Wolves move ever closer to Premier League return

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LONDON – Rampant Wolves opened a 13-point lead at the top of the Championship table with a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side secured the three points thanks to a fast start as Alfred N’Diaye and Helder Costa struck in the first 20 minutes, both from Ivan Cavaleiro assists.

 

 

Despite a reply by Northern Ireland international Conor Washington for QPR early in the second-half, Wolves won and extended their lead at the top as Derby were held 1-1 at home by Norwich.

James Maddison’s penalty 18 minutes from time handed the Canaries a point after Matej Vydra had given Derby a flying start with his 18th goal of the season.

Aston Villa can leapfrog the Rams into second if they beat local rivals Birmingham City on Sunday, but the former European champions’ grip on a playoff place was strengthened as the chasing pack faltered.

Bristol City surrendered a 3-0 lead to relegation-threatened Sunderland as own goals from Josh Brownhill and Marlon Pack either side of Aiden McGeady’s strike all in the final 20 minutes earned Chris Coleman’s men a valuable point.

Fifth-placed Fulham’s five-game winning run was ended by a 1-1 draw at Bolton.

 

 

Preston also failed to gain ground as their 10-men could only manage a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

Paul Heckingbottom’s bow as Leeds manager ended in defeat as Billy Sharp’s double moved Sheffield United back up to the brink of the playoff places in eighth.

Middlesbrough also remains in the playoff hunt as former Barcelona winger Adama Traore struck either side of half-time to ensure a 2-1 win over Reading.

A bad week for Barnsley following Heckingbottom’s departure less than a week after signing a new contract continued as they dropped into the bottom three after a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Hull won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest to leapfrog Barnsley.

Despite their late heroics at Ashton Gate, Sunderland remains three points off safety and in danger of back-to-back relegations.

Burton Albion remain a point further adrift at the foot of the table as they snapped a four-game losing streak with a goalless draw at Ipswich.

AFP

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