The Championship takes another step closer to the end of season and it appears that Middlesbrough have a good chance of taking the Championship after taking all three points with an injury time winner. The league leaders had travelled to Bolton Wanderers and it would have looked like an easy win for the visitors. The already relegated Bolton had taken a surprise lead around the hour but the lead would just over twelve minutes when Jordan Rhodes levelled with the first of two. The league leaders seemed to not be able to find away through as they failed to convert many of their chances, but in added on time Rhodes headed home the winner to keep a little space between them and Burnley, who had beaten Birmingham to claim second spot ahead of Brighton.
The Clarets had found it hard work against the home side as they looked to keep their title chances alive. Having taken the lead in the first half Burnley looked like they could get a narrow 1-0 win but Birmingham levelled when Heaton could only parry a shot which enabled Maghoma to put the ball in the back of the net. There was relieve for the visitors when Andre Gray scored his sixth in nine games.
Brighton who had scored a 5-0 win on the Friday night against Fulham, saw their brief gap of one point increased to four following Boro’s win. The hammering they gave to Fulham, boosted their goal difference to plus 24. This though still not enough with Middlesbrough and Burnley having plus 32. The victory though gives them opportunity to close the gap depending on midweek results.
Midweek sees Burnley and Middlesbrough face off at Turf Moor. Middlesbrough won the previous tie 1-0 and a repeat of that will ultimately see Boro in the driving seat and a points gap. Should Burnley win then they will have a point advantage with a chance to increase it should they later beat Preston. Brighton will host QPR hoping to avoid a repeat of the the 2-2 draw where Seagulls had lost a 2-0 lead. A defeat could certainly hinder their chances but then so could a draw depending on the result between the top two. On Saturday though Brighton travel to Charlton. With the southeast London club all but relegated a victory should be Brighton’s, but seeing that Charlton scored a 2-0 win at home to Middlesbrough the visitors will certainly not take anything for granted.
Notably if we fastfoward to the final game of the season, Charlton, depending on previous results, could once again have a say on the promotion and title direction. They host Burnley. They will be only be playing for pride and to give the fans a good send off, but even a 1-0 victory for them could see Burnley’s title hopes or automatic promotion chances blown away. Unfortunately for the hosts, those chances of causing an upset may very well be nil. The result at Turf Moor saw the Clarets post a 4-0 win.
Middlesbrough host Brighton in what could be a tasty match. Brighton will hope to avenge their 3-0 defeat in the previous tie, they know that it could mean the difference between automatic promotion or playoff. It will certainly be an interesting end to the season. Two automatically go up so someone will be disappointed.