Birmingham City take major step towards Championship survival as West Brom suffer play-off race blow

Birmingham City and West Brom enjoyed differing fortunes in the Championship on Saturday.

Another crazy weekend of Championship actions saw fortunes differ for Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion as the season enters its final few weeks. Gary Rowett’s Blues took a major step towards survival with a win over play-off chasing Coventry City, while the 10-man Baggies tasted defeat at home to Sunderland.

Birmingham and West Brom are at completely different ends of the table and both still have so much to play for in the race for survival or the play-offs. Results elsewhere were typically unpredictable of the Championship, most notably with none of the top three winning for the second round of fixtures in a row.

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Blues cruise past Coventry

Birmingham climbed out of the relegation zone after producing one of their best performances this season to beat Coventry 3-0. Goals either side of half-time from Ivan Sunjic and Jay Stansfield secured all three points after Bobby Thomas put into his own net on 12 minutes.

It was just a second win in 11 league games for the Blues but a crucial one nonetheless, with Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday both drawing against Bristol City and Stoke City respectively.

Albion taste defeat

West Brom fell to a first defeat in 11 games after losing 1-0 at home to Sunderland. Pierre Ekwah scored the only goal of the game in first-half added-time for the visitors, just minutes after Brandon Thomas Asante was shown a second yellow card.

Birmingham did the Baggies a favour by beating Coventry but victories for Hull City and Norwich City mean a play-off place is not yet guaranteed. Carlos Corberan’s side sit seven points clear of seventh-placed Hull, who have a game in hand.

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Results elsewhere

Leeds United kicked off the action on Saturday, falling to home defeat for the first time at the hands of Blackburn Rovers as Sammie Sczmodics scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 away win. Ipswich were unable to fully capitalise on dropped points, drawing 1-1 at home to Middlesbrough.

Southampton left it late to record a second consecutive win, Flynn Downes making it 3-2 over Watford in the 99th-minute. Play-off hopefuls Norwich and Hull beat Preston and QPR respectively.

Towards the bottom, Millwall got a big win over Cardiff City while Swansea beat Rotherham. Draws for Huddersfield at Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday at home to Stoke mean both are in the relegation zone.

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