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Watford earn instant promotion to Premier League, Rooney's Derby left deep in relegation trouble

Elsewhere, Alan Browne scored the winning goal of Preston’s victory over Coventry as Mick McCarthy left Wycombe needing a miracle to avoid the drop.

Watford celebrate promotion to the Premier League.
Watford celebrate promotion to the Premier League.
Image: PA

ISMALIA SARR’S PENALTY early in the first half proved to be just enough to earn Watford a 1-0 victory over Millwall and confirm an instant return to the Premier League.

Brentford’s win at Bournemouth earlier in the day meant that only three points would be good enough for Xisco Munoz’s Hornets to be promoted alongside Norwich, who came down with them last season.

Watford’s win means Norwich must wait to seal the title, with a 3-1 win at QPR leaving the Canaries requiring just two points from their final two games to be promoted as league winners.  Norwich went ahead after 32 minutes as Xavi Quintilla’s first career goal punished a rare mistake by goalkeeper Seny Dieng. Max Aarons doubled the lead in the second half with a far-post volley three minutes after City keeper Tim Krul had saved Lyndon Dykes’ penalty.

Dykes pulled one back with 19 minutes left but Emiliano Buendia’s late third sealed victory for Daniel Farke’s side.

Earlier, Bryan Mbeumo came off the bench to snatch a late winner as 10-man Brentford beat promotion rivals Bournemouth 1-0 to seal their place in the play-offs. 

Meanwhile, Carlton Morris’ controversial early goal gave Barnsley a 1-0 win over Rotherham which virtually sealed their place in the play-offs while putting a further dent in their South Yorkshire rivals’ survival hopes.

Barnsley now need just a point from their remaining two games to be certain of a top-six spot while Rotherham, who spurned a host of chances, are four points adrift of safety following their fourth straight defeat, albeit have two games in hand on Derby County above them. 

Wayne Rooney’s side slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham, courtesy of a brace of goals by Lukas Jutkiewicz. The result secures Birmingham’s safety in the division, but leaves Derby in trouble and reliant on Rotherham losing at least one of their games in hand. 

Sheffield Wednesday’s position in the Sky Bet Championship is hanging by a thread after they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.

The Owls are four points adrift of safety with two games remaining after they were beaten on Teesside, and must avoid defeat in their last two matches against Nottingham Forest and Derby to have any chance of avoiding the drop to League One.

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Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City have left Wycombe Wanderers needing a miracle to avoid relegation, following a 2-1 win for the Welsh side. Gareth Ainsworth’s Wanderers, who have struggled at the wrong end of the table all season, now have to win their last two remaining games, hope Derby lose theirs, and overturn a 13-goal deficit.

Elsewhere, Republic of Ireland international Alan Browne scored a second-half penalty to earn Preston a 1-0 victory over Coventry at St Andrew’s. The win gave the Lilywhites maximum points for the second successive game as they ensured they remain ahead of the Sky Blues in 14th place.

Finally, Adam Armstrong scored a hat-trick as Blackburn demolished hapless Huddersfield 5-2, while Nottingham Forest and Stoke City drew 1-1, a result which secured Chris Hughton’s side their place in the Championship.  

Championship results 

  • Bournemouth 0-1 Brentford
  • Barnsley 1-0 Rotherham
  • Blackburn 5-2 Huddersfield
  • Cardiff 2-1 Wycombe
  • Coventry 0-1 Preston
  • Derby 1-2 Birmingham
  • Middlesbrough 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday
  • Nottingham Forest 1-1 Stoke City
  • QPR 1-3 Norwich
  • Watford 1-0 Millwall  

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