Norwich blew the promotion race wide open after npower Championship leaders Queen's Park Rangers were beaten 1-0 and finished with 10 men at Carrow Road.

The third-placed Canaries - who have now won five of the last six - went ahead through a rare goal from defender Russell Martin (10). Rangers had Matthew Connolly dismissed five minutes into the second half for what referee Jon Moss ruled was a professional foul on Grant Holt and although substitute Patrick Agyemang hit the post, Neil Warnock's men could not recover as their lead was cut down to just four points.

Swansea are second, but having played a match more than both QPR and Norwich, after Darren Pratley's (65) goal gave them a 1-0 win at Liberty Stadium. Cardiff missed the chance to also close the gap as they suffered another away defeat, losing 3-0 at Bristol City.

The Bluebirds - who last won away in mid-November - were behind after just three minutes when Brett Pitman converted. Lee Johnson (39) made it 2-0 just before half-time, and Jamal Campbell-Ryce (55) wrapped things up for the hosts.

Luciano Becchio struck in stoppage time as Leeds snatched a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at Elland Road after David Wheater had put Tony Mowbray's side in front. Millwall are now up into the play-offs after a hat-trick from Jason Puncheon beat struggling Crystal Palace 3-0 at the New Den, which cost Eagles boss George Burley his job.

Managerless Burnley handed new Sheffield United boss Micky Adams his first defeat in a 4-2 victory at Turf Moor. Preston also replaced their manager earlier this week, sacking Darren Ferguson and the Championship's bottom club, now under the guidance of David Unsworth, started 2011 with a 2-1 home defeat against Derby through a brace from Chris Porter (70 & 84), with Callum Davidson netting a consolation penalty in stoppage time.

Coventry played the last half hour with 10 men after the sending off of striker Marlon King, but still secured a 1-1 draw against Ipswich. New Zealand forward Rory Fallon (44) put the Tractor Boys in front just before the break, but Freddy Eastwood (48) levelled at the start of the second half.

Nottingham Forest battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Barnsley at the City Ground.

.An early goal from former England striker Darius Vassell (11) proved enough to give Sven-Goran Eriksson's Leicester victory at Hull, who had Liam Rosenior sent off for a challenge which saw Greg Cunningham carried off.

Doncaster raced into a 3-0 half-time lead over struggling Scunthorpe after a delayed start because of a lack of enough ambulances at Keepmoat Stadium.

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Topics:
Leicester City
Norwich City
Doncaster Rovers
Rory Fallon
Ipswich Town
Darren Pratley
Bristol City
Football
Greg Cunningham
Jamal Campbell-Ryce
Millwall
Darius Vassell
Liam Rosenior
Scunthorpe United
Championship
Darren Ferguson
David Unsworth
Cardiff City
Russell Martin
Preston North End
Derby County
Chris Porter
Matthew Connolly
Nottingham Forest
Marlon King
Darius Vassell
Queens Park Rangers
Barnsley
Sheffield United
Patrick Agyemang
David Wheater
Liam Rosenior
Crystal Palace
Grant Holt
Freddy Eastwood
Middlesbrough
Hull City
Leeds United
Coventry City
Brett Pitman
Lee Johnson
Callum Davidson
Luciano Becchio
Swansea City
Jason Puncheon