Leicester and Burnley close in on promotion

15 March 2014 06:46

Leicester and Burnley moved another step closer to the Premier League as the Championship's top two earned hard-fought home wins on Saturday.

Second tier leaders Leicester came from behind to beat Blackpool 3-1, while second placed Burnley also had to recover from an early setback before grinding out a 2-1 victory over Leeds.

Nigel Pearson's Foxes remain seven points clear of Burnley, but more significantly they hold a 17-point lead over third placed Derby with a game in hand in the race for automatic promotion.

Burnley are in good shape to reach the top-flight as well, with Sean Dyche's team 10 points ahead of Derby with 10 games to play.

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester fell behind in the 41st minute when they failed to clear a long throw-in and David Goodwillie scored from close range.

But the Foxes underlined their promotion credentials by storming to their fourth successive victory.

Riyad Mahrez equalised in the 60th minute before Wes Morgan struck in the 82nd minute and substitute Kevin Phillips netted five minutes later.

Leicester are unbeaten in 16 games and Pearson said: "It was a great result for us. It's another game ticked off and another win.

"Every time we do that it makes it more difficult for sides around us."

At Turf Moor, Scottish striker Ross McCormack put Leeds ahead on 27 minutes, but Jason Pearce undid his team-mate's good work with an own goal seven minutes before the break.

The turnaround was complete on 67 minutes as Scott Arfield struck to help the Clarets cement their berth in the top two.

"I have told the lads they can achieve anything," Dyche said. "I have told them they have to be relentless and I thought yet again when things weren't going our way, we just kept going.".

Third placed Derby are trailing way behind into the automatic promotion race after a 0-0 draw at play-off contenders Reading.

QPR remain fourth after cruising to a 3-0 win over second bottom Yeovil at Loftus Road.

Former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison, on loan from West Ham, had scored twice against Birmingham last weekend to earn Harry Redknapp's side their first win in six attempts.

And Morrison repeated the trick against the Glovers, netting either side of former Tottenham striker Bobby Zamora's first goal in more than a year.

James McClean scored twice as Wigan made it eight straight wins in all competitions to beat Ipswich 3-1 at Portman Road.

The FA Cup holders, who returned to the semi-finals of the competition thanks to a stunning win at Manchester City last weekend, fell behind to a Tommy Smith goal.

But Uwe Rosler's fifth placed team equalised two minutes later through McClean and Leon Barnett put Wigan ahead at the interval before McClean made the points safe in the 76th minute.

"The games are very busy at the minute but I am not thinking about the FA Cup, I am just thinking about selecting the right team," Rosler said.

"I am only dreaming about getting two points per game, which would get us into the play-offs and then we will deal with that."

Nottingham Forest, who hold the final play-off spot, were held to a 0-0 draw by Doncaster at the City Ground.

Third bottom Charlton shared a 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Millwall in a dour south London derby at The Den.

Elsewhere, Watford beat bottom of the table Barnsley 3-0, Sheffield Wednesday thrashed Birmingham 4-1 and Blackburn won 4-2 at Huddersfield.

Brighton beat Bolton 2-0 and Bournemouth drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough.

Source: AFP