Norwich crowned champions as Sheffield Wednesday live to fight another day

Derby defeat to Swansea sets up grandstand finale in Championship relegation battle

Norwich City celebrate being crowned champions of the Championship. Photograph:  Joe Giddens/PA

Norwich City celebrate being crowned champions of the Championship. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

 

Norwich were crowned champions while Sheffield Wednesday survived to set up a grandstand finish on the penultimate weekend of action in the Sky Bet Championship.

With promotion already sealed, Daniel Farke’s Canaries were in celebratory mood as they thumped Reading 4-1 at Carrow Road despite falling behind to Josh Laurent’s 12th minute header.

Kieran Dowell’s double either side of the interval and late strikes from Xavier Quintilla and Teemu Pukki sealed the hosts’ coronation in style.

Second-placed Watford, whose return to the Premier League was also secure, went down 2-0 at play-off bound Brentford, whose goals came early in the second half from Marcus Forss and an Ivan Toney penalty.

The win was enough to secure third place in the table for the Bees, guaranteeing them a home game in the second leg of the play-offs.

The real action was at the bottom of the table where Wednesday’s goalless draw in the early kick-off against Nottingham Forest meant they would be relegated if Derby secured at least a point at Swansea.

But Wayne Rooney’s men slumped to a 2-1 defeat — their sixth in a row — setting up a crunch Pride Park clash between the Rams and Wednesday next weekend, when the visitors must win to stand a chance of staying up.

Derby led through a 48th-minute header from Tom Lawrence but Morgan Whittaker levelled just past the hour mark and Connor Roberts struck the winner three minutes later for the Welsh side.

The relegation conundrum is further complicated by Rotherham, who boosted their hopes of staying up after Lewis Wing’s late equaliser in a 1-1 with Blackburn.

The point for the Millers, after Adam Armstrong’s early goal for the visitors, means their own fate is back in their own hands, although they need at least three points from their last two away games at Luton and Cardiff to stand any chance.

Uche Ikpeazu’s fourth-minute effort gave Wycombe a 1-0 win over Bournemouth and ensured Gareth Ainsworth’s men also avoided relegation, although they need a mathematical miracle to extend their stay in the second tier.

With their play-off berth already secure, Barnsley lost 2-0 at Preston for whom Jordan Storey and Ched Evans scored either side of the break.

Harry Wilson hit a hat-trick as Cardiff cruised to a 4-0 win at Birmingham, with their other goal coming from Mark Harris on 68 minutes.

Jed Wallace’s fifth-minute opener paved the way for Millwall to romp to a 4-1 win over Bristol City at the Den.

Tommy Conway quickly equalised for the visitors but Scott Malone restored Millwall’s advantage and Billy Mitchell and Tom Bradshaw secured an emphatic victory for the Lions.

Goals from Charlie Austin and Osman Kakay earned QPR a 2-0 win at Stoke, whose end-of-season winless run stretched to six games as a result.

Luton and Middlesbrough shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road, Glen Rea heading the Hatters in front on 19 minutes before Duncan Watmore nodded home from Marvin Johnson’s cross two minutes later.

Danny Ward’s 79th-minute strike earned Huddersfield a 1-1 draw against Coventry, who had gone ahead through Jordan Shipley 10 minutes earlier.

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