West Brom went top of the Championship on Wednesday, while Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough gained key wins at the other end of the table.

The Baggies moved above Leeds United, and went five points clear of third-placed Brentford, with a 2-0 victory over Derby County, who saw their play-off hopes dented by the loss.

Grady Diangana and Dara O'Shea scored in either half for West Brom before Rams youngster Louie Sibley was harshly sent off in stoppage time for violent conduct.

Derby slipped below Swansea City, who went up to seventh courtesy of a 3-1 win at Birmingham City, with Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster taking his tally to eight goals in 16 Championship games.

Middlesbrough won for the second time in four games since Neil Warnock was appointed as manager, Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher on target in a 2-0 success at Millwall.

Wigan, who could yet incur a 12-point penalty having gone into administration last week, climbed eight points away clear of danger for now thanks to Kieffer Moore's first-half strike in a 1-0 victory over QPR.

Elsewhere, Bristol City beat Hull City - who are in the relegation zone - 2-1 and Preston North End came from behind to defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1.

West Brom boosted their bid for automatic promotion as relegation-threatened Hull City and Middlesbrough both lost in Sunday's Championship action.

After table-topping Leeds United and in-form Brentford both won 24 hours earlier, the Baggies followed suit as they eventually overcame Hull 4-2 in an eventful encounter at the Hawthorns.

Twice West Brom took the lead only to concede, Mallik Wilks making it 2-2 early in the second half. However, Kamil Grosicki crucially edged the hosts back in front just over a minute later.

Grady Diangana wrapped up victory for Slaven Bilic's side, though they finished the game down to 10 men following the late dismissal of Ahmed Hegazi. Still, West Brom are once again a point behind Leeds, while they are five clear of third-place Brentford.

Hull remain outside the bottom three as fellow strugglers Middlesbrough were beaten at home, going down 1-0 to QPR.

Jordan Hugill grabbed the only goal of the contest just after the half-hour mark against a club where he spent the 2018-19 season on loan.

Meanwhile, Swansea City moved up to eighth – four points adrift of the final play-off berth occupied by rivals Cardiff City – courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Rhian Brewster, who is on loan from Liverpool, opened the scoring and Andre Ayew doubled the Swans' lead from the penalty spot. Atdhe Nuhiu did half the deficit, though his stoppage-time effort was no more than a consolation for the Owls.

Matheus Pereira scored twice as West Brom boosted their title hopes at Sheffield Wednesday, while Wayne Rooney's winner saw Derby County close on the play-off spots.

Championship leaders Leeds United were held to a 1-1 draw by Luton Town on Tuesday and the Baggies closed the gap to just one point with a 3-0 victory at Hillsborough.

Charlie Austin's first-half penalty was added to by a brace from Pereira after the break as Slaven Bilic's side restored their five-point cushion in the final automatic promotion place.

The play-off places are what Derby and Preston are chasing and it was the Rams who came out on top at Deepdale thanks to Rooney.

England's all-time leading scorer found the net with a first-half free-kick to leave Derby one point behind sixth-placed Cardiff City.

Nottingham Forest, who Derby face next, strengthened their grip on one of the play-off berths, Tiago Silva scoring the only goal in 1 -0 victory over Bristol City.

At the other end of the table, Huddersfield Town climbed out of the relegation places with a 3-0 success at Birmingham City.

Karlan Grant, Fraizer Campbell and Elias Kachunga scored the goals for the Terriers, who were replaced in the bottom three by Hull City.

Nottingham Forest strengthened their grip on a Championship play-off place with a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

A double from Lewis Grabban either side of half-time effectively secured a victory that moved Forest up to fourth, seven points clear of seventh-placed Preston and North End.

Ryan Yates added a third five minutes from time, and Huddersfield were reduced to 10 men when Juninho Bacuna was sent off four minutes later.

After Joe Worrall fouled Fraizer Campbell in the box, Karlan Grant scored a 97th-minute consolation from the penalty spot for Danny Cowley's side.

Huddersfield are level with Hull City on 42 points but are in the bottom three on goal difference.

Bristol City's play-off hopes were dealt a blow with a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, who took command through Connor Wickham and Massimo Luongo before Nahki Wells pulled one back.

The Robins are five points adrift of a play-off place.

West Brom nudged ahead of Leeds United at the top of the Championship but a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City appeared to be a blow to the title hopes of Slaven Bilic's team.

Yet the top two in England's second tier look increasingly likely to be the pair promoted to the Premier League, with third-placed Fulham suffering a damaging home defeat against Brentford.

In the first matches following the league's three-month coronavirus suspension, a new hero emerged for mid-table Derby County as 18-year-old Louie Sibley scored a hat-trick in their win at Millwall.

And Rhian Brewster, a striker on loan from Liverpool, gave Swansea City's play-off hopes a boost by netting twice at Middlesbrough, as well as making a powerful political statement.

POINT A MIXED BLESSING FOR BAGGIES

With Leeds in action at Cardiff City on Sunday, West Brom had an opportunity to go two points clear of Marcelo Bielsa's team as the league resumed.

Bilic's players dominated the derby clash and had a host of chances but could not find a breakthrough, and a stalemate at the Hawthorns potentially plays into the hands of Leeds.

The top two are now level on points, with West Brom top on goal difference, but Leeds will have the chance to go three clear before the next round of games.

BEES STING NEIGHBOURS

Said Benrahma and Emiliano Marcondes scored late for Brentford in a 2-0 win at promotion rivals Fulham, a result that leaves West Brom and Leeds seven points clear with eight games remaining for the play-off pack.

Nottingham Forest were heading for victory at Sheffield Wednesday after Joe Lolley gave the visitors a 69th-minute lead, only for Connor Wickham to grab a stoppage-time leveller for the Owls.

Forest sit fifth, four points clear of a Preston North End side who were held 1-1 at Luton Town, Callum McManaman firing a late equaliser for the hosts, who nevertheless fell to the foot of the table.

KING LOUIE

Blackburn Rovers beat Bristol City 3-1 in a battle between teams fighting with Preston for sixth place, but the individual performance of the day came from Sibley, whose heroics guided Derby to their 3-2 win at Millwall.

"I'm absolutely buzzing," Sibley told Rams TV. "To get that hat-trick was just unbelievable. When the third goal went in, I couldn't stop smiling."

Brewster was not far behind, his double steering Swansea to a 3-0 victory at lowly Middlesbrough.

Brewster held up a shirt that read "our colour is not a crime" after his first goal, expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

TIGERS ON THE SLIDE

Wigan Athletic were 2-0 winners at fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town, while Hull City slipped into the bottom three after losing 1-0 at home against Charlton Athletic.

Barnsley climbed off the bottom by winning 1-0 at QPR, and Stoke City drew 1-1 at Reading.

Pep Guardiola was pleased FA Cup holders Manchester City enjoyed a trouble-free outing to reach the quarter-finals courtesy of a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Sergio Aguero's second-half strike, his 20th goal in the competition, was enough to earn City a fifth-round victory over Championship opponents at Hillsborough.

Lower-league opposition have caused City problems in the FA Cup in previous years, with Wigan Athletic knocking Guardiola's side out at this stage two seasons ago and Huddersfield Town forcing a fifth-round replay in 2017.

Yet Wednesday never looked like upsetting the odds as they failed to register a single shot on target across the 90 minutes.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Guardiola said: "We were out at Wigan two seasons ago. I remember Swansea last season in extra time and the last moments. We knew it.

Aguero's goal earned City their fifth successive win in all competitions as they built on last Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg victory at Real Madrid and Sunday's EFL Cup final triumph over Aston Villa.

Given City were celebrating lifting their first trophy of the season only three days earlier, Guardiola was delighted they got the job done with ease in the FA Cup.

"It doesn't matter what level, we were incredibly solid," added Guardiola, whose side have been drawn away at Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

"It's tough to defend [against] 10 players there, we didn't find more passes inside but we created enough chances to win. Two [efforts hit the] crossbar but especially the chances we had in the second half.

"It was a tough week for us, in terms of we talk about this before, we spend a lot of mental energy but the players again were ready to fight and play as good as possible and qualify for the next round."

Sergio Aguero scored his 20th FA Cup goal as holders Manchester City beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Hillsborough to reach the quarter-finals.

The Argentinian's 53rd-minute strike proved the difference as Pep Guardiola's side made it five successive wins in all competitions, matching their best run of victories in 2019-20.

Defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy struck the woodwork either side of half-time before Championship side Wednesday's resistance was eventually broken.

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith got a hand to Aguero's strike but could not prevent the ball going over the line as City's all-time leading scorer registered his 254th goal for the club.

Gabriel Jesus and Aguero were both in the City starting line-up and the former headed a 20th-minute chance wide from a John Stones cross.

Aguero spotted his fellow forward's run seven minutes later but the Brazilian failed to get a good connection on a stretching volley when free six yards out.

Otamendi nodded against the crossbar from a free-kick delivered by Riyad Mahrez, who also picked out Stones from a set-piece only for the defender to miss the target when his downward header hit the ground and bounced over the top.

There was a greater impetus from City after the break, though, as Mendy's first-time effort cannoned off the frame of the goal in a sign Guardiola's half-time words had worked.

Wednesday did not heed the warning, with Aguero left in enough space in the box to collect Mendy's pass, turn and fire a shot which looped off Wildsmith's left arm and went in.

Replays showed it was a close call over whether Aguero was onside or had strayed beyond last man Dominic Iorfa, though the absence of VAR at Wednesday's ground meant there was no closer inspection.

Wildsmith did redeem himself somewhat by thwarting Stones, Rodri and substitute Raheem Sterling with his legs, while another more conventional save with his hands denied Mahrez.

However, Wednesday failed to register a shot on target across the piece and mustered their only effort overall in the sixth minute as Aguero's strike proved enough to send City into the last eight.

 

What does it mean? Treble (of sorts) still on for City

Guardiola's men won the EFL Cup for a third successive season on Sunday, though a repeat of last term's domestic treble appears highly unlikely given Liverpool's 22-point lead in the Premier League.
Yet City could still end the campaign with three trophies having beaten Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week. With a fifth straight win, they are hitting form at the right time.

Aguero the difference again

A second-half winner at Hillsborough took Aguero's tally for the season to 23 in all competitions, more than any other player in the Premier League.

In reaching 254 goals for City, he also moved beyond Wayne Rooney's record haul of 253 with Manchester United, a statistic that those of a blue persuasion will particularly enjoy…

Another quiet night for Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva was one of City's best players last season but has been a shadow of himself in 2019-20.

Here he made just one key pass – compared to five for Jesus and four for David Silva – and had just one shot compared to Mahrez's six. This was Bernardo Silva's chance to further his case for inclusion in crucial Champions League games and it was hardly persuasive.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday next for City. Wednesday, currently residing in the middle of the Championship table, travel to Brentford the previous day.

Pep Guardiola insists he has no fear when it comes to trusting Manchester City youngster Phil Foden in big games.

Foden was handed a start in Sunday's EFL Cup final against Aston Villa and responded with a man-of-the-match display in a 2-1 victory – City's third consecutive triumph in the competition.

There had been murmurs of discontent in some quarters over the lack of meaningful minutes granted to the 19-year-old this season and Guardiola is set to face further demands to select the playmaker after his Wembley outing sparked talk of an England call-up.

The City manager is content with this state of affairs, however, pointing to Foden's goalscoring outing in a pivotal 1-0 win over Tottenham during last season's knife-edge Premier League title race as another demonstration of his trust.

"I'm not scared in the important games to put in the players I decided. I play games without strikers. I play a final with Phil because I see Phil every day," Guardiola said on the eve of an FA Cup fifth-round trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

"The only problem for Phil and other players who maybe do not have the minutes that they deserve is the squad – some players have more experience than Phil and something that he does not have just yet because he is 19 years old.

"Every time I decide to let him play he always plays good. Always he was at a high, high level.

"Last season he played against Tottenham to win the Premier League after being knocked out of the Champions League, he played against Leicester.

"When I select him, I do not have any doubts. When Leroy Sane was injured in the pre-season and the people said we have to maybe go to the market, I said, 'No – Phil can play in the middle and play wide'.

Guardiola shuffled his pack to produce some eyebrow-raising team selections last week, although he was ultimately vindicated as City claimed wins on the road at Leicester City and Real Madrid before retaining the EFL Cup.

Right-back Kyle Walker and central midfield duo Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan were the only ever-presents as their boss deployed a range of tactical shapes, while the consistency of City's play in challenging circumstances pleased Guardiola the most.

"In all games we were like what we are. We changed some things in the way we attacked, the way we defend, but we played the way we are over the last years," he said.

"We spoke about that – try to be ourselves whatever happens from the beginning – and we did it."

One player seemingly still to get up to speed with these demands is Joao Cancelo.

The Portugal full-back was a high-profile close season arrival from Juventus but has so far struggled at the Etihad Stadium.

After remaining an unused substitute in Leicester and Madrid, Cancelo missed out on the matchday squad at the weekend.

Asked what the 25-year-old must do to get back in favour, Guardiola replied: "Be himself, open-minded, listen, try to do his best. We are here to help him – the normal things I want from all the players.

"It depends on him, absolutely. We can suggest but the rest, the players have to decide."

Leeds United closed the gap to Championship leaders West Brom on Wednesday, while there were welcome wins for Barnsley and Wigan Athletic at the bottom of the table.

The Baggies had moved seven points clear at the summit with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End 24 hours earlier, but Leeds cut the deficit by completing a league double over lowly Middlesbrough.

Fulham are back up to third after they left it late to see off Swansea City, while Steven Fletcher struck deep into stoppage time as Sheffield Wednesday triumphed 1-0 over Charlton Athletic.

Millwall missed the chance to move closer to the play-off places as they were held 0-0 at home by Birmingham City. There were also no goals at Ewood Park, as Blackburn Rovers drew with Stoke City.

 

KLICH-ING INTO GEAR FOR LEEDS

Marcelo Bielsa's side triumphed 1-0 for a third successive league outing, Mateusz Klich scoring the only goal in first-half stoppage time at the Riverside.

The hosts managed just two shots on target as they drew a blank yet again – they have not found the net since a 2-2 draw away at fellow strugglers Wigan on February 11.

Fulham are five points behind Leeds in the standings; Aleksandar Mitrovic missed an 89th-minute penalty but made amends before the final whistle, grabbing the winner in added time at Craven Cottage.

 

BATTLE TO BEAT THE DROP HEATING UP

After Luton Town upset Brentford on Tuesday, Barnsley found themselves propping up the rest prior to kick-off at Hull City.

However, their recent revival continued with a 1-0 victory, Cauley Woodrow the scorer for the visitors in the 42nd minute.

Wigan still occupy the third and final relegation berth but now only trail Middlesbrough on goal difference after a resounding 3-0 result away at Reading.

Kieffer Moore broke the deadlock with an audacious back-heeled finish, with Jamal Lowe and Michael Jacobs – who struck in the ninth minute of added time – also scoring for the Latics.

Leeds United beat Reading 1-0 at Elland Road to move five points clear of the chasing pack in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship.

Third-placed Fulham were held 1-1 by Derby County on Friday and Brentford in fourth played out a 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

Nottingham Forest and Bristol City also dropped points, drawing 0-0 with QPR and losing 3-0 to leaders West Brom respectively, with the Baggies maintaining their four-point gap on Leeds.

Elsewhere, Wigan Athletic and Barnsley picked up wins to boost their survival hopes.

LEEDS, WEST BROM PULLING AWAY

Pablo Hernandez's 57th-minute strike earned Leeds back-to-back 1-0 home wins.

West Brom appear over their mid-season wobble after making it four wins in five matches with a comfortable victory.

Callum Robinson put Slaven Bilic's side on course for an 11th away win of the campaign with a fortuitous opener and Hal Robson-Kanu netted twice, either side of Romaine Sawyers' straight red for grabbing Jamie Paterson by the throat.

CHASING PACK FALTER

Brentford fought from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Blackburn as they joined west London rivals Fulham in dropping points.

Ollie Watkins scored an impressive volley and Said Benrahma netted from the penalty spot to cancel out Adam Armstrong's double.

Forest missed out on the chance to move up to third after failing to break down QPR in a stalemate at City Ground, while Preston North End recovered from a goal down to beat Hull City 2-1.

HOPE FOR WIGAN, BARNSLEY

Shaun Hutchinson's own goal was enough for Wigan to earn just an eighth league win of the campaign at home to Millwall, while Barnsley built on their shock 3-0 win at Fulham last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

Wigan and Barnsley are now two and five points adrift of 21st-placed Huddersfield respectively following the Terriers' 3-1 defeat at Swansea City.

Luton Town are now occupying bottom place, with Lyle Taylor's double earning Charlton Athletic a 3-1 win.

Elsewhere, a Callum Paterson own goal and a scrambled finish from Joe Allen saw Stoke City earn a 2-0 home win against Cardiff City that leaves them three points clear of the drop-zone.

SIX-GOAL THRILLER AT ST ANDREW'S

Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday remain locked on 45 points following a 3-3 draw.

Garry Monk was denied a winning return to one of his former clubs by Scott Hogan's equaliser in added time, the Aston Villa loanee's fourth goal in five matches.

Wednesday had twice battled back from a goal down before Jacob Murphy put them in front, but they are now winless in six outings.

Leeds United ended a three-match winless run in the Championship as Luke Ayling's early strike earned Marcelo Bielsa's side a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

That moved Leeds back to just four points behind leaders West Brom, who were held 2-2 at home by Nottingham Forest after Matty Cash's late leveller for the visitors at the Hawthorns.

Third-placed Fulham were thumped 3-0 at home by bottom-of-the-table Barnsley, while Brentford nudged above Forest and into fourth place thanks to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

Preston, who sit sixth, suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall, further muddying the play-off picture in the English second tier.

Leeds emerge from a storm

With their promotion hopes hurt by recent defeats to Forest and Wigan, a midweek draw with Brentford offered Leeds some encouragement. They have made slumping after strong starts a familiar trait, yet Saturday's narrow success put their promotion push back on track.

Ayling, a former Bristol City player, drove home from eight yards in the 16th minute, his left-footed strike coming after the ball pinged around the penalty area.

In blustery conditions, Helder Costa should have scored a second for Leeds when he went around Daniel Bentley but allowed the City goalkeeper to get back to make a desperate save.

The conditions were far from helpful, with litter from the stands blowing across the pitch, but Leeds held strong to reignite their promotion push.

Baggies blow

West Brom and Forest played out an entertaining four-goal game in the early kick-off, but the Baggies' three-match winning run is over and that will give the likes of Leeds encouragement.

Callum Robinson fired West Brom ahead after 37 minutes, before Kyle Bartley's own goal levelled up the game by half-time. A second own goal, this time from Tobias Figueiredo, restored West Brom's lead and looked set to bring the hosts maximum points.

Yet a twist in the narrative arrived in the first minute of stoppage time, with Cash driving forward and cracking in a sublime leveller, a ferocious finish that arrowed across Sam Johnstone and into the far left corner.

 

Chasing pack step off the pace

Scott Parker saw his Fulham side flop against Barnsley, with Cauley Woodrow's double - the first a penalty - and Jacob Brown's fine strike giving the Tykes a stunning Craven Cottage win and a glimmer of hope in their attempt to beat the drop.

The goals came early at St Andrew's where Birmingham took a 13th-minute lead against Brentford through Lukas Jutkiewicz, with Ethan Pinnock grabbing an equaliser four minutes later.

Stoke led QPR 2-0 after 31 minutes at Loftus Road but crumbled to a 4-2 defeat, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair grabbing late goals for the London side. Ryan Tunnicliffe's strike gave Luton a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, and Shaun Hutchinson headed Millwall to their victory at Preston.

Ten-man Owls humbled

Cardiff CIty drew 2-2 at home against Wigan, while Yakou Meite, George Puscas and Sam Baldock, with a stoppage-time penalty, netted as Reading romped home 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, who had Osaze Urhoghide sent off early in the second half.

John Buckley and Tosin Adarabioyo cracked in first-half goals at The Valley as Blackburn were 2-0 winners against Charlton, nudging Rovers closer to the play-off picture.

A 25-yard strike from Tom Lawrence gave Derby County the lead at home against Huddersfield, but it finished 1-1 at Pride Park after a surging run and smart finish from Harry Toffolo.

West Brom moved six points clear at the top of the Championship on a night where Fulham missed the chance to leapfrog Leeds United into second.

The Baggies had to come from behind to defeat Reading 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday, while Fulham settled for a 1-1 draw at Millwall that keeps them third.

Bristol City and Preston were also victors to boost their top-six hopes, while Cardiff City won comfortably at Huddersfield Town to sit four points adrift of the promotion spots.

At the bottom of the table, Luton Town defeated out-of-form Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 to haul themselves off the foot of the table.


BAGGIES BOINGING TOWARDS PROMOTION, FULHAM HELD

West Brom made hard work of it after Kyle Bartley's handball in the area was followed by George Puscas putting Reading in front from the penalty spot.

But Matheus Pereira levelled on the rebound having seen his 26th-minute volley saved and Bartley went from zero-to-hero with a looping header shortly after Callum Robinson hit the crossbar.

Fulham had the chance to overtake Leeds, held by Brentford on Tuesday, and things looked promising when Aleksandar Mitrovic met Joe Bryan's curling delivery on the slide after three minutes.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson poked home the equaliser for Millwall four minutes later despite seemingly being offside and Fulham were handed a reprieve when Jed Wallace whacked a 12th-minute penalty against the bar.


PRESTON, ROBINS IN THE HUNT

Bristol City nervily held on to beat Derby County 3-2 having raced into a three-goal lead after 58 minutes.

Nahki Wells and Filip Benkovic scored their first goals for the Robins and Famara Diedhiou extended the lead in the second half.

Martyn Waghorn and Chris Martin reduced the arrears, but Derby's comeback proved too little too late at Ashton Gate.

It was a more straight-forward evening for Preston, above Bristol City on goal difference alone, as Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen earned a 2-0 win at Stoke City, who are just four points above the drop.


HATTERS PILE MISERY ON MONK

Wednesday lost for the sixth time in nine Championship outings as Luton earned a huge win in their relegation dogfight.

The Owls conceded a penalty after just 15 seconds only for James Collins to fire his spot-kick against the crossbar.

But lax defending from Dominic Iorfa allowed Collins to make up for that miss as he added the finishing touch into an unguarded goal from Harry Cornick's lay-off in the 23rd minute to sink the sorry Owls.

Huddersfield remain in trouble after being turned over 3-0 at home by Cardiff, who remain in the play-offs hunt.

Josh Murphy, Will Vaulks and Callum Paterson were all on target for the Bluebirds.

Manchester United left it very, very late, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the extra striker he wanted in the form of Odion Ighalo.

With a move for Bournemouth's Joshua King dead in the water, the Red Devils focused their efforts on a loan deal for the 30-year-old, who has been playing for Shanghai Shenhua since last February.

Ighalo's deal, which Omnisport understands does not include a purchase option, will give Solskjaer another option up front during the injury absence of Marcus Rashford.

He is expected to travel to England in the coming days before United publicly announce the signing.

Ighalo was far from the only major deal to be concluded late in the transfer window, though, as West Ham just managed to finalise the signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported initial fee of £22million.

Aston Villa also announced a new striker signing about 10 minutes before the window closed, Borja Baston joining on a free transfer from Swansea City.

Elsewhere in England, Tariq Lamptey took the decision to leave Chelsea and sign for Brighton and Hove Albion on a contract until 2023. The Seagulls have also brought back Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors, where he was on loan.


LOANS GALORE

Sheffield United had a busy end to the window, securing the arrival of Panos Retsos - initially on loan but with the option of a permanent deal - from Bayer Leverkusen, while Ravel Morrison has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough, having made one Premier League appearance this season.

Leicester City have loaned Ryan Bennett from Wolves, with Filip Benkovic allowed to leave for Bristol City for the remainder of the campaign with a view to earning regular game time.

Everton have sent Jonas Lossl back to Huddersfield Town on loan, while Connor Wickham is also heading to the Championship, the Crystal Palace striker moving to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Wolves have secured the signing of Luke Matheson, who famously scored at Old Trafford in September as a 16-year-old, and loaned him back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season.

Leverkusen have also brought in a signing for the future, with Edmond Tapsoba arriving from Vitoria SC for a fee said to be between €16m and €18m.
 

SERIE A FLURRY

Italy's window closed a little earlier than some others and there was a flurry of deals around the deadline.

Marko Pjaca will get the chance to kick-start his career with Anderlecht, Juventus having allowed the winger to leave on loan for the remainder of the season as he looks to earn regular first-team football.

Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers, a highly rated 20-year-old from Anderlecht who arrives on loan with the option of a permanent move.

Fiorentina have had a busy end to the window. Kevin Agudelo has joined the Viola from Genoa on an 18-month loan deal, while Valentin Eysseric has been sent to Hellas Verona until June.

Maya Yoshida secured a switch to Sampdoria from Southampton, while Gaston Pereiro's move from PSV to Cagliari was ratified. He will be joined in Sardinia by Alberto Paloschi, with Alberto Cerri heading the other way to SPAL.

Gervinho, meanwhile, has taken another step in his nomadic career by moving to Al Sadd from Parma, who brought in Vasco Regini on loan from Samp.
 

BUSY BARCA

Barcelona will give new €10m signing Matheus Fernandes for time to acclimatise to LaLiga, spending the rest of 2019-20 with Real Valladolid.

Barca have also sent Moussa Wague on loan to Nice, who have the option of a €10m permanent deal, while Ligue 1 rivals Lyon have signed Camilo Reijers de Oliveira for €2m.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a shock signing for Barca 12 months ago and the experienced forward is on the move again, this time heading to Besiktas on loan from Fiorentina.

Leganes bolstered their attacking depth with two loan deals, bringing in Roger Assale from Young Boys and former player Miguel Angel Guerrero from Olympiacos.

Getafe have landed Erick Cabaco on a permanent deal, the defender joining from Levante, Granada have signed Gil Dias on loan from Monaco, and Real Sociedad have sold Ruben Pardo to Bordeaux.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have loaned Emre Mor to Olympiacos, while a late, late deal that saw Nicolas Gaitan sign for Lille for the rest of the season was completed in time.

Leeds United soared back to the top of the Championship as Patrick Bamford's double inspired a 3-2 victory over Millwall.

Marcelo Bielsa's side had trailed 2-0 early in the game at Elland Road but came roaring back to take the three points, while rivals West Brom tripped up 2-1 at Cardiff City.

Third-placed Nottingham Forest sit just two points adrift of struggling West Brom now, after edging out Brentford.

Wayne Rooney's first goal for Derby County, helped by a big deflection, gave Phillip Cocu's side the lead at Luton Town, but the former England captain finished on the losing side as the Hatters came back to score a 3-2 victory.

Blackburn were 2-1 victors against QPR, Huddersfield Town won 2-1 at Hull City, Bristol City recorded an away-day success at Reading, and lowly Wigan saw Jamal Lowe grab a stoppage-time winner to record a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday.

 

BAMFORD THE HERO AS LEEDS RISE AGAIN

It would have been reasonable to ask if the wheels were coming off the Leeds bandwagon when they fell 2-0 behind against Millwall inside 23 minutes, as Shaun Hutchinson and Jed Wallace gave the visitors a dream start.

There have been worrying signs for Bielsa's Leeds in recent weeks but just as thoughts turned to their previous failures to capitalise on strong starts to league campaigns, the West Yorkshire side roused themselves.

Bamford began the recovery by striking from close range in the 48th minute, Pablo Hernandez cracked an equaliser just after the hour, and Bamford had Elland Road rocking when he stooped to head home Luke Ayling's cross to put the hosts ahead.

A 3-2 win, a long-standing rival sunk, a first win of 2020 secured. Crisis? What crisis?

NOW THIS IS A CRISIS: WEST BROM IN TURMOIL

Seven games without a win in the Championship for West Brom spells trouble - and the only saving grace is that they are still in the automatic promotion places.

Any hopes that the weekend win over West Ham in the FA Cup would prove a turning point were soon shattered at Cardiff.

Callum Paterson fired the Bluebirds ahead in the first minute of the second half, and despite Charlie Austin's penalty levelling up the match, Cardiff had the final say.

Lee Tomlin's free-kick was a sublime goal, curled over the West Brom wall and into the top left corner to clinch the points. Luton are next for West Brom, visiting the Hawthorns on Saturday.

 

FOREST EYE RETURN TO PROMISED LAND

It is worth remembering Nottingham Forest have not played Premier League football this century, having been relegated in 1999. Truth is, they have rarely looked like getting back, but maybe their time is approaching.

With the top two having looked suddenly vulnerable over recent weeks, Brentford and Forest have been among the teams making up ground at a rapid rate, which added spice to Tuesday's clash between the clubs.

Joe Lolley's strike made all the difference for Sabri Lamouchi's side, with the former Huddersfield player firing home with the help of a deflection in the 14th minute.

Forest last lost in the league at Huddersfield on December 21, their seven-game unbeaten run raising real hope in Nottingham of a return to the top flight for the former European Cup winners.

West Brom edged above Leeds United to the top of the Championship on Saturday after Marcelo Bielsa's men were beaten at home by Sheffield Wednesday.

Two late goals saw Leeds fall to a 2-0 Yorkshire derby defeat at Elland Road, which meant West Brom moved to the summit despite dropping points in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic.

Brentford and Fulham are third and fourth respectively after wins over QPR and Hull City, with Nottingham Forest dropping to fifth after they were held to a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Reading.

Bristol City, Birmingham City and Barnsley were the other winners, while there were draws when Blackburn Rovers hosted Preston North End, Middlesbrough took on Derby County and Stoke City faced Millwall.


MISFIRING LEEDS SLIP UP AGAIN

Leeds have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions and now trail West Brom by a point, with Brentford only six points adrift in third.

Bielsa's side looked like they would have to settle for a goalless draw but it got worse when Jacob Murphy scored a goal that goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will not remember fondly with three minutes left.

Atdhe Nuhiu, who had set up the opener, then made the points safe in stoppage time as Wednesday moved up to sixth.

Patrick Bamford had earlier missed a good chance as well as having a strike disallowed for offside, while Jack Harrison was also guilty of not converting a clear opening.

West Brom twice led against Charlton at The Valley but had to settle for a draw courtesy of Josh Davison's first career strike and an own goal from keeper Sam Johnstone, who was trying to keep out Tom Lockyer's header. 

Albion's goals came from a superb Kenneth Zohore effort and a deflected strike from Hal Robson-Kanu.

The two teams also drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture in October, Charlton coming from behind on that occasion too.


BRENTFORD AND FULHAM KEEP UP PRESSURE

Brentford raced into a three-goal lead after 33 minutes at home to QPR, Ollie Watkins heading in his 18th league goal of the season in a 3-1 derby victory at Griffin Park.

An excellent long-range strike from Ivan Cavaleiro, who joined Fulham permanently from Wolves this week, put Scott Parker's men in front against after 29 minutes and that proved to be the only goal of the game.

Forest are a point and a place behind Fulham after a dramatic conclusion to their game at Reading. 

Ben Watson appeared to have given Forest an away victory six minutes into stoppage time but Reading went straight up the other end and Jordan Obita's cross resulted in a costly own goal from Tobias Figueiredo.

Luton Town remain bottom of the table after Gary Gardner's strike earned Birmingham a 2-1 away win. Wigan Athletic lost 2-0 at home to Bristol City and remain in the bottom three along with Barnsley, who won 2-1 at home to Huddersfield Town to move within a point of safety.

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