barnsley at Oakwell.

Favourites QPR off to winning start in Championship

London:

QPR made the perfect start to their bid for an immediate return to the Premier League as the Championship promotion favourites defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp's team have endured a turbulent time since last season's relegation, with several star players expressing their desire to leave and the Hoops boss falling out with owner Tony Fernandes over the failure to sign former England defender Wayne Bridge.

But the west London club still retain enough talent to be many experts' choice to go up as champions and they lived up to that billing after a slow start on the opening day of the second tier season.

Wednesday shocked Loftus Road when Atdhe Nuhiu, a 6ft 6in Austrian striker signed from Turkish side Eskisehirspor last month, slammed the visitors ahead 19 minutes into his debut.

But QPR equalised five minutes before half-time when former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha turned home Junior Hoilett's shot.

And former Everton striker Andy Johnson quickly put Redknapp's men ahead with a close-range volley after Chris Kirkland had saved Joey Barton's shot.

FA Cup final hero Ben Watson was on the mark as Wigan, another of the teams relegated from the Premier League last term, swept to a 4-0 win over 10-man Barnsley at Oakwell.

Watson, who was the Wembley match-winner against Manchester City in May, put Wigan 1-0 up with a fine first-half finish and three more goals after the break sealed a comprehensive victory for new manager Owen Coyle.

Grant Holt, making his debut after leaving Norwich, netted 10 minutes after the interval to make it 2-0 before Barnsley lost Dale Jennings to a 66th-minute sending off, and Wigan then added further goals in the last 10 minutes through Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney.

Reading, also looking for a quick return to the Premier League, beat Ipswich 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Former Reading midfielder Jay Tabb gave Ipswich a 16th-minute lead but a Cole Skuse own goal put Reading level a minute before half-time.

And with 16 minutes to go Danny Guthrie scored the winner for the Royals with a spectacular solo goal.

Watford began to erase the painful memories of last season's play-off final defeat with a 1-0 win at Birmingham.

Gianfranco Zola's side missed out on a place in the Premier League in agonising fashion as former Watford striker Kevin Phillips converted an extra-time penalty that gave Crystal Palace a 1-0 win at Wembley.

But the Hornets remain one of the main contenders for promotion after a host of pre-season signings and they made the ideal start as Troy Deeney's 11th-minute strike sealed the points at St Andrews.

Newly-promoted Yeovil marked their first-ever second tier fixture with a dramatic 1-0 win against Millwall.

Gary Johnson's team, promoted via the League One play-offs last season, were playing non-league football just 10 years ago.

But the tiny Somerset club had no trouble adapting to their new lofty status as Edward Upson's 20-yard strike in the 88th minute clinched the points at The Den.

Bournemouth, who came up from League One alongside Yeovil, were also celebrating a win as a brace from Lewis Grabban earned them a 2-1 home triumph over Charlton.

Leicester battled back to beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium thanks to goals from Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy.

Nottingham Forest defeated Huddersfield 1-0 at the City Ground, with Henri Lansbury's 52nd minute goal giving the hosts three points from their first game for just the second time in seven seasons.

Leeds bagged a late winner in their 2-1 victory over Brighton, while Blackpool beat newly promoted Doncaster 3-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Earlier, Bolton came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at local rivals Burnley in the opening game of the season.

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