20.03.2021 18:31 h

Watford boost promotion bid as Brentford held

Watford boosted their bid for an immediate return to the Premier League with a 3-0 win against Birmingham, while their promotion rivals Brentford were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Ken Sema put the Hornets ahead early on at Vicarage Road when he slotted home after Joao Pedro's low effort was turned into his path.

Watford captain Nathaniel Chalobah headed in 10 minutes into the second-half before Andre Gray wrapped up the points in the closing stages.

The victory moved second placed Watford six points clear of third placed Swansea, who could close the gap with a win in the south Wales derby against Cardiff later on Saturday.

After slipping up against Forest, fourth-placed Brentford are seven points behind Watford in the race for automatic promotion via a top-two finish.

Ivan Toney's penalty, his 28th league goal of the campaign, put Thomas Frank's side ahead in west London, but Filip Krovinovic equalised for Forest.

Like Watford, Norwich were relegated from the Premier League last season and they are firmly on course to climb back into the top-flight.

The Championship leaders were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn at Carrow Road but still have an eight-point lead over Watford.

Daniel Farke's men looked on course to make it 10 successive league wins when Kenny McLean put them in front with a crisp finish following an exchange of passes with Kieran Dowell.

But Blackburn's Sam Gallagher headed in to stall the Canaries' promotion push.

At the other end of the table there were crucial wins for both Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday in their battle against the drop.

Jordan Rhodes scored twice as second-bottom Wednesday won 2-1 at Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, who pulled one back through Carlton Morris.

Third-bottom Rotherham were 2-0 winners at Bristol City as Michael Smith and Richard Wood got on the scoresheet.

Wednesday are six points from safety with a game in hand, with Rotherham three points behind fourth-bottom Birmingham.

Bottom club Wycombe drew 0-0 at Coventry, while Wayne Rooney's Derby lost 1-0 at Stoke.

Yakou Meite scored his third goal in three games as Reading came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to QPR, who led at half-time through Lyndon Dykes.

Millwall beat Middlesbrough 1-0 at The Den thanks to Grant Hall's own goal, while Luton defeated Preston 1-0 with an own goal from Daniel Iversen.