After a midweek win at Leeds, the Sven-Goran Eriksson effect quickly wore off for Leicester City when they met a stiffer Championship test at the Liberty Stadium where Swansea City's second-half substitute, Marvin Emnes, on loan from Middlesbrough, made an immediate impact with a 50th-minute goal. The Swans' 2-0 win was wrapped up in injury time by Scott Sinclair. The result took Brendan Rogers' side up to fourth; Leicester are a point above the bottom three.
Coventry City were the day's other high-risers, Gary McSheffrey giving them an early lead against poor travellers Barnsley at the Ricoh Arena. Late goals by substitutes Carl Baker and Jordan Clarke earned the Sky Blues a 3-0 win and sixth place. Not that manager Aidy Boothroyd is getting too carried away. "I am looking where [leaders] QPR are with 29 points. In my last season at Watford we had 31 points at this stage and finished sixth so it means absolutely nothing. Things change quickly, so we have to recover and get ready for the next game."
A win over visitors Scunthorpe United would have taken Watford to within two points of the top two, but emphatic first-half shots by captain Cliff Byrne and Martyn Woolford saw the Iron win 2-0.
Reading crushed Burnley's unbeaten home record in decisive fashion, Shane Long's eighth-minute penalty, after he was fouled by Leon Cort, the prelude to second-half goals by Jobi McAnuff, Michail Antonio and Simon Church in a 4-0 rout, not much helped by Cort's red card at 2-0.
The Royals are eighth, level on points with Millwall who beat Derby County 2-0 at the Den thanks to a seventh goal of the season for Steve Morison and a diving header by Theo Robinson. "He's a key player for us," the Lions manager, Kenny Jackett, admitted, "and we're looking for him to win games for us and that's a tall order."
In the Yorkshire derby at the Don Valley Stadium, first-half goals by James Coppinger and Billy Sharp set up a 2-0 win and bragging rights for Doncaster Rovers over Sheffield United.
Goals and wretched defending aplenty in the relegation battle at Deepdale, where Jon Parkin scored twice as Preston North End led Crystal Palace 4-1, but found themselves holding on for the 4-3 win that moves them out of the bottom three.
Glenn Murray and Inigo Calderon scored either side of half-time as leaders Brighton kept up their momentum by beating visitors Yeovil 2-0. Gus Poyet's side are six points clear of Bournemouth, who drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, fourth, while Gary Alexander's diving header consigned third-placed Peterborough United to a 2-1 defeat at Brentford.
Cristiano Ronaldo's rich vein of form in the Spanish League continued as he scored four times to lead Real Madrid to a 6-1 thumping of Racing Santander at the Bernabeu. The first goal came after nine minutes through Gonzalo Higuain before Ronaldo took control. The Portuguese attacker scored in the 14th and 26th minutes to make it 3-0 at half-time, completed his hat-trick straight after the restart and added his fourth in the 54th. Mesut Ozil made it 6-0 before Papa Kouli Diop pulled one back in the 72nd.Reuse content