Norwich seal Premier League return after Brentford and Swansea are held

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Norwich City have sealed automatic promotion back to the Premier League, just nine months after relegation. Daniel Farke’s side play Bournemouth on Saturday evening, but their top-flight return is already guaranteed after Brentford and Swansea both failed to win their games.

Swansea clawed their way back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against bottom club Wycombe, cutting the gap to second-placed Watford down to six points as the Hornets lost 1-0 at Luton. After an end-to-end first half, Admiral Muskwe fired the Chairboys ahead 19 seconds into the second half, firing past Freddie Woodman from the edge of the area.

That stunned the home side, who lost striker André Ayew to an injury early on, and five minutes later Wycombe doubled their lead. This time it was Garath McCleary cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner. Jamal Lowe cut the deficit with a penalty, before substitute Liam Cullen headed home with eight minutes to go.

Brentford’s faltering form continued as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Millwall. The hosts did not manage a shot on target, only testing Millwall keeper Bartosz Bialkowski in the 82nd minute when he dived bravely at the feet of Ivan Toney. Danny McNamara missed the chance to snatch victory for the visitors, fizzing his late cross-shot wide.

Thomas Frank’s side are eight points behind Watford, who missed the chance to close in on automatic promotion with defeat at local rivals Luton. Before kick-off, a minute’s silence in tribute to Prince Philip was interrupted by a smoke bomb, set off by a mystery interloper in the empty stand at Kenilworth Road.

James Collins came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch as the Hatters ended their opponents’ eight-game unbeaten run. Elijah Adebayo won the penalty after 72 minutes, latching on to an underhit backpass before being brought down by keeper Daniel Bachmann.

James Collins scores the winner for Luton from the penalty spot.
James Collins scores the winner for Luton from the penalty spot. Photograph: Tess Derry/PA

The forward was injured in the challenge, but Collins came on to send Bachmann the wrong way. Watford saw Kiko Femenía sent off but thought they had grabbed a late equaliser – only for Andre Gray’s goal to be disallowed for offside.

At the bottom of the table, Sheffield Wednesday’s hopes of beating the drop suffered a painful late blow as Tyreeq Bakinson’s late leveller earned 10-man Bristol City a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough. Wednesday, who were without Darren Moore after the manager developed Covid-19 complications, went ahead in the fourth minute through Julian Borner.

Barry Bannan then had the chance to double their lead from the spot after Henri Lansbury sent off for deliberate handball, but the Owls captain saw his penalty saved by Daniel Bentley. Bakinson’s equaliser three minutes from time leaves Wednesday seven points from safety with four games remaining.

Huddersfield took a big step towards safety as they won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest. Goals from Aaron Rowe and Juninho Bacuna either side of half-time moved the Terriers eight points clear of danger, with Chris Hughton’s side punished for missing a host of early chances. Preston look safe after a 0-0 draw at mid-table Stoke.

QPR climbed above Middlesbrough and into 10th place with a 2-1 win at the Riverside. Rob Dickie’s 30-yard thunderbolt and Lee Wallace’s first Rangers goal put the visitors 2-0 up, and they held on despite Yannick Bolasie’s header and a second-half red card for goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

Source: theguardian.com

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