Sheffield United's promotion to the Premier League was rubber-stamped on Sunday after Leeds United drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa, with Marcelo Bielsa seemingly ordering his side to allow the visitors to walk in their equalising goal.

Leeds' own hopes of climbing out of the Championship after 15 years away from the top flight had realistically slipped away thanks to successive defeats at the hands of Wigan Athletic and Brentford.

A bad-tempered first half saw both sides trade blows at Elland Road, Stuart Dallas going close with a long-range strike and John McGinn failing to make the most of a good headed chance, while Bielsa was booked for protesting to referee Stuart Attwell.

Villa, on a run of 10 straight league wins, should have taken the lead in the 53rd minute when Jonathan Kodjia blasted a great chance over the Leeds crossbar.

But the game exploded in the 72nd minute when Mateusz Klich curled in the opener, Villa feeling the ball should have been kicked out with Kodjia lying injured on the turf after a challenge in the build-up.

A mass brawl saw Attwell lose control, before he sent off Anwar El Ghazi for a clash with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford, who appeared to exaggerate any contact.

In response, Bielsa could be seen furiously gesticulating at his team, with Albert Adomah allowed to run through unopposed and slot in, although defender Pontus Jansson appeared to ignore his manager's message by trying to stop the winger.

Leeds needed a late winner to make Sheffield United wait, Tyler Roberts having an effort cleared off the line in added time, but a play-off final reunion against Villa - whose goalkeeper Jed Steer was struggling with injury late on - is now quite possible.

Norwich City secured promotion to the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Daniel Farke's side needed only a draw to guarantee their place in the top flight next season, with third-placed Leeds United six points behind them with two games remaining.

The Canaries went one better, though, with superb goals from Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic sending them back to the top of the Championship and guaranteeing they will play Premier League football next season.

Sheffield United had moved top with a 2-0 win over Ipswich Town, but Norwich looked set to overtake them once more when Stiepermann drilled a good finish beyond Jayson Leutwiler with 13 minutes played.

The party atmosphere in East Anglia increased when Vrancic sent an unstoppable strike into the top-left corner from 30 yards, although the home fans were quietened when Lewis Travis beat Tim Krul with a low effort only two minutes later.

Typically one of the division's best attacking sides, Norwich were far more prosaic in the second half as they looked to hold onto their advantage, although they still managed 24 shots to Blackburn's eight.

The final whistle was eventually greeted by rapturous cheers, as Norwich celebrated being back in the top tier for the first time since being relegated in 2015-16.

Sheffield United look almost certain to join them in automatic promotion, as the Blades hold a six-point advantage over Leeds and a goal difference of 37 compared to 24.

It means anything but a win for Marcelo Bielsa's side against in-form Aston Villa on Sunday will force them to settle for a play-off spot.

Sheffield United all but sealed promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over relegated Ipswich Town on Saturday.

The result means the Blades have a six-point advantage over third-placed Leeds United, who host Aston Villa at Elland Road in their game in hand on Sunday.

Scott Hogan turned home Jack O'Connell's cross in the 24th minute to put the Blades on course for victory at Bramall Lane, though they had to be patient in their pursuit of a second goal.

Oliver Norwood's free-kick was kept out by the post, while David McGoldrick and John Egan spurned headed opportunities after the interval.

However, United's dominance saw Ipswich's resistance eventually broken in the 71st minute, O'Connell nodding in John Fleck's corner from close range.

Leeds need to win both their remaining Championship fixtures and United to slip up on the final day at Stoke City to finish above their Yorkshire rivals, though Chris Wilder's side also have the added cushion of a superior goal difference.

Rotherham United suffered relegation from the Championship on a day when Derby County gave their play-off hopes a huge boost.

The Millers succumbed to defeat at high-flying West Brom, meaning Millwall can afford to breathe easy going into their final two games.

At the top end of the table, the Rams claimed a potentially crucial victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Bristol City.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough kept pace with Frank Lampard's side courtesy of a come-from-behind win over lowly Reading.

MILLERS DOWN AND OUT

Having started the season among the favourites for the drop, Rotherham ultimately failed to overcome the odds.

But Paul Warne's side threatened an upset at The Hawthorns on Saturday, with Clark Robertson's header handing them a lead they held until the final 13 minutes.

The Baggies hit back with a quick-fire double through Jay Rodriguez from the spot and Rekeem Harper's strike.

That left the visitors four points behind 21st-placed Millwall – who drew 0-0 with Stoke City in the early game – with only one match left for the Yorkshire club.

Rotherham will join Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers – whose match with Brentford was postponed amid a player strike – in League One next season.

DERBY EDGE CLOSER

Derby headed to Ashton Gate just one point ahead of Bristol City, but a 2-0 win put them in the driving seat in the race for sixth place.

Lampard's men were on the back foot for long spells against the Robins, who fell behind to a Tom Lawrence goal.

The hosts' hopes of a turnaround were hindered by Antoine Semenyo's red card for a foul on Tom Huddlestone, with Jayden Bogle capitalising to double Derby's tally.

The Rams head to Swansea City in midweek before finishing the season at home to West Brom, while Lee Johnson's side – who are now winless in four – have Millwall and then Hull City.

 

PULIS KEEPS RAMS IN HIS SIGHTS

Middlesbrough are the side most likely to overtake Derby in the home straight, although Tony Pulis' men have just one game left.

Boro's 2-1 win over Reading saw them stay level with Derby on 70 points, with a goal difference that is six worse.

Lewis Wing cancelled out Danny Loader's fine finish before Britt Assombalonga netted the winner from a penalty.

The Royals had the consolation of being assured of safety courtesy of Rotherham's loss, although a far superior goal difference was always likely to keep them safe.

 

JOSTLING FOR POSITION

There were several games in which sides technically had nothing to play for, but that did not mean they were short on entertainment.

Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday shared a 3-3 draw in the pick of the bunch, while Hull came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Swansea.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City settled for a point at home to Wigan Athletic and Nottingham Forest won 1-0 at QPR, who would have equalised in the 88th minute had Nahki Wells not failed to convert from the spot.

Bolton Wanderers' home game against Brentford has been called off after their players refused to play in protest at unpaid wages.

The troubled club "regrettably" confirmed less than 24 hours before the scheduled kick-off time that the Championship fixture would not be taking place on Saturday.

The EFL described the developments as "disappointing" in a statement on its website, adding that Bolton are now guilty of misconduct and will be referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.

Their players had released a statement earlier on Friday that they would not be fulfilling the remaining two matches in the season due to monies owed - a decision that won the backing of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Both the squad and coaching staff members have still not been paid for March and first-team players reportedly refused to train for 48 hours this month in protest after club workers also went unpaid.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own," the statement from the players read. "The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

"These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families."

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini last week agreed a last-minute takeover of the club to prevent them going into administration. The deal hoped to lead to the settlement of a High Court case related to an unpaid tax bill.

Bolton's relegation to League One was confirmed last week by their 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Bolton Wanderers players are refusing to play their last two Championship matches of the season due to unpaid wages – a decision that has won the backing of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Squad and coaching staff members have still not been paid for March and first-team players reportedly refused to train for 48 hours this month in protest after club workers also went unpaid.

In a statement released on Friday, the players said they will not take to the field for fixtures against Brentford and Nottingham Forest until the matter is resolved.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own," the statement read. "The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

"These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.

"During this time, we have remained patient in hope of some explanation but information from the club has been extremely limited and very confusing. What we have been told changes constantly.

"With deep regret, we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid. We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise.

"We realise this may be seen as drastic action but we feel we have no other options left. This decision has not been taken lightly and is not a reaction to this one particular incident.

"We have suffered numerous issues this season, and recent seasons, brought on by the mismanagement of this club. We have been operating in a near untenable environment for some time and it is the accumulation of these issues that have resulted in our decision."

The PFA has lent its support to the Bolton players, saying: "The players have shown great patience and loyalty towards the club all season, but today, they have reached a point where action is necessary.

"The PFA has been working with the club since the beginning of the season and we have done all we can to resolve this issue including giving Bolton Wanderers a substantial loan to cover players' salaries in December. 

"We will continue to support and represent the players and work towards a longer-term solution in the best interests of the players and Bolton Wanderers Football Club."

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini last week agreed a last-minute takeover of the club to prevent them going into administration.

Under-fire Bolton chairman Ken Anderson said he was "very pleased" to hand over ownership of the club, with the deal hoped to lead to the settlement of a High Court case related to an unpaid tax bill.

Bolton's relegation to League One was confirmed last week by their 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, with the club having been in the Premier League as recently as 2012. 

Frank Lampard has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) after Derby County's Championship game against Birmingham City.

Lampard confronted referee Simon Hooper after a 2-2 draw last Friday, the Derby boss feeling his side had been denied a penalty.

"The players gave everything and if we'd got the clear penalty on Craig Bryson, it would have won a very tight game," Lampard told reporters.

Lampard has until 18:00 BST on Monday to respond to an FA charge that alleges "his language and/or behaviour on the field of play after the conclusion of the fixture amounts to improper conduct".

It is the second time this season Lampard, in his first campaign as a manager, has been in trouble with the FA.

In September the former Chelsea and England midfielder accepted a fine of £2,000 after he was sent off during a defeat to Rotherham United.

Derby are on track to qualify for the play-offs, with Lampard's side sixth in the table and with a game in hand over seventh-placed Middlesbrough.

Norwich City and Leeds United dominate this season's Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Championship Team of the Year, providing three players each.

Leaders Norwich, who are all but guaranteed to seal automatic promotion to the Premier League, have Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis included.

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki, the league's top scorer with 28 Championship goals this season, is up front alongside Sheffield United's Billy Sharp and Tammy Abraham, who has hit 25 league goals for Aston Villa in his loan spell from Chelsea.

Sheffield United, second in the table and three points clear of Leeds with two games to go, also provide Oliver Norwood among the midfielders, while Villa playmaker Jack Grealish makes the cut.

Despite an untimely loss of form seeming set to land them in the play-offs, Leeds have defensive duo Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson both in the side, along with Pablo Hernandez.

The only player named in the PFA's XI who does not feature for one of the Championship's top three or fifth-placed Villa is the goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, who plies his trade at play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough.

West Brom strike pair Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle, who have scored 21 and 23 Championship goals respectively this season, are among the players to miss out.

There was also no place for Brentford's Neal Maupay, second behind Pukki in the scoring charts, or his team-mate Said Benrahma, whose 14 Championship assists is a league-high.

Birmingham City's Che Adams was named on the three-man shortlist for Championship's Player of the Season award, which was won by Pukki, but he did not gain selection despite netting 22 league goals.


PFA Championship Team of the Year in full:

Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough); Max Aarons (Norwich), Liam Cooper (Leeds), Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Jamal Lewis (Norwich); Pablo Hernandez (Leeds), Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa); Teemu Pukki (Norwich), Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa), Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Johnny Sexton's younger brother Jerry could line up against his sibling in the Pro14 next season after agreeing a three-year deal with Southern Kings.

Formerly of Exeter Chiefs and London Irish, lock Jerry Sexton moved to Championship side Jersey Reds in 2017 and has started every league match since.

"Jerry has contributed a huge amount during his time in Jersey and to see another player get the opportunity to play at the next level is very rewarding for the coaches and should also motivate the players to continue to work towards reaching their own goals," said Jersey's director of rugby Harvey Biljon.

"We will all enjoy watching Jerry play in the Pro14 and potentially even see the 'Sexton v Sexton' match-up.

"I trust he will enjoy South Africa but we hope that we'll see Jerry in Jersey again in the future."

The Kings, based in Port Elizabeth, joined the Pro14 for 2017-18 along with fellow South African side the Cheetahs, although they won only one game in their maiden campaign.

They have fared slightly better this time around, recording two victories and a draw, their two Conference B fixtures against Johnny Sexton's Leinster ending in 59-19 and 38-31 defeats.

The elder Sexton was influential in guiding his side to a second successive European Champions Cup final on Sunday, kicking a dozen points as the holders saw off Toulouse in the last four.

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.

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