Stoke hold Norwich 2-2 in promotion battle

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Norwich faltered again in their bid to seal a return to the Premier League, after being held 2-2 by Stoke in their Championship clash yesterday.

Thomas Edwards' superb strike secured a share of the points for Stoke and condemned the Canaries to their fourth-successive draw.

Norwich — who have only been outside the top two for a week since early November — still top the table but only by three points from Sheffield United, who beat Hull 3-0.

Leeds United can up the pressure on Norwich further if they beat Brentford later yesterday, as they will then also be just three points off the leaders with two games remaining.

Norwich settled into their groove early on with Cuban-born striker Onel Hernandez firing them into the lead in the 24th minute.

However, veteran Welsh international defender Ashley Williams levelled the match two minutes into the second half with a header at the back post.

The visitors went back in front — shortly after Stoke had missed a great chance to take the lead — as the Championship's leading scorer, Teemu Pukki, scored his 28th league goal of the season.

The Canaries lead lasted just two minutes as Edwards restored parity with a superb strike.

Sheffield United — who have lost just one of their last 16 league games — had no such problems against Hull.

Ireland international David McGoldrick scored twice early on with Enda Stevens adding a third — his second in as many games — shortly before half-time.

Aston Villa cemented their place in terms of making the play-offs with a club record 10th-successive league victory.

A Jonathan Kodjia goal on the half-hour mark saw them to a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Millwall — the victory breaking Villa's original league record set back in December 1910.

Millwall's plight was slightly eased by third-from-bottom Rotherham losing 3-1 at home to Birmingham.

Millwall have a three-point advantage, far superior goal difference, and a game in hand over Rotherham — both Ipswich and Bolton have already been relegated.

Frank Lampard can entertain hopes of contesting the play-offs in his first season in charge of Derby, as a Harry Wilson double in additional time gave them a 2-0 win over Queen Park Rangers.

With both Middlesbrough and Bristol City losing, Derby sneaked into sixth spot — the final place for the play-offs due to a better goal difference than 'Boro.

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