Big chance for Norwich City as Derby slip up at Brighton
- Credit: PA
Norwich City will move into the automatic promotion places if they beat Wigan at Carrow Road tomorrow night – after Derby County lost their second consecutive Championship match.
Losing 2-0 at Brighton tonight allowed Middlesbrough to seize top spot from the Rams with a comfortable 3-0 home victory against struggling Millwall.
The Canaries slipped from third place in the table though, as Watford and Bournemouth moved above them in the standings with home triumphs against Fulham and Wolves respectively.
Boro went into their clash with the Lions having won just one of their previous five fixtures in all competitions, but they were rarely troubled by Ian Holloway's lowly outfit after Patrick Bamford opened the scoring. Kike added a second to move him into double figures for the season and Jelle Vossen rounded off the win.
That moved them above the Rams, who suffered a second defeat in four days. After their 2-0 loss to Fulham at the weekend, Steve McClaren's men were defeated by that scoreline again at Brighton, managed by former Norwich boss Chris Hughton.
Despite seeing the visitors dominate for long spells, the Seagulls claimed all three points thanks to Dale Stephen's fortuitous 69th-minute effort and substitute Kazenga LuaLua's drilled finish.
Watford moved up to third with a 1-0 success over Fulham, Troy Deeney's ninth-minute strike proving the difference, while Bournemouth went fourth with a 2-1 success over play-off hopefuls Wolves.
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Yann Kermorgant scored twice, the second coming from the penalty spot, either side of Benik Afobe's effort for the visitors, meaning Eddie Howe's men tasted victory for the first time since February 7.
Brentford were indebted to a brace too as Chris Long's double was added to by Alex Pritchard and Jon Toral in a 4-1 triumph over Huddersfield, for whom Harry Bunn was on target.
That moved the Bees back into the play-off positions and bumped Ipswich out of the top six ahead of their triip to Leeds on Wednesday night.
Despite Millwall's loss, Rotherham were unable to move further adrift of danger as they were beaten 3-1 by Cardiff in South Yorkshire.
The Millers, who remain six points clear of the bottom three, were swept aside by first-half goals from Bruno Manga, Federico Macheda and Conor McAleny, with Danny Ward's effort 10 minutes from time a mere consolation for the hosts.
The Dougie Freedman-led revival at Nottingham Forest hit a bump in the road in a 2-1 loss at Charlton, with Frederic Bulot's first-half double ensuring Michail Antonio's goal came in a losing cause.
In the evening's later kick-off, Jamie Mackie's stoppage-time equaliser earned Reading a point in a 1-1 draw with Bolton at the Macron Stadium.
Eidur Gudjohnsen, one of three enforced first-half substitutions, had put the Trotters ahead before Mackie's late intervention.