Slaven Bilic has been appointed West Brom's new head coach.

The Croatian, who was in charge of West Ham in the Premier League from 2015 to 2017, has signed a two-year deal with the Baggies.

West Brom missed out on promotion from the Championship after they lost on penalties to Aston Villa in the play-offs.

They sacked Darren Moore in March, with James Shan taking charge for the rest of the season.

"I'm delighted with this opportunity of course," Bilic told West Brom's official website.

"We want to improve, we want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project, and they do not clash.

"They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn't think twice once they had spoken to me."

Bilic, 50, previously spent six years in charge of Croatia, who reached the quarter-finals at Euro 2008 under his leadership.

Jed Steer saved two spot-kicks as Aston Villa advanced to the Championship play-off final with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out triumph over a 10-man West Brom at The Hawthorns on Tuesday.

Craig Dawson's first-half header left the aggregate score locked at 2-2 after 120 minutes but the visitors held their nerve from 12 yards to book a trip to Wembley for the second successive season.

Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi failed to convert before Tammy Abraham stroked home the decisive effort in a cruel end for Jimmy Shan's side, who had Chris Brunt sent off for a second yellow card in the 80th minute.

West Brom had returned from Saturday's 2-1 loss at Villa Park with work to do and found an unlikely route back into the tie when defender Dawson nodded in Holgate's long throw in the 29th minute.

Dean Smith's men almost gifted away a second beyond the interval as multiple ill-fated attempts at playing out from the back put them under needless pressure.

But the odds swung in their favour when Brunt earned a second booking for scything down John McGinn, and only former Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone's brilliant denial of Albert Adomah prevented the match from being settled inside 90 minutes.

West Brom hung on throughout 30 minutes of extra time, but Steer's twin saves in the shoot-out meant Adomah's subsequent miss counted for little.

Villa's hopes for Premier League promotion will now rest on a May 27 date with either Leeds United or Derby County, the winner of which will be decided at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard's outfit.

Aston Villa battled back from a goal behind to beat west Midlands rivals West Brom 2-1 in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday.

Dwight Gayle punished Glenn Whelan's clumsy slip to put Albion into an early lead, but in the final 15 minutes a strike from substitute Conor Hourihane and a quickfire Tammy Abraham second from the spot turned the game on its head before Gayle saw red for a second caution.

West Brom finished four points better off than their opponents at the end of the regular season and they started the stronger at Villa Park, taking the lead in the 16th minute through Gayle's strike.

The on-loan striker made the most of some sloppy play from Whelan, charging through on goal and blasting past Jed Steer - who had earlier produced a fine save to keep out Jay Rodriguez's curler.

Villa struggled for attacking ideas in the first half but they looked a lot brighter in the second, coming close through a couple of Abraham attempts.

And the complexion of the tie completely changed in the space of four minutes as Hourihane sent a swerving shot past Sam Johnstone from outside the box and Abraham converted a spot-kick after Kieran Gibbs fouled Jack Grealish.

West Brom had a penalty shout of their own turned down as Mason Holgate took a tumble and, to make matters worse, lost Gayle for the remainder of the match and the second leg to leave Villa in control ahead of Tuesday's return at The Hawthorns.

Norwich City lifted the Championship trophy after a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa saw them fend off the challenge of Sheffield United on a final day that also saw Derby County secure a place in the play-offs.

Derby's 3-1 win over West Brom, who ended the season in fourth, ensured Frank Lampard's men finished sixth ahead of Middlesbrough, who did all they could by beating Rotherham United 2-1.

Leeds United's place in the play-offs was already assured but a 3-2 defeat against the 10 men of already-relegated Ipswich Town left Marcelo Bielsa's men winless in four, while Bristol City, who could have secured a top-six finish if Derby and Middlesbrough slipped up, drew 1-1 at Hull City.

Second-placed Sheffield United, who drew 2-2 at Stoke City, will have the luxury of sitting back and watching while Leeds, West Brom, Villa and Derby contest the Championship play-offs.

 

LATE VRANCIC STRIKE ADDS GLOSS TO CANARIES' GLORY

Mario Vrancic scored Norwich's winner four minutes from time to send their travelling fans wild on a day when Daniel Farke's men were bidding to claim the Championship title.

In the end Sheffield United's draw at Stoke rendered the Canariers' result irrelevant, but it will not have felt that way to Farke and his players who capped a fine season with a win over one of the division's form teams.

Villa were unbeaten in 12 going into the game but they fell behind when Teemu Pukki tapped home Onel Hernandez's cross after seven minutes.

Jonathan Kodjia levelled matters seven minutes later, sweeping Conor Hourihane's low free-kick into the net, and Dean Smith's side looked the better side for spells before Vrancic rifled a shot into the bottom corner of Jed Steer's net from the edge of the box to put the sheen on a day of celebrations across Norfolk.

DERBY SECURE SIXTH AFTER DRAMA AT PRIDE PARK

Derby County clinched a place in the Championship play-offs at Middlesbrough's expense after they beat West Brom 3-1 at Pride Park.

Lampard's men took the lead when Martyn Waghorn rose to meet Jayden Bogle's first-time cross, timing his run well to shake off his marker and nod the ball down into the bottom corner of the net.

Waghorn limped off injured after 40 minutes and Stefan Johansen's equaliser for West Brom meant that Middlesbrough – who were 2-0 up at Rotherham at the time – were set to take the Rams' place in the top six.

But after Tom Lawrence's close-range shot was saved by Sam Johnstone's outstretched leg, Mason Bennett pounced on the rebound and poked it into the net to restore Derby's lead.

Lawrence then jinked his way into the area only to be felled by Kyle Bartley, and Harry Wilson buried the penalty kick in the bottom-left corner of the net before Baggies substitute Hal Robson-Kanu was sent-off for kicking out at Bradley Johnson.

LEEDS SLUMP TO THIRD DEFEAT IN FOUR

A calamitous mix-up between Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and defender Luke Ayling gifted a winning goal to Collin Quaner, who slid the ball home to earn already-relegated Ipswich a win over Bielsa's out-of-sorts side.

Flynn Downes put Town ahead when the visitors failed to clear their lines at a free-kick, but Mateusz Klich popped up with an equaliser just before the interval, slamming the ball inside the near post from 12 yards.

Andre Dozzell restored Ipswich's lead as Leeds were caught napping at the back two minutes into the second half, before Stuart Dallas equalised from close range when Kemar Roofe's shot rebounded off the crossbar.

Luke Chambers felled Roofe three minutes later and was sent off before the Leeds striker ballooned the ensuing penalty over the bar, and in the final minute the visiting fans were left in disbelief as their side slumped to a third defeat in four matches heading into the play-offs.

THREE POINTS NOT ENOUGH FOR BORO

John Obi Mikel scored his first league goal in English football for almost six years as Middlesbrough beat Rotherham, but a fifth win in six Championship matches was not enough to lift Tony Pulis' men into the play-off places.

Elsewhere, Brentford ended the season on a high as they beat Preston North End 3-0 at Griffin Park, and there were also wins for Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic, while Birmingham City drew 0-0 at Reading and Blackburn Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea City.

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.

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."

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.

West Brom boosted their hopes of securing automatic promotion from the Championship as they came from behind to beat Birmingham City 3-2 in a frantic derby.

Having fallen behind for the second time when Lukas Jutkiewicz headed in just before the hour, West Brom rallied through Jay Rodriguez's penalty before Jake Livermore hammered home to secure a significant win.

Birmingham, docked nine points last week for breaching financial rules on profitability and sustainability, had the better of the first half – Gary Gardner heading in early on, while Jutkiewicz squandered a great chance to double their lead.

Dwight Gayle should have made Birmingham pay for that profligacy on the stroke of half-time, only to head over from point-blank range, but he made amends after the restart, nodding in from Chris Brunt's excellent free-kick.

But like Gayle, Jutkiewicz made no mistake when afforded a second chance, directing Connor Mahoney's pinpoint delivery past Sam Johnstone.

Birmingham's lead was short-lived, though – Mahoney adjudged to have brought down Conor Townsend in the area, with Rodriguez sending Lee Camp the wrong way.

And the turnaround was complete in the 74th minute, Camp unable to keep out Livermore's powerful strike as West Brom moved to within four points of second-placed Sheffield United, while Birmingham, five points above 22nd-placed Rotherham United, are in danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap.

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.

West Brom have dismissed Darren Moore after they were left nine points outside the Championship's top two following Saturday's 1-1 home draw against struggling Ipswich Town.

The disappointing result extended the Baggies' winless run to three matches and head coach Moore has paid the price for failing to mount a stronger bid for automatic promotion.

The 44-year-old former West Brom defender took over as caretaker following Alan Pardew's dismissal in April 2018, when the club were still in the Premier League, and earned the job permanently the following month.

His team were hammered 4-0 by promotion rivals Leeds United last weekend but sit comfortably inside the playoff places with 10 matches remaining in the regular season.

"This has been an enormously difficult decision for a club which will always hold Darren in such high regard," chief executive Mark Jenkins said in a statement.

"He took over at a very difficult time last season and reunited the club, a contribution that will never be forgotten.

"But we have made it clear from the outset that everything this season was geared to making as swift a return to the Premier League as possible. 

"Unfortunately Darren has not been able to engineer the consistency of form and results to convince the board that this objective would be met."

Moore's assistants Graeme Jones and Wayne Jacobs have also been removed from their posts, with first-team coach James Shan placed in charge on an interim basis.

Patrick Bamford's brace helped Leeds return to winning ways and the top of the Championship with a dominant 4-0 triumph against promotion rivals West Brom at Elland Road.

Pablo Hernandez quickly put the midweek loss at QPR to one side as he gave Marcelo Bielsa's team the lead after 15 seconds.

A goal in each half from Bamford and Ezgjan Alioski's final flourish mean Norwich City must avoid defeat at Millwall on Saturday to edge back in front of Leeds.

Darren Moore's West Brom remain fourth, seven points shy of their opponents, and they were behind instantly despite having kick-off.

Albion gave the ball away and allowed Jack Harrison to advance unchallenged down the left flank before the on-loan Manchester City winger picked out Hernandez for a magnificent finish from 25 yards.

Tyler Roberts' cute pass allowed Bamford to double the advantage before the half hour, although Leeds were indebted to goalkeeper Kiko Casilla's sharp stop from Jay Rodriguez's rasping long-range strike.

Casilla's opposite number Sam Johnstone had little chance in the 63rd minute when Bamford's shot took a deflection off Craig Dawson to fly in at the near post - the excellent Roberts once again the provider.

West Brom's misery was complete in stoppage time when a typically slick Leeds move saw marauding left-back Alioski enjoy a tap-in from substitute Jamie Shackleton's low cross.

Sheffield United moved back into second place in the Championship table after a hard-fought 1-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls West Brom.

Only one point separated the two sides before Saturday's clash at the Hawthorns, but Kieran Dowell's 14th-minute goal ensured that gap has now widened to four.

Dowell headed home from Martin Cranie's cross to give the Blades an early lead before Marvin Johnson missed a chance to double their advantage.

West Brom laid siege on the United goal for much of the second half but they were unable to find a way through, with Jay Rodriguez seeing a late effort disallowed for deliberate handball.

Victory lifts Chris Wilder's men back above Leeds United on goal difference and into the automatic promotion places, the Blades sitting just two points behind leaders Norwich City.

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