EPL Promotion Watch: Crystal Palace Thumps Hull City in Top 6 Showdown

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Jonathan Williams of Crystal Palace battles with Stephen Quinn of Hull City during the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Hull City at Selhurst Park on March 5, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

All 24 clubs in the Championship took the pitches across England to compete in plenty of meaningful fixtures on Tuesday.

The most meaningful of the 12 fixtures in the English second flight came from Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace defeated Hull City, 4-2, in a battle of two top-six clubs. 

Kevin Phillips notched three goals for Palace as they brought themselves within one point of Hull in the league table. 

Wilfried Zaha scored the fourth Palace goal of the match in the 77th minute while Jay Simpson and David Meyler added two late second-half goals to make the final score a bit more tolerable for Hull supporters. 

Palace are still in fourth place after the victory, but a win has brought them closer to third-place Hull and second-place Watford in the chase for the second automatic promotion spot.

Watford held their ground in second place with a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road over Sheffield Wednesday. 

Fernando Forestieri brought the Hornets back from one goal down as he fired home goals in the 53rd and 63rd minutes to give Gianfranco Zola's club their 20th victory of the season.

At the top of the table, Cardiff City put up a shocking result at home as they failed to earn the full three points against 12th-place Derby County. 

Craig Noone rescued a point for the Bluebirds in the 82nd minute. The draw was only the fourth time this season that Cardiff City dropped points at home. 

Fifth-place Leicester City suffered the same fate as Cardiff did on Tuesday night as they drew with Leeds United at the King Power Stadium.

Michael Keane scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time in the second half to salvage a point for the Foxes in front of their home crowd.

In the race for sixth place, Brighton and Hove Albion maintained their lead over Nottingham Forest for the final spot in the promotion playoffs. 

Despite keeping their spot in sixth place for the time being, the Seagulls were unable to score a single goal against bottom feeders Bristol City at Ashton Gate in their 0-0 draw. 

This weekend, 18 of the 24 clubs in the Championship will play on Saturday while Barnsley, Millwall and Blackburn will all take part in the FA Cup quarterfinals. 

Here is how the Championship table looks after Tuesday's full slate of matches. The top two clubs will earn automatic promotion to the EPL while the clubs who finish in third through sixth place 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 35 71 20
Watford 36 66 26
Hull City 36 65 10
Crystal Palace 36 64 21
Leicester City 35 58 27
Brighton and Hove Albion 35 56 15