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.

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.

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.

Bristol City moved back up to fifth in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over fellow play-off contenders Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Adam Webster's first-half header proved the difference at the Riverside, where Boro were booed off after a fifth straight defeat that left them eighth – two points adrift of Aston Villa in sixth.

George Saville blazed over a glorious opportunity before Jonny Howson failed to get the better of Max O'Leary when one on one in the 20th minute.

Howson saw another attempt deflected onto the post and Ashley Fletcher's follow-up was cleared off the line, with Webster's goal coming against the run of play in the 31st minute.

Britt Assombalonga also struck the woodwork after the restart but Boro were unable to find a route back into the game.

Swansea City ended a run of three straight defeats with a resounding 3-0 victory at home to Brentford, who are now winless in four.

Nathan Dyer was on target after just 31 seconds – his first league goal for the Swans since August 2014 – and he doubled his tally after Daniel James rattled the crossbar.

Bersant Celina struck the woodwork before half-time but James got the hosts' third on the follow-up after Connor Roberts' effort came back off the upright in the 78th minute.

Graham Potter's team moved up to 14th, level with Brentford on 50 points.

Bolton Wanderers' next two home Championship matches are in doubt after the club was ordered to keep fans out of the stadium on safety grounds.

The regional Safety Advisory Group has placed a prohibition notice on the club, meaning supporters cannot enter the University of Bolton Stadium until it can be proved they can "deliver the matchday operation to the standard required".

It means the games against Ipswich on April 6 and Middlesbrough on April 9 are under threat.

The EFL said in a statement on Tuesday: "Whilst disappointed, the EFL understands the rationale for the position taken by the SAG at this time. 

"However, we still hope the fixtures will take place as planned. We will work with the club and offer them any practical assistance that is available to us in an attempt to find a successful and timely resolution to the issue."

Bolton told the SAG they are unable to commit to meeting safety requirements prior to a High Court hearing on Wednesday, which is related to unpaid debts.

On Monday, players reportedly refused to train after staff were not paid salaries on time for the second month in a row.

Chairman Ken Anderson confirmed on Tuesday that he has accepted an offer for the club "of less than what I paid, so I am not holding out for a big profit as is continuously and incorrectly bandied around in the media and on social media".

He also apologised to non-playing staff for the delay over wages, adding: "Fortunately, they did not choose to go on strike and their loyalty to the club cannot be questioned, unlike the players' decision, which unfortunately has a negative rather than a positive logic behind it.

"I am not quite sure what the players think striking will achieve."

Bolton are five points from safety in the Championship, with seven matches remaining.

Onel Hernandez scored the only goal of the game as Norwich City won 1-0 at Middlesbrough to move five points clear at the top of the Championship.

With Sheffield United beaten earlier in the day, the table-topping Canaries took full advantage to stretch the gap to now-second-placed Leeds United thanks to Hernandez's fine strike.

Norwich enjoyed the best chances of the first half and Darren Randolph twice frustrated Teemu Pukki with smart stops from the in-form forward.

Boro almost broke the deadlock shortly after the interval when Daniel Ayala crashed a header from Ryan Shotton's long throw against the foot of the post, but the breakthrough came at the other end after 54 minutes.

Hernandez cut inside from the left and drilled a low effort inside Randolph's near post to set Norwich up for a late defensive showing.

And despite a couple of scrambles in Tim Krul's box in the closing stages, Boro could not find an equaliser and remain in eighth place, having dropped out of the play-off places after results elsewhere on Saturday.

Norwich City hold a four-point lead at the top of the Championship as Sheffield United moved into second place with victory over promotion rivals Leeds United. 

Chris Basham scored the only goal of the game in the early kick-off at Elland Road, the Blades overcoming their Yorkshire rivals to climb above them in the table. 

Norwich capitalised on Leeds' loss with a 2-1 victory away at Rotherham United, who slip into the relegation zone after Reading collected a hard-fought point at Stoke City. 

West Brom won for a second time under caretaker boss James Shan, while Aston Villa thumped play-off rivals Middlesbrough 3-0. Preston North End, meanwhile, are up to seventh thanks to a 1-0 triumph against Birmingham City. 

Nottingham Forest and Hull City were held to draws, by Ipswich Town and QPR respectively, but Sheffield Wednesday maintained their hopes of a top-six spot, winning 4-2 at home to Blackburn Rovers. 

At the other end of the table, Wigan Athletic eased their relegation fears with a resounding 5-2 triumph over Bolton Wanderers, who are getting cut adrift. 

GODFREY WINNER HEAVENLY FOR CANARIES

Ben Godfrey was the hero for Norwich as his 67th-minute header clinched Daniel Farke's side a sixth successive win. 

The Canaries are now five points clear of Leeds, who had goalkeeper Kiko Casilla sent off in the closing stages of their 1-0 loss to Sheffield United, forcing a limping Pontus Jansson to take over between the posts.

West Brom may not have entirely given up on automatic promotion just yet either - Kyle Edwards' superb solo goal was enough for the Baggies to overcome Brentford.

VILLA ON THE CHARGE

Aston Villa continued their resurgence, recording a fourth win on the spin to close within a point of Middlesbrough.

Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn scored in a dominant first-half performance from the hosts at Villa Park, with Albert Adomah adding a third just before full-time.

Tony Pulis' side are looking over their shoulders after a third straight loss, Preston now sitting just a point behind Middlesbrough after Sean Maguire's stoppage-time goal defeated Birmingham.

Wednesday are also making a late charge, Steve Bruce's in-form team extending their league unbeaten run to 11 games with a comfortable victory at Hillsborough.

WIGAN WIN RELEGATION SCUFFLE

Wigan recorded their first league win since February 2 - and in emphatic fashion, too - as they overwhelmed fellow strugglers Bolton, who are now eight points from safety.

Joe Garner scored the only goal of the opening half before Wigan crucially struck twice soon after the break, Gavin Massey making it 2-0 before Nick Powell added a third.

Reading have moved out of the bottom three after the woodwork helped them pick up a point at Stoke, the home side denied by the post as they drew 0-0 for a third successive outing.

Norwich City marked Daniel Farke's new contract with a 3-2 home win against Hull City to move back to the top of the Championship table. 

Farke's new deal to 2022 was confirmed ahead of kick-off and the celebrations continued after Norwich recorded a fifth straight league win. 

There were big wins at the bottom of the league for Millwall and Rotherham United, while play-off chasers Preston North End and Aston Villa both won on the road. 

In their first game after the sacking of head coach Darren Moore, West Brom thumped Swansea City in a game that saw a bizarre penalty miss.

NORWICH BACK ON TOP

Leeds United won at Reading on Tuesday to leapfrog Norwich into top spot but the Canaries flew back above their rivals 24 hours later at Carrow Road. 

Marco Stiepermann opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Emiliano Buendia scored either side of Marc Pugh's reply to seemingly seal a comfortable win. 

Hull striker Chris Martin struck with three minutes to go to give Norwich a scare but, with Leeds and third-placed Sheffield United facing off at Elland Road at the weekend, Farke's leaders look in an increasingly strong position.

MILLWALL OUT OF THE DROP ZONE

With games running out fast, teams at the other end of the table are in desperate need of points and Millwall collected a vital victory to jump up to 19th place. 

Ben Thompson's first-half brace sealed a 2-0 win away to Birmingham City with Neil Harris' side breaking a run of four straight losses ahead of their FA Cup quarter-final date with Brighton and Hove Albion. 

Rotherham also boosted their own survival chances but a dramatic 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers was not enough to take the Millers out of the final relegation place. 

Semi Ajayi gave Rotherham the lead and, after Bright Samuel hit back for the hosts, he headed the winner in the 95th minute to secure his team's first away success of the season.

BAGGIES BOUNCE BACK

Moore's dismissal after Saturday's draw against bottom side Ipswich Town raised eyebrows but caretaker James Shan oversaw a first home win of the year as West Brom downed Swansea 3-0 to solidify their fourth place. 

Chris Brunt opened the scoring but Swansea missed a golden chance to equalise, Bersant Celina losing his footing as he took a spot-kick to somehow send the penalty behind him. 

Mason Holgate and Jay Rodriguez added second-half strikes for West Brom, who have a comfortable cushion in fourth place.

Middlesbrough stay fifth despite Tony Pulis' men going down 2-1 at home to Preston North End, goals from Paul Gallagher and Jayden Stockley securing a second-half comeback and a sixth straight away league win for Alex Neil's side, with the Scot reportedly a target for West Brom. 

Sixth-placed Derby County were held to a goalless draw at home to Stoke City, allowing Aston Villa's 3-1 comeback win away to Nottingham Forest to move Dean Smith's men within two points of the final play-off spot.

Norwich City returned to the top of the Championship after battling to a 3-1 away victory over Millwall, while Derby County's play-off hopes were dented in a heavy defeat to Aston Villa.

After Leeds United's impressive win over promotion rivals West Brom on Friday, the Canaries did what they had to do on Saturday to move two points above Marcelo Bielsa's men at the summit.

Two of the other teams in the top six did not fare so well, as Middlesbrough were held to a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic and Bristol City also had to settle for a point in a 1-1 away draw with Preston North End.

Villa led by four goals at the break in their 4-0 home romp against Derby, with Brentford, Hull City, Reading, Rotherham United, Stoke City and Swansea City the other teams to taste victory.
 

NORWICH DO THE JOB TO LEAD ONCE AGAIN

Norwich's statement was not as emphatic as that of Leeds, but with 11 games remaining Daniel Farke's men are in the box seat for a place in the Premier League.

They did not have it all their own way against Millwall, with Marco Stiepermann's opener pegged back by Shuan Williams' header just before half-time.

However, Norwich captain Christoph Zimmermann netted with an aerial effort of his own after the break and an impressive Teemu Pukki finish – the Championship top scorer's 24th league goal of the season – sealed a fifth win in six.

In the race for automatic promotion, all eyes are now on third-placed Sheffield United, who are away to rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Monday.

DERBY HAMMERED… BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

It was a miserable day for Derby as they were thrashed by Villa, but the damage could have been even worse on a day that started badly with Conor Hourihane netting in the ninth minute.

It looked like they were on course for an even more humiliating scoreline than 4-0 after a dreadful eight minutes before half-time saw them concede three times through Tammy Abraham, a second from Hourihane and a stunning volley from Jack Grealish on his return from injury.

But fortunately for the Rams that was the end of the scoring, and in terms of the league table, Bristol City and Middlesbrough's failure to win kept them within striking distance of the top six, but Frank Lampard will undoubtedly be concerned by a third straight loss without scoring.

FALSE ALARM FOR HULL

In an odd moment, Hull fans were twice told to leave the KCOM Stadium in a false alarm announced by the automatic public-address system. It did not distract the hosts, though, as they beat Birmingham City 2-0 courtesy of Jarrod Bowen's double.

That was the same score as Swansea City defeated nine-man Bolton Wanderers, two goals in the last 10 minutes breaking the shorthanded visitors' hearts.

Stoke were also 2-0 winners, beating Nottingham Forest, while Brentford defeated QPR 3-0 and Semi Ajayi's double saw Rotherham win 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers.

Bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town suffered a 2-1 home loss to relegation rivals Reading, Mo Barrow scoring a last-minute winner.

Norwich City and Leeds United each scored second-half winners as the Championship promotion race kicked up a gear on Saturday.

Leaders Norwich twice trailed at home to Bristol City but triumphed 3-2 thanks to Kenny McLean's brace, while Ezgjan Alioski's fortunate goal handed Leeds a 2-1 defeat of Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road.

A 2-0 home win against freefalling QPR saw Middlesbrough solidify their fifth place behind West Brom and Sheffield United, who meet at The Hawthorns later in the day, while Preston North End boosted their play-off hopes with a 3-1 success at FA Cup quarter-finalists Millwall.

Bottom side Ipswich Town were denied a crucial victory at Wigan Athletic by Joe Garner's injury-time goal while Reading and Rotherham United are locked together on 30 points after playing out a 1-1 draw.

 

LEADERS WORK HARD FOR WINS

Norwich and Leeds did not have it easy with both of the Championship's top two having been in grave danger of dropping decisive points in the battle to reach the Premier League.

Bristol City were in front twice at Carrow Road thanks to goals from Jamie Paterson and Callum O'Dowda but McLean's second of the game, a superb 25-yard drive, saw the leaders prevail.

Patrick Bamford's penalty put Leeds in front against Bolton but, after Mark Beevers hit back from close range for the relegation-threatened Wanderers, Alioski kept Marcelo Bielsa's men two points off top spot.

There was more than a stroke of luck about the winner, however, as Alioski's intended cross curled and dipped over the head of visiting goalkeeper Remi Matthews.

 

ADAMS' HOT STREAK CONTINUES AFTER MULGREW MAGIC

With sixth-placed Bristol City beaten there was a chance for the chasing pack to make up ground on the play-off spots, but Birmingham City could only draw 2-2 at home to Blackburn Rovers.

In-form striker Che Adams scored twice - taking his 2019 Championship tally to 10 - by hitting both the opening and final goals of a gripping contest at St. Andrew's.

Rovers captain Charlie Mulgrew scored direct from a corner for the third time this season but, after Danny Graham had seemingly won it for Tony Mowbray's men, Adams tucked home from a tight angle for a share of the spoils.

Stoke City and Aston Villa also drew on the day tributes were paid to the late goalkeeping great Gordon Banks, with Sam Vokes' first strike since joining the Potters from Burnley cancelled out by Albert Adomah's goal.

LATE DRAMA AT THE BOTTOM

Despite manager Paul Lambert serving a touchline ban, Ipswich were on track for a huge win at Wigan thanks to Will Keane's first-half penalty, but Garner struck from close range in the 91st minute to deny his former club and earn the Latics a point.

Ovie Ejaria's goal had given Reading a vital lead at home to Rotherham, with the Royals set to move three points away from the drop zone. But a scruffy finish from Semi Ajayi with 11 minutes to go kept the Millers on Reading's tail.

Meanwhile, Said Benrahma hit a hat-trick as Brentford thumped Hull City 5-1 and, after Adam Reach's brace, Steven Fletcher scored an overhead kick in Sheffield Wednesday's 3-1 success against Swansea City at Hillsborough.

Britt Assombalonga's first-half goal earned Middlesbrough a 1-0 Championship win at Blackburn Rovers, who played the second period a man light following Derrick Williams' red card.

Victory sends Tony Pulis' side into fifth, with a three-point cushion over seventh-place Derby County in the race for a top-six finish and a spot in the play-offs.

Boro will still harbour hopes of automatic promotion - sitting seven points behind second-place Sheffield United, over whom they have a game in hand - while for Rovers, Sunday's defeat at Ewood Park was their fourth on the bounce and leaves them 14th.

The visitors took the lead in the 19th minute when Charlie Mulgrew misjudged a long pass from the back and, although he recovered to slide in and block Ashley Fletcher's effort, succeeded only in diverting the ball towards Assombalonga to nod home his 10th league goal of the season from point-blank range.

And it was a second Mulgrew mistake that led to Williams' sending off prior to the interval, the centre-back misreading another ball over the top before his fellow defender brought down Fletcher on the edge of the box and received a straight red.

Lewis Wing thumped a 25-yard strike off the crossbar shortly after the restart as Pulis' men sought a second and they ought to have been undone by former Boro striker Danny Graham, who could only skew an attempt over from six yards with 12 minutes remaining.

Graham teed up Bradley Dack five minutes later, but the midfielder's first-time volley was superbly saved low to his right by Darren Randolph as Boro held on for all three points.

Leeds United returned to the top of the Championship after a 2-1 victory over Swansea City, Marcelo Bielsa's side leapfrogging Norwich City – who lost at Preston North End.

Leeds had started Wednesday two points behind Norwich but goals from Pontus Jansson and Jack Harrison were enough to move them back to the summit.

Oliver McBurnie did pull one back for Swansea with a late penalty but it was too little too late as Leeds sealed an 18th win of the campaign midweek.

Leeds have a one-point advantage over Norwich thanks to stunning display from Preston – managed by former Canaries boss Alex Neil – at Deepdale.

CANARIES KNOCKED OFF THEIR PERCH

Preston quickly opened up a 2-0 lead over Norwich as Ben Davies and Paul Gallagher beat Tim Krul. 

Marco Stiepermann missed a penalty before the break and when Sean Maguire scored Preston's third, Norwich were beaten.

Teemu Pukki grabbed a consolation in stoppage time but it was never going to be enough to stop them dropping down to second position following the 3-1 defeat.

Sheffield United are hot on their heels after a 1-0 win over 10-man Middlesbrough, Richard Stearman's first goal of the season enough to move the Blades within two points of the automatic promotion places.

 

LAMPARD LEFT FRUSTRATED

With Middlesbrough losing, Derby County had the chance to move into the top-six but they could only take a point at bottom club Ipswich Town after a 1-1 draw.

Tom Lawrence gave Derby an early lead at Portman Road but Jon Nolan rescued a point minutes after coming off the bench for Paul Lambert's strugglers.

"The team performance wasn't good enough," said a frustrated Frank Lampard. "If there was a natural complacency from going 1-0 up, then we got taught a lesson."

 

SMITH LOSES ON BRENTFORD RETURN

Dean Smith's first trip back to Brentford ended in a 1-0 defeat as his Aston Villa side conceded in the 91st minute at Griffin Park, Neal Maupay netting his 18th goal of the campaign.

"We are getting further away [from the promotion picture] at the moment because we're not picking up points," said a dejected Smith. "We have to take stock of it now and make sure we go and get a result against West Brom."

Elsewhere, Reading lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, while Stoke City are four games without a win after a goalless draw against Wigan Athletic.

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear confirmed that the club's teenage winger Jack Clarke is heading home from hospital to rest after suffering an illness during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

Clarke was treated by paramedics in the Leeds dugout during the last 10 minutes of the game at the Riverside Stadium before being taken to the James Cook University Hospital for tests.

Kinnear said that the 18-year-old, who played the first half of the game before being substituted, spent the night at the hospital and will undergo tests but gave a positive assessment of his condition.

"Jack has had messages from football fans from every club you can imagine and we all really appreciate it," Kinnear told the club's official website.

"Jack spent the night under the supervision of the medical staff from the club and he will return home today.

"He will undergo some more tests this week and everything is looking well, but he won't train for the rest of the week.

"In the meantime we would like to thank everyone who has sent well wishes and once again thank Middlesbrough Football Club for all they did for Jack."

Clarke looks set to miss Leeds' Championship clash with Swansea City on Wednesday at Elland Road, where they will seek a first win in three matches to boost their hopes of promotion.

Clarke has made 16 league appearances for Leeds this season, scoring two goals and attracting interest from Premier League clubs during the January transfer window.

He posted a message on Twitter, saying: "Would like to thank everyone for the support and love they have shown, massively appreciated."

Leeds United youngster Jack Clarke has been taken to hospital after falling ill during his side's 1-1 Championship draw with Middlesbrough.

The 18-year-old, who started the match but was substituted at half-time, was attended to by paramedics in the dugout during the final 10 minutes of normal time.

The club released a statement, which read: "Jack Clarke began to feel unwell during the second half of our Sky Bet Championship fixture with Middlesbrough and received medical attention.
   
"The player is responsive and attending hospital with the club's head of medicine and performance.
   
"On behalf of everyone at Leeds United, we would like to thank the medical staff from both clubs for their response to the incident."

Kalvin Phillips equalised in the 11th minute of injury time to secure a point for the visitors at the Riverside Stadium.

The result puts Marcelo Bielsa's side back on top of the Championship, one point ahead of Norwich City, who face Ipswich Town on Sunday.

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