Middlesbrough tame Lions to go top
Middlesbrough swept to the top of the Championship with a 3-0 victory against struggling Millwall at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday.
Aitor Karanka`s side came into their clash with the Lions having won just one of their previous five fixtures in all competitions, but they were on cruise control from the moment Patrick Bamford opened the scoring in the 26th minute.
Kike added a second four minutes later following woeful Millwall defending and Jelle Vossen came off the bench to add the third goal late in the second half.
Middlesbrough are one point clear at the top because previous leaders Derby suffered a second defeat in four days, losing 2-0 at Brighton.
Steve McClaren`s men, beaten by Fulham at the weekend, were undone by Dale Stephens` 69th-minute effort and substitute Kazenga LuaLua`s late goal.
The Rams` reverse was even more painful for McClaren as the teams hot on their heels for automatic promotion to the Premier League all enjoyed positive results.
Watford moved up to third with a 1-0 success over Fulham, Troy Deeney`s ninth-minute strike proving the difference.
Bournemouth jumped above Norwich into fourth with a 2-1 success over Wolves at Dean Court.
Yann Kermorgant scored twice, the second coming from the penalty spot, either side of Benik Afobe`s effort for the visitors, meaning Eddie Howe`s men tasted victory for the first time since February 7.
Brentford were indebted to a brace too as Chris Long`s double was added to by Alex Pritchard and Jon Toral in a 4-1 win against Huddersfield.
Despite Millwall`s loss, Rotherham were unable to move further away from the relegation zone as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Cardiff.
The Millers, who remain six points clear of the bottom three, were swept aside by first-half goals from Bruno Manga, Federico Macheda and Conor McAleny, with Danny Ward`s effort 10 minutes from time a mere consolation for the hosts.
The Dougie Freedman-led revival at Nottingham Forest hit a bump in the road in a 2-1 loss at Charlton, with Frederic Bulot`s first-half double ensuring Michail Antonio`s goal came in a losing cause.
Jamie Mackie`s stoppage-time equaliser earned Reading a point in a 1-1 draw with Bolton at the Macron Stadium.