Norwich underlines promotion credentials as Bournemouth loses ground

Football is full of out-of-print clichés, and you will hear about 3000 times a season “playing badly but getting results is the hallmark of champions”.

And the most annoying thing about this sentence? It couldn’t be truer – and it is exactly why Norwich is a big favorite to win the championship crown.

Daniel Farke’s side managed to secure all three points yet again this weekend, despite a bustling city of Cardiff throwing everything at them in the second half.

Elsewhere, there have been huge wins at both ends of the board, and here’s your full roundup of the action from Saturday’s second tier clashes …

Nick powell
Stoke almost took all three points from Ewood Park | Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Stoke has been in the top six for some time now, although they haven’t really managed to string the results together to solidify their play-off spot.

Good transfer deals in recent weeks have prepared them well for the remainder of the season, and they got off to a great start at Ewood Park after Nick Powell’s strike gave them the advantage just before half-time.

However, Michael O’Neill’s men fell apart late, with John Buckley’s first goal of the season drawing Blackburn’s level before James Chester was given his marching orders after taking down Adam Armstrong.

The Potters have held on to a point, but they’ll be disappointed they didn’t take all three after leading for so long.

Luke Berry, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, James Collins
Luton shocked Bournemouth | Naomi Baker / Getty Images

The race for second place is heating up and Bournemouth’s attempt to secure an automatic promotion spot took a heavy hit on Saturday.

Luton had won just one win in five league games before their trip to Vitality Stadium, but Jefferson Lerma’s red card just 26 minutes into the game gave Nathan Jones’ side a glorious opportunity.

Lerma received his marching orders after jumping for a header and grabbing Tom Lockyer in the face with his arm, though the Cherries have already confirmed they will appeal the decision.

Luton didn’t pass up the opportunity, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall striking midway through the second half enough to beat Bournemouth to ten and push the Hatters away from the play-offs.

Chris Martin, Zak Vyner, Tomas Kalas, Hakeeb Adelakun, Famara Diedhiou
Bristol City regained their league victories | Alex Burstow / Getty Images

It’s been a tough season for Bristol City so far with Dean Holden’s men unable to find any real consistency.

A one-win streak in their previous five league games has seen their promotion qualifiers take a huge hit, so a 2-0 win over Preston came at the perfect time to remind the rest of the league that they are. still in the game. out of mix.

Famara Diedhiou’s future has been the focus of much speculation in recent weeks, with an extension of his current contract – which expires this summer – yet to be agreed.

However, he had a rare start against Preston and he didn’t disappoint, with his 8th-minute strike putting City in their way before Zack Vyner secured a 2-0 victory.

Cardiff City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship
Norwich look to favorites for the title | Athena Pictures / Getty Images

It is just starting to seem a bit obvious that Norwich will be a Premier League side again next season.

Farke’s men continue to score victories even though they don’t have a particularly impressive offensive or defensive record, but their ability to overtake games with a single goal means they stay top of the table.

First-half goals from Todd Cantwell and Grant Hanley secured an impressive victory at Cardiff City Stadium with Joe Ralls striking midway through the second half, which was not enough to keep the Bluebirds from s ‘collapse for a fifth straight loss.

Wayne rooney
Wayne Rooney suffered loss in his first game as a permanent boss | Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Well, isn’t that just typical.

After impressing as interim boss alongside Liam Rosenior, Wayne Rooney’s first game as permanent Derby boss ends in a loss to relegation rival Rotherham.

The Rams will have imagined their chances of getting into this one, but Jamie Lindsay’s strike in the 86th minute means the Millers jump to the Derby in the table.

With at least two games going on for the majority of the league, Rotherham has given himself a great chance of survival, and it’s a devastating loss for Derby.

Sammy Ameobi
Nottingham Forest distances itself from the last three | James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images

A huge victory for Nottingham Forest.

When Chris Hughton arrived at the club, there was a general acceptance that – despite their worrying situation at the time – they would definitely be safe.

However, the veteran tactician has struggled to consistently earn points even though in recent weeks things have started to click and they appear to be on the rise.

Their comfortable 3-1 win over Millwall was their seventh unbeaten game in all competitions, and more importantly, it dragged them up the table and away from the relegation zone.

A brace from Sammy Ameobi and a late goal from Ryan Yates saw Hughton’s men take the win, with Gary Rowett’s team at Millwall starting to look nervously over their shoulders.

Jon Toral, Scott Hogan
Birmingham clinched a well-deserved victory at Middlesbrough | Stu Forster / Getty Images

If you put your ear against the window, you can probably just about hear Neil Warnock still shouting at his players in the locker room at Riverside Stadium.

Birmingham had only had two wins in 13 games before their trip to Teesside, but a strike from Scott Hogan in the first half was enough to pocket all three points, leaving Middlesbrough looking for promotion, once again ruining their inability to chain the results. .

Birmingham move away from the relegation zone in what could prove to be a huge win for Aitor Karanka and his team.

Joao Pedro, Romoney Crichlow
Watford triumphed over Huddersfield | Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Watford has struggled lately – scoring just one win in his previous four Championship outings – so Huddersfield’s visit to Vicarage Road was truly a must win to fight for automatic promotion spots.

Xisco Munoz claimed his second victory as Watford boss, with second-half strikes from Tom Cleverley and Joao Pedro securing the victory.

Huddersfield offered very little in return and never seemed to threaten Daniel Backman in the Hornets goal, with Carlos Corberan’s men losing ground to play-off contenders.