No one wants to win the Championship, and no one wants to lock up a place in the playoffs to fight for promotion to the Premier League.
The Championship’s top nine teams (all sides currently within five points of the fourth and final playoff place) have a combined nine wins from the group’s last 27 games played, including zero by the current leaders.
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Birmingham City 0-0 Newcastle United
With every opportunity to sew up the league title, Rafa Benitez‘s Magpies have two points to show for their last three league games, a run which includes a painfully (four shots on goal between the sides) scoreless draw away to 18th-place Birmingham on Saturday.
It was still somehow better than any prospective title challenger could muster…
Leeds United 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
After erasing a five-point deficit with a pair of wins last week, Brighton came crashing back down to earth on Saturday, losing 2-0 away to a quickly climbing Leeds side which now sits fourth in the league table, two points back of third-place Huddersfield Town and two points clear of fifth-place Reading.
Chris Wood grew his league-leading goals haul to three with a second-half brace (63rd and 85th minutes), and Garry Monk‘s side looks to be the peaking-at-the-right-time team — seven games without a loss (four wins, three draws) — with the promotion playoffs six short weeks away.
Elsewhere in the Championship
(19th) Bristol City 4-0 (3rd) Huddersfield Town
(6th) Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 (5th) Reading
(7th) Fulham 1-4 (16th) Wolverhampton Wanderers