Marco Silva hailed Fulham’s consistency as they swept back to the top of the Championship with a seventh straight win, beating Barnsley 4-1 at Craven Cottage.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 21st goal of the season and strikes from Fabio Carvalho, Neeskens Kebano and Harry Wilson ensured Silva’s side moved ahead of Bournemouth, who play Derby on Sunday.
“It was fantastic performance,” said Silva. “And of course it’s good to be top. But really we want to look at the table before the last day of the competition – it’s not something we talk about on a daily basis. But if you are getting the results, it reflects.”
Ten-man West Brom gave up more ground on the division’s top two as they sunk to their fourth straight away defeat, 1-0 at Huddersfield. Danel Sinani’s sixth-minute strike proved enough for the home side, while the Baggies had Jake Livermore sent off in the second half for a high tackle.
Valerien Ismael called it “a strange game … We deserved to lose at Stoke and Swansea. Today is a different feeling. I’d tell you if it was a poor performance, but it wasn’t. We just need that killer instinct.”
Matt Crooks headed an early opener but Chris Wilder was unable to deliver a win in his first match in charge of Middlesbrough, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Millwall. The Lions levelled through Sol Bamba’s own goal in the 27th minute as Boro endured their fourth straight game without a win.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the result but the performance was OK,” said Wilder. “We ran out of energy a bit. Two or three things went against us which were out of our control. But the attitude was there.”
Steve Morison had better luck in his first game since being confirmed as Cardiff’s new permanent manager, as the Bluebirds came from behind to win 2-1 at Preston. Sean Maguire put the hosts in front after just two minutes but Mark McGuinness equalised at the start of the second half before James Collins nodded a 66th-minute winner.
“Bad start, great end,” Morison said. “I can’t believe that you work all week for something and then after 90 seconds you are one-nil down. It was tough. But we changed the shape just before half-time and there was a great reaction from the lads in the second half.”
Slavisa Jokanovic said he could understand fans’ frustrations after Sheffield United were held to a goalless draw at home to Coventry. The Blades’ first shot on target came in the 81st minute, and was not enough to trouble Simon Moore.
“The second 45 minutes we played better, we created more,” said Jokanovic. “But we needed to do it from the start. In the first-half we were too nervous and weren’t comfortable. I can understand the crowd, I must encourage my players, I must push them and make sure they trust themselves.”
Goals from Mario Vrancic and Tyrese Campbell saw Stoke boost their play-off push with a 2-0 win over Peterborough, although the win was tainted by Sam Surridge’s sending-off in injury time.
That result helped Hull climb out of the bottom three in place of Posh as they won 2-0 against 10-man Birmingham. George Honeyman gave the Tigers the lead before Gary Gardner was sent off shortly before half-time following an off-the-ball incident. Mallik Wilks struck Hull’s second in the 57th minute to make it two wins in a row for Gavin McCann’s men.
Bristol City’s bid to return to winning ways was denied by a late Ben Brereton Díaz equaliser for Blackburn at Ashton Gate. Callum O’Dowda had put the home side in front in the 34th minute but the visitors fought back to seal a 1-1 draw. Winger Ian Poveda, on loan at Blackburn from Leeds, was taken to hospital afterwards due to what Tony Mowbray feared was ligament damage: “He was in a lot of discomfort.”
Reading and Nottingham Forest also shared the points as Scott Dann’s 64th-minute effort cancelled out Philip Zinckernagel’s fourth-minute strike for the visitors. And Keshi Anderson scored in the 86th minute to salvage a point for Blackpool at Swansea, who had led the game through Joel Piroe’s first-half opener.