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Review of Championship Matchday 41

last updated Monday 09th April 2018, 10:36 AM

Championship Matchday 40 Review

Championship Results - MatchDay 41
KO Home Away TV
Friday April 6th 2018
19:45 Cardiff 0-1 Wolves Sky
Saturday April 7th 2018
12:15 Barnsley 3-2 Sheff Utd
12:30 Norwich 3-1 Aston Villa Sky
15:00 Birmingham 1-1 Burton
15:00 Brentford 1-0 Ipswich
15:00 Derby 3-0 Bolton
15:00 Hull 4-0 QPR
15:00 Leeds 1-1 Sunderland
15:00 Middlesbrough 2-0 N. Forest
15:00 Millwall 2-0 Bristol C
15:00 Reading 1-0 Preston
15:00 Sheff Wed 0-1 Fulham
League Table
Aleksandar Mitrovic continued his remarkable goal-scoring form as Fulham edged Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 to move to within two points of the top two in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Cottagers had an opening after Cardiff suffered a dramatic defeat to leaders Wolves on Friday night and Mitrovic - March's Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month - made sure they took advantage with his 11th goal in 10 games 12 minutes from time.

Cardiff had missed two stoppage-time penalties against Wolves who soared nine points clear at the top of the Championship.

Ruben Neves scored the only goal in a 1-0 win but in one of football's most dramatic finishes, Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy stretched to stop Gary Madine's spot-kick, before Cardiff were handed a second bite at the cherry.

Junior Hoilett stepped up and crashed the ball against the bar to allow Wolves to move a giant step closer to promotion to the Premier League.

Aston Villa's automatic promotion hopes are hanging by a thread after they lost 3-1 at Norwich.

The impressive Josh Murphy put the hosts ahead in first-half stoppage time and they wrapped up the victory thanks to goals from Dennis Srbeny and James Maddison either side of Jack Grealish's effort.

Barnsley boosted their survival chances as they came back to secure a 3-2 win over South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United, who are now four points off the top six.

Gary Gardner put the Reds in front with his first goal for the club but John Fleck and Leon Clarke netted after half-time to turn the game on its head. Oliver McBurnie brought Barnsley level and Tom Bradshaw's header two minutes from time earned the hosts three crucial points.

Millwall's charge for a play-off spot continued as they beat Bristol City 2-0 to dent the Robins' own top-six aspirations. Goals in either half from Jed Wallace and Steve Morison were enough to stretch the Lions' unbeaten run to 15 games.

Derby and Middlesbrough kept Millwall at arm's length with victories over Bolton and Nottingham Forest respectively.

Alex Pearce, Matej Vydra and Tom Lawrence gave Derby a 3-0 win that leaves Bolton looking over their shoulders in their fight to avoid the drop, while Daniel Ayala and Stewart Downing ensured Forest boss Aitor Karanka suffered a 2-0 defeat on his return to Boro.

Bolton's position just above the bottom three would have been more perilous had bottom two Sunderland and Burton not surrendered leads.

Pablo Hernandez earned Leeds - who finished with 10 men following Gaetano Berardi's late red card - a 1-1 draw after Sunderland had gone ahead through Paddy McNair.

Burton were denied all three points after Lukas Jutkiewicz's late goal for Birmingham cancelled out Lloyd Dyer's opener.

Mo Barrow scored the only goal as relegation-threatened Reading inflicted a third straight defeat on play-off chasing Preston.

Wilson Hull's Harry Wilson Hull took a huge stride towards survival themselves as they hammered QPR 4-0 - Harry Wilson, Alex Smithies (own goal), Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez all finding the net. Nedum Onuoha rounded off a miserable afternoon for the visitors when he was sent off in stoppage time.

And finally, Neal Maupay's penalty was enough to give Brentford victory over Ipswich.

Friday April 6th 2018

19:45 Cardiff 0-1 Wolves Sky

Cardiff City missed two stoppage-time penalties as they lost to Championship leaders Wolves in a dramatic finale.

At a packed Cardiff City Stadium, Ruben Neves scored a brilliant second-half free-kick from 25 yards.

After being bundled over in the box, Cardiff's Gary Madine saw his low penalty saved by John Ruddy.

Moments later, Junior Hoilett blasted a spot-kick against the bar as Wolves extended their lead at the top of the table to nine points.

They need only five points from the final five games of the season to seal a return to the Premier League.

The stupefying finish was a stark contrast to what had otherwise been something of a slow burner - an absorbing but unspectacular encounter between two very different but well-matched teams.

Saturday April 7th 2018

12:15 Barnsley 3-2 Sheff Utd

Sheffield United's play-off hopes suffered a setback as Tom Bradshaw's late goal gave Barnsley victory.

The home side began positively and Gary Gardner put them ahead with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.

John Fleck equalised as the Blades raised their game after the break and Leon Clarke beat Adam Davies at the second attempt to give them the lead.,

Oli McBurnie brought Barnsley level from close range and Bradshaw nodded in Kieffer Moore's cross to seal the win.

The three points were absolutely crucial for Jose Morais' side, who remain 22nd in the table but closed to within two points of Bolton, who lost at Derby.

12:30 Norwich 3-1 Aston Villa Sky

Aston Villa's automatic promotion hopes were dealt a blow as they fell to a Championship defeat at Norwich City.

Winger Josh Murphy's superb, bending 25-yard effort on the stroke of half-time put the Canaries ahead.

Dennis Srbeny made it 2-0 from close range after the break when he collected Harrison Reed's clever dinked pass.

Jack Grealish pulled a goal back for Villa with a crisp low strike, but James Maddison fired into the corner to seal the win for Daniel Farke's side.

Villa remain in fourth, seven points behind second-placed Cardiff, having lost three of their past five matches and look destined for a play-off place.

However, Steve Bruce's team have a chance to claw back some of the deficit on Tuesday when they face the Bluebirds at Villa Park.

15:00 Birmingham 1-1 Burton

Birmingham City's pressure eventually paid off as Lukas Jutkiewicz's late header earned them a draw against Burton to dent Albion's survival hopes.

The Blues spurned plenty of first-half chances, before Lloyd Dyer fired in against his old club to give Burton the lead shortly after half-time.

Winger Jota and midfielder David Davis then both hit the woodwork for the hosts, in a game they dominated.

But Jutkiewicz headed in from Jeremie Boga's cross to keep Burton bottom.

Birmingham had won their previous three games and created enough chances to extend that run, but Brewers keeper Stephen Bywater saved from Jutkiewicz and Jota, before Davis and the Spaniard saw efforts cleared off the line.

15:00 Brentford 1-0 Ipswich

Brentford kept their slim Championship play-off hopes alive with victory over Ipswich at Griffin Park.

Neal Maupay converted a second-half penalty to seal all three points for the home side after Jonas Knudsen felled Sergi Canos inside the area.

Ipswich finished without Luke Chambers, who was unable to continue after clashing with Bartosz Bialkowski.

Defeat left Mick McCarthy's side winless in six games, having failed to score in five of those matches.

15:00 Derby 3-0 Bolton

Matej Vydra scored his 20th goal of the season as Derby County cruised to a comfortable home win over Bolton.

The Czech forward rolled the ball into an empty net after Ben Alnwick had saved from David Nugent.

It doubled a lead given to Derby in the early stages by Alex Pearce, who headed home Joe Ledley's corner.

Tom Lawrence sealed the points after the break with a 30-yard shot into the corner, while Bolton's David Wheater saw two efforts blocked on the line.

The win kept Gary Rowett's Rams fifth in the Championship, three points clear of Millwall in seventh, as they look to guarantee a Championship play-off place.

15:00 Hull 4-0 QPR

Hull City moved seven points clear of the Championship relegation zone with victory over QPR at the KCOM Stadium.

Harry Wilson opened the scoring shortly before half-time, his chip over Alex Smithies flying in via the post.

Abel Hernandez doubled the lead when his curling shot struck the bar and bounced in off keeper Alex Smithies.

Kamil Grosicki guided the ball beneath Smithies and Hernandez added his second before QPR's Nedum Onuhoa was sent off after charging into Marcus Henriksen.

Markus Henriksen cut a pass across the face of goal for Hernandez to tap home.

The Tigers have lost just one of their last 11 home league games, winning four and drawing six, while QPR are destined for a mid-table finish.

15:00 Leeds 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland squandered a second-half lead at Leeds and slipped closer to a second consecutive relegation.

Pablo Hernandez curled in a superb leveller to deny Sunderland a second away win in a row and leave the Black Cats seven points from safety.

Sunderland had gone 1-0 up with Paddy McNair's angled half-volley.

Both sides also hit the woodwork twice in an eventful game, while Leeds' Gaetano Berardi was sent off late on for a foul on Callum McManaman.

The full-back's dismissal stunted Leeds' momentum as they pushed strongly for a winning goal, and they could have been beaten but for Bailey Peacock-Farrell's save to deny McManaman a stoppage-time winner.

Both sides went close in a goalless first half, with Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Camp pushing Ronaldo Vieira's shot onto the post and Ashley Fletcher heading against the crossbar for the visitors.

Sunderland will be relegated if they lose three of their five remaining matches, with their final two league games of the campaign coming against third-placed Fulham and leaders Wolves.

15:00 Middlesbrough 2-0 N. Forest

Middlesbrough bolstered their play-off hopes as Aitor Karanka's return to the Riverside Stadium as Nottingham Forest boss ended in defeat.

Forest old boy Daniel Ayala gave Boro an early lead as he turned and planted a fine finish into the top corner.

Ayala then turned provider, flicking on for Stewart Downing to drill a low finish past Costel Pantilimon.

The visitors improved after the break, but failed to score for the fifth successive match.

Middlesbrough are sixth and a point ahead of Millwall, while Forest, who have failed to score in their past 462 minutes of action, are 17th.

15:00 Millwall 2-0 Bristol C

Millwall's terrific form continued with a home win that saw them leapfrog play-off rivals Bristol City in the table.

Jed Wallace cut inside from the left and bent in a fine opening goal for the hosts from a tight angle.

Steve Morison doubled their lead with a curling finish after a neat one-two with strike partner Lee Gregory.

The deserved win extended the Lions' unbeaten run to 15 matches, while City have won just two of their past 12 league games, slipping to eighth place.

15:00 Reading 1-0 Preston

Modou Barrow's winner strengthened Reading's chances of staying up and damaged Preston's play-off hopes.

The Royals hit the front when Liam Kelly's free-kick found leading scorer Barrow at the back post to head in.

Preston almost equalised immediately as Lewis Moult's free-kick smacked against the crossbar.

The visitors increased the pressure after the break, with Sean Maguire heading Billy Bodin's cross against the bar.

After just one win in 18 league matches, Paul Clements has two wins from his three games in charge since replacing Jaap Stam as Reading scored with their only attempt on target.

Victory kept Reading 19th and restored their five-point cushion above the bottom three, while Preston's fourth defeat in five dropped them to 11th, six points outside the play-off places.

15:00 Sheff Wed 0-1 Fulham

Fulham narrowed the gap on second-placed Cardiff to two points as Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal earned them a crucial win at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Serbia striker fired in his ninth goal in nine games late on to stretch Fulham's unbeaten run to 19 matches.

Fulham looked set to be frustrated despite dominating the game, with Ryan Sessegnon hitting the bar and Mitrovic and Stefan Johansen also going close.

But Mitrovic smashed in Sessegnon's cross for their seventh win in eight.

Fulham may still have to settle for a Championship play-off place with the Bluebirds having a game in hand, but three of their remaining five fixtures are against teams battling relegation.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side host Reading on Tuesday, before finishing the campaign against Sunderland at Craven Cottage and Birmingham City away. In between, they have matches against London rivals Brentford and Millwall.

Matchday 41 table
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Championship Fixtures - MatchDay 42
KO Home Away TV
Tuesday April 10th 2018
19:45 Aston Villa v Cardiff Sky
19:45 Bristol C v Birmingham
19:45 Burton v Hull  
19:45 Fulham v Reading
19:45 Ipswich v Barnsley
19:45 N. Forest v Brentford
19:45 Preston v Leeds
19:45 QPR v Sheff Wed
19:45 Sheff Utd v Middlesbrough
19:45 Sunderland v Norwich
20:00 Bolton v Millwall
Wednesday April 11th 2018
19:45 Wolves v Millwall Sky
League Table

Source BBC Sport/SkySports
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