Ipswich relegated and Blades falter but Leeds keep pressure on Canaries
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Paul Lambert has failed to keep Ipswich Town in the Championship, despite fighting back to draw 1-1 with Birmingham at Portman Road this afternoon.
The former Norwich City manager crossed the divide and took on the challenge of trying to keep the Tractor Boys up in October, after a poor start to the season under Paul Hurst.
It’s been a miserable spell for the Blues under Lambert though and their relegation has been confirmed this afternoon, with four games of the campaign remaining.
Lukas Jutkiewicz had fired Birmingham ahead in the seventh minute but Gwion Edwards gave the hosts hope with an equaliser in the first minute of the second half.
It wasn’t enough though – leaving Town 13 points adrift with 12 the most they can now manage – and Ipswich will be playing in the third tier next season, for the first time since 1957.
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It brings an end to 17 consecutive campaigns in the Championship, having parted ways with long-term boss Mick McCarthy towards the end of last season.
Norwich have been watching from a distance, as they prepare for tomorrow’s televised game at relegation threatened Wigan (midday), and have seen Sheffield United slip up again.
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The Blades looked set to bounce back from a 1-1 draw at Birmingham in midweek with a 1-0 win over Millwall this afternoon, thanks to a Gary Madine goal in the 51st minute – but there was late drama.
Norwich loanee Ben Marshall had a huge chance to do his parent club a massive favour at Bramall Lane, missing a penalty for Millwall in the 86th minute, hitting the bar shortly after coming off the bench.
However, Lions defender Jake Cooper handed the Canaries a huge boost when he headed in an equaliser in the fifth minute of injury-time to leave the Blades crestfallen.
The draw moved Chris Wilder’s team up to second temporarily and six points behind Norwich, courtesy of a better goal difference than Leeds, who then reclaimed second with a 1-0 win over local rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road in the day’s late kick-off.
Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison scored the only goal in the 65th minute to beat the Owls and move three points clear of the Blades and keep the pressure on Norwich. Wednesday are now six points adrift of the play-offs ahead of their trip to Carrow Road on Friday (7.45pm).
Elsewhere, West Brom remain in the automatic promotion race after a 4-1 home win over Preston, leaving them six points adrift of the top three. However, a point tomorrow would guarantee the Baggies can’t catch Norwich.
It all means Farke’s squad now know that seven points from their final fives games will be enough to guarantee promotion to the Premier League.
• CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
Aston Villa 2 Bristol City 1
Derby 4 Bolton 0
Ipswich 1 Birmingham 1
Middlesbrough 1 Hull 0
Nottm Forest 1 Blackburn 2
QPR 4 Swansea 0
Reading 2 Brentford 1
Sheff Utd 1 Millwall 1
Stoke 2 Rotherham 2
West Brom 4 Preston 1
Leeds Utd 1 Sheff Weds 0
12pm – Wigan Ath v NORWICH CITY