Championship round-up: Sharp has the edge over Saints
Sunday 04 December 2011
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.
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.
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove