Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places
Aston Villa missed the opportunity to move into the Championship's automatic promotion places as Steve Bruce's side were held 1-1 at home by Preston North End on Tuesday.
With leaders Wolves and second-placed Cardiff City not in action, Villa knew a victory against North End would see them leapfrog the Bluebirds.
But the Villans fell behind to Tom Barkhuizen's first-half goal, requiring a Lewis Grabban penalty to take a point from the match.
Villa were the only top-six side playing, ensuring Brentford narrowed the gap on the play-off places with a 5-0 demolition of Birmingham City at Griffin Park.
Joint biggest win back in the second tier— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) February 20, 2018
First double over Birmingham since 1952
Back-to-back clean sheets
Three points off the top six
We've had worse nights I suppose! pic.twitter.com/QdOOE1eLWF
Ollie Watkins hit the first and last goals of a rout for the Bees, who are only three points outside the top six after recording back-to-back victories and clean sheets.
Middlesbrough climbed up to eighth place by beating Hull City 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium, Rudy Gestede hitting a brace as Tony Pulis' men recorded only their second win in their last six games in all competitions.
Bolton Wanderers earned a vital 1-0 win at home to relegation rivals Sunderland, Zach Clough's 17th-minute strike proving enough to send the Black Cats back to the bottom of the table.
FULL TIME: Wanderers 1-0 @SunderlandAFC! It's over! @ZachClough's strike is the decider at Macron Stadium as the Whites move up to 19th in the @SkyBetChamp table. And breath!#BWFCpic.twitter.com/G4lCG89D44— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) February 20, 2018
Jose Morais made a losing start as Barnsley's new boss, the Tykes slipping to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Burton Albion, who are now only in the drop zone on goal difference after opening the scoring in the first minute.
Millwall earned a 2-1 home win against Sheffield Wednesday, whose city rivals Sheffield United beat Queens Park Rangers by the same scoreline at Bramall Lane, Nottingham Forest and Reading playing out a 1-1 draw.