Leeds United will be without Ezgjan Alioski for the rest of the season after the makeshift full-back suffered a torn meniscus in Monday's defeat to Brentford.

Marcelo Bielsa's side lost 2-0 at Griffin Park in a huge blow to their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship, with Sheffield United and Norwich City one point away from going up.

The play-offs look to be beckoning for Leeds and they will have to play their remaining games without key performer Alioski, who went off 12 minutes into the contest in west London and will be out for at least six weeks.

Alioski had started all 44 of Leeds' Championship games this season, scoring seven goals and providing five assists.

Leeds round off their regular campaign against Aston Villa and relegated Ipswich Town.

Leeds United's automatic promotion hopes are hanging by a thread after they lost 2-0 at Brentford on Monday, leaving them three points adrift of second-placed Sheffield United with two games left.

Brentford went into the game with just one win in eight, but they were by the more cohesive side going forward and were good value for a win that has Leeds looking destined for the play-offs.

There was little to separate the two teams during an even first half, but Leeds should have been given a penalty when Patrick Bamford was tripped in the box while slipping the ball through Julian Jeanvier's legs.

Referee James Linnington failed to award it, however, and Neal Maupay capitalised with his 24th league goal of the season just before the break, stabbing home brilliantly from outside the box.

Sergi Canos – formerly of Leeds' promotion rivals Norwich City – doubled the lead in the 62nd minute, latching on to a through pass and cleverly flicking over Kiko Casilla.

Despite Leeds' desperation, Brentford continued to look the more threatening, with Maupay acrobatically firing just over, before Canos was denied a wonderful solo goal by Casilla.

Leeds failed to pull one back, meaning they remain three points behind the Blades – 3-0 winners over Hull City earlier in the day – and six adrift of Norwich, who slumped to a fourth successive draw in a 2-2 tie with Stoke City.

Another point for the Canaries will confirm their promotion back to the Premier League.

Sheffield United claimed another big win in their bid for promotion from the Championship as they beat Hull City 3-0 to pile the pressure on Leeds United.

With Leeds facing Brentford in Monday's late fixture, the second-placed Blades moved three points clear of Marcelo Bielsa's side with a dominant display at KCOM Stadium.

Above them, Norwich City were held to a fourth successive draw, and with two games remaining, their lead has been reduced to just three points.

Play-off candidates Middlesbrough and Bristol City succumbed to defeats at Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, and Derby County took the chance to move into the top six thanks to a Harry Wilson late show against QPR.

In the early game, Aston Villa beat Millwall to claim their 10th successive win, while at the other end of the table Wigan Athletic secured safety with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End.

BLADES SHARP AS THE RUN-IN HOTS UP

Having seen off Forest on Friday, Sheffield United took full advantage of playing before Leeds by dismantling Hull in a Yorkshire derby.

Chris Wilder's side took the lead 10 minutes in – David McGoldrick heading home unmarked from John Fleck's corner – and the Blades never looked back.

McGoldrick doubled his tally 12 minutes later, curling in an excellent finish from 25 yards out, with Enda Stevens capitalising on more slack Hull defending to effectively wrap up the points before half-time.

While securing automatic promotion will be the priority, United are just three points behind Norwich with two games – against Ipswich Town and Stoke City – still to come.

CANARIES' CELEBRATIONS STILL ON HOLD

A matter of weeks ago, it looked as though Norwich's charge to the title, and the Premier League, was a mere formality.

Now, however, after yet another draw, things look a bit more complicated for Daniel Farke's side. Depending on Leeds' result against Brentford, there could suddenly be a three-way tussle for not just promotion, but the title.

Norwich dominated proceedings for much of Monday's encounter at Stoke, with Onel Hernandez beating Jack Butland in the 24th minute.

But the hosts fought back through Ashley Williams' header, and though Teemu Pukki restored Norwich's lead, Thomas Edwards drew Stoke level once more to secure a share of the spoils, and delay the Canaries' promotion celebrations.

CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY HELPS DERBY

Derby moved into the final play-off spot thanks to a dramatic 2-0 triumph over QPR, though Frank Lampard's side relied on a contentious penalty to break the deadlock.

With 94 minutes played, referee David Webb harshly deemed that Luke Freeman had fouled Jayden Bogle, and Liverpool loanee Wilson made no mistake with a composed finish.

QPR rallied, with Pawel Wszolek seeing an effort hooked off the line, but the result was settled when Derby raced clear – Wilson tucking in his second in the 101st minute.

Derby's move into the play-off spots comes at the expense of Middlesbrough, who lost 3-0 at Forest, while Barry Bannan's stunner set Sheffield Wednesday up for a 2-0 win over Bristol, who drop to eighth.

VILLA MARCH ON, WIGAN SAFE

Villa seem to be hitting top form at just the right time, as they all but guaranteed a play-off place with a 1-0 win over Millwall – Jonathan Kodjia on target for Dean Smith's side.

Millwall's defeat handed Wigan a boost ahead of their clash with Preston, who had Ryan Ledson sent off as the Latics secured the points with goals from Leon Clarke and Lee Evans.

In the process, Wigan moved onto 48 points, enough to make sure of their Championship status for another season after Rotherham United lost at home to Birmingham City.

Mario Vrancic scored a stunning 97th-minute equaliser as Championship leaders Norwich City salvaged a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road.

With Sheffield United having leapfrogged Leeds United – who lost at home to 10-man Wigan Athletic – Norwich would have moved seven points clear at the top with a win on Friday.

However, Steven Fletcher's controversial effort looked to have sealed a surprise victory for Wednesday only for substitute Vrancic to curl in an exquisite free-kick with the final kick of the game.

Daniel Farke's side made a strong start and were rewarded in the 19th minute when Marco Stiepermann slotted home.

But with Teemu Pukki having squandered a chance to double Norwich's lead, the hosts were punished when Fernando Forestieri arrowed a thunderous strike in from 30 yards.

Forestieri almost netted a second in near-identical fashion six minutes after the interval, forcing a fine save out of Tim Krul, but Wednesday's turnaround was complete in contentious fashion moments later.

Having connected with Liam Palmer's left-wing cross, Fletcher reacted quickly to bundle the ball home at the second attempt, though he appeared to use his arm to do so.

Much to Norwich's chagrin, the goal stood, but just as it looked as though they would succumb to a first home league defeat of 2019, Vrancic dispatched a wonderful set-piece into the top-right corner to secure a share of the spoils, as the Canaries inched closer to a Premier League return.

 

Leeds United's push for promotion from the Championship took another twist as they went down 2-1 at home to 10-man Wigan Athletic.

Sheffield United's victory over Nottingham Forest earlier in the day had moved the Blades second and piled the pressure back on Leeds, and Marcelo Bielsa's side were unable to respond as they slumped to a shock defeat.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough leapfrogged Bristol City – who could only draw with Reading – into the play-off places, while West Brom boosted their slim hopes of automatic promotion thanks to a late comeback win against Hull City.

At the other end of the table, Bolton Wanderers were relegated after losing to Aston Villa while Rotherham United remain in the bottom three despite a battling display in a 4-3 loss away at Swansea City.

There were wins for Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers, with the points shared between Birmingham City and Derby County, while Brentford drew at Millwall in a London derby.

 

PROMOTION RACE TAKES ANOTHER TURN

With Sheffield United having beaten Forest, the pressure was on Leeds to deliver at Elland Road, and a rampant start looked set to pave the way for Bielsa's side to move back into second place.

Wigan went down to 10 men in the 14th minute – Cedric Kipre receiving his marching orders for a deliberate handball – and though Pablo Hernandez missed the resulting penalty, Leeds had the lead soon after thanks to Patrick Bamford's third goal in as many games.

But Wigan would not roll over, and having restored parity on the stroke of half-time, Gavin Massey doubled his tally in the 62nd minute when he headed Leon Clarke's cross in.

Leeds rushed to respond, but could not find an equaliser, and were fortunate that Reece James' free-kick did not dip under the bar.

The victory lifted Wigan five points clear of the relegation places, while Leeds sit third, behind Sheffield United on goal difference, with just three games left to play.

BAGGIES ON THE BOUNCE

Two successive away defeats had cast doubt over West Brom's promotion hopes, but the Baggies are firmly back in the driving seat for the play-offs after they followed up Saturday's 4-1 hammering of Preston with a dramatic win over Hull.

Todd Kane's double cancelled out Kieran Gibbs' opener at The Hawthorns, but Dwight Gayle was on hand to be West Brom's hero.

Having ensured that Hull's lead lasted just three minutes when he headed home from close range, Gayle nodded in his sixth goal in three games to claim the points with five minutes remaining.

West Brom sit fourth, and may still harbour hopes of pushing Leeds and Sheffield United in the automatic promotion race, though a play-off spot seems more likely.

BORO CAPITALISE ON BRISTOL CITY SLIP

Bristol City kicked off the day's proceedings against Reading, but had to rely on a Josh Brownhill equaliser to secure a share of the spoils at Ashton Gate.

That opened up the chance for Middlesbrough to move back into the play-off places, and Tony Pulis' side took their opportunity thanks to Britt Assombalonga's early goal against Stoke City.

The Potters have been in dismal form under Nathan Jones, and since he took over on January 12, Stoke have scored the fewest goals, attempted the fewest shots and attempted the fewest shots on target in the league.

BOLTON BACK IN LEAGUE ONE

It was always unlikely that Bolton would escape the drop, and a fourth successive defeat finally confirmed their relegation to League One.

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has agreed a deal to buy Wanderers, but they will play next season in the third tier after goals from Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham saw Aston Villa ease to a comfortable victory.

Two of the relegated teams have now been confirmed - with Ipswich Town already down, though the race to avoid the drop remains on for Rotherham, despite Paul Warne's side ending up on the losing side of a seven-goal thriller at Swansea. 

Millwall sit on 43 points following their draw with Brentford, while Birmingham edged closer to safety by drawing 2-2 with Derby at home.

Sheffield United bounced back from successive draws by moving up to second place in the Championship with a 2-0 home win against 10-man Nottingham Forest on Good Friday.

Mark Duffy scored the opening goal with a brilliant long-range effort following Yohan Benalouane's red card, which contributed to Martin O'Neill's side succumbing to a fourth straight league loss, with Enda Stevens' late strike making sure for the hosts.

Jack Colback's 15th yellow card of the season was among the few notable moments in a flat first half at Bramall Lane, the Forest captain cautioned for simulation after going down too easily in the Blades box.

But there was an explosive start to the second period as Forest were reduced to 10 men shortly after the restart, Benalouane dismissed after bringing down David McGoldrick when through on goal.

Chris Wilder's men needed fewer than four minutes to make their man advantage count, Duffy sending a wonderful strike into the top corner.

And five minutes from time the Blades crucially doubled their lead, McGoldrick leading a break through a depleted defence and teeing up full-back Stevens on the overlap to drill a fine finish across Forest goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

Sheffield United move back above Leeds United on goal difference as the promotion race continues, with Marcelo Bielsa's men at home to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic later in the day.

West Brom have confirmed James Shan will remain as caretaker head coach for the rest of the season as the Baggies chase Premier League promotion.

Shan has been in charge since Darren Moore was dismissed last month after a 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich Town, who have since been relegated.

During Shan's short reign, West Brom have won four out of six Championship matches, losing the other two, and they are nine points behind second-placed Leeds United.

With automatic promotion hopes fading, West Brom announced on Tuesday the club will not be appointing a permanent replacement for Moore.

"Jimmy has fully earned this opportunity to take us through to the end of the campaign," said the club's technical director Luke Dowling.

"He has earned the support and confidence of the players who have bought into the structural and organisational changes Jimmy has introduced. He has the backing of everyone to push on now and take us forward with momentum.

"Of course he recognises, as do we, that there is space for some more experience to join the coaching group and we expect to be able to clarify this element over the coming days.

"But Jimmy has impressed everyone with the way he has tackled the challenge. He is confident in his abilities, just as we have confidence in him, and he has convinced us all that our best prospects for promotion lie with him overseeing the first team."

Shan, who will now be permitted to make additions to his coaching staff to boost West Brom's promotion push, is pleased to have more certainty over his position.

"I'm happy that we can now move forward with clear planning and direction for the remainder of the season," Shan said. "It won't change the work ethic and application of the players and the staff but it enables us to crack on with a clear target in our sights.

"From a personal point of view there is huge, huge pride to be given the responsibility. For me it is a chance to see the journey through that began at the end of last season. 

"I've heard it said that with two or three extra games we may have stayed up last season. My aim is to make sure we get those extra games at the end of this season and complete our road back to the Premier League."

Teemu Pukki scored a late equaliser as Norwich City dropped points for the second Championship game in a row, the leaders drawing 1-1 away to Wigan Athletic to give Leeds United and Sheffield United hope in the promotion race.

The Canaries were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Reading in midweek and they slipped up again at the DW Stadium on Sunday, where Reece James scored the opener with a contentious penalty.

Ben Godfrey was penalised for handball on the stroke of half-time, even though Sam Morsy's shot rebounded off the defender's leg on to his arm.

James beat Tim Krul with the resulting penalty to set up a potential shock, and the Norwich goalkeeper then made a superb save to deny Leon Clarke midway through the second half.

But Norwich levelled in the 81st minute when Pukki, crowned the Championship Player of the Season on Monday, was slipped through on goal by Kenny McLean to slot home his 27th league goal of 2018-19.

Norwich could not force a winner despite eight added minutes, though, and it was instead Wigan who had the ball in the net, Clarke having a header ruled out for a marginal offside during the extended injury time.

With four games to go, Daniel Farke's men are four points clear of Leeds, with Sheffield United - who drew at home to Millwall this weekend after conceding in added time - a further three back.

Leeds United moved back into second place in the Championship with a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Sheffield United, who started the day third, were held to a 1-1 draw by Millwall at Bramall Lane thanks to a 95th-minute equaliser from Jake Cooper.

That result was enough to move them second on goal difference, but Leeds moved back above them and established a three-point gap to the chasing pack thanks to a second-half goal from Jack Harrison.

Keiren Westwood kept Marcelo Bielsa's side at bay for the first 65 minutes with some fine goalkeeping, with particularly impressive saves to deny Tyler Roberts.

Leeds always looked the most likely to break the deadlock, though, and they duly did when Harrison steered Pablo Hernandez's low cross into the bottom-left corner of the net.

The result puts Leeds in the driving seat for a top-two finish, while Wednesday are 10th, six points off the play-offs.

Sheffield United failed to put maximum pressure on Leeds United in the Championship promotion race with a dramatic 1-1 home draw against Millwall, while Ipswich Town were relegated to League One.

With Leeds in action later in the day against Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road, the Blades had a chance to go two points ahead of Marcelo Bielsa's men and Gary Madine's goal seemed to have earned them victory.

Ben Marshall missed a late penalty for Millwall after John Egan was sent off, but Jake Cooper struck deep in added time for the relegation-threatened visitors.

Aston Villa's home win against Bristol City tightened the race for the top six, with West Brom, Middlesbrough and Derby County all collecting three points too, but Ipswich's time in the second tier is over.

 

BLADES LACK CUTTING EDGE

Sheffield United have lost form at a bad time of the season, with Chris Wilder's side having won only one of their past four Championship matches to hand the advantage to Leeds.

Madine's third league goal since joining on loan from Cardiff City in the January transfer window looked to have put his side clear of Leeds, at least temporarily.

But nerves struck in the closing stages and, after Egan was dismissed for handball having blocked a header from Tom Elliott, Marshall missed the resulting penalty.

Millwall punished the 10 men, however, with Cooper's diving header in the fifth minute of added time pushing the Lions two points clear of the relegation zone.


READING BOOSTED, IPSWICH DROP

Yakou Meite hit a priceless double for Reading in a 2-1 home win over Brentford that moved the Royals four points clear of the bottom three.

Meite struck twice in the first 15 minutes and, although Neal Maupay replied for the Bees with his 22nd Championship goal of the season, Jose Gomes' side held on.

Survival hopes are over for Ipswich, though, with Paul Lambert's side relegated despite Gwion Edwards' equaliser earning a 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham City, who are now six points above the danger zone.

Rotherham United came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Stoke City, Michael Smith and Matt Crooks scoring in the second half to move the Millers within a point of safety.

QPR recorded their first win under caretaker boss John Eustace by thrashing mid-table Swansea City 4-0 at Loftus Road, Tomer Hemed with a double that sees Rangers pull eight points clear of Rotherham.

Bolton Wanderers, meanwhile, are likely to follow Ipswich through the trap door. Their 4-0 loss at Derby was their fifth defeat in six Championship matches and they are nine points adrift of 21st-placed Wigan Athletic, with the visit of leaders Norwich City to come on Sunday.


VILLA ON THE CHARGE

Bolton's next game is at home to Villa, with Dean Smith's men making it eight wins in a row courtesy of a 2-1 victory over top-six rivals Bristol City.

Goals from Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane set up Villa's win, although Famara Diedhiou hit back for Bristol City, who had been unbeaten in their last five games.

Middlesbrough continue to improve after a six-game losing streak seemed to have ended their play-off hopes, with a 1-0 win over Hull City secured thanks to Britt Assombalonga's first-half goal.

But slim top-six hopes are fading fast for Nottingham Forest and Preston North End. Forest lost 2-1 at home to Blackburn Rovers, their third straight defeat, while it is four reverses in a row for Preston after they went down 4-1 at West Brom.

Dwight Gayle fired in a hat-trick for James Shan's Baggies, who are close to guaranteeing a play-off place and are only six points behind Sheffield United.

Norwich City missed the chance to move eight points clear at the top of the Championship after drawing 2-2 at home with Reading on Wednesday.

Daniel Farke's side are still red-hot favourites to win promotion to the Premier League, though, given that they have a seven-point lead over third-place Sheffield United, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham City.

Aston Villa cemented their place in the play-off positions with a 2-1 win away at Rotherham United, while Hull City maintained their late bid for a top-six finish with a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic.

Ipswich Town edged ever closer to relegation following a 2-0 defeat at Brentford, while Millwall and Queens Park Rangers played out a goalless draw.

RINOMHOTA DENIES CANARIES AT THE DEATH

Andy Rinomhota scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time to put a dent in Norwich's march towards the Championship title.

The Royals took a 30th-minute lead when Yakou Meite fired home, but a stirring late fightback looked to have sealed all three points for Farke's men.

Ben Godfrey pulled the hosts level before Christoph Zimmermann put them ahead two minutes later. Reading had the final say, however, with Rinomhota firing home late on to clinch the visitors a dramatic point.

BLADES' TOP-TWO BID SUFFERS A BLOW

Leeds United's 2-0 win over Preston North End on Tuesday cranked up the pressure on Chris Wilder's side ahead of their visit to Birmingham - and they were unable to match their promotion rivals by picking up three points on the road.

Enda Stevens scored after 38 minutes but Sheffield United’s lead lasted just four minutes, Michael Morrison prodding home from close range to ensure a share of the spoils.

The Blades are now a point behind their Yorkshire rivals in the race for second spot, while Birmingham sit six points above the drop zone.

VILLA IN SEVENTH HEAVEN

Aston Villa's superb recent form continued as they beat struggling Rotherham in a game that featured three penalties.

Tammy Abraham missed from the spot before Will Vaulks gave the hosts the lead from 12 yards after Tyrone Mings was penalised for handball – an offence that saw him shown a straight red card.

Jonathan Kodjia made no mistake from the spot shortly after the interval, setting up Jack Grealish to seal all three points in the 51st minute as he finished off a flowing move.

A seventh win in a row gives Villa a five-point lead over seventh-place Middlesbrough, while Rotherham remain two points away from safety in 22nd.

Leeds United leapfrogged Sheffield United into second place in the Championship after a 2-0 win away at Preston North End on Tuesday.

Patrick Bamford scored twice as Marcelo Bielsa's side moved two points ahead of the Blades, who are in action against Birmingham City on Wednesday.

West Brom's automatic promotion hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow with a 3-2 defeat to Bristol City, while Middlesbrough boosted their play-off hopes with a win away at struggling Bolton Wanderers.

There were also wins for Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City against Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City respectively.

BAMFORD PUNISHES 10-MAN NORTH END

Leeds and Sheffield United are locked in a pulsating battle for the Championship's second automatic promotion place and Bielsa's side have cranked up the pressure ahead of the Blades' visit to Birmingham.

Their cause was helped by the dismissal of Ben Pearson, who received a straight red card for hauling down Bamford as he went through on goal shortly after the interval.

The visitors took full advantage of their numerical superiority in the 62nd minute when Bamford powered home from 25 yards.

The former Chelsea striker then added a second 14 minutes from time, heading in Mateusz Klich's right-wing cross to seal a vital three points.

BAGGIES' TOP-TWO HOPES DEALT A BLOW

West Brom are now nine points behind Leeds in fourth after three goals in the opening 19 minutes set Bristol City on their way to a important victory in the play-off battle.

The Robins, who are four points ahead of seventh-place Middlesbrough in fifth, stormed ahead thanks to goals from Josh Brownhill, Andreas Weimann and Jack Hunt.

Dwight Gayle reduced the deficit two minutes into the second half before Jay Rodriguez added a second 16 minutes from time.

They were unable to find a leveller, though, as caretaker boss Jimmy Shan suffered a second defeat in four days.

FLETCHER KEEPS PULIS' MEN IN PLAY-OFF RACE

Middlesbrough ended a torrid run of form to push Bolton Wanderers closer to relegation.

Tony Pulis' side had lost their last six games in the league, but Ashley Fletcher scored twice to move them to within two points of sixth-placed Aston Villa.

Bolton, meanwhile, remain eight points from safety with just five games left to preserve their Championship status for another season.

RAMS WELL BEATEN IN LANCASHIRE

Derby County's hopes of sneaking a play-off place suffered a setback as Blackburn Rovers ran out 2-0 winners at Ewood Park, while Sheffield Wednesday jumped above Nottingham Forest into ninth after a resounding 3-0 win at Hillsborough.

Elsewhere, Swansea City ran out 3-1 winners over Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium.

The EFL has described reports of racist incidents at three of its clubs on the same day as "exceptionally disappointing" and promised to "assess and develop" its role in eradicating such behaviour.

An arrest was made during Derby County's 3-3 draw with Brentford at Griffin Park on Saturday after one of the home supporters was accused of committing a racially-aggravated public order offence involving Rams midfielder Duane Holmes.

On the same day, Wigan Athletic winger Nathan Byrne received racist abuse on his personal Twitter account following the Latics' 2-2 draw at Bristol City, and Northampton Town loanee Timi Elsnik reported an incident in which his team-mates were racially abused ahead of their 2-2 draw at Notts County.

In a statement, the EFL said: "The EFL was saddened, disappointed and angered to hear of further reports of alleged racism following the conclusion of some matches on Saturday afternoon.

"It was exceptionally disappointing that this happened as clubs up and down the country were raising awareness of such issues as part of Kick It Out's Week of Action.

"We remain fully committed to continuing to work alongside The FA and Premier League as well as other relevant parties to ensure that football provides a welcoming environment for supporters attending matches and those participating in them.

"Our work with all EFL clubs continues and we will assess and develop our role in this area through our established equality code of practice, our league-wide inclusion plan and our ongoing dedicated security operations, enhancing these where necessary."

The EFL said it would continue to collaborate with anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out to eradicate racism from football.

Kick It Out tweeted: "Another week, another group of players racially abused.

"We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football.

"We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."

The PFA also posted a tweet, saying: "Yesterday's incidents highlight that we still have much work to do at home in tackling racism.

"We commend the clubs for their prompt and formal responses.

"We will coordinate with the players and clubs involved to offer our full support."

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha called out racial abuse on Twitter as three English Football League clubs reported alleged racist incidents on Saturday.

Zaha was brought down by Newcastle United's DeAndre Yedlin for Luka Milivojevic's decisive penalty in a 1-0 Premier League win.

After the match, Zaha shared a subsequently deleted tweet calling him a "diving monkey".

Brentford confirmed a season ticket holder was arrested after their 3-3 draw with Derby County at Griffin Park on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Derby manager Frank Lampard said midfielder Duane Holmes was abused in the dugout following his 74th-minute substitution.

"Duane Holmes complained that he was racially abused - I didn't see it, I was facing play and a fan came up to him at the side of the dugout and abused him," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"Because it's such an important issue I don't want to go beyond what I know, but it was very clearly reported by the players and the people around."

A statement from Brentford read: "Brentford FC will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police, who will now investigate the incident.

"The club utterly condemns discrimination of any kind. It is abhorrent and has no place in society and we are determined to drive it out of Griffin Park."

Wigan Athletic have reported an abusive message sent to their defender Nathan Byrne to the police.

A statement issued following their 2-2 draw against Bristol City read: "Wigan Athletic Football Club are angered by racist abuse received on the personal Twitter account of one of our players, Nathan Byrne, on Saturday afternoon.

"We have reported the incident to the police and will work with the relevant authorities to assist them with their investigations.

"There is no place for discrimination in society and social media is not an exception to those rules. We find this behaviour abhorrent."

Northampton Town said their players were subjected to "appalling" behaviour and called for anyone with information to come forward after their on-loan Derby County midfielder Timi Elsnik claimed his team-mates were racially abused outside their hotel ahead of Saturday's League Two fixture at Notts County.

"Went for a pre-match walk with the team in Nottingham and this young man outside the hotel started racially abusing some of our lads," Elsnik's tweet read.

"The most disgusting thing I've seen and heard! He's done it in front of his girl as well with no shame so he must do it all the time. Absolute idiot!"

The incidents come after a week when England international Danny Rose said he "can't wait to see the back of football" and expressed frustration over a lack of action taken against racism from football fans, while Juventus forward Moise Kean celebrated a goal against Cagliari by holding his arms outstretched in front of the opposition fans – seemingly in response to alleged racial chanting from the stands.

"Another week, another group of players racially abused," said anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out. "We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football.

"We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."

Sheffield United moved back ahead of Leeds United as the battle for the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship intensified on Saturday. 

The Blades, who had fallen behind their Yorkshire rivals last weekend, battled to a 1-0 win at Preston North End, while Leeds fell to a shock loss at Birmingham City.

Leaders Norwich City prevailed in the early kick-off, thrashing QPR, while Aston Villa's fine form continued with a dramatic win at Sheffield Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Bristol City, Derby County, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest all dropped points in pursuit of a play-off spot.

In the fight for survival, Bolton Wanderers' misery continued with a loss to Ipswich Town, but there were big wins for Rotherham United and Millwall.

BLADES STAY SHARP TO RECLAIM SECOND

It has been a thrilling battle between the Blades and Leeds and this weekend belonged to Chris Wilder's men.

David McGoldrick's first-half goal settled matters at Deepdale, where Preston's top-six hopes took a hit.

But it was Marcelo Bielsa's men who suffered arguably the biggest shock of the day, beaten 1-0 by a Blues side who had lost five on the bounce.

Che Adams' goal proved decisive and came just after Patrick Bamford had struck the post for Leeds.

Those results came after Norwich had thrashed QPR 4-0 at Carrow Road, with Teemu Pukki on target twice as the Canaries moved seven points clear heading into the final six games.

BRUCE TASTES BITTER DEFEAT 

Wednesday boss Steve Bruce faced his former employers at Hillsborough and saw his side ship two late goals in a 3-1 loss.

It was 1-1 heading into injury time, with Albert Adomah and Tammy Abraham netting to boost Villa's promotion hopes.

Dean Smith's charges are now fifth after a sixth league win on the bounce.

As for Wednesday, their dreams of a late surge into the top six look to have been ended.

PLAY-OFF HOPEFULS STUTTER

It was not only the Owls who fluffed their lines on Saturday, with Derby held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Brentford.

Frank Lampard's side, who led three times, remain two points behind sixth-placed Bristol City, who also had to settle for a point following Nathan Byrne's last-gasp leveller for Wigan Athletic.

Tony Pulis' Boro lost 3-1 at Swansea City, and Forest were beaten 2-1 by lowly Rotherham.

 

TENSION BUILDS IN SURVIVAL BATTLE

That win for the Millers, who occupy the final relegation spot, put them within a point of Reading.

The Royals lost 3-1 at Hull City, while Millwall moved a point clear of the danger zone thanks to a 2-0 home win over high-flying West Brom.

Ahmed Hegazi in particular had a day to forget for the Baggies, scoring an own goal and seeing red.

Bolton, whose very future hangs in the balance, could find no solace on the pitch as Collin Quaner's double saw rock-bottom Ipswich to a 2-1 win.

Elsewhere, Stoke City prevailed 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers.

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