None of the top four sides in the Championship won on Saturday, meaning Leeds United remained top of the table despite a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Derby County.

Bristol City and Swansea City, who started the day third and second respectively, played out a 0-0 draw, while Charlton Athletic suffered a second straight defeat, going down 2-0 at Wigan Athletic.

Preston North End, QPR and Nottingham Forest all gained ground towards the top of the standings with victories, while Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Hull City were also among the winners.

Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 with Fulham and Stoke City moved off the bottom of the table after a goalless encounter at Brentford.
 

FRUSTRATION FOR LEEDS

Other results meant Leeds stayed top even though they suffered frustration against Derby, the team with whom they were embroiled in last season's 'spygate' controversy.

Marcelo Bielsa's men led through Max Lowe's own goal, but Mateusz Klich fired wide with a penalty that would have sealed victory 20 minutes from time, while Patrick Bamford, who had won the spot-kick, squandered multiple opportunities.

Chris Martin then punished the hosts with a stoppage-time equaliser, finishing off a slick move completely against the run of play to score his first Derby goal since November 2017 and give his side their fifth draw in eight games.


CHARLTON FALLING AWAY

Charlton lost a second straight game without scoring, as defender Chey Dunkley scored a double for Wigan to send Lee Bowyer's men down to seventh.

Dunkley netted in each half to follow up his goal at Hull last week, having failed to net in 39 Wigan appearances last season. The result ended a six-match winless league run for the hosts.

Swansea are still level on points with Leeds at the top after their draw at Ashton Gate. The Welsh side had Jake Bidwell sent off in the last-minute for a lunge on Niclas Eliasson.


CHASING PACK GAIN GROUND

Sean Maguire scored for a second straight week to give Preston a 1-0 win at Birmingham City, Alex Neil's men moving up to third - just a point behind the leaders - as a result. 

Nahki Wells' double – his second coming courtesy of a huge goalkeeping blunder from Bartosz Bialkowski – gave QPR a 2-1 win away to Millwall, ensuring Mark Warburton's men sit level with Preston.

Forest are one point further back after Ben Watson's first goal for the club ensured Barnsley were beaten 1-0 at The City Ground. It was the home side's only shot on target.
 

NUHU DENIES FULHAM

Fulham remain in mid-table after Atdhe Nuhiu headed in a Sheffield Wednesday equaliser three minutes into stoppage time, cancelling out Tom Cairney's first-half opener.

Elsewhere, Ashley Fletcher's second-minute own goal gave Cardiff a narrow 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, Hull scored three times in the final 27 minutes to thump Luton Town 3-0 at Kenilworth Road and Blackburn Rovers won 2-1 away to Reading.

Sergi Canos had an effort cleared off the line as Brentford were frustrated by struggling Stoke.

Swansea City replaced Leeds United at the top of the Championship in dramatic fashion as a 90th-minute strike from Wayne Routledge earned Steve Cooper's men a 1-0 win at Elland Road.

Leeds dominated for much of the game on Saturday, but they were made to pay for a lack of cutting edge when Routledge swept home late on.

As a result, Swansea are two points clear at the top of the table heading into the international break, having won five and drawn one of their opening six games.

Charlton Athletic, promoted from League One last season, are also unbeaten and sit second after a 2-0 win at Reading.

At the other end of the table, the misery goes on for Stoke City and Huddersfield Town, who both remain winless after giving up leads in respective 2-1 defeats at Birmingham City and Luton Town.

Derby County also endured a horrible day as they were trounced 3-0 at Brentford.

 

SUPER SWANS DEFYING EXPECTATIONS UNDER COOPER

Cooper was something of a surprise appointment by the Swans after Graham Potter left for Brighton and Hove Albion, but the former England Under-17 coach could hardly have asked for a better start to his tenure at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans certainly rode their luck at Leeds, who created numerous chances to move ahead before being beaten by Routledge's last-gasp strike.

However, Swansea's resilience typified their early-season form under Cooper, which has seen them concede just four league goals thus far.

This win at Elland Road was their first in 70 years.

BAGGIES PREVAIL AFTER GOAL-FILLED FIRST HALF

Like Swansea, West Brom are yet to taste a Championship defeat after a change of boss in the close season. Slaven Bilic's men drew three of their first five games but are now up to fourth, a point behind Leeds, courtesy of a 3-2 win over a Blackburn Rovers side managed by former Albion chief Tony Mowbray.

All of the goals at the Hawthorns came in the first half, with Matt Phillips, Jake Livermore and Grady Diangana on target for West Brom after Bradley Dack's opener inside 25 seconds. Bradley Johnson pulled one back just before the break, but Blackburn could not rescue a point.

 

POTTERS STAY ROCK BOTTOM

Nathan Jones' future as Stoke's manager looks increasingly uncertain after they followed up a morale-boosting EFL Cup win at Leeds with a fifth league loss in six matches. Liam Lindsay put the Potters ahead after 58 minutes at Birmingham, but they were nevertheless beaten again, Jude Bellingham's deflected strike earning the hosts victory.

Huddersfield also have just one point, Andrew Shinnie claiming Luton's winner at Kenilworth Road, while Derby's struggles worsened as Ollie Watkins struck twice in an emphatic win for Brentford.

Bristol City and Middlesbrough played out a 2-2 draw in Saturday's early kick-off, while QPR came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 thanks to Jordan Hugill's brace.

Elsewhere, Millwall and Hull City drew 1-1, as did Nottingham Forest and Preston North End. There were no goals in the game between Wigan Athletic and Barnsley.

 

Sheffield Wednesday returned to the top of the Championship table thanks to a 1-0 win over struggling Luton Town, while Middlesbrough beat Wigan Athletic by the same scoreline for their first win of the campaign.

Phillip Cocu suffered his first defeat in charge of Derby County as Bristol City held on to triumph 2-1 at Pride Park.

Birmingham City turned it on in the final 21 minutes against visitors Barnsley, claiming a 2-0 victory to join six other teams on seven points.

And Blackburn Rovers left Hull City with the points as the hosts were ultimately left to rue a missed penalty at the KC Stadium.

 

BORO BOUNCE BACK

Jonathan Woodgate's Boro have endured a difficult start to the campaign, failing to win any of their first four matches.

But they got up and running with their first victory after they held off Wigan.

Britt Assombalonga grabbed the decisive goal in the 23rd minute, powering home a header from Jonny Howson's cross.

Wigan piled the pressure on towards the end, but Darren Randolph helped ensure the hosts clung on.

 

OWLS SOAR BACK TO THE SUMMIT

Wednesday fans were justifiably frustrated after Millwall ended their winning start to the season last time out, despite the Lions finding themselves reduced to 10 men in the first half.

They were not exactly convincing upon their return to Hillsborough, with boos audible at half-time, but they got the job done to move top with nine points from four games despite not having a full-time manager in place.

Kadeem Harris, who has impressed since joining on a free transfer from Cardiff City in July, scored the winner in the 54th minute, tapping in from close range.

Promoted Luton finished the game with more shots than their hosts, but they ran out of steam in the second half after a solid showing before the interval.

 

TIGERS RUE BOWEN MISS

Jarrod Bowen caught the eye but failed to make the difference when given the opportunity as Blackburn beat Hull 1-0.

The winger saw a 13th-minute penalty saved impressively by Christian Walton after Jackson Irvine had been fouled by Bradley Johnson, who had earlier hit the crossbar with a header.

Kamil Grosicki then struck the post just past the half-hour mark, before Rovers' Stewart Downing fired against the frame of the goal twice not long before the interval.

Eventually the breakthrough came, Derrick Williams nodding in before Rovers held on despite Hull's late onslaught.

Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic were the only teams to maintain their 100 per cent records in the Championship, while Reading, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers again slipped to defeats.

Last season's relegated Premier League sides Cardiff City and Fulham both bounced back from disappointing starts with home victories, the Bluebirds beating Luton Town 2-1 and Scott Parker's side claiming a 2-0 win against Blackburn.

Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate was furious after his side had two goals disallowed in a 1-0 home defeat to Brentford, Tommy Rowe's late equaliser earned Bristol City a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City and Preston North End beat Wigan Athletic 3-0.

Meanwhile, Leeds United, QPR, West Brom and Derby County, who all won their opening games, were held to draws by Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield Town, Millwall and Swansea City respectively.

GRABBAN DENIES LEEDS ANOTHER WIN

Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi was facing the prospect of starting the season with consecutive defeats until Lewis Grabban grabbed an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Leeds, who dominated for long spells at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa's men swept Bristol City aside in the first half an hour of their season opener but found themselves embroiled in a battle with an uncompromising Forest side determined to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at home to West Brom.

After Patrick Bamford hit the crossbar, it was playmaker Pablo Hernandez who put Leeds in front, latching onto Mateusz Klich's chipped pass over the defence and burying a shot into the far corner of the net for his second goal in as many games.

But Forest equalised with their only shot on target of the game, Grabban capitalising on a penalty-box scramble and bundling the ball over the line from close range.

TWO WINS IN TWO FOR BOWYER'S MEN

Lyle Taylor, who scored Charlton Athletic's winner in their opening-day victory over Blackburn Rovers, picked up where he left off by firing Lee Bowyer's Addicks into the lead at home against Stoke.

The Potters responded through Tom Ince, but the tireless work ethic of Bowyer's newly promoted side wore the visitors down.

Close-season signing Chuks Aneke slammed the ball into the bottom corner from close range after Josh Cullen's cut-back to make it 2-1 to the hosts, and Conor Gallagher put the result beyond doubt seven minutes from time.

OWLS OFF TO A FLYER

Loanee winger Jacob Murphy wasted little time endearing himself to the Hillsborough faithful, pouncing on a loose ball and side-footing Sheffield Wednesday into the lead after two minutes of the South Yorkshire derby against Barnsley.

The Owls carried the momentum of their victory at Reading into the game and withstood waves of pressure from a well-organised Barnsley side before doubling their lead through Steven Fletcher.

After Murphy's mazy dribble, Kieran Lee fed Fletcher and the Scotland international showed great technique with a finish into the bottom-right corner from outside the box.

FULHAM OFF THE MARK AS ROVERS FALTER

Blackburn were widely tipped to push on after finishing 15th in the Championship last season, but two games in they are still without a point following their home defeat to Charlton and a 2-0 reverse at Fulham.

Parker's side drew a blank when starting the season with a defeat at Barnsley but they went ahead against Rovers when former Blackburn midfielder Tom Cairney let rip from 25 yards.

Blackburn matched Fulham for much of the contest and Sam Gallagher squandered the chance to pull them level when he headed wide 14 minutes from time, moments before Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a tap-in.

Fulham and Cardiff City suffered defeats on their Championship returns on Saturday, as Charlton Athletic and Barnsley were victorious following promotion from League One.

Sheffield Wednesday also made a commendable start to the season with a 3-1 win at Reading, despite being without a permanent manager in the wake of Steve Bruce's departure to Newcastle United.

QPR beat a much-changed Stoke City 2-1 on the road, while Birmingham City also succeeded away from home, beating Brentford 1-0.

Millwall claimed a 1-0 victory at home to Preston North End and Hull City went down 2-1 away to Swansea City.

BLUEBIRDS DOWNED BY WIGAN

Cardiff's return to the Championship following Premier League relegation proved they are in for a testing campaign, as Wigan edged a five-goal thriller at the DW Stadium.

Joe Ralls volleyed the Bluebirds in front after 20 minutes and they remained ahead when Josh Windass hit the post with a penalty following a foul by Sean Morrison early in the second half.

Wigan levelled prior to the hour when a deflected free-kick fell to Michael Jacobs to turn home, before Windass made amends by rifling into the bottom-left corner.

Omar Bogle tapped in from close range against his former club in the 70th minute to equalise, but back came Wigan – Lee Evans finding the top-right corner with a screamer to seal the victory.

 

BARNSLEY MAKE IMPRESSIVE RETURN

Barnsley and Fulham were almost in two entirely different worlds last season, with one clawing their way up from League One and the other rubbing shoulders with the elite in the Premier League.

The only goal of their meeting at Oakwell came in the 13th minute, when debutant Luke Thomas beat his man and fired home from inside the box.

Barnsley had two lucky escapes past the hour mark, with Mads Andersen clearing efforts from Tom Cairney and then Floyd Ayite off the line, allowing the hosts to get off to a winning start.

 

LATE WIN DELIGHTS CHARLTON

Promoted via the play-offs, Charlton got off to a flying start in the Championship thanks to an applaudable 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.

Ben Purrington opened the scoring just before the break, converting at the back post from Jonny Williams' delivery.

Blackburn levelled early in the second half in fortuitous fashion – Naby Sarr cleared a goal-bound effort off the line, only for it to hit goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and ricochet into the net.

But Lyle Taylor had the last laugh, applying a deft flicked finish to Jason Pearce's header, meaning none of the three promoted teams suffered defeat upon their returns to the Championship, with Luton Town drawing at home to Middlesbrough on Friday.

 

BULLEN'S OWLS SOAR

It was a turbulent close season for Sheffield Wednesday due to the saga surrounding Bruce's exit to Newcastle, but they looked sharp as they claimed an impressive 3-1 win away to Reading in their opening match under caretaker manager Lee Bullen.

Kadeem Harris put them ahead on the half-hour mark, but Yakou Meite's looping header restored parity in the 54th minute.

Wednesday swiftly retook the lead, however – Sam Hutchinson nodding in Barry Bannan's corner on his birthday for his first league goal since December 2016.

Keiren Westwood was sent off for clattering Modou Barrow in the 80th minute, but Lucas Joao wrapped things up late on for the visitors with a neat finish from the edge of the box.

Bristol City have re-signed midfielder Kasey Palmer from Chelsea on a permanent deal.

The 22-year-old featured 17 times for the Championship side in a loan stint during the second half of last season.

Palmer has agreed a four-year contract at Ashton Gate for an undisclosed fee and becomes the third player to make the switch from Chelsea during the close season, following in the steps of Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas.

"I’m buzzing to be back on a long-term deal," Palmer, who did not make a single senior appearance for Chelsea, told his new club's official website. 

"Hopefully my family and I will settle and then I can start to kick on with my football.

"The stability side of things will be important. It is so much better knowing this is my home over the next four years, instead of one year and then going back to Chelsea, so it’s a good platform and we can build on it.

"In the next four years I want to develop myself as much as I can under the management of Lee Johnson. I want more goals, assists and to try and get my stats as good as possible. 

"Also, in that time the club can hopefully get promoted to the Premier League, which is where it deserves to be."

Chelsea also confirmed on Thursday that 19-year-old wing-back Dujon Sterling has joined Bristol City's second-tier counterparts Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan.

Sterling is a two-time FA Youth Cup winner with Chelsea and boasts first-team experience from his spell at Coventry City last season.

Sheffield United claimed another big win in their bid for promotion from the Championship as they beat Hull City 3-0 to pile the pressure on Leeds United.

With Leeds facing Brentford in Monday's late fixture, the second-placed Blades moved three points clear of Marcelo Bielsa's side with a dominant display at KCOM Stadium.

Above them, Norwich City were held to a fourth successive draw, and with two games remaining, their lead has been reduced to just three points.

Play-off candidates Middlesbrough and Bristol City succumbed to defeats at Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, and Derby County took the chance to move into the top six thanks to a Harry Wilson late show against QPR.

In the early game, Aston Villa beat Millwall to claim their 10th successive win, while at the other end of the table Wigan Athletic secured safety with a 2-0 victory over Preston North End.

BLADES SHARP AS THE RUN-IN HOTS UP

Having seen off Forest on Friday, Sheffield United took full advantage of playing before Leeds by dismantling Hull in a Yorkshire derby.

Chris Wilder's side took the lead 10 minutes in – David McGoldrick heading home unmarked from John Fleck's corner – and the Blades never looked back.

McGoldrick doubled his tally 12 minutes later, curling in an excellent finish from 25 yards out, with Enda Stevens capitalising on more slack Hull defending to effectively wrap up the points before half-time.

While securing automatic promotion will be the priority, United are just three points behind Norwich with two games – against Ipswich Town and Stoke City – still to come.

CANARIES' CELEBRATIONS STILL ON HOLD

A matter of weeks ago, it looked as though Norwich's charge to the title, and the Premier League, was a mere formality.

Now, however, after yet another draw, things look a bit more complicated for Daniel Farke's side. Depending on Leeds' result against Brentford, there could suddenly be a three-way tussle for not just promotion, but the title.

Norwich dominated proceedings for much of Monday's encounter at Stoke, with Onel Hernandez beating Jack Butland in the 24th minute.

But the hosts fought back through Ashley Williams' header, and though Teemu Pukki restored Norwich's lead, Thomas Edwards drew Stoke level once more to secure a share of the spoils, and delay the Canaries' promotion celebrations.

CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY HELPS DERBY

Derby moved into the final play-off spot thanks to a dramatic 2-0 triumph over QPR, though Frank Lampard's side relied on a contentious penalty to break the deadlock.

With 94 minutes played, referee David Webb harshly deemed that Luke Freeman had fouled Jayden Bogle, and Liverpool loanee Wilson made no mistake with a composed finish.

QPR rallied, with Pawel Wszolek seeing an effort hooked off the line, but the result was settled when Derby raced clear – Wilson tucking in his second in the 101st minute.

Derby's move into the play-off spots comes at the expense of Middlesbrough, who lost 3-0 at Forest, while Barry Bannan's stunner set Sheffield Wednesday up for a 2-0 win over Bristol, who drop to eighth.

VILLA MARCH ON, WIGAN SAFE

Villa seem to be hitting top form at just the right time, as they all but guaranteed a play-off place with a 1-0 win over Millwall – Jonathan Kodjia on target for Dean Smith's side.

Millwall's defeat handed Wigan a boost ahead of their clash with Preston, who had Ryan Ledson sent off as the Latics secured the points with goals from Leon Clarke and Lee Evans.

In the process, Wigan moved onto 48 points, enough to make sure of their Championship status for another season after Rotherham United lost at home to Birmingham 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.

Teemu Pukki scored a late equaliser as Norwich City dropped points for the second Championship game in a row, the leaders drawing 1-1 away to Wigan Athletic to give Leeds United and Sheffield United hope in the promotion race.

The Canaries were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Reading in midweek and they slipped up again at the DW Stadium on Sunday, where Reece James scored the opener with a contentious penalty.

Ben Godfrey was penalised for handball on the stroke of half-time, even though Sam Morsy's shot rebounded off the defender's leg on to his arm.

James beat Tim Krul with the resulting penalty to set up a potential shock, and the Norwich goalkeeper then made a superb save to deny Leon Clarke midway through the second half.

But Norwich levelled in the 81st minute when Pukki, crowned the Championship Player of the Season on Monday, was slipped through on goal by Kenny McLean to slot home his 27th league goal of 2018-19.

Norwich could not force a winner despite eight added minutes, though, and it was instead Wigan who had the ball in the net, Clarke having a header ruled out for a marginal offside during the extended injury time.

With four games to go, Daniel Farke's men are four points clear of Leeds, with Sheffield United - who drew at home to Millwall this weekend after conceding in added time - a further three back.

Norwich City missed the chance to move eight points clear at the top of the Championship after drawing 2-2 at home with Reading on Wednesday.

Daniel Farke's side are still red-hot favourites to win promotion to the Premier League, though, given that they have a seven-point lead over third-place Sheffield United, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham City.

Aston Villa cemented their place in the play-off positions with a 2-1 win away at Rotherham United, while Hull City maintained their late bid for a top-six finish with a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic.

Ipswich Town edged ever closer to relegation following a 2-0 defeat at Brentford, while Millwall and Queens Park Rangers played out a goalless draw.

RINOMHOTA DENIES CANARIES AT THE DEATH

Andy Rinomhota scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time to put a dent in Norwich's march towards the Championship title.

The Royals took a 30th-minute lead when Yakou Meite fired home, but a stirring late fightback looked to have sealed all three points for Farke's men.

Ben Godfrey pulled the hosts level before Christoph Zimmermann put them ahead two minutes later. Reading had the final say, however, with Rinomhota firing home late on to clinch the visitors a dramatic point.

BLADES' TOP-TWO BID SUFFERS A BLOW

Leeds United's 2-0 win over Preston North End on Tuesday cranked up the pressure on Chris Wilder's side ahead of their visit to Birmingham - and they were unable to match their promotion rivals by picking up three points on the road.

Enda Stevens scored after 38 minutes but Sheffield United’s lead lasted just four minutes, Michael Morrison prodding home from close range to ensure a share of the spoils.

The Blades are now a point behind their Yorkshire rivals in the race for second spot, while Birmingham sit six points above the drop zone.

VILLA IN SEVENTH HEAVEN

Aston Villa's superb recent form continued as they beat struggling Rotherham in a game that featured three penalties.

Tammy Abraham missed from the spot before Will Vaulks gave the hosts the lead from 12 yards after Tyrone Mings was penalised for handball – an offence that saw him shown a straight red card.

Jonathan Kodjia made no mistake from the spot shortly after the interval, setting up Jack Grealish to seal all three points in the 51st minute as he finished off a flowing move.

A seventh win in a row gives Villa a five-point lead over seventh-place Middlesbrough, while Rotherham remain two points away from safety in 22nd.

The EFL has described reports of racist incidents at three of its clubs on the same day as "exceptionally disappointing" and promised to "assess and develop" its role in eradicating such behaviour.

An arrest was made during Derby County's 3-3 draw with Brentford at Griffin Park on Saturday after one of the home supporters was accused of committing a racially-aggravated public order offence involving Rams midfielder Duane Holmes.

On the same day, Wigan Athletic winger Nathan Byrne received racist abuse on his personal Twitter account following the Latics' 2-2 draw at Bristol City, and Northampton Town loanee Timi Elsnik reported an incident in which his team-mates were racially abused ahead of their 2-2 draw at Notts County.

In a statement, the EFL said: "The EFL was saddened, disappointed and angered to hear of further reports of alleged racism following the conclusion of some matches on Saturday afternoon.

"It was exceptionally disappointing that this happened as clubs up and down the country were raising awareness of such issues as part of Kick It Out's Week of Action.

"We remain fully committed to continuing to work alongside The FA and Premier League as well as other relevant parties to ensure that football provides a welcoming environment for supporters attending matches and those participating in them.

"Our work with all EFL clubs continues and we will assess and develop our role in this area through our established equality code of practice, our league-wide inclusion plan and our ongoing dedicated security operations, enhancing these where necessary."

The EFL said it would continue to collaborate with anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out to eradicate racism from football.

Kick It Out tweeted: "Another week, another group of players racially abused.

"We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football.

"We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."

The PFA also posted a tweet, saying: "Yesterday's incidents highlight that we still have much work to do at home in tackling racism.

"We commend the clubs for their prompt and formal responses.

"We will coordinate with the players and clubs involved to offer our full support."

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha called out racial abuse on Twitter as three English Football League clubs reported alleged racist incidents on Saturday.

Zaha was brought down by Newcastle United's DeAndre Yedlin for Luka Milivojevic's decisive penalty in a 1-0 Premier League win.

After the match, Zaha shared a subsequently deleted tweet calling him a "diving monkey".

Brentford confirmed a season ticket holder was arrested after their 3-3 draw with Derby County at Griffin Park on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Derby manager Frank Lampard said midfielder Duane Holmes was abused in the dugout following his 74th-minute substitution.

"Duane Holmes complained that he was racially abused - I didn't see it, I was facing play and a fan came up to him at the side of the dugout and abused him," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"Because it's such an important issue I don't want to go beyond what I know, but it was very clearly reported by the players and the people around."

A statement from Brentford read: "Brentford FC will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police, who will now investigate the incident.

"The club utterly condemns discrimination of any kind. It is abhorrent and has no place in society and we are determined to drive it out of Griffin Park."

Wigan Athletic have reported an abusive message sent to their defender Nathan Byrne to the police.

A statement issued following their 2-2 draw against Bristol City read: "Wigan Athletic Football Club are angered by racist abuse received on the personal Twitter account of one of our players, Nathan Byrne, on Saturday afternoon.

"We have reported the incident to the police and will work with the relevant authorities to assist them with their investigations.

"There is no place for discrimination in society and social media is not an exception to those rules. We find this behaviour abhorrent."

Northampton Town said their players were subjected to "appalling" behaviour and called for anyone with information to come forward after their on-loan Derby County midfielder Timi Elsnik claimed his team-mates were racially abused outside their hotel ahead of Saturday's League Two fixture at Notts County.

"Went for a pre-match walk with the team in Nottingham and this young man outside the hotel started racially abusing some of our lads," Elsnik's tweet read.

"The most disgusting thing I've seen and heard! He's done it in front of his girl as well with no shame so he must do it all the time. Absolute idiot!"

The incidents come after a week when England international Danny Rose said he "can't wait to see the back of football" and expressed frustration over a lack of action taken against racism from football fans, while Juventus forward Moise Kean celebrated a goal against Cagliari by holding his arms outstretched in front of the opposition fans – seemingly in response to alleged racial chanting from the stands.

"Another week, another group of players racially abused," said anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out. "We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football.

"We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."

Leeds United moved up to second place in the Championship table by capitalising on Sheffield United's slip-up at home to Bristol City. 

With leaders Norwich City in action away to Middlesbrough later on Saturday, there was a chance for the Yorkshire rivals to stake their promotion claims. 

While an Andreas Weimann treble earned Bristol City a surprise victory, Pablo Hernandez struck a brace to help Leeds see off Millwall at Elland Road. 

Derby County thrashed Rotherham United 6-1 to climb into the play-off places while there was a big win at the other end of the table for Bolton Wanderers.

 

HERNANDEZ THE HERO

Leeds supporters were put through a heart-stopping match as Marcelo Bielsa's side twice came from behind to beat Millwall 3-2 and leapfrog Sheffield United in the process.

The hosts looked as panicky as the crowd when Ben Thompson headed Millwall in front after 10 minutes and their nerves were not helped when Patrick Bamford had a penalty saved by David Martin in the 19th minute.

Leeds came to life just after the half-hour mark when Hernandez finished a sweeping passing move with a neat finish, but Liam Cooper brought down Ben Marshall 10 minutes into the second half and the Lions winger converted the ensuing penalty himself.

Substitute Barry Douglas crossed for Luke Ayling to pop up with a superb headed goal and Bielsa's commitment to attacking football paid off as his side poured forward in search of a winner that arrived, Tyler Roberts cutting the ball back for Hernandez to hammer home.


BLADES BLUNTED

Chris Wilder's men had won eight in a row at home in the league, not even conceding in front of their own fans in 2019, so few would have expected Bristol City to take the points at Bramall Lane. 

Billy Sharp's 23rd Championship goal of the season put Sheffield United in front in the sixth minute and Scott Hogan also scored for the hosts, though Weimann twice equalised to bring his side level. 

And the former Aston Villa forward completed his treble in the 83rd minute to end a five-game winless run in the league for Lee Johnson's men, who move up to eighth place with their play-off hopes revived. 

Aston Villa's 2-1 triumph at home to Blackburn Rovers, their fifth Championship win in a row, leaves Dean Smith's team fifth. Derby are just behind after Martyn Waghorn's hat-trick helped thrash Rotherham, although Middlesbrough can move back into the top six by avoiding defeat against Norwich. 

Nottingham Forest's 2-1 win against Swansea City, a comeback victory at the City Ground secured thanks to late Daryl Murphy and Molla Wague goals, also keeps Martin O'Neill's men in the hunt for a play-off place but Sheffield Wednesday's top-six charge was dented by a 0-0 draw at Stoke City.


HOPE FOR BOLTON

Off the field issues continue to make the headlines for Bolton Wanderers, but Phil Parkinson's side moved within five points of safety with a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers. 

Goals from Will Buckley and Callum Connolly set up their second win in four Championship games, although a late reply from Nahki Wells made for a nervy finish at Loftus Road.

QPR are now winless in five Championship games and pressure is growing on former England manager Steve McClaren, while Reading are four points clear of the drop zone after a 2-1 triumph over Preston North End. 

Wigan Athletic also edged up to 40 points by virtue of a goalless draw at home to Brentford, but Ipswich Town's fate is close to being sealed with a 2-0 home loss to Hull City leaving the Tractor Boys 13 points adrift with only seven games to play.

Pablo Hernandez scored a brace as Leeds United eased to a 3-0 win away to Reading to move top of the Championship.

With Norwich City in action at home to Hull City on Wednesday, Marcelo Bielsa's men knew they had the chance to take top spot.

And they wasted no time at the Madejski Stadium, Mateusz Klich getting them up and running with the opener in the 14th minute.

Luke Ayling created that goal and the right-back was soon at it again, setting up Hernandez for the first of his brace.

And when Hernandez added his second of the game just before half-time, Leeds were heading into top spot with nine games to go.

BLADES MAINTAIN THE PRESSURE

Sheffield United moved within a point of Norwich thanks to their 2-0 win at home to Brentford despite Gary Madine's first-half red card.

Captain Oliver Norwood converted a penalty to put the Blades in front before Madine was dismissed, David McGoldrick striking late to seal the points.

Bristol City moved into sixth spot, replacing Derby County, despite Lee Johnson's men failing to beat bottom side Ipswich Town at home, Lloyd Kelly scoring an own goal to hand the Tractor Boys a point.

Ipswich are 11 points adrift of safety with Paul Lambert's side now having drawn five of their past six Championship fixtures by the same 1-1 scoreline.

 

OWLS FLYING HIGH UNDER BRUCE

Sheffield Wednesday's unbeaten run under new manager Steve Bruce continued with a 2-0 win away to crisis club Bolton Wanderers.

Steven Fletcher and Rolando Aarons struck either side of half-time to send the Owls up to ninth in the table, just three points outside the play-off places.

Wigan Athletic remain two points above the relegation zone after a crushing 3-0 defeat away to Blackburn Rovers, Danny Graham netting a brace at Ewood Park.

Mason Bennett scored a spectacular equaliser as Derby County fought back from a goal down to beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard's men had not won in almost a month heading into this game, losing their last four in all competitions, but a precious victory took them level on points with sixth-placed Bristol City in the Championship.

Derby had looked destined for more disappointment when they failed to capitalise on numerous first-half chances and Wigan instead led as Gavin Massey netted following a 25th-minute break.

The Rams continued to find life tough in the second half, but the introduction of Bennett in the 57th minute changed the course of the game.

Five minutes later, the winger met Scott Malone's left-wing cross with a sensational twisting volley with his back to goal, looping the ball over goalkeeper Jamie Jones.

Derby kept pushing and Malone netted the winner 12 minutes from time, prodding Jayden Bogle's cross into the net, with the hosts easing to the finish and almost adding a third when Martyn Waghorn hit the post.

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