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Bournemouth crash Norwich's Premier League promotion party, James Collins scores Luton's winner to dent Watford hopes

Head coach Daniel Farke has guided the Canaries back up at the first attempt.

Norwich players are heading back to the Premier League (file photo).
Norwich players are heading back to the Premier League (file photo).
Image: PA

Updated Apr 17th 2021, 10:33 PM

BOURNEMOUTH GATECRASHED NORWICH’S promotion party and boosted their own hopes of making a swift return to the Premier League with an eye-catching 3-1 Championship win at Carrow Road.

The hosts, whose elevation to the English top flight had been confirmed by other results earlier in the day, took an early lead through Emi Buendia before the course of the game was turned by a first-half red card.

With over 70 minutes still to play, Greek left-back Dimitris Giannoulis was dismissed for a poor challenge on Ben Pearson, and it was a totally different game after that, with Jonathan Woodgate’s side taking control after the interval.

The visitors scored twice in eight minutes early in the second half through substitute Sam Surridge and the hugely-impressive Arnaut Danjuma, with a third goal from Lloyd Kelly putting the icing on the cake.

It was a sixth-straight league win from Bournemouth, who now look secure in the play-off positions, and only a sixth defeat of the season for the home side, who will now be looking to clinch the title by beating second-placed Watford on Tuesday.

Norwich’s promotion was confirmed shortly before 3pm this afternoon, as promotion rivals Swansea and Brentford both failed to win in their 12.30pm kick-offs against Wycombe and Millwall. 

Boss Daniel Farke remained in charge despite their bottom place finish in the Premier League last season and has masterminded a superb campaign, with 27 wins out of their 41 league fixtures so far.

Elsewhere, Luton striker James Collins came off the bench to score with his first touch as the Hatters beat arch rivals Watford at Kenilworth Road for the first time since 1993.

luton-town-v-watford-sky-bet-championship-kenilworth-road James Collins scores the opening goal from the penalty spot for Luton Town. Source: PA

The Hatters, who were the better side for long periods, were awarded a penalty with 18 minutes to go, as Collins came off the bench to send keeper Daniel Bachmann the wrong way and net the only goal of the game.

The result dealt Watford’s automatic promotion hopes a blow, but Swansea and Brentford could only draw in the chase to win promotion behind Norwich.

Elijah Adebayo latched on to an underhit backpass after 72 minutes and was bundled over just inside the box by keeper Bachmann.

The forward was injured in the challenge though and Collins came off the bench to step up with his first touch and roll the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

Will Hughes sliced wide for the Hornets, who were then reduced to 10 men with two minutes remaining, full back Kiko Femenia sent off for his second booking after pushing Kazenga LuaLua over as he chased a ball forward.

In stoppage time, Watford thought they had a leveller, ex-Hatter Andre Gray bundling the ball over the line from a corner, only for an offside flag to cut short his celebration as the Hatters held on for a famous win.

Swansea were forced to claw their way back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table Wycombe to keep alive their slim hopes of challenging Watford for the second automatic promotion spot.

The point Steve Cooper’s side were able to scramble late on cut the gap between second and third to six points. Ireland internationals Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning were in action for Swansea while Daryl Horgan came on for Wycombe.

At the other end of the table it meant Wycombe are still nine points from safety and they will view it as two dropped points having scored twice in six minutes at the start of the second half.

It did not help the Swansea cause that star man Andre Ayew limped out of the contest after only eight minutes.

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swansea-city-v-wycombe-wanderers-sky-bet-championship-liberty-stadium Conor Hourihane in action for Swansea against Wycombe. Source: PA

It was stalemate at the break, but it did not stay that way for long as there was no stopping Admiral Muskwe 19 seconds into the second half when he lashed a lay-off from Uche Ikpeazu past Freddie Woodman from the edge of the area.

That stunned the home side and further emboldened the aggressive visitors and five minutes later they doubled their lead. This time it was Garath McCleary cutting in from the left and hitting the bottom-right corner.

Jason McCarthy conceded a penalty for hand ball on the floor, Jamal Lowe scoring his fourth goal in three games, and then substitute Liam Cullen headed home a Roberts cross with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Brentford wasted the chance to gain ground on second-placed Watford in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race with a 0-0 stalemate against Millwall.

With the Hornets losing at local rivals Luton it was set up for the Bees to turn the screw, but they failed to muster a single shot on goal.

And it might have been even worse for the hosts if Danny McNamara’s low cross had been met by a Millwall striker at the death.

Championship Results

  • Brentford 0-0 Millwall
  • Luton Town 1-0 Watford
  • Middlesbrough 1-2 QPR
  • Nottingham Forest 0-2 Huddersfield Town
  • Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Bristol City
  • Stoke City 0-0 Preston North End
  • Swansea City 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
  • Norwich 1-3 Bournemouth

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