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EPL Promotion Watch: Cardiff Extends Lead at the Top of Championship Table

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Cardiff player Craig Bellamy celebrates the second goal during the npower Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City at Ewood park on December 7, 2012 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

After spending the past few weeks jockeying for position at the top of the Championship table with Crystal Palace, Cardiff City gained a valuable boost in the race for first place this weekend.

The Bluebirds took to the pitch in the first match of the weekend in the Championship as they defeated Blackburn Rovers, 4-1, on Friday night. 

Four different players scored in the fourth road win of the season for Cardiff, who extended their lead at the top of the league to three points over Crystal Palace. 

Palace were unable to match the success of the league leaders on Saturday at home against manager Ian Holloway's former club, Blackpool. 

The crowd at Selhurst Park were silenced in the 89th minute when Nouha Dicko scored the equalizing goal for Blackpool. 

The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and the Eagles were forced to take just one point out of the home clash with the Tangerines and fell three points behind Cardiff City. 

Palace's lead over third-placed club Middlesbrough was also shortened over the weekend as Boro won on the road, 3-2, against Peterborough United. 

Ishmael Miller was the difference maker on Saturday for Middlesbrough as he scored the winning goal in the 76th minute at London Road. 

Boro were able to hold on to third place in the table by way of goal differential over fourth-placed Hull City, who were also victorious on the road on Saturday. 

David Meyler and Robbie Brady scored a goal each for Hull City as they defeated sixth-placed Watford, 2-1, at Vicarage Road.

Hull and Middlesbrough both jumped over Leicester City in the table after the Foxes could only manage a 2-2 draw at home with Barnsley.

The Foxes were on the edge of defeat until Jamie Vardy rescued a point for the club with a 90th-minute equalizer. 

After the draw, Leicester City dropped down into fifth place with 37 points, which is just one point behind Middlesbrough and Hull City.

The Foxes also have a four-point lead over Watford, who are sixth in the table, and Millwall, who are in seventh place after a 3-0 loss to Ipswich Town on Saturday. 

All 24 clubs in the Championship will be in action on Saturday with the marquee match being between Millwall and Leicester City at The Den. 

Here is how the table looks after 21 matches. The top two will be automatically promoted to the EPL, while the clubs in third through sixth place will play each other in a four-club playoff to determine the third and final promoted club.

Club Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 44 16
Crystal Palace 41 15
Middlesbrough 38 8
Hull City 38 5
Leicester City 37 17
Watford 33 8

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