Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City moved another step closer to Championship promotion with victories on Friday afternoon.
On a busy day of Football League action, the league’s top two secured wins against Middlesbrough and Burton Albion respectively, wins that maintained the gap over third-placed Fulham with just a handful of games remaining in the campaign. Fulham did, however, pick up a win away to Norwich City to at least keep the race semi-competitive for the next couple of weeks.
Cardiff got the ball rolling with a win in the 3pm kick-off at Cardiff City Stadium. Kenneth Zohore broke the deadlock after 16 minutes only for Darren Bent to equalise minutes later.
Cardiff were back in front shortly before the break, with Mendez-Laing on target in first-half stoppage-time. The Bluebirds made the game safe in the 64th minute when Paterson scored his fourth goal of the month, narrowing the gap on Wolves to three points (and staying seven clear of Fulham) until that evening at least.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, meanwhile, restored their six-point advantage with a 2-0 win against Middlesbrough in what was an ill-tempered game at the Riverside.
The visitors took a two-goal lead into half time courtesy of goals from Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro, but a card-filled match saw goalkeeper John Ruddy booked for timewasting in the first half before Ruben Neves and Irish international were sent off in the second half, both for two bookable offences.
Tony Pulis’ side were unable to make their two-man advantage count in the final twenty minutes until deep into injury-time, as potential Ireland striker Patrick Bamford fired a wonderful volley into the net. However, it proved to be too little, too late and Boro remain in sixth place in the Championship table.
For Wolves, however, nine more points will see them promoted to the Premier League for the first time since their relegation in 2012.