Leeds win again to close in on EPL return

Patrick Bamford has helped Leeds move a step closer to returning to the English Premier League.
Patrick Bamford has helped Leeds move a step closer to returning to the English Premier League.

Leeds have taken a huge stride towards the English Premier League as goals from Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich saw them to a 3-1 win at Blackburn.

The win moves the second-tier Championship leaders four points clear of second-placed West Brom, who will have the chance to haul back the deficit against struggling Hull on Sunday.

Bamford pounced on an error in the Rovers defence to put his side in front after just seven minutes and Phillips doubled Leeds' advantage with a 40th-minute free-kick.

Adam Armstrong dragged Rovers back into the game in the 48th minute but Klich made sure five minutes later when he struck a deflected effort from the edge of the box.

Said Benrahma struck a hat-trick as Brentford heaped more woe on Wigan with a 3-0 win that strengthened their grip on third place.

Benrahma opened the scoring after 19 minutes then made it 2-0 just before the hour-mark with what looked like an intended cross.

The Algerian completed his hat-trick before the afternoon went from bad to worse for the visitors, who had entered administration this week, as Joe Garner was sent off for a bad challenge.

Fulham also kept up the chase as Josh Onomah lashed the only goal of the game deep into stoppage time to sink Birmingham 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

But Nottingham Forest's fading hopes of automatic promotion were hit as Chris Martin salvaged a point for Derby with an added-time equaliser cancelling out Joe Lolley's first half effort in a 1-1 draw at Pride Park.

Danny Ward hit an 85th-minute winner for Cardiff as they squeezed a dramatic 1-0 win at fellow playoff candidates Bristol City.

Bottom club Luton saw their six-match unbeaten run come to a crashing end as Yakou Meite scored four goals in Reading's 5-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Meite hit two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half to put his side in command, and he completed his hat-trick 10 minutes before halftime.

George Puscas headed a fourth for Reading in the 57th minute before providing the through-ball from which Meite completed the scoring five minutes later.

Tyrese Campbell scored twice as Stoke moved out of the relegation zone with a 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Barnsley.

Sam Vokes opened the scoring after just eight minutes and Campbell's double gave the Potters a comfortable cushion at the break, with Tom Ince hitting his side's fourth three minutes from time.

Huddersfield edged two points clear of the relegation zone with a drab goalless draw at home to Preston.

Australian Associated Press