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Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places

20 February 2018 23:18

Aston Villa missed the opportunity to move into the Championship's automatic promotion places as Steve Bruce's side were held 1-1 at home by Preston North End on Tuesday.

With leaders Wolves and second-placed Cardiff City not in action, Villa knew a victory against North End would see them leapfrog the Bluebirds.

But the Villans fell behind to Tom Barkhuizen's first-half goal, requiring a Lewis Grabban penalty to take a point from the match.

Villa were the only top-six side playing, ensuring Brentford narrowed the gap on the play-off places with a 5-0 demolition of Birmingham City at Griffin Park.

Ollie Watkins hit the first and last goals of a rout for the Bees, who are only three points outside the top six after recording back-to-back victories and clean sheets.

Middlesbrough climbed up to eighth place by beating Hull City 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium, Rudy Gestede hitting a brace as Tony Pulis' men recorded only their second win in their last six games in all competitions.

Bolton Wanderers earned a vital 1-0 win at home to relegation rivals Sunderland, Zach Clough's 17th-minute strike proving enough to send the Black Cats back to the bottom of the table.

Jose Morais made a losing start as Barnsley's new boss, the Tykes slipping to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Burton Albion, who are now only in the drop zone on goal difference after opening the scoring in the first minute.

Millwall earned a 2-1 home win against Sheffield Wednesday, whose city rivals Sheffield United beat Queens Park Rangers by the same scoreline at Bramall Lane, Nottingham Forest and Reading playing out a 1-1 draw.

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