Championship Round Up: Aston Villa Annihilate Frank Lampard’s Derby County

Championship
Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane Jack Grealish and Ahmed Elmohamady celebrate after Jack Grealish's fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park Birmingham. Aston Villa v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - Villa Park 02-03-2019 . (Photo by Chris Radburn/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)

A dramatic day of Championship action has blown the race for promotion wide open. With eleven games remaining, everything remains totally unresolved at both ends of the table.

Championship Round-Up

Norwich City Win at The Den

Following Leeds United’s comprehensive victory against West Bromwich Albion, the attention turned to Norwich City. A hard-fought win against Millwall sends the Canaries two points clear at the top of the table with eleven games to go.

This was a vital victory for Daniel Farke’s side as they continue to set their sights on a Premier League return. Marco Stiepermann’s early opener was cancelled out by a Shaun Williams leveller just before the break. Christopher Zimmerman’s second-half header and Teemu Pukki’s 24th league goal, however, earnt Norwich a third consecutive league win.

Emerging victorious in the Steel City Derby on Monday night would see Sheffield United move up to second, ahead of Leeds on goal difference. This thrilling three-horse race makes the Championship title anyone’s for the taking as the season draws to a close.

Race for the Playoffs

A draw for Bristol City against Preston North End will leave them looking over their shoulders as they look to fend off the many suitors for sixth place. To their concern, this result closes the gap from sixth to twelfth to just six points.

Aston Villa fans will hope that their side’s 4-0 demolition of Derby County will inspire a late promotion push. A brace from Conor Hourihane and a Tammy Abraham strike came before a wonderful volley from Jack Grealish on his return to the side.

Derby damaged limitations in the second half, but their terrible form continues and their playoff hopes are slowly slipping away from them.

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest missed a glorious opportunity to beat struggling Stoke City to move within a point of Bristol. The same is true for Birmingham City, who were denied by a Jared Bowen brace. The Tigers move level with Garry Monk’s side and are now well in contention for a playoff spot.

Drama at the Bottom

Rotherham United secured an invaluable victory against Blackburn Rovers to continue their efforts to avoid relegation. Despite a late penalty from Charlie Mulgrew, they held on to make it six unbeaten in the league.

To the Miller’s dismay, Mo Barrow found a late winner for Reading against Ipswich Town. This lifts his side out of the relegation zone on goal difference and leaves the Tractorboys dead and buried.

Red cards from Craig Noone and David Wheater forced Bolton Wanderers to play the last ten minutes against Swansea City with ten men. Like Ipswich they seem all but destined for the drop and nothing short of a miracle would save them now.

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