Championship Review: Wolves on the charge as Monk lifts Birmingham's spirits
While Wolves picked up three points to continue their promotion push, Sunderland's relegation fears increased on Saturday.
Wolves moved six points clear at the top of the Championship thanks to a 3-1 victory over lowly Burton Albion.
With second-placed Cardiff City travelling to Derby County on Sunday, Nuno Espirito Santo's side seized the opportunity to extend their advantage at the summit.
However, the other top-six teams in action on Saturday all failed to win, with Fulham held 2-2 at home by QPR and Middlesbrough having to settle for a 1-1 draw at Brentford.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, suffered a second straight loss as they went down 1-0 at Bolton Wanderers, a result that moves Phil Parkinson's side further clear of the relegation zone.
Bristol City and Preston North End closed the gap on the play-off places with respective wins over Ipswich Town and Sunderland, who are now five points adrift of safety.
Reading's worrying slide continued with a 3-2 loss at Norwich City, while Sheffield Wednesday secured a last-gasp 2-1 triumph at Leeds United and Sheffield United fought out a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest.
DANCING WITH WOLVES
Benik Afobe scored twice as Wolves followed up Tuesday's 3-0 win over Reading by easing past relegation-threatened Burton at Molineux.
After Helder Costa had broken the deadlock, striker Afobe converted Ruben Neves' pass to double the home side's lead in the 41st minute.
Lloyd Dyer gave the visitors hope when he found the net back before the break, only for Afobe to grab his fourth goal in as many games since returning to the club on loan from Bournemouth.
CHASING PACK FLUFF THEIR LINES
Fulham missed the chance to put pressure on Cardiff as they let slip a two-goal lead against QPR at Craven Cottage.
Tom Cairney and Lucas Piazon scored in the first half to put the hosts on course for a fifth successive league victory.
However, after Massimo Luongo halved the deficit prior to the interval, Pawel Wszolek popped up with an 81st-minute equaliser to frustrate Fulham's push for automatic promotion.
The point is at least enough to move up to third in the standings, with Villa slipping down a spot after defeat at a snowy Bolton in the late kick-off.
Another derby comeback. A great second half performance, which I thought we could have knicked it at the end. Fans we ever so loud again! Also nice way to go into the international break for myself! See you in 2 weeks Qpr fans pic.twitter.com/keOMHLXkWU— Massimo Luongo (@MassLuongo) March 17, 2018
BLUES CRUISE AT HOME
Birmingham City boosted their hopes of climbing out of the bottom three with a resounding 3-0 triumph over Hull City at St Andrew's.
New manager Garry Monk picked up his first victory since taking charge thanks mainly to a brace from Jota.
Che Adams, who was recalled to the side to replace the injured Sam Gallagher, also found the net as the hosts moved level on points with nearest rivals Barnsley, who lost 2-0 at home to in-form Millwall.