Sport Football Leicester, Burnley headed for big league

Leicester, Burnley headed for big league

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Championship leaders Leicester and second-placed Burnley moved a step closer to the Premier League with a pair of significant wins on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson’s Leicester cruised to a 3-0 home win over struggling Charlton and are now 13 points clear of third-placed Derby in the race for automatic promotion.

Burnley enjoyed an even more vital victory at Turf Moor as Sean Dyche’s team defeated 10-man Derby 2-0 to open up a five-point lead over the Rams with 13 games remaining.

At the King Power Stadium, Jamie Vardy gave Leicester a ninth-minute lead and further goals from Danny Drinkwater and David Nugent in the 48th and 64th minutes sealed the points.

It was the first time Leicester had beaten Charlton in 11 league meetings in the last 14 years and extended the Foxes’ unbeaten run to 14 games.

Goals from David Jones and Dean Marney were enough for Burnley to see off promotion rivals Derby in one of the biggest matches of the season in the second tier.

Former Rams midfielder Jones struck in the 29th minute and Derby had striker Chris Martin controversially sent off just before half-time.

Martin received a second booking for a dive in the penalty box, much to the anger of Derby manager Steve McClaren and his players.

Marney netted the second goal for Burnley in the 68th minute to kill off the contest.

Fourth-placed QPR are nine points adrift of the automatic promotion places after being held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds at Loftus Road.

Harry Redknapp’s side needed a Jermaine Jenas goal to rescue a point, but the pre-season promotion favourites have now gone five matches without a win.

The west London outfit fell behind to Leeds striker Ross McCormack’s 24th goal of the season in the 14th minute.

Jenas ensured they avoided a fourth straight defeat when he slotted in the equaliser just before half-time.

Wigan enhanced their hopes of securing a play-off place, while dealing a huge blow to Nottingham Forest’s chances of challenging for automatic promotion as Uwe Rosler’s side cruised to a 4-1 win at the City Ground.

Billy Davies’ Forest, now only three points ahead of Wigan, were on a seven-match unbeaten run on home turf but were blown away by the sixth-placed Latics.

Reading’s chances of earning a play-off place were dented as they were held to a 1-1 draw by eight-man Yeovil at the Madejski Stadium.

Elsewhere, Watford crushed Blackpool 4-0, Brighton won 1-0 at Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday defeated Middlesbrough 1-0.

Huddersfield demolished bottom of the table Barnsley 5-0, Bournemouth routed Doncaster 5-0, Bolton beat Blackburn 4-0 and Ipswich defeated Birmingham 1-0.