EPL Promotion Watch: Cardiff, Crystal Palace Drop Points While Boro Wins

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Ian Holloway, manager of Crystal Palace looks on during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Crystal Palace at St Andrews on December 15, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

It was a wild weekend in the Championship with two of the top six clubs in the table losing, while a third club settled for a draw. 

Of the clubs that fell on Saturday were league leaders Cardiff City, who lost at home to last place Peterborough United. 

The loss was the first of the season at home by the Bluebirds, who had won their first 10 matches at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Rudy Gestede scored in the 89th minute for Cardiff but they were unable to comeback and keep their unbeaten home record. 

Luckily for Cardiff, their main competitors for the top spot in the table, Crystal Palace, could only muster a draw on the road at Birmingham City. Glenn Murray scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season before Birmingham equalized with two second half goals. 

The Eagles are now two points behind Cardiff for the league lead, but they are just one point ahead of Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough scored two goals at the end of the second half to capitalize on the shortcomings of the top two. 

Marvin Emnes converted a penalty in the 89th minute before Scott McDonald clinched the victory with a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time. 

Hull City also gained ground in the table by recording their third straight win against Huddersfield Town. The 2-0 home victory was powered by goals from Robert Koren and David Meyler .

The biggest losers on Saturday were Leicester City, who lost to sixth place Millwall, 1-0.

The Foxes were a top candidate for promotion early on in the season but they have only won two of their last five matches. 

Millwall solidified their sixth place spot in the table after Chris Taylor scored in the 67th minute to give the Lions a crucial victory. 

The Lions are now two points ahead of Watford and three points ahead of Brighton, Derby County and Nottingham Forest for the final spot in the promotion playoffs. 

Here is how the Championship table looks after 22 matches.

The top two clubs are automatically promoted to the EPL, while the clubs in places three through six will play a four-club playoff to determine the third club that will play in the top flight next season.

Club Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 44 15
Crystal Palace 42 15
Middlesbrough 41 10
Hull City 41 7
Leicester City 37 16
Millwall 36 5