Mackay sacked as Wigan edge closer to drop
The compelling English Championship season delivered more drama yesterday as Bournemouth returned to the top of the table, Blackpool were relegated and Wigan Athletic sacked their manager Malky Mackay.
Middlesbrough started the day at the summit but ended it in fourth place after losing 2-0 at Watford, who briefly led the table after their win at Vicarage Road. Bournemouth then conceded two goals in 21 minutes against Birmingham City but fought back to win 4-2 and move one point clear at the top.
Bournemouth won 8-0 at Birmingham earlier in the season but it looked like the Blues were going to avenge that defeat when Clayton Donaldson and David Cotterill put them 2-0 up after 21 minutes.
The hosts were level at half-time, however, thanks to goals from Steve Cook and Callum Wilson before Yann Kermorgant's penalty made it 3-2 and Charlie Daniels added a fourth.
Norwich climbed to second on goal difference ahead of Watford thanks to a 2-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Ipswich's promotion hopes suffered a blow when they lost 2-1 at Huddersfield Town and so did those of Brentford who were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Nottingham Forest.
But Derby County's 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic lifted them to fifth and ended Mackay's five-month reign as Wigan boss at the DW Stadium.
Wigan, who won the FA Cup and were relegated from the Premier League in 2013, are eight points from safety.
The 43-year-old Mackay, under investigation by the FA for allegedly sending racist and sexist text messages when he was Cardiff City manager, took charge in November but his team gathered only 19 points from a possible 72 and look likely to be relegated.
Another former Premier League club definitely going down to the third tier for the first time since 2007 are Blackpool, whose relegation was confirmed after Rotherham United beat Brighton.
Last night, Wolves beat Leeds 4-3 to move into a play-off spot in sixth.