Despite the pre match being dominated by SpyGate after Marco Bielsa had sent a spy to watch Derby train on Thursday, goals from Kemar Roofe and Jack Harrison were enough to seal a 2-0 win and four point gap.Embed from Getty Images
Norwich meanwhile could only draw 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion after Jordan Rhodes cancelled out Dwight Gayle’s opener for the Baggies. That point however was enough for Sheffield United to leapfrog the Canaries into second after David McGoldrick’s header was enough to see off QPR.
Middlesbrough are now four points behind the Blades after seeing off former manager, Garry Monk’s Birmingham City.
Boro’s Lewis Wing opened the scoring with his first league goal only for Che Adams’ wonder turn and shoot to restore parity entering the final ten minutes. Britt Assombalonga however put Boro back in front with a chip in over Lee Camp.
This week also saw two managerial changes as Stoke sacked Gary Rowett and bring in Nathan Jones, whilst Aitor Karanka resigned from Nottingham Forest.
Sadly neither side saw a bounce as Stoke got battered 3-1 at Brentford whilst third bottom Reading saw off Forest 2-0 in a match where the latter had Danny Fox and Tendayi Darikwa both sent off.
For the Royals, that victory lifted them above Bolton who slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Bristol City, having initially led through Will Buckley’s header. For the Robins, that win sees them move up to seventh and now ten matches unbeaten across all competitions.
Ipswich meanwhile are now seven points from safety after Will Keane’s rebound goal proved the difference against Rotherham.Embed from Getty Images
Elsewhere, Hull claimed 3-0 home wins over Sheffield Wednesday after Jarrod Bowen’s brace and Frazier Campbell strike. For the Tigers, that sixth consecutive win moved them up to tenth and four points off sixth-placed Derby in the final play-off spot.
Hull weren’t the only side to deliver a brutal thumping as Wigan stunned Aston Villa, with goals from Gary Roberts, Michael Jacobs and Joe Garner as they moved six points clear of the drop.
Blackburn saw off Millwall through a late quick-fire double with Adam Armstrong involved in both goals. The former Newcastle youngster set up Joe Nuttall’s tap in opener before turning scorer when he picked up a through ball on counter and bent it into bottom right.
Finally, Preston North End held Swansea to a draw when Daniel Johnson’s penalty cancelled out Courtney Baker-Richardson’s opener for the Swans.