Championship round-up: Wes Hoolahan the hero on Norwich farewell

35-year-old Ireland midfielder scores one and makes the other as Canaries beat Leeds

Wes Hoolahan celebrates his goal for Norwich against Leeds. Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty

Wes Hoolahan celebrates his goal for Norwich against Leeds. Photograph: Stephen Pond/Getty

 

Wes Hoolahan signed off with a goal and an assist as his final game for Norwich ended in a deserved 2-1 victory over Leeds at Carrow Road.

The 35-year-old midfielder, whose contract is not being renewed, equalised for the hosts just before the interval with a deflected shot from outside the box and then laid on what proved to be the winner for Josh Murphy midway through the second period.

Leeds had threatened to ruin Hoolahan’s big day when Kalvin Phillips opened the scoring after 37 minutes with a spectacular strike — but they rarely threatened after that as City won the battle of two mid-table sides with nothing to play for.

There was a great atmosphere at Carrow Road, with home fans coming along in big numbers to witness the popular Irishman’s 352nd and final game for the club, and 2,000 plus Leeds fans present to provide their usual noisy support.

Elsewhere Cardiff took a huge step towards automatic promotion from the Championship as captain Sean Morrison scored a double to fire his side to a 2-0 victory at Hull.

The centre-back scored a goal in either half as the Bluebirds overcame a nervy start to set up a potential promotion party when relegation-threatened Reading visit next Sunday.

Fulham reclaimed second spot with a come-from-behind win over Sunderland on Friday night, but they are a point behind heading into their last game at struggling Birmingham.

Wes Hoolahan equalises for Norwich against Leeds in his final game for the club. Photograph: Stephen pond/Getty
Wes Hoolahan equalises for Norwich against Leeds in his final game for the club. Photograph: Stephen pond/Getty

Derby missed the opportunity to secure their play-off place as Aston Villa hit back to claim a 1-1 draw.

Cameron Jerome put the Rams in front early on, but Lewis Grabban equalised six minutes from time.

The result ended Villa’s slim automatic promotion hopes, while Derby will have a keen eye on the evening game between fifth-placed Middlesbrough and Millwall, who are three points adrift of both teams.

Preston are two points off the top six after Alan Browne’s second-half goal gave Alex Neil’s side a 1-0 win at Sheffield United, whose own play-off hopes are over.

Burton made it three straight wins against relegation rivals Bolton, but Nigel Clough’s side must get a result at Preston on the final day after Barnsley beat Brentford 2-0 to move out of the drop zone by virtue of their vastly superior goal difference.

Goals in either half from Kieffer Moore and Oliver McBurnie gave the Reds a crucial victory that left their fate in their own hands and ended Brentford’s play-off bid.

Burton did their bit with a 2-0 triumph courtesy of first-half strikes from Hope Akpan and Lucas Akins, a result that left Bolton — who began the day outside the bottom three — a point from safety.

Birmingham and Reading face an anxious week after both sides suffered defeats that left them two points above the drop zone.

Che Adams put Birmingham ahead at QPR ,but the hosts hit back to claim a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ilias Chair and Matt Smith.

Martyn Waghorn, Jordan Spence, Freddie Sears and Callum Connolly all netted in the final 20 minutes as Ipswich hammered Reading 4-0.

Champions Wolves were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday, while a 0-0 stalemate at Nottingham Forest ended Bristol City’s remote top-six chances.

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