Soccer-Norwich on cusp of promotion with victory at Derby, Brentford end winless run


Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Norwich City - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - April 10, 2021 Norwich City’s Kieran Dowell scores their first goal Action Images/Carl Recine

(Reuters) -Championship leaders Norwich City moved within two points of securing Premier League promotion with a 1-0 victory over Derby County on Saturday, while playoff chasing Brentford handed a 5-0 thrashing to Preston North End.

Swansea City's 3-0 victory at Millwall earlier on Saturday meant Norwich could not secure promotion at Pride Park but Daniel Farke's side retained their eight-point advantage at the top after Kieran Dowell scored the game's only goal with a free kick in the 21st minute.

Norwich next face Bournemouth on April 17 but they could guarantee top-flight promotion before kickoff if fourth-placed Swansea drop points against either Sheffield Wednesday or Wycombe Wanderers and Brentford fail to beat Millwall.

Brentford ended their four-game winless run as Bryan Mbeumo and Marcus Forss, Ivan Toney, Sergi Canos and Emiliano Marcondes got on the scoresheet in an emphatic display at Deepdale Stadium.

Thomas Frank's side are now nine points behind second-placed Watford with a game in hand.

Earlier, Swansea ended a run of four consecutive defeats with a commanding win at Millwall to get their promotion charge back on track.

The Welsh outfit scored their first goal in five games when Andre Ayew curled home just before halftime, before Jamal Lowe struck twice in the second half.

The result helped Swansea consolidate their chances of making the playoff, while all but ending 10th-placed Millwall's top-six ambitions.

Bournemouth climbed into the final playoff spot with a 4-1 win over relegation-threatened Coventry City.

The match, however, was overshadowed by a worrying neck injury suffered by Coventry defender Josh Pask, who was taken off on a stretcher on the hour mark following a nasty clash of heads with Philip Billing.

"He's in hospital with a doctor so we're just waiting for some news," Coventry boss Mark Robins said.

"He was semi conscious after taking a whack to the back of his head and they were saying they were just worried about his spine at this moment. So they're obviously trying to rule out any concern about his neck."

Meanwhile, basement side Wycombe Wanderers conceded three goals in the final 10 minutes as they lost 3-1 at home to Luton Town, slipping nine points adrift of the safety zone.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)

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