Championship Review: Fulham beat Wolves, Sunderland hold Boro in ill-tempered thriller
Sunderland rescued a 3-3 draw at home to Middlesbrough in a derby clash that saw two players sent off in the Championship on Saturday, while leaders Wolves dropped points for third game in a row in a 2-0 defeat at Fulham.
The thriller at the Stadium of Light was by no means the only high-scoring match of the day, as Aston Villa ran out 4-2 winners at Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Derby County played out a 3-3 draw and Nottingham Forest hammered Queens Park Rangers 5-2 away from home.
Barnsley moved out of the bottom three at the expense of hosts Birmingham City thanks to an Oliver McBurnie-inspired 2-0 win, while fellow strugglers Burton Albion lost 1-0 at home to Millwall.
There were also 1-0 wins for Leeds United and Ipswich Town against Brentford and Preston North End respectively, while Norwich City were held to a goalless draw at home to Bolton Wanderers.
BLACK CATS CLAW IT BACK IN DERBY DRAMA
The match of the day was at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland went into an early lead through Joel Asoro, before being reduced to 10 men thanks to a crude Jake Clarke-Salter challenge.
Boro's numerical advantage lasted until the 37th minute when Adama Traore was shown red for an incident off the ball, but the visitors still managed to equalise just after the break through Patrick Bamford.
And they were 2-1 up soon after, as Grant Leadbitter converted a penalty, only for Jonny Williams to make it 2-2 in the 58th minute.
Bamford's second of the day seemed to have secured all three points for Boro, but substitute Callum McManaman levelled in the sixth minute of stoppage time, celebrating by running up to Tony Pulis – his former manager at West Brom – and cupping an ear in his direction.
CC: That is what we have been looking for in the last two games and that's what we got. In terms of the lads' honesty and intensity they were fantastic. pic.twitter.com/yd60nSuYV4— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 24, 2018
VILLA STUN WEDNESDAY AT THE DEATH
Steve Bruce's Villa showed immense character as they came from behind twice at Hillsborough before beating Wednesday.
Sean Clare initially put the home side ahead in the 14th minute and Lewis Grabban soon hit back, but Lucas Joao restored Wednesday's lead on the stroke of half-time.
Back came Villa, however, as Glenn Whelan scored their second equaliser of the day just after the hour, and they then completed the turnaround in a spell of late drama.
Conor Hourihane's 87th-minute effort was followed up by a Robert Snodgrass penalty, moving Villa to within a point of second-placed Cardiff City, who face Bristol City on Sunday.
WOLVES SLIP UP AGAIN
League leaders Wolves suffered another disappointment in their quest for automatic promotion, following up draws with Norwich and Preston by losing to Fulham.
Ryan Sessegnon continued his remarkable season by scoring his 13th Championship goal of the campaign, despite being just 17 years old and a left-back, to give Fulham the lead late in the first half.
And Aleksandar Mitrovic clinched the win to extend Fulham's unbeaten run to 12 league games in the 71st minute, producing a fine finish from just outside the area, meaning Cardiff can close to within six points of Wolves if they come out on top against City.