London, Feb 24, 2021 (AFP) - Brentford and Watford stepped up their bids for promotion to the Premier League with vital Championship victories on Wednesday.
Second placed Brentford ended a run of three successive defeats as they beat struggling Sheffield Wednesday 3-0.
Thomas Frank's side took the lead in the 23rd minute when Bryan Mbeumo headed home from Sergi Canos' shot.
In the 74th minute, Saman Ghoddos netted from Mbeumo's pass.
Mads Bech Sorensen bagged Brentford's third from a free-kick with six minutes left as they moved within seven points of leaders Norwich.
Third placed Watford are level with Brentford on 60 points after they won 3-2 at Blackburn to record a fourth consecutive victory.
The Hornets took lead in the 25th minute through Joao Pedro's lob, with Ismaila Sarr knocking in a second from close range shortly before half-time.
Rovers pulled a goal back ahead of the break when on-loan Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott lashed home an angled effort in the 43rd minute.
Ken Sema drilled in a third for Watford just after the hour.
Although Blackburn substitute Ben Brereton set up a tense final eight minutes when he pulled another goal back from a corner, Tony Mowbray's men slipped to a fifth straight league defeat.
Swansea remain in the automatic promotion shake-up after a 1-0 win over Coventry at the Liberty Stadium.
They broke the deadlock when Ben Cabango headed in from a corner in the 54th minute.
Steve Cooper's men sit fourth, a point behind Watford and Brentford and with two games in hand.
Cardiff won 2-1 at Bournemouth to move into the play-off places with a sixth successive victory under new boss Mick McCarthy.
The Bluebirds were in front in the 27th minute when defender Sean Morrison nodded home from a corner.
Kieffer Moore added a second from the penalty spot in the 36th minute after full-back Perry Ng had been fouled by Bournemouth midfielder Diego Rico.
Bournemouth - who on Sunday appointed Jonathan Woodgate as manager until the end of the season - fought back in the second half.
Shane Long headed in to reduce the deficit in the 67th minute, but Bournemouth could not find an equaliser.
Cardiff climb above Bournemouth, who drop to seventh on goal difference.
Barnsley beat Stoke 2-0, while Preston and QPR shared a goalless draw.