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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

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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