City’s promotion party on hold after Blades’ win – but Leeds slip up provides late boost
- Credit: PA
Norwich City’s shot at sealing promotion to the Premier League on Good Friday will have to wait another few days, after Sheffield United’s 2-0 Championship win over 10-man Nottingham Forest.
The Canaries needed Chris Wilder’s side to lose at lunchtime, in order to try and confirm their place in the Premier League in a later kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road (7:45pm).
But Mark Duffy’s sixth goal of the season, three minutes after the Reds were reduced to 10 when Yohan Benalouane was dismissed for hauling down David McGoldrick, put the hosts in front before Enda Stevens’ 85th minute strike sealed a massive three points.
The Blades’ win sees them move into second place on goal difference from Leeds, both four points behind Norwich, after a surprise 2-1 home defeat for the Whites in their 3pm home game against Wigan.
In a dramatic game at Elland Road, the Latics were reduced to 10 men in just the 14th minute after Cedric Kipre was sent off for deliberate handball, but Pablo Hernandez missed the resulting penalty.
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Patrick Bamford had fired the hosts in front three minutes later but the lowly visitors roared back with goals from Gavin Massey just before the break and in the 62nd minute.
Norwich now know they will move seven points clear of both of their nearest rivals, if they beat Steve Bruce’s Owls, with just three league games left to play after this evening’s home fixture.
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Daniel Farke, speaking at his pre-match press call, insisted whatever happened at Bramall Lane would have no bearing on his side’s preparations.
“We have no chance to do anything about that game. Listen, we can’t avoid the result and we won’t look to avoid it,” he said, at Colney on Thursday.
“We are not scared of results elsewhere. But we have to concentrate on what we can influence.
“It does nothing for us if we are 1pc or 2pc concentrated on the other games. At this stage of the season anything can happen.
“We could be promoted very quickly or by the end of the season we can be in position three in the table.
“We are not addicted to the table.”
Elsewhere, Bolton’s relegation was confirmed by a 2-0 home defeat to play-off bound Aston Villa, with the Wanderes joining already relegated Ipswich, who were thrashed 4-0 at Preston.
West Brom are clinging on to automatic promotion hopes, trailing second place by six points after a 3-2 home win over Hull, while Middlesbrough boosted their play-off hopes with a 1-0 home win over Stoke, who host Norwich on Monday.
Bristol City 1 Reading 1
Sheff Utd 2 Nottm Forest 0
Millwall 1 Brentford 1
Birmingham 2 Derby 2
Bolton 0 Aston Villa 2
Leeds 1 Wigan 2
Middlesbrough 1 Stoke 0
Preston 4 Ipswich 0
QPR 1 Blackburn 2
Swansea 4 Rotherham 3
West Brom 3 Hull 2
7.45pm – Norwich City v Sheff Weds