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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Stoke hold Norwich to clip Canaries' wings and Leeds lose as Aston Villa hit record 10 wins-in-a-row

A busy Bank Holiday Monday with a full programme of Championship fixtures.

Cork-born Conor Hourihane applauds fans after Villa's victory today.
Cork-born Conor Hourihane applauds fans after Villa's victory today.
Image: Bradley Collyer

NORWICH FALTERED AGAIN in their bid to seal a return to the Premier League after being held 2-2 by Stoke in their Championship clash on Monday.

Thomas Edwards’ superb strike secured a share of the points for Stoke and condemned the Canaries to their fourth successive draw.

Norwich — who have only been outside the top two for a week since early November — still top the table but only by three points from Sheffield United, who beat Hull 3-0.

Norwich settled into their groove early on with Cuban-born striker Onel Hernandez firing them into the lead in the 24th minute.

However, veteran Welsh international defender Ashley Williams levelled the match two minutes into the second-half with a header at the back post.

The visitors went back in front — shortly after Stoke had missed a great chance to take the lead — as the Championship’s leading scorer Teemu Pukki scored his 28th league goal of the season.

The Canaries lead lasted just two minutes as Edwards restored parity with a superb strike.

Leeds United could have upped the pressure on Norwich further had they beat Brentford later in the day, but their automatic promotion hopes are hanging by a thread after losing 2-0. 

Bielsa’s side are now three points adrift of second-placed Sheffield United with two games left.

Brentford went into the game with just one win in eight, but they were by the more cohesive side going forward and were good value for a win that has Leeds looking destined for the play-offs.

There was little to separate the two teams during an even first half, but Leeds should have been given a penalty when Patrick Bamford was tripped in the box while slipping the ball through Julian Jeanvier’s legs.

Referee James Linnington failed to award it, however, and Neal Maupay capitalised with his 24th league goal of the season just before the break, stabbing home brilliantly from outside the box.

Sergi Canos – formerly of Leeds’ promotion rivals Norwich City – doubled the lead in the 62nd minute, latching on to a through pass and cleverly flicking over Kiko Casilla.

Leeds failed to pull one back, meaning they remain three points behind the Blades and six adrift of Norwich, who slumped to a fourth successive draw in a 2-2 tie with Stoke City.

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Sheffield United — who have lost just one of their last 16 league games — had no such problems against Hull.  

Ireland international David McGoldrick scored twice early on with Enda Stevens adding a third — his second in as many games — shortly before half-time.

Aston Villa cemented their place in terms of making the play-offs with a club record 10th successive league victory.

A Jonathan Kodjia goal on the half hour mark saw them to a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Millwall — the victory breaking Villa’s original league record set back in December 1910.

Millwall’s plight was slightly eased by third from bottom Rotherham losing 3-1 at home to Birmingham.

Millwall have a three point advantage, far superior goal difference and a game in hand over Rotherham — both Ipswich and Bolton have already been relegated.

Frank Lampard can entertain hopes of contesting the play-offs in his first season in charge of Derby, as a Harry Wilson double in additional time gave them a 2-0 win over QPR.

With both Middlesbrough and Bristol City losing Derby sneaked into sixth spot, the final place for the play-offs due to a better goal difference than ‘Boro.

You can see the full Championship table here.

© – AFP 2019

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