(Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers sealed the second-tier Championship title in style by routing relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers 4-0 at Molineux on Saturday.
On a day when the goals rattled in, Wolves won the division for the second time in 10 years, but there was misery for Sunderland who were relegated for the second straight season.
Cardiff City took a big step towards promotion with a 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest that moved them a point clear of Fulham in second place.
The playoff fight looks likely to go down to the wire with seven teams scrapping for the two remaining slots alongside Aston Villa, who beat managerless Ipswich Town 4-0, and whichever of Fulham and Cardiff do not go up automatically.
Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win over rivals Derby County means they need just four points from their final two games to secure a playoff slot but Bristol City’s chances were not helped by an extraordinary 5-5 draw with Hull City, a game they twice led by two goals but required a stoppage time strike to salvage a point.
Brentford are well-placed to grab the final playoff slot after beating west London rivals Queens Park Rangers 2-1, a game in which they also missed a penalty.
At the other end, Sunderland were relegated for the second consecutive season after Liam Boyce gave Burton Albion a late 2-1 victory that boosted their own survival hopes.
Birmingham City were also lifted by a 2-1 comeback win over Sheffield United, a result that probably ended the Blades’ playoff hopes.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Toby Davis and Christian Radnedge