Leaders Bluebirds batter Burnley
The result was never in doubt once Joe Mason put the Bluebirds ahead in the third minute in the Welsh capital, and sent Clarets’ caretaker boss Terry Pashley on his way to a first defeat in charge.
Craig Noone, Matthew Connolly and Aron Gunnarsson also found the target as City won their seventh straight match on home soil this term to move three points above Leicester in the table.
Malky Mackay’s side have seen their promotion odds slashed as a result, with some making firms chalking them up as odds-on favourites and leaving Coral’s 6/5 the best price on the market.
Meanwhile, managerless Crystal Palace landed the longest odds of the day in the second tier as they ended Leicester’s winning run at the King Power Stadium.
Just four days after Dougie Freedman departed the Eagles for Bolton, defenders Damien Delaney and Peter Ramage struck inside the first half hour in the Midlands to bag Bet365’s offering of 11/2 and keep the Londoners in fourth spot.
Andy King netted a final minute consolation for Nigel Pearson’s side, who saw their promotion odds drift to a best of 6/4, while Palace continue to be the league’s surprise package and 8/1 is still available on them to be in the Premier League next term.
The 8/5 Reds had to come from behind, however, after former striker Marlon Harewood opened his Tykes account in the 24th minute. Sean O’Driscoll’s men stamped their authority from then on and Greg Halford, Simon Cox, Chris Cohen and Jermaine Jenas all got their names on the scoresheet and lifted Forest into the top six.
The East Midlands outfit recent good form have seen bookmakers shorten their price to go up this season, with 4/1 the norm in from 8/1 just seven days ago. The Tykes are now just three points above the relegation places, and are third favourites for the drop at 7/4 with Bet Victor.
The dismissal of Paul Jewell in midweek did nothing for Ipswich’s form as their winless run in the league reached double figures with a 3-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday. Ross Barkley’s brace and one for Michail Antonio sealed the points for the 21/10 Owls, and leaves the Tractor Boys five points adrift of safety and with a -16 goal difference.
Middlesbrough earned their fourth consecutive victory and stayed in third place, despite falling behind to a goal from Bolton’s Chung-Yong Lee at the Riverside Stadium.
Scott McDonald stepped off the bench to net twice in the final 25 minutes to give Tony Mowbray’s side maximum points in front new Wanderers boss Freedman, who watched his new charges from the stands.
Results: Barnsley 1-4 Nott’m Forest, Blackburn 1-0 Watford, Blackpool 1-1 Brighton, Cardiff 4-0 Burnley, Ipswich 0-3 Sheff Wed, Leeds 0-1 Birmingham, Leicester 1-2 Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough 2-1 Bolton, Millwall 4-0 Huddersfield, Peterborough 3-0 Derby, Wolves 1-1 Charlton, Bristol City 1-2 Hull.
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