A mid second-half lull. An opportunity to remind you that the Premier League teams will be dropping any minute now. Barry Glendenning will have the details …
GOAL! Peterborough 2-0 Blackpool (Szmodics 62). Sammie Szmodics looks to have condemned the Seasiders to a final-day defeat. Oh well, they’ll always have Wembley.
It’s all over at Parkhead. Georgios Giakoumakis smacks one into the bottom right to make it Celtic 4-1 Hearts on 90 minutes, and the whistle goes. Nothing’s official yet, but Ange Postecoglou’s side are as good as champions of Scotland!
GOAL! WBA 4-0 Barnsley (Grant 60). Barnsley are going down with a whimper. Karlan Grant dinks a fourth for the Baggies.
Credit to Ørjan Nyland, the Shay Given de nos jours. The hapless Reading keeper is currently standing up to a barrage from Luton, and has just denied Cameron Jerome with an astonishing close-range fingertip save onto the bar. Trondheim resident Bob O’Hara adds: “The good news for Ørjan Nyland is that that clip isn’t available here in Norway, so at least his family and friends won’t be able to see it.”
GOAL! Derby 0-1 Cardiff (Hugill 55). Derby gave the Great Escape a good go, but it wasn’t to be. The jig long up, Jordan Hugill opens the scoring at Pride Park.
GOAL! WBA 3-0 Barnsley (Clarke 52). Matt Clarke makes it three for the hosts at the Hawthorns. The Baggies have saved their best until last. Ah well.
GOAL! Preston 3-1 Middlesbrough (Ris 53). Scrub that. Boro’s comeback has lasted all of five minutes. Emil Ris sashays through a huge hole in the middle of the Boro defence and lobs home from the edge of the box.
GOAL! Sheffield United 4-0 Fulham (Stevens 49). Enda Stevens finishes off a lovely triangular passing move, and the champions are now in danger of following up a 7-0 win with a similarly sized loss. If Boro are to have any chance of the play-offs, they’ll need Reading to do them a favour at Luton.
GOAL! Preston 2-1 Middlesbrough (Tavernier 48). It’s been a productive week for the Tavernier family. James scored the opening goal of Rangers’ fantastic Europa League semi-final win over Leipzig; now younger brother Marcus has headed home a raking right-wing cross to keep Boro’s faint hopes of a play-off slot alive!
Celtic are so close to the Scottish title now. Matt O’Riley scores from a tight angle on the right and the Bhoys are 3-1 up against Hearts. They’ll go nine clear should they hold on for the win. Second-placed Rangers have three games left, but they’re 21 goals behind as well. It’s effectively all over. Rangers will switch their focus to Hampden and Seville.
Øh Ørjan! How could you!
Half-time earworm. Courtesy of Luton Town’s goalscorer.
- Birmingham City 0-2 Blackburn Rovers
- Bournemouth 0-0 Millwall
- Derby County 0-0 Cardiff City
- Huddersfield Town 2-0 Bristol City
- Hull City 0-0 Nottingham Forest
- Luton Town 1-0 Reading
- Peterborough United 1-0 Blackpool
- Preston North End 2-0 Middlesbrough
- Sheffield United 3-0 Fulham
- Stoke City 1-1 Coventry City
- Swansea City 0-0 Queens Park Rangers
- West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Barnsley
As things stand, the play-off semi-finals will be Huddersfield v Luton and Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United.
GOAL! Birmingham 0-2 Blackburn (Brereton Diaz 45). Ben Brereton Diaz cuts in from the left and curls an unstoppable dipper into the top right. Another astonishing goal by Rovers, who are ending an ultimately disappointing season with panache.
GOAL! Luton 1-0 Reading (Cornick 45+1). Harry Cornick channels his inner Dion Dublin. Orjan Nyland plays the role of Shay Given. Oh dear. But what a huge goal for Luton, who are on course to rubber-stamp their play-off slot!
GOAL! Huddersfield 2-0 Bristol City (Ward 44). Danny Ward, without a goal since Boxing Day, bundles over the line from close range. Not sure he knew too much about it, the ball clanking around all over the shop, but a goal’s a goal’s a goal.
GOAL! Stoke 1-1 Coventry (Clucas 43). Sam Clucas levels things up in the Potteries, meeting a left-flank cutback and whipping a shot into the bottom right.
GOAL! WBA 2-0 Barnsley (Reach 40). Adam Reach chases after a long punt down the middle, sticks out a leg, and lobs Barnsley’s walkabout keeper Jack Walton from 25 yards. Too little, too late for West Brom, who were top back in October.
GOAL! WBA 1-0 Barnsley (Grant 37 pen). Karlan Grant slots a penalty, but that won’t stop the Baggies finishing in their lowest league position for 22 seasons.
GOAL! Peterborough 1-0 Blackpool (Clark-Harris 36). Relegated Posh look to go out with a bang. Jonson Clarke-Harris obliges.
GOAL! Preston 2-0 Middlesbrough (Fry og 35)
Oh Boro. Dael Fry deflects a left-wing cross into his own net. That’s their chances of snatching a play-off slot all but gone.
GOAL! Huddersfield 1-0 Bristol City (Toffolo 33). The free-scoring full back Harry Toffolo scores his fifth goal the last seven, finishing off a power dribble down the inside-left channel. As things stand, Town will end the season in third spot, leapfrogging Nottingham Forest, and will play Luton in the play-off semis. “Another pretty dull season for my team Bristol City although we did flirt briefly with relegation,” begins Rick Harris. “Hard to see us changing the outcome for next season with the club in the present unambitious ownership. Almost wish I was a Rovers fan because the Gas have had a great season and fingers crossed they will get promotion back to their spiritual home of League 1 or to those of us who still yearn for the good old days before the FA sold us out – the Third Division.”
GOAL! Birmingham 0-1 Blackburn (Buckley 29). This will probably be Tony Mowbray’s last game as Rovers manager. If that’s the case, he’s going out in some style thanks to John Buckley, who has just sent a diagonal 25-yard heatseeker into the top-left corner of the Birmingham net. An absolute screamer!
GOAL! Sheffield United 3-0 Fulham (Berge 25). Sander Berge pokes a close-range effort through Paulo Gazzaniga’s legs, and it’s fairly clear that Fulham are, if not yet on the beach, then mentally in their hotel rooms splashing on the sun cream. Barring a Pep-in-the-Champions-League-esque collapse, Sheffield United will contest the promotion play-offs.
GOAL! Preston 1-0 Middlesbrough (Browne 24). Alan Browne chests down a right-wing cross and fires into the bottom right. Boro need to win, and hope either Sheffield United or Luton fail to claim three points … and it’s not looking good for Chris Wilder’s side right now.
GOAL! Sheffield United 2-0 Fulham (Ndiaye 21). Sheffield United are doing their bit, though! Iliman Ndiaye doubles their lead against the champions, sweeping home when found all alone on the penalty spot!
It’s half time at Parkhead. Celtic 2-1 Hearts. One in a row is on!
GOAL! Stoke 0-1 Coventry (Gyokeres 14). Viktor Gyokeres romps clear down the inside-right channel and slots to give the Sky Blues the lead in the bragging-rights-only midlands derby.
A win for Luton against Reading would seal the other remaining play-off spot, and Nathan Jones’ team have started off on the front foot. They’ve already had three very decent chances, the best of which being Allan Campbell’s close-range header, well parried by Reading keeper Orjan Nyland. It remains Luton 0-0 Reading.
GOAL! Sheffield United 1-0 Fulham (Gibbs-White 10). The Blades need a win to confirm their place in the play-offs, and they’re ahead against the champions! Morgan Gibbs-White meets a right-wing cross and sends a powerful header into the top-right.
The Scottish title is all but Celtic’s as things stand. Kyogo forces a header over the line, just, in the 37th minute against Hearts. Should the hosts hold onto their 2-1 lead, they’ll go nine points clear of Rangers, who will only have three games left with a vastly inferior goal difference. Ah well, they’ve got a couple of cup finals to look forward to. No bad consolation, right?
While we’re waiting for something to happen in the Championship, some news from Scotland, where Celtic can effectively seal the Premiership title with victory over Hearts. They fell behind after just three minutes, Ellis Simms sweeping home from close range, but Daizen Maeda has equalised on the half hour. It’s Celtic 1-1 Hearts at Parkhead.
The final dozen matches of the regular Championship season kick off. Here we go, then. Drama ahoy!
Last night in the Third Division…
Birmingham: Etheridge, Gordon, Roberts, Pedersen, Colin, Sunjic, James, Chong, Bacuna, Taylor, Hernandez.
Subs: Friend, Woods, Hogan, Graham, Trueman, Hall, Bellingham.
Blackburn: Kaminski, Ayala, Brown, Scott Wharton, Pickering, Travis, Edun, Hedges, Buckley, Gallagher, Brereton.
Subs: Dolan, Rankin-Costello, Markanday, Dack, Lenihan, Vale, Eastham.
Bournemouth: Travers, Smith, Phillips, Zemura, Kelly, Cook, Kilkenny, Anthony, Marcondes, Brady, Solanke.
Subs: Woodman, Mepham, Christie, Moore, Hill, Billing, Dembele.
Millwall: Bialkowski, Cooper, Murray Wallace, Hutchinson, McNamara, Leonard, Saville, Mitchell, Bennett, Afobe, Burke.
Subs: Long, Kieftenbeld, Jed Wallace, Bradshaw, Pearce, Evans, Burey.
Derby: Allsop, Sibley, Davies, Cashin, Forsyth, Thompson, Bird, Ebiowei, Morrison, Knight, Lawrence.
Subs: Stearman, Roos, Watson, Ebosele, Aghatise, Plange, Cybulski.
Cardiff: Phillips, Drameh, Nelson, Flint, Denham, Bagan, Ng, King, Wintle, Harris, Hugill.
Subs: McGuinness, Collins, Watters, Colwill, Semenyo, Isaak Davies, Luthra.
Huddersfield: Blackman, Turton, Hogg, Sarr, Pipa, Eiting, Russell, Holmes, Toffolo, Sinani, Ward.
Subs: Anjorin, Rhodes, Koroma, Ruffels, Nicholls, Colwill, Lees.
Bristol City: Bentley, Cundy, Klose, Atkinson, Scott, James, Massengo, Dasilva, Weimann, Martin, Semenyo.
Subs: King, O’Leary, Tanner, Wells, Idehen, Bell, Conway.
Hull: Baxter, Jones, McLoughlin, Greaves, Longman, Smallwood, Slater, Elder, Honeyman, Lewis-Potter, Sayyadmanesh.
Subs: Coyle, Docherty, Eaves, Fleming, Huddlestone, Cartwright, Forss.
Nottm Forest: Samba, Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo, Panzo, Laryea, Cafu, Garner, Lolley, Zinckernagel, Mighten, Xande Silva.
Subs: Horvath, Spence, Mbe Soh, Surridge, Johnson, Ojeda, McKenna.
Luton: Ingram, Burke, Bradley, Naismith, Bree, Lansbury, Campbell, Bell, Clark, Cornick, Jerome.
Subs: Potts, Hylton, Snodgrass, Mendes Gomes, Lockyer, Isted, Muskwe.
Reading: Nyland, Thomas, Morrison, Holmes, Baba, McIntyre, Laurent, Hoilett, Ejaria, Meite, Lucas Joao.
Subs: Tetek, Dele-Bashiru, Southwood, Ehibhationham, Abbey, Abrefa, Scott.
Peterborough: Cornell, Knight, Edwards, Fuchs, Ward, Poku, Jack Taylor, Burrows, Szmodics, Clarke-Harris, Jade-Jones.
Subs: Kent, Grant, Marriott, Randall, Oluwabori, Lakin, Bodnar.
Blackpool: Maxwell, Connolly, Garbutt, Casey, Stewart, Dale, Keogh, Hamilton, Carey, Beesley, Yates.
Subs: Moore, Ekpiteta, Grimshaw, Apter, Daniels, Mariette.
Preston North End: Iversen, van den Berg, Diaby, Lindsay, Whiteman, Potts, Browne, McCann, Johnson, Jakobsen, Archer.
Subs: Cunningham, Evans, Ledson, Huntington, Maguire, Ripley, O’Neill.
Middlesbrough: Daniels, Anfernee Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Jones, Crooks, Howson, McGree, Tavernier, Watmore, Sporar.
Subs: Lumley, Peltier, Bamba, Connolly, Bola, Coburn, Balogun.
Sheff Utd: Foderingham, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Osborn, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, Berge, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye.
Subs: Adam Davies, Baldock, Ben Davies, Hourihane, Norrington-Davies, Jebbison, Osula.
Fulham: Gazzaniga, Tete, Hector, Ream, Robinson, Seri, Chalobah, Kebano, Carvalho, Reid, Mitrovic.
Subs: Reed, Adarabioyo, Ivan Cavaleiro, Rodrigo Muniz, Onomah, Ramirez, Stansfield.
Stoke: Bursik, Sparrow, Jagielka, Harwood-Bellis, Allen, Powell, Baker, Tymon, Fox, Brown, Clucas.
Subs: Chester, Vrancic, Bonham, Sawyers, Wright-Phillips, Tezgel, Jayden Philogene-Bidace.
Coventry: Wilson, Kelly, McFadzean, Hyam, Clarke-Salter, Shipley, Allen, Maatsen, O’Hare, Eccles, Gyokeres.
Subs: Moore, Rose, Jones, Waghorn, Kane, Godden, Bidwell.
Swansea: Fisher, Christie, Latibeaudiere, Naughton, Manning, Grimes, Downes, Congreve, Piroe, Wolf, Obafemi.
Subs: Fulton, Smith, Ntcham, Paterson, Hamer, Abdulai, Cotterill.
QPR: Dieng, Sanderson, Ball, Barbet, Adomah, Amos, Field, Thomas, McCallum, Dykes, Chair.
Subs: Kakay, Dozzell, Gray, Walsh, Mahoney.
West Brom: Button, O’Shea, Ajayi, Clarke, Furlong, Phillips, Livermore, Molumby, Reach, Diangana, Ahearne-Grant.
Subs: Robinson, Kipre, Gardner-Hickman, Castro, Taylor, Ashworth, Palmer.
Barnsley: Walton, Moon, Sraha, Kitching, Hondermarck, Wolfe, Helliwell, Styles, Oduor, Woodrow, Marsh.
Subs: Christie-Davies, Adeboyejo, Arielly, Bremang, Cole, Flavell, Danny Benson.
The automatic promotion places are already decided: Fulham and Bournemouth are up, up, up! The relegation slots are done and dusted, too: farewell, Barnsley, Peterborough United and Derby County. Two of the play-off positions are effectively signed off as well: Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town will end the season either in third or fourth, guaranteed to play the second leg of their play-off semi-finals at home.
But the fate of four clubs remains in the balance! Sheffield United and Luton Town are in the box seat for the final two play-off places, but Middlesbrough and Millwall can still pip them. Boro need to win and hope either Luton or Sheffield United lose, or that United lose and Luton draw. Millwall also have to win, and need either Luton to lose, Middlesbrough to draw, or Sheffield United to lose with a five-goal swing. Time to pore over the fixtures and table, in other words. So here goes. All the games kick off at 12.30pm. It’s on!
- Birmingham City v Blackburn Rovers
- Bournemouth v Millwall
- Derby County v Cardiff City
- Huddersfield Town v Bristol City
- Hull City v Nottingham Forest
- Luton Town v Reading
- Peterborough United v Blackpool
- Preston North End v Middlesbrough
- Sheffield United v Fulham
- Stoke City v Coventry City
- Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers
- West Bromwich Albion v Barnsley