17.03.2018 21:05 h

Wolves close on promotion as Villa, Fulham stumble

Wolves maintained their march towards the Premier League as the Championship leaders cruised to a 3-1 win against struggling Burton on Saturday.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side moved six points clear of second-placed Cardiff and 13 ahead of third-placed Fulham in the race for automatic promotion.

Helder Costa gave Wolves the lead in the 15th minute at Molineux before Benik Afobe netted to double their advantage after 41 minutes.

Lloyd Dyer gave Burton hope on the stroke of half-time, but Wolves reestablished their two-goal advantage when Afobe grabbed his second in the 56th minute.

"This was the biggest mismatch in English football today," said Burton manager Nigel Clough, whose side remain rooted in the relegation zone.

"You have got £15 million players out there and that is more than half our budget. That shows the difference. With all the will in the world we didn't expect to get much today."

Cardiff face Derby on Sunday, but Wolves' third win in four games keeps them in pole position to secure a lucrative berth in next season's Premier League.

"It was a good performance that showed control and character," said Wolves boss Nuno.

Aston Villa's chances of catching their Midlands rivals suffered another blow as they lost 1-0 at relegation threatened Bolton.

Villa remain level on points with Fulham, who also missed the chance to close the gap on Cardiff as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with QPR at Craven Cottage.

Tom Cairney and Lucas Piazon had put Slavisa Jokanovic's side in control in the west London derby.

But Massimo Luongo pulled one back for the visitors in first-half stoppage-time before Pawel Wszolek completed the comeback in the 81st minute.

Middlesbrough remain in the final play-off place following a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

Adama Traore put the visitors in front after 21 minutes, but Brentford were back on level terms when Lewis Macleod fired home his first goal for the club.

Brentford's Romaine Sawyers was sent off in the closing minutes.

Milan Djuric's header gave Bristol City a 1-0 win against Ipswich which moved them a point behind Middlesbrough.

Preston maintained their push for a top-six spot with a 2-0 win at Sunderland, who remain five points adrift of safety.

Birmingham drew level on points with fourth-bottom Barnsley following a 3-0 win against Hull.

Lee Gregory's first-half strike and a stunning effort from Ben Marshall stretched Millwall's unbeaten league run to 12 matches with a 2-0 victory at Barnsley.

Atdhe Nuhiu's last-gasp goal handed Sheffield Wednesday a 2-1 win at Yorkshire rivals Leeds, who had equalised through Jay-Roy Grot after Nuhiu's opener.

Norwich beat Reading 3-2 and Sheffield United drew 0-0 with Nottingham Forest.