Winners & losers from gameweek 36 in the Championship

13 March 2021 09:00

With Norwich looking odds on to be crowned Championship winners for about the 73rd time, our focus this week turns to the race for the remaining automatic promotion spot and the ever-entertaining battle for the play-offs.

That being said, there's still plenty to be decided at the bottom end of the league, with a host of relegation-threatened sides suffering potentially damaging defeats against teams they'd have hoped to take points off.

So, without further ado, here's our roundup of the winners and losers from the latest round of frantic Championship action.

1. Winners - Barnsley

Barnsley picked up a great win at Bournemouth | Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

It seems like every single week we think to ourselves 'Barnsley will start to fall apart now'. but they just keep going!

Valerien Ismael has absolutely transformed the Tykes since taking the reins last October, and their win over Bournemouth means they've now picked up eight wins from their last nine league outings.

Not only did they secure three points at the home of a direct play-off rival, they did so by coming from behind, with second-half strikes from Dominik Frieser and Carlton Morris completing the comeback in a 3-2 win.

2. Losers - Birmingham City

How Aitor Karanka hasn't got the sack by this point is beyond us.

The Spaniard seems to have been on borrowed time at Birmingham since about November, and a thumping 3-0 defeat to Bristol City has done little to suggest he's the man to guide them towards safety.

Goals from Kasey Palmer, Antoine Semenyo and Callum O'Dowda secured a comfortable three points for the Robins, and Birmingham now sit just three points above the drop zone with Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday both holding multiple games in hand.

3. Winners - Brentford

Ivan Toney was yet again Brentford's match winner at Blackburn | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

We can't underestimate just how big Brentford's 1-0 win over Blackburn could prove to be.

On the face of it, it looks like a relatively routine victory, but the wheels have started to fall off a little for the Bees of late, with nightmares of their late collapse last season potentially beginning to rear their head.

Ivan Toney's early penalty wrapped up the win for Thomas Frank's side and - perhaps more importantly - got them back to winning ways after defeat last time out and having lost four of their last six.

4. Losers - Derby County

When Wayne Rooney took over at Derby County it seemed to revitalise their squad and they picked up a number of wins.

Since then it's started to go a bit pear-shaped, with the Rams winless in their last four games.

A home clash with Millwall represented a great chance to pull away from the bottom three, but Shaun Hutchinson's secured a 1-0 win for the Lions.

The league table doesn't look too worrying with Rooney's men seven points clear, but with Rotherham holding four games in hand the Rams are far from safe.

5. Winners - Swansea

Swansea picked up all three points at Luton thanks to Conor Hourihane's goal | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Swansea have developed an uncanny knack of picking up scrappy wins by the odd goal when they're not performing at their best.

Their latest victory came in Saturday's early kick-off at Luton, with Conor Hourihane ensuring Steve Cooper's side took all three points from their trip to Kenilworth Road.

The Swans are now level on points with second place Watford with a game in hand and they look good value for a return to the top flight.

6. Losers - Cardiff

Cardiff lost ground in the play-off race thanks to a late Watford goal | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

NOOOOOOOO. The Mick McCarthy streak has come to an end!

After 11 games without defeat as Cardiff boss, the veteran tactician has finally been reminded of that horrible losing feeling - and it came in the worst possible way.

After taking an early lead thanks to an own goal from Francisco Sierralta, Cardiff were pegged back and looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw, before goalkeeper Dillon Phillips inexplicably flapped at Adam Masina's last minute free kick and let it sail beyond him into the net.

To make matters worse, Barnsley went and won so the gap from the Bluebirds to the play-offs is now five points.

Oh Mick, this is why football management sucks.

Source: 90min