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Championship round-up

Cardiff City extended their lead at the top of the Championship to five points over Hull City after fighting back to defeat Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 01/01/13 at 13:38

Aron Gunnarsson: The Icelandic star stayed cool to help Cardiff to victory

Aron Gunnarsson: The Icelandic star stayed cool to help Cardiff to victory

Bluebirds extend lead; Wins for Middlesbrough and Peterborough

Cardiff City extended their lead at the top of the Championship to five points over Hull City after fighting back to defeat Crystal Palace at home.

The second placed Tigers failed to score and were held by a battling Leicester City side at the KC Stadium.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough moved up to within a point of Hull after overcoming Blackburn at the Riverside and Peterborough moved off the bottom of the table after thrashing Wolves in the Midlands.

Cardiff made it 11 wins in 12 home games to remain top of the table, but they had to come from behind to defeat Cystal Palace, who suffered just their second defeat in 20 matches. Craig Noone levelled Mile Jedinak's opener before Aron Gunnarsson grabbed the late winner.

Hull City stay second, but remain just a point ahead of the chasing pack after being held to a goalless draw at home to Leicester City, who remain in the play-off hunt.

Middlesbrough closed the gap on Hull after coming through a tight encounter to defeat Blackburn thanks to a 67th winner from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Inclement weather

The afternoon clash between Bristol City and Watford was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch very late on. Referee Michael Naylor initially delayed the kick-off and inspected the pitch at 3.10pm before deciding the game could not go ahead.

Nottingham Forest climbed above Leeds after a thrilling 4-2 victory at the City Ground. Billy Sharp struck his seventh and eighth goals of the season either side of half-time to send the in-form Yorkshiremen spiralling to defeat.

Charlie Austin's 23rd goal of the season put Burnley on their way to a Boxing Day three points against Derby at Turf Moor. Michael Duff wrapped things up with 16 minutes remaining to move the Clarets up one spot.

Nathan Delfouneso scored a stoppage time equaliser for Blackpool to rescue a share of the spoils at Huddersfield after Anthony Gerrard had given Simon Grayson's side the lead.

Sheffield Wednesday achieved their third straight win with a terrific 1-0 win at out-of-form Bolton to edge two points away from the drop zone. Michail Antonio's first-half strike proved to be enough.

Shock

Arguably the shock of the day came at Molineux as Peterborough came away with a comfortable 3-0 win to move off the bottom of the table. Dwight Gayle put the icing on the Christmas cake with his sixth goal in five games. Wolves have now won just one of their last eight home games

Loan stars DJ Campbell and Daryl Murphy fired Ipswich to victory at free-falling Charlton. QPR loanee Campbell made amends for missing an early penalty by firing in his ninth of the season, before Celtic frontman Murphy doubled their lead. The Addicks crashed to a third straight defeat on manager Chris Powell's 100th game in charge of the club.

Curtis Davies settled a thrilling contest in Birmingham's favour against fellow strugglers Barnsley at Oakwell. The centre-back nodded the visitors in front, only for Jonathan Greening to equalise, but he converted his fourth header in six games to clinch matters in the 77th minute.

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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