Rampant Watford rattled off an eighth win from their last nine matches following a 4-1 victory at Rotherham to tighten their grip on second in the Championship.
Chile international Francisco Sierralta opened the scoring with his first goal in English football and further efforts from Ismaila Sarr and Ken Sema put Xisco Munoz’s men firmly in the ascendancy at the break.
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After Michael Smith had a penalty saved for the Millers, Freddie Ladapo pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion but Dan Gosling swiftly responded to extinguish any hopes of a comeback.
It left the Hornets three points clear of Swansea in third – after they were beaten 3-0 at Bournemouth, and five clear of Brentford – who were held at Derby. Although the Swans and Bees have a game in hand.
The Swans fell behind after just nine minutes at the Vitality Stadium when Philip Billing opened the scoring with an acrobatic volley, before Joel Latibeaudiere’s own goal made it two before the break.
Arnaut Danjuma then made sure of a convincing victory for Jonathan Woodgate’s men with an emphatic strike late on.
Brentford‘s automatic promotion hopes suffered a blow when they squandered a two-goal lead as Derby hit back to earn a 2-2 draw at Pride Park.
Brentford were coasting after dominating the first half to lead through an Ivan Toney penalty and a Sergi Canos strike.
But Derby were transformed after the break and reduced the arrears through Lee Gregory before fellow half-time substitute Louis Sibley curled in a superb equaliser with three minutes remaining.
Middlesbrough moved to within five points of the play-offs with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man Preston, courtesy of an unfortunate own goal by Jordan Storey and a close-range header from Marcus Tavernier.
Cardiff and Stoke played out a goalless draw in South Wales, which left the Bluebirds six points off sixth.
Meanwhile, Luton beat Coventry 2-0 to move to within a point of the top half.
They took the lead after 23 minutes when James Bree struck his first goal for the club and after the Sky Blues had been reduced to 10 men due to Kyle McFadzean’s dismissal, Elijah Adebayo struck the resulting penalty.
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