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Championship round-up

The chase for the Premier League was shaken up on a Championship afternoon that took its time to get going up and down the country.

Last Updated: 22/01/13 at 12:11

Tommy Smith: Scored Cardiff's winner at Blackpool

Tommy Smith: Scored Cardiff's winner at Blackpool

Watford thrash Huddersfield as Palace and Hull are held

The chase for the Premier League was shaken up on Saturday afternoon as Hull City and Crystal Palace dropped points but Cardiff City marched on.

Leicester will count themselves as the biggest winners despite not kicking a ball on Saturday. Their win over Middlesbrough on Friday combined with draws for both Hull and Crystal Palace means they now sit in the second automatic promotion place.

And Watford took advantage of slips by those below them to open up a four-point gap in the race for the play-offs.

Leaders Cardiff now boast a 10-point advantage over the chasing pack after Tommy Smith's 64th minute goal secured a 2-1 win at Blackpool.

Hull needed a win at struggling Peterborough to reclaim second spot, after Leicester's 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Friday night, but could only manage a 1-1 draw after conceding a late penalty.

Crystal Palace could not take advantage either, with the fourth-placed side held to a goalless draw at home to Bolton.

In the chase for the play-offs, Matej Vydra scored twice as Gianfranco Zola's Watford strengthened their grip on a spot with a convincing 4-0 home win over Huddersfield.

Burnley are now the leaders of the chasing pack in seventh. They leapfrogged Nottingham Forest, Brighton and opponents Millwall with a 2-0 win at The Den.

Brighton were disappointed to concede a late equaliser at Birmingham after coming from behind in the first half to lead 2-1.

And Nottingham Forest and Derby both lost ground in the lunchtime kick-off. Neither manager was overjoyed with a point from the East Midlands derby as the game ended 1-1.

Leeds are now level with Alex McLeish's side after they beat bottom side Bristol City at Elland Road - City the only side in the bottom nine to fail to pick up a point.

New Blackburn manager Michael Appleton's reign at Ewood Park got off to a poor start as Yann Kermorgant scored the winner for Charlton in their mid-table clash.

Ipswich and Barnsley played out a 1-1 draw in David Flitcroft's first official game in charge of the Tykes, and Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves drew 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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