Teemu Pukki

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Championship Focus: Leeds falters, Sheffield United takes advantage

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The race for Premier League promotion took a few more turns on Monday, as Norwich City missed a chance to assure itself a place in the top flight.

Still, its next point gained or point lost by Leeds or Sheffield United will do the trick.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings ]

Speaking of Sheffield United, the Blades took advantage of Norwich’s stumble and have a shot at Championship title, while Leeds fell at Brentford to fall behind in the race for automatic promotion.

Frank Lampard had a good day with his Derby County, thanks to a win and losses by two playoff contenders. And Aston Villa is buzzing.

Stoke City 2-2 Norwich City

The Canaries blew two leads and now lead the Blades by three points with two matches to play. Teemu Pukki scored his 28th league goal of the season in the draw, which puts them six points clear of third with a 10-point goal differential advantage on Leeds. Thumbs up.

Hull City 0-3 Sheffield United

David McGoldrick scored two of the Blades’ three first-half goals in a tremendous win at the KC Stadium that pulled United three points ahead of Leeds, three back of Norwich City.

Brentford 2-0 Leeds United

Neil Maupay and Sergi Canos scored on either side of halftime as Brentford continued to push Leeds United away from the Top Two. Marcelo Bielsa’s men are now 9W-1D-7L since his staff was caught spying on Derby County training and beat the Rams 2-0, compared with 16W-6D-5L in the run-up to the kerfuffle.

Leeds next hosts red-hot Villa before finishing away to relegated Ipswich Town. Sheffield United hosts Ipswich Town and goes to Stoke, while Norwich City hosts Blackburn and goes to Villa.

Derby County 2-0 Queens Park Rangers

Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson scored two goals in 11 minutes of stoppage time to send Lampard’s men into sixth thanks to losses from Middlesbrough and Bristol City.

“It’s cup football almost now,” Lampard said. “What’s on these games is so much. And we’ve got to get up for it, and we will be. No doubt about that.”

Aston Villa 1-0 Millwall

Dean Smith’s men broke a 109-year-old record with a 10th successive win, as Jonathan Kodjia scored the lone goal at Villa Park. Villa is now fifth on the table and will head to the playoffs.

Elsewhere
Blackburn 2-0 Bolton
Ipswich Town 0-1 Swansea City
Reading 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
Rothertham 1-3 Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Bristol City
Wigan Athletic 2-0 Preston North End
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Middlesbrough

Championship Focus: Pukki powers Norwich, Leeds slips up

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
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The race for automatic promotion looks to have a spot-in-hand — don’t accuse us of jinxing you, Norwich City supporters — as Leeds and Sheffield United continue to flip-flop for the second spot.

[ MORE: Palace smashes, grabs win at Newcastle ]

The relegation and playoff spots are still very much in flux, too. Here are some big things to know about Saturday’s action.

Norwich City 4-0 Queens Park Rangers

You don’t need to be in the coal mine to see the Canaries are likely heading back to the Premier League, destroying Geoff Cameron‘s QPR despite going down a man in the 71st minute. Cameron subbed off after 59 minutes, with QPR down 3-0 and needing an attacking miracle.

Teemu Pulki scored his 25th and 26th goals of the season for the Canaries, who have an 7-point advantage over Sheffield United and 8-point cushion on third place Leeds United.

Birmingham City 1-0 Leeds United

Leeds lost for the second time in three matches and the third time in seven, as Che Adams’ goal gave more relief to a Birmingham City side recently stung by a points deduction for reckless spending during the Harry Redknapp era. Leeds have dropped into third place.

Preston North End 0-1 Sheffield United

PNE has presented some stiff challenged this season, and Saturday was no exception, but Sheffield United made a first half David McGoldrick goal hold up over 90 minutes to move back into an automatic promotion spot.

Elsewhere

— Aston Villa turned what looked to be like a scrappy away point into three with a late buzzsaw and sits fifth with six matches left on its schedule (though Bristol City and Derby County have matches-in-hand).

— Ahmed Hegazi conceded an own goal and was later sent off as West Brom lost 2-0 at Millwall.

— Rotherham United is within a point of safety after defeating Nottingham Forest, and seeing Reading lose their matches. Wigan is two points clear after drawing at Bristol City).

Done Deal: Transfer activity from August 31

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Every day between now and Monday’s end of the European transfer window, we’ll detail every remarkable signing in our Done Deal report. Saturday was a slow day, but we still saw a couple of prominent names find new homes through Europe’s top five leagues:

ENGLAND

Cardiff City – French defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine, who had spent his entire career at Stade Rennes in Ligue 1, completed his move to the Welsh club on Saturday. Although no official fee was announced, a $3.25 million price is thought to being the 23-year-old on a four-year deal.

Sunderland – Completing a long-rumored loan move, South Korean international midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng (pictured) arrives from Swansea City, where he has lost playing time since his initial arrival from Celtic at this time last year. The 24-year-old has already appeared 51 times for his country.

GERMANY

Schalke – Finnish international Teemu Pukki ends his two-year stint in Gelsenkirchen with a move to Celtic, signing a four-year deal in Scotland.

ITALY

Udinese – Perpetually loaning players out, Udinese have found homes for two more. Veteran center back Andrea Coda, who has been with the club since 2006, will spent the season with Livorno, while Giovanni Pasquale, a 31-year-old fullback, will spend the season at Torino.

FRANCE

Bastia – Oh, how far Milos Krasic has fallen. In the last three years he’s gone from CSKA Moscow, to Juventus, to Fenerbahçe, to Bastia, where he’ll send the season after his loan was confirmed tonight.

MonacoDelvin Ndinga a 25-year-old midfielder who played regularly for Monaco last season, had been loaned to Olympiakos, the Congolese international a late victim of Monaco’s prodigious summer build-up.