EPL Promotion Watch: Hull City Closes Gap on Cardiff with 5-Goal Outburst

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 3, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  James Chester of Hull City celebrates after scoring his team's third goal of the game during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Hull City at St. Andrews on November 17, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

After falling out of the top two last week, Hull City boosted themselves back into the top two in the Championship table with an emphatic 5-2 win at home over Birmingham City on Saturday. 

The home crowd at the KC Stadium did not have to wait long to have something to celebrate, as George Boyd scored in the first minute for the Tigers. 

After Boyd's strike, the Tigers pounced on their visitors for four more unanswered goals. Boyd netted a second goal in the 33rd minute while Mohamed Gedo also contributed a pair of goals. Robert Koren also scored in the victory.

Birmingham did score two goals in the final seven minutes to make the final score look respectable, but the match belonged to Hull City.

The victory at home not only boosted the Tigers ahead of Watford for second place, it also closed the gap at the top of the table to five points. League leaders Cardiff City were unable to keep up the pace at the top as they fell 2-1 on the road to Middlesbrough. 

Aron Gunnarsson pulled a goal back for the Bluebirds in the 67th minute, but that was all they could muster as their lead at the top shrunk to five points. 

Middlesbrough kept the pressure on sixth-place Brighton and Hove Albion in the race for the final playoff position. 

Boro sits one point behind Brighton, who defeated Huddersfield Town 4-1 on Saturday, in what could turn out to be an intriguing battle for sixth place.

As for the rest of the top six, Watford dropped to third place after they conceded a late equalizer to struggling Wolves on Friday, while Crystal Palace stayed in fourth place with a win, and fifth-place Leicester City dropped points on the road. 

Palace defeated Derby County 1-0 thanks to a 13th-minute goal from Yannick Bolasie on Friday night, while Leicester fell on the road to Ipswich Town at Portman Road, 1-0 on Saturday. 

The next round of matches in the Championship takes place on Tuesday with a full slate of 12 matches. The marquee match on Tuesday comes from Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace hosts Hull City.

Here is how the Championship table looks after Saturday's matches. The top two clubs in the table will earn automatic promotion to the EPL. The clubs in third through sixth will compete in a four-club playoff to determine the third club that will be promoted to the EPL.

Club Games Played Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 34 70 20
Hull City 35 65 12
Watford 35 63 25
Crystal Palace 35 61 19
Leicester City 34 57 27
Brighton and Hove Albion 34 55 15

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