Championship round-up: Sharp has the edge over Saints

 

Any thoughts that the Championship's top two sides would run away with the league were brought to a shuddering halt as leaders Southampton lost away for a second consecutive week-end and second-placed West Ham United's home form again let them down, spoiling the chance to go top in the process.

Without leading scorer Ricky Lambert the Saints lacked a cutting edge, one thing Doncaster Rovers' Billy Sharp had when he connected with Marc-Antoine Fortuné's 60th-minute cutback to earn Rovers the 1-0 win that lifted them off the bottom.

Second-placed West Ham United went ahead at Upton Park, Kevin Nolan scoring from Carlton Cole's flick-on in the 52nd minute. But two headers, by Chris McCann and substitute Sam Vokes, gave Burnley a 2-1 win, their third victory in eight days.

Leeds United's 2-0 defeat of Millwall was dedicated to former player Gary Speed, whose father, Roger, wife, Louise, and sons, Edward and Thomas, were at the ground to see Robert Snodgrass score twice just after the hour. "The biggest tribute we can do is, come April and May, get into the Premier League, where Gary spent a huge amount of his career and was very successful," Simon Grayson, the Leeds manager, said. He and Speed had signed for the club as schoolboys on the same day.

Malaury Martin's 91st-minute free-kick saw Middlesbrough regain third place with a 1-0 win at Bristol City. Brighton are in the top six after substitute Will Buckley's injury-time goal beat Nottingham Forest 1-0, Forest slipping into the bottom three. Also on the fringes of the play-off places, Blackpool beat Reading 1-0 at Bloomfield Road, Callum McManaman scoring.

"Atrocious", "a joke" and "weak-minded" were three of Coventry City manager Andy Thorne's assessments of his side after they lost 2-1 at Portsmouth, and slipped to bottom. Ipswich Town lost for the seventh match in a row, a Mark Sordell penalty and Troy Deeney's strike giving Watford a 2-1 away win. Barnsley led 3-0 at Peterborough United, but Posh clawed it back to 3-3 until Craig Davies's sixth goal in as many games earned the Tykes a 4-3 win.

Europe

English clubs' Champions' League opponents were in good form as they warmed up for make-or-break clashes in midweek. Valencia, who face Chelsea, beat Espanyol 2-1. Bayern Munich looked in fine fettle to take on Manchester City as they thrashed Werder Bremen 4-1, with Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben scoring two each. Basle take on City's neighbours United after edging Lucerne 1-0. Olympiakos, who face already qualified Arsenal, beat Panaitolikos 2-0.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all