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Championship roundup: Leicester close in on promotion, Southampton stumble

Plumb Images / Leicester City FC / Getty

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Jamie Vardy scored and missed a penalty as Leicester beat West Brom 2-1 to return to the top of the Championship on Saturday.

However, Southampton's automatic promotion push may be over after conceding in the 95th minute to lose 2-1 at Cardiff.

Leicester had lost three of their previous five league games to put their return to the Premier League in jeopardy.

They could now seal promotion as early as Tuesday when Southampton visit the King Power if Leeds lose at Middlesbrough on Monday.

Leicester's wobble could have continued had West Brom made the most of their early chances.

Hamza Choudhury made three clearances off his own line, but defeat for the Baggies makes them wait to seal a playoff place.

"It was a crazy game. We need still two wins," said Leicester boss Enzo Maresca.

"Every time you win, you see yourself closer and you celebrate. But it's not over, we have to finish the job. It was only 12 months ago that we were relegated, it's not easy to come back."

Wilfred Ndidi calmed the home side's nerves midway through the first half, but Vardy missed the chance to give his side a 2-0 half-time lead when his spot-kick came back off the post.

Vardy made amends when he headed in Abdul Fatawu's cross 25 minutes from time.

Jed Wallace pulled a goal back but West Brom could not find an equaliser.

Leicester move two points ahead of Ipswich and four clear of third-placed Leeds.

Southampton had taken advantage of a sudden loss of form by all the top three to reignite their chances of finishing in the top two.

However, Saints remain five points behind Ipswich with three games to play after blowing an early lead at Cardiff.

Joe Aribo fired the visitors in front after 12 minutes.

Southampton were left to rue not building on that lead as Cardiff goalkeeper Ethan Horvath's heroics kept his side in the game.

Cardiff levelled against the run of play when Famara Diedhiou slotted home Raheem Conte's cross.

Cian Ashford's deflected strike then snatched all three points for the home side deep into stoppage time.

Norwich edged towards securing their place in the playoffs despite being held 1-1 at home by Bristol City.

Hull remain six points behind both West Brom and Norwich with just nine left to play for after a 0-0 draw at Watford. 

At the bottom, Huddersfield's 4-0 thrashing at home to Swansea left them rooted in the bottom three.

Birmingham missed the chance to pull clear of the drop zone after a 0-0 draw at already-relegated Rotherham.

Stoke secured survival with a 3-0 win over Plymouth.

Millwall also ensured their second-tier status with a 1-0 victory at Sunderland.

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