LONDON: Leeds United’s hopes of ending a 16-year absence from the Premier Leauge are in danger of collapsing as goals from Sammy Ameobi and Tyler Walker boosted Nottingham Forest’s promotion push with a 2-0 victory at the City Ground on Saturday.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have now lost four of their last five games and only goal difference keeps them above Fulham in the automatic promotion places.
“The players are giving their maximum effort and at the moment it is not enough,” said Bielsa.
“When that happens, as a coach you have to take the responsibility.”
Victory for Forest edges them to within a point of Leeds in fourth.
“This league is crazy,” said Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi. “You must be ready for each game.”
Aleksandar Mitrovic struck the only goal as Fulham moved level with Leeds earlier in the day thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Blackburn.
The Serbia international converted Joe Bryan’s cross to break the deadlock in the 65th minute, taking his tally to 20 goals for the season.
Darragh Lenihan thought he had levelled but was ruled offside as Rovers saw their 10-match unbeaten run at home come to an end.
Brentford are just two points behind Leeds and Fulham as they edged a five-goal thriller 3-2 over Middlesbrough at Griffin Park.
The home side took the lead in the 24th minute through Julian Jeanvier following a goalmouth scramble.
Lewis Wing and Ashley Fletcher twice levelled for Boro after Bryan Mbeumo’s deflected effort had put the Bees back in front.
Ollie Watkins then grabbed the winner for Thomas Frank’s side in the 87th minute as the striker also made it 20 goals for the season.
Preston climbed into the play-off places following a 2-1 win at lowly Wigan.
Goals early in each half from Tom Barkhuizen and Daniel Johnson extended North End’s unbeaten league run to five games.
Swansea’s play-off push suffered another blow as they lost 3-2 at home to Derby to make it three games without a win.
Tom Lawrence scored the winner with 10 minutes left to edge Derby up to 13th and within seven points of the playoff places.
Cardiff are just four points adrift of the top six after Lee Tomlin’s second-half effort was enough to beat bottom-of-the-table Luton 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.
The South Yorkshire derby between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday ended 1-1 at Oakwell.
Elias Kachunga and Steve Mounie scored in the second half as Huddersfield moved six points clear of the bottom three with a 2-0 home win over QPR.
The game stopped in the 25th minute as both sets of players, staff and fans joined in a minute’s applause for former Huddersfield player Jordan Sinnott, who died recently.
Stoke also boosted their survival hopes with a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Charlton.
Mallik Wilks’ late leveller helped Hull halt a four-game losing league run as they drew 1-1 at Reading. - AFP