Championship roundup: Boro crush Reading to revive promotion race
Middlesbrough hammered Reading 5-0 on Saturday to move within sight of automatic promotion from the Championship after leaders Burnley drew and Sheffield United were beaten.
Only the top two at the end of the regular season are guaranteed promotion to the Premier League, with the teams finishing third to sixth entering the play-offs to determine the final club to go up.
Saturday's results left Boro just four points behind Sheffield United.
Chuba Akpom put Boro ahead from a 24th-minute penalty to take his Championship tally to 20 goals before on-loan Aston Villa midfielder Aaron Ramsey made it 2-0 before half-time with an impressive solo effort.
Akpom scored from close range early in the second period before Ramsey completed a double of his own in the 51st minute, with Marcus Forss making it 5-0 from the penalty spot.
Earlier, Boro were beaten 1-0 at Blackburn, with Harry Pickering's early goal proving decisive.
Championship leaders Burnley moved 13 points clear of the Blades following a goalless draw at relegation-battlers Blackpool.
Stoke manager Alex Neil had an enjoyable return to former club Sunderland as the Potters ran out 5-1 winners at the Stadium of Light.
Josh Laurent broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time before Tyrese Campbell's two goals in five second-half minutes left Stoke in command.
Sunderland's Alex Pritchard reduced the lead just after the hour, but there was still time for Dwight Gayle to score twice as Stoke completed a convincing win.
Norwich climbed into the top six after coming from behind to win 3-2 at play-off rivals Millwall.
Tom Bradshaw gave Millwall a 20th-minute lead but Norwich were level before the break through Jacob Sorensen.
The Canaries went ahead when Bradshaw unluckily diverted Onel Hernandez's cross into the net for an own goal, with Brazilian Gabriel Sara sweeping in Norwich's third.
Zian Flemming headed in from a corner to give Millwall hope of a draw with seven minutes left but David Wagner's visitors held on to all three points in a tense finish.
At the other end of the table, Wigan climbed off the bottom following a 1-1 draw against Birmingham after Ashley Fletcher's goal cancelled out an early free-kick from Juninho Bacuna.
Huddersfield dropped to the bottom following a 4-0 loss at home to Coventry, with Viktor Gyokeres scoring twice.
Relegation-threatened Cardiff ended Bristol City's nine-match undefeated league run with a 2-0 win secured by goals from Sory Kaba and Jaden Philogene.
Rotherham's Jordan Hugill scored his first goals for the club in a 3-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers that condemned the away side to a fifth straight league defeat.
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