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Championship Focus: Promotion favorites West Brom, Fulham drop points; Leeds earn vital win

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Despite major activity on Saturday, little change took place at the top of the Championship table, with only second-place Leeds United managing to earn three points out of all the top-seven sides.

Luke Ayling’s goal in the 16th minute was the lone goal in Leeds’ one-sided match against Bristol City.

Leaders West Brom, who are now only hold a four-point lead on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, gave up a leveling stoppage-time goal to fifth-place Nottingham Forest at the Hawthorns.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Matty Cash’s injury-time strike, snaps the Baggies three-match winning streak and hands them their 12th draw of the season.

No other performance caught eyes as much as bottom-dwellers Barnsley’s 3-0 thumping of third-place Fulham. It’s Fulham’s first 3-0 loss since mid-November – a 3-0 defeat to Hull City.

Barnsley midfield orchestrator Cauley Woodrow bagged a brace, while Jacob Brown added his own six minutes into the second half as the last place side earned just their sixth win of the season.

Saturday’s results

West Brom 2-2 Nottingham Forest
Leeds United 1-0 Bristol City
Cardiff City 2-2 Wigan Athletic
Birmingham 1-1 Brentford
Derby County 1-1 Huddersfield
Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Reading
Birmingham 1-1 Brentford
Derby County 1-1 Huddersfield
Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Reading
Charlton 0-2 Blackburn
Fulham 0-3 Barnsley
Preston 0-1 Millwall
Middlesbrough 0-1 Luton Town
QPR 4-2 Stoke City

Barton ’emphatically denies’ attacking fellow League One manager

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It seems like there is much more to the incident reportedly involving Joey Barton and a fellow League One manager.

Barnsley launched a complaint after Fleetwood Town manager Barton allegedly attacked his counterpart Daniel Stendel after a match on Saturday.

[ MORE: Klopp on 1st time facing Messi ]

Police stopped Barton from leaving the stadium after the match, and Barnsley player Cauley Woodrow has now taken down a Tweet saying that Stendel was left with “blood pouring down his face.”

Now Barton is denying allegations that he attacked Stendel, and is expected to be in the dugout for the Fishermen, who sit 11th in League One.

From FleetwoodTownFC.com:

“With regards to the alleged incident on Saturday following our game against Barnsley, I emphatically deny the allegations made. Given this matter has not been formally closed, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”

Barton’s checkered past is well-documented, but this tale continues to develop in fascinating ways.

Barnsley launch complaint after alleged Barton attack

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Barnsley have launched a complaint to the English Football League and Football Association after their manager Daniel Stendel was involved in an incident with Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton on Saturday.

Numerous reports state that Barton attacked Stendel in the tunnel after the game, as video footage showed South Yorkshire police stopping Barton from leaving Oakwell Stadium after the game.

The police are still investigating the incident and are speaking to individuals and looking at video footage to decide what action to take next.

It has been reported that Stendel is “OK” but has suffered facial injuries after the incident following Barnsley’s 4-2 win against Fleetwood which keeps their hopes of automatic promotion to the Championship on track.

In a statement released on their website, Barnsley had the following to say:

“Barnsley Football Club can confirm that it has lodged a formal complaint to both the English Football League and the Football Association. This is following an alleged incident at the conclusion of the match on Saturday 13th April, between Joey Barton and Daniel Stendel.

“The Club is also currently working with the police and assisting with all enquiries regarding the incident. No further comment will be issued whilst police investigations are ongoing.”

Barton’s playing career was littered with misdemeanors on and off the pitch, as the fiery character was charged with assault twice and handed a six-month prison sentence in 2008.

This is Barton’s first season as a manager after the former Man City, Newcastle, QPR and Burnley midfielder ended his playing career amid further controversy when handed an 18-month ban for betting while playing for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland.

Report: Joey Barton attacks opposition manager

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Reports are circulating that Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton attacked Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel after their 4-2 defeat at Oakwell on Saturday.

Barton, 36, did not appear for his post-match media duties, and neither did Stendel, as Barnsley are in line for automatic promotion to the Championship and Fleetwood are in midtable in the English third-tier.

It is alleged the assault took place in the tunnel at Barnsley’s home stadium after the game.

Our partners at Sky Sports in the UK have an update on the situation, as they say that police are investigating the alleged incident and a video has emerged of Barton trying to leave Barnsley in a car, but he was stopped by police.

Barton’s playing career was littered with misdemeanors on and off the pitch, as the fiery character was charged with assault twice and handed a six-month prison sentence in 2008.

This is Barton’s first season as a manager after the former Man City, Newcastle, QPR and Burnley midfielder ended his playing career amid further controversy when handed an 18-month ban for betting while playing for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland.

Cardiff City is Premier League; Playoffs, relegation set

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Cardiff City is going back up to the top flight.

City sends its headline-making owner Vincent Tan back into the Premier League, where the Bluebirds would become the second Welsh team should Swansea City avoid relegation.

[ MORE: Sir Alex in intensive care ]

Cardiff City opened the door with a scoreless first half, but Fulham politely declined to put any pressure on the Bluebirds by conceding twice in the first 45 minutes against relegation-threatened Birmingham City en route to a 3-1 loss. Cardiff drew Reading 0-0.

Cardiff was relegated from the Premier League after one season, 2013-14.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have already been promoted as Championship winners, while the playoffs begin next week.

The battle for the final spot in the Premier League will feature No. 3 Fulham, who was beaten by Birmingham City, against No. 6 Derby County, and a match-up between No. 4 Aston Villa and No. 5 Middlesbrough.

As for the relegated clubs, as results for Birmingham and Bolton Wanderers avoid a final day drop.

Bolton’s survival was quite unbelievable. Adam Le Fondre put the Wanderers ahead of Nottingham Forest in the second half, but Ben Osborn and Jack Colback scored nine minutes apart to put Bolton back in the Bottom Three. Yet David Wheater and Aaron Wilbraham scored in the 87th and 88th minutes to send the Macron Stadium into elation.

Burton Albion and Barnsley join Sunderland in heading down to League One.