Live Coverage: Championship final day

The trophy is displayed during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor on March 29, 2014
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Follow all the twists and turns from the final day of the 2016-17 Championship season courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

The final day of the 2016-17 Championship season provided twists and turns until the very last minute as the title and relegation was decided on a dramatic afternoon in the second tier.

Blackburn Rovers were relegated into League One despite a 3-1 victory over Brentford, with wins for Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest - the latter of whom only stayed up on goal difference - enough to keep them safe from the drop.

At the other end of the table Newcastle were crowned champions courtesy of a 3-0 win over Barnsley as Brighton & Hove Albion conceded a 90th-minute equaliser against Aston Villa to throw the title away.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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11amMorning all! Nine months of action has all come down to this day as the 2016-17 Championship regular season comes to a close this afternoon, and for a few teams it promises to be a decisive day. Three teams - all of whom were amongst England's elite not too long ago - can still suffer relegation from the second tier today, while Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United, both of whom have already sealed promotion, will battle it out for the title. It promises to be another unpredictable and exciting day of Championship action, so let's waste no time in getting started!

11.02amCHAMPIONSHIP FINAL DAY FIXTURES: Before I bring you the swathes of team news, let's start off with a quick look at what is on offer this afternoon...

Aston Villa vs. Brighton
Brentford vs. Blackburn
Bristol City vs. Birmingham
Burton Albion vs. Reading
Huddersfield vs. Cardiff
Newcastle vs. Barnsley
Norwich vs. QPR
Nottingham Forest vs. Ipswich
Rotherham vs. Derby
Sheffield Wednesday vs. Fulham
Wigan vs. Leeds
Wolves vs. Preston


11.04amASTON VILLA STARTING XI: Johnstone; Bree, Chester, Baker, Taylor; Lansbury, Hourihane, Amavi, Bacuna, Adomah; Hogan

BRIGHTON STARTING XI: Stockdale; Bruno, Dunk, Tomori, Pocognoli; Knockaert, Sidwell, Stephens, Murphy; Baldock, Murray


11.05amBRENTFORD STARTING XI: Bentley; Dean, Yennaris, Kerschbaumer, Sawyers, Clarke, Vibe, Jota, Barbet, Field, Canos

BLACKBURN STARTING XI: Raya; Williams, Lowe, Graham, Mulgrew, Ward, Gallagher, Guthrie, Nyambe, Lenihan, Bennett


11.07amBRISTOL CITY STARTING XI: Giefer, Little, Flint, Wright, Bryan, Brownhill, K.Smith, Pack, Paterson, Abraham, Taylor

BIRMINGHAM STARTING XI: Kuszczak; Nsue, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Kieftenbeld, Gardner, Davis, Maghoma, Adams, Jutkiewicz


11.08amBURTON ALBION STARTING XI: Bywater; Brayford, Mousinho, McFadzean, Turner, Sordell, Woodrow, Miller, Kightly, Murphy, Irvine

READING STARTING XI: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Obita, McShane, Ilori, Moore, Evans, Kelly, Beerens, Mendes, Kermorgant


11.10amHUDDERSFIELD STARTING XI: Ward; Smith, Hogg, Scannell, Mooy, Lowe, Van la Parra, Quaner, Schindler, Brown, Hefele

CARDIFF STARTING XI: Murphy; Peltier, Bennett, Morrison, Richards, Ralls, Pilkington, Connolly, Gunnarsson, Zohore, Hoilett


11.12amNEWCASTLE STARTING XI: Elliot; Yedlin, Hayden, Mbemba, Dummett; Atsu, Shelvey, Colback, Gouffran; Perez; Mitrovic

BARNSLEY STARTING XI: Davies, Janko, Elder, Jackson, MacDonald, Scowen, Moncur, James, Kent, Hedges, Bradshaw


11.13amNORWICH STARTING XI: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin, Klose, Dijks, Dorrans, Howson, Hoolahan, Pritchard, Murphy, Oliveira

QPR STARTING XI: Smithies; Onuoha, Lynch, Washington, Wszolek, Doughty, Smith, Robinson, Luongo, Perch, Manning


11.15amNOTTINGHAM FOREST STARTING XI: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne, Mills, Osborn, Vaughan, Cohen, Carayol, Assombalonga, Ward

IPSWICH STARTING XI: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Berra, Kenlock, Ward, Skuse, Huws, Rowe, Samuel, Sears


11.16amROTHERHAM STARTING XI: O'Donnell; Fisher, Ajayi, Wood, Mattock; Frecklington, Smallwood, Vaulks, Taylor; Adeyemi, Clarke-Harris

DERBY STARTING XI: Carson, Baird, Keogh, Pearce, Olsson; Butterfield, Bryson, Johnson; Ince, Russell, Nugent


11.17amSHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY STARTING XI: Wildsmith; Palmer, Sasso, Semedo, Fox; Lee, Jones, Hutchinson, Matias; Rhodes, Winnall

FULHAM STARTING XI: Bettinelli; Odoi, Kalas, Ream, Malone; McDonald, Cairney, Aluko, Piazon, Kebano; Martin


11.19amWIGAN STARTING XI: Gilks; Perkins, Power, Connolly, Bogle, Jacobs, Tunnicliffe, Morgan, Warnock, Hanson, Burn

LEEDS STARTING XI: Green; Coyle, Bartley, Ayling, Berardi; Roofe, Vieira, O'Kane, Dallas, Hernandez; Wood


11.21amWOLVES STARTING XI: Burgoyne; Coady, Batth, Hause, Silvio; Edwards, Saiss; Graham, Enobakhare, Weimann; Dicko

PRESTON STARTING XI: Maxwell, Browning, Baptiste, Boyle, Spurr, Barkhuizen, Gallagher, Pearson, McGeady, Hugill, May


11.23amPhew! So now we know who is playing, how about what they are playing for? Well, as I have already mentioned it is the relegation battle which is the most intriguing aspect of the final day, with Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and Blackburn all still in danger. Things are most straightforward for Birmingham, who will be safe if they win or if either Forest or Blackburn fail to win, but if the two teams directly below them do win and Birmingham draw or lose then they could go down.

11.25amThings get a little more complicated between Nottingham Forest and Blackburn, who are currently level on 48 points. Forest are the right side of the dotted line as things stand, but only by virtue of having a goal difference one better than that of Blackburn. Forest must better or match Blackburn's score to guarantee survival then, but even a win may not be enough to keep them in the division if Blackburn win by more. By a similar token, Blackburn could also stay up if they lose, so long as Forest lose by a heavier scoreline.

11.27amHere is that precarious situation at the bottom of the table - the goal difference could prove to be the most important column this afternoon as Birmingham's -20 means that not even a point will guarantee their safety. It is fascinatingly poised...

Bottom of the Championship table ahead of final matchday


11.29amAt the other end of the table, both Newcastle United and Brighton have achieved their primary goal for the season by winning promotion, but the Championship title remains up for grabs. Brighton looked certain to win it a fortnight ago, but just one point separates the two sides in the table now. Newcastle have the better goal difference too, so if they better Brighton's result today then they will go up as champions - anything else and Brighton will win the title.

11.31amThere is also the matter of playoff placings to be sorted out today, with one point separating Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Third place will be handed the supposedly kinder draw in the playoffs, and it is Reading who currently hold that position with a one-point advantage over the other two. If the Royals win then third place is theirs, but anything else leaves the door open for Wednesday or Huddersfield to leapfrog them in the table.

11.33amThe final playoff place isn't mathematically sorted yet, but it would take a huge swing in goal difference for Fulham to be caught. The Cottagers can finish no higher than sixth and have a goal difference 13 better than that of Leeds, who sit three points behind. It would take a heavy defeat for Fulham against Sheffield Wednesday and a huge Leeds win against relegated Wigan for that to change.

Top of the Championship table ahead of final matchday


11.35amThose are the main positions on the line this afternoon, but throughout the table teams will be jostling to secure as high a finish as they can. The likes of Aston Villa, for example, will want to end a disappointing campaign with a top-half finish at least. Let's have a more in-depth look at some of the games that really matter today, though...

11.37amBRISTOL CITY vs. BIRMINGHAM

For Birmingham the task is clear today - win and they stay in the division. Harry Redknapp's side will also stay up if either of the teams below them fail to win, but they will want to do their job themselves and arguably have the easiest season-ending match of the three in danger of relegation. Birmingham ended a 10-game winless streak with a timely victory over Huddersfield last weekend and are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since November.


11.39amBRISTOL CITY vs. BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham will be coming up against a Bristol City side in decent form, though, having won four and lost none of their last five outings. The hosts can still finish as high as 15th if they string together a third consecutive win and a fifth on the bounce at home, where they are unbeaten in six games. Birmingham, by contrast, have only won on of their last 14 away games since November and have not kept a clean sheet on the road since September.


11.41amNOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. IPSWICH

Nottingham Forest are in the strange position of starting the day in a position of safety but knowing that even a win may not be good enough due to goal difference. If they match the scoreline from Blackburn's match then Forest stay up, but they have only won three of their last 15 games and lost last weekend to set up this nervy finale. They have only failed to score in one of their last 10 home games, though, and if only home form counted this season then they would be sitting safely in 13th place.


11.43amNOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. IPSWICH

Ipswich, meanwhile, have suffered from inconsistency this season and come into this match off the back of two consecutive losses. They have not lost three on the bounce since February 2016, but they have also only won one of their last seven away outings. It certainly isn't the toughest game Forest could have had to secure their Championship status for another season, although Ipswich will be keen to avoid the possibility of finishing as low as 19th.


11.45amBRENTFORD vs. BLACKBURN

Blackburn have the most to do of the trio facing the drop today, knowing that they must keep one eye firmly on events at Forest. They have arguably the toughest of the final-day fixtures but know that even a defeat could be enough to see them safe, so long as they lose by less than Nottingham Forest against Ipswich. Blackburn's whole game plan today could well depend on how Forest are getting on, which should make for a fascinating spectacle.


11.47amBRENTFORD vs. BLACKBURN

Blackburn's form has improved just at the right time, going four unbeaten and only losing three of their last 14 games to keep their survival hopes alive until the final day. Rovers have also only conceded one goal in that four-match unbeaten streak, which could be crucial if it comes down to goal difference. They take on a Brentford side who have been very impressive this season, though, and they are also unbeaten in four ahead of this one. The hosts have won their last four home league games too and are bidding for five in a row for the first time in the Championship, whereas Blackburn have only won once again from home since November.


11.49amASTON VILLA vs. BRIGHTON

Brighton's season will go down as a success whatever happens today, but if they don't win the title to go with their automatic promotion then they will be kicking themselves. They have lost both of their matches since securing promotion to allow Newcastle back into the race, and another defeat today would make it their worst run since January 2016. They will win the title if they match or better Newcastle's result, so they are still in the driving seat, but in truth it probably shouldn't have gone down to the wire like this.


11.51amASTON VILLA vs. BRIGHTON

While Brighton's season has been an unmitigated success, Villa's has been very disappointing and they have never looked like threatening for an immediate return to the Premier League. They have only won one of their last five games and their highest possible finish is 11th place, while they could finish in the bottom half still too. They have won six of their last seven home games, though, keeping clean sheets in all of those wins, so this is not likely to be an easy game for the Seagulls.


11.53amNEWCASTLE vs. BARNSLEY

Newcastle go into today's match knowing that victory may still not be enough for the title should Brighton also beat Aston Villa, but any slip-up from the Seagulls opens the door for the Magpies. Their superior goal difference means that they will win the title if they better Brighton's result, and they go into the match having not lost against Barnsley since September 1982. They have won back-to-back games to close the gap from seven points to just one, and another victory today would make it three on the bounce for the first time since December.


11.55amNEWCASTLE vs. BARNSLEY

Barnsley have only won one of their last 13 outings since February and are without a victory in their last four, but they could still finish in the top half of the table should Villa lose to Brighton. The visitors have lost five of their last six away games but have actually been better on the road than they have at home this season, which is something which can also be said about Newcastle, although the Magpies have only lost one of their last 12 outings at St James' Park.


11.57amWe're just three minutes away from the start of play today, so allow me to quickly point you in the direction of our featured in-depth Championship commentary today - Nottingham Forest vs. Ipswich.

12.00pmKICKOFF! Here we go! The matches are kicking off all over the country as the final day of the Championship season gets underway! Sit back and enjoy!

12.02pmGOAL! Wolves 1-0 Preston (Danny Batth)

12.03pmThat didn't take long! Wolves get us up and running on the goal front nice and early as Danny Batth gives them the lead against Preston at Molineux. The defender rose highest at the back post to nod Graham's corner in.

12.03pmGOAL! Burton Albion 0-1 Reading (Joseph Mendes)

12.04pmReading strike first in that mini-battle for third place, and if they hold on to this early lead then there is nothing either Sheffield Wednesday or Huddersfield can do. Joseph Mendes has opened the scoring for the Royals at Burton, turning the ball home from close range.

12.05pmGOAL! Wigan 1-0 Leeds (Ryan Tunnicliffe)

12.06pmWell, if any Leeds fans anywhere retained any hope of catching Fulham in sixth place today then that may have just been extinguished. Relegated Wigan take an early lead at the DW Stadium through Tunnicliffe, who was played through by Jacobs and rounded the keeper to score.

12.09pmGOAL! Huddersfield 0-1 Cardiff (Kenneth Zohore)

12.10pmGOAL! Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Fulham (Sam Winnall)

12.11pmGOAL! Brentford 0-1 Blackburn (Charlie Mulgrew)

12.12pmOnly one place to start with those goals! Blackburn take the lead, and it is a stunning strike from Mulgrew and he swings a magnificent free kick into the top corner from an angle which he really shouldn't be able to score from! The keeper wasn't really at fault either, which should give you some idea of how well-placed that strike was. Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday have taken the lead against Fulham and Cardiff lead Huddersfield.

12.13pmAS THINGS STAND! This is how the bottom of the table looks after that Mulgrew strike - a moment of magic which, as things stand, is enough to keep Blackburn in the Championship.

Bottom 5 @ 12.12


12.15pmOver to you, Nottingham Forest. Mark Warburton's side are heading down to League One if everything stays the same, although there is a lot more football to be played today. Remember, you can follow in-depth coverage of Forest vs. Ipswich by clicking here.

12.16pmGOAL! Brentford 0-2 Blackburn (Danny Guthrie)

12.17pmBlackburn are stepping up to the plate here! They are just 15 minutes in and they are already two goals up against Brentford! Goal difference could be so crucial today, so a 1-0 win may not have been enough - this second goal from Guthrie could be priceless. It is poor goalkeeping in truth, with Guthrie's strike going right through Bentley - not that the visitors care one bit!

12.18pmGOAL! Bristol City 0-1 Birmingham (Che Adams)

12.19pmBirmingham respond to Blackburn's goals with one of their own, and it is a huge one! Che Adams raced on to a ball over the top before holding off Flint and stroking his finish home. A win is enough for Birmingham to stay up, so they are doing their part.

12.21pmAS IT STANDS! No changes in the positioning of the top seven as things stand, but Huddersfield have fallen further adrift of Reading and Wednesday.

Top 7 @ 12.16


12.22pmRED CARD! Dan Ward (Huddersfield)

12.22pmGOAL! Burton Albion 0-2 Reading (Jordan Obita)

12.23pmGOAL! Norwich 1-0 QPR (Wes Hoolahan)

12.24pmGOAL! Newcastle 1-0 Barnsley (Ayoze Perez)

12.24pmIt's turning into a pretty miserable final day for Huddersfield, and a red card for goalkeeper Dan Ward for handling the the ball outside the area will have an impact on their playoff campaign too. The bigger news comes from St James' Park, though, were Newcastle have taking the lead through Ayoze Perez's flick which means that, as things stand, they will be crowned champions. Reading have doubled their lead against Burton courtesy of a fine Obita strike, while Norwich have taken the lead against QPR.

12.26pmAS IT STANDS! Here is the situation at the bottom of the table following those goals for Blackburn and Birmingham. It's not looking good for Forest, but one goal would change all of that.

Bottom 6 @ 12.21


12.27pmGOAL! Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Fulham (Neeskens Kebano)

12.28pmFulham level things up at Hillsborough as Kebano slides a finish home from Odoi's cross. It doesn't change the positioning of the top six, but Reading's spot in third is looking increasingly safe.

12.30pmAS IT STANDS! The latest version of the ever-changing top of the table, with Newcastle now sitting at the summit. Brighton need a goal at Aston Villa if they are to change that.

Top 7 @ 12.29


12.31pmGOAL! Huddersfield 0-2 Cardiff (Joe Bennett)

12.32pmCardiff have their second goal of the day as Huddersfield's match goes from bad to worse at the John Smith's Stadium. Joe Bennett gets the goal with a fine finish from Zohore's cross, putting Cardiff just one more goal away from breaking into the top half.

12.35pmThe eyes of Blackburn fans will keep darting over to the Nottingham Forest score, but it remains goalless at the City Ground in what has been a nervy and largely uneventful match so far.

12.38pmThe position of both Forest and Blackburn is so precarious due to that goal difference. It means that, despite having a two-goal lead over Brentford, Blackburn fans are taking sharp intakes of breath every time the Bees come forward and Jota tests their hearts here with a curling effort that flies a couple of yards over.

12.40pmWhere have all the goals gone? The likes of Newcastle, Birmingham and Blackburn may be pleased with the lack of updates as they are exactly where they want to be, but for everyone else we want more goals!

12.41pmBirmingham have just come close twice in quick succession against Bristol City, with Adams being denied by the keeper and then seeing another effort cleared off the line.

12.42pmOFF THE BAR! How are your nerves, Forest fans? Ipswich come within inches of taking the lead with a potentially fatal goal for Forest, but Smith pulls off a fine fingertip save to push Samuel's deflected effort onto the crossbar.

12.44pmGOAL! Nottingham Forest 1-0 Ipswich (Britt Assombalonga)

12.44pmThat is how quickly things can change at the bottom! Forest get a huggeeee goal just moments after seeing their crossbar rattled at the other end as Assombalonga converts from the penalty spot after Bialkowski had brought Ward down. It was an emphatic penalty from the striker, right into the top corner under huge pressure. Both sides are now level on points and goal difference!

12.46pmAS IT STANDS! So, this is how things stand after that Forest goal, which changes everything. Blackburn are going down if nothing else changes due to Forest having scored more goals than Rovers over the course of the season. Incredible stuff.

Bottom 6 @ 12.46


12.48pmRED CARD! Marco Matias (Sheffield Wednesday)

12.48pmHALF TIMES! The halftime whistles are blowing throughout the country after an opening 45 minutes which has seen a number of dramatic changes already. What on earth will the second half bring?!

12.51pmJust the Aston Villa game still going on, with the rest having gone into half time now. Hogan has limped off for the hosts, adding to what is now eight minutes of stoppage time.

12.53pmCHAMPIONSHIP HALF-TIME SCORES:

Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton
Brentford 0-2 Blackburn
Bristol City 0-1 Birmingham
Burton Albion 0-2 Reading
Huddersfield 0-2 Cardiff
Newcastle 1-0 Barnsley
Norwich 1-0 QPR
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Ipswich
Rotherham 0-0 Derby
Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Fulham
Wigan 1-0 Leeds
Wolves 1-0 Preston


12.56pmSo where does that leave us? Well, as things stand it is only goals scored that is keeping Nottingham Forest in the division. They are level on points and goal difference with Blackburn, but because they have found the back of the net 60 times compared to Blackburn's 52 this season, they are the right side of the dotted line. One goal for Blackburn would change it all, though. It could not be any more delicately poised.

12.57pmThe other major point to sort out today is the Championship title, and as things stand it is Newcastle who will be taking the trophy home. They lead Barnsley 1-0 through Ayoze Perez's goal, while Brighton are still level at 0-0 against Aston Villa. One goal for the Seagulls would see them leap back above the Magpies, though.

12.59pmThe bottom of the table as things stand - get your calculators at the ready for the second half!

Bottom 6 @ HT


1.00pmInterestingly, there has not been a single positional change from third down to 18th in the Championship yet today. This is the middle section of the table as it stands...

Mid-table @ HT


1.01pmReading have strengthened their position in third place, with Sheffield Wednesday and 10-man Huddersfield both dropping points as things stand. The big change is in that top two, with Newcastle pipping Brighton to the title as things stand.

Top 7 @ HT


1.03pmKICKOFFS: We're getting back underway around the country for the final 45 minutes of Championship football this season!

1.07pmSergi Canos is so close to pulling a goal back for Brentford, which would effectively give Forest a two-goal cushion on their goal difference. He curls one just past the post after breaking forward from midfield.

1.08pmGOAL! Wigan 1-1 Leeds (Chris Wood)

1.09pmLeeds get the first Championship goal of the second half, and it is 30 up for the season for Chris Wood. This one comes from the penalty spot after O'Kane was tripped in the area, and the Championship top scorer made no mistake from 12 yards.

1.10pmThat goal, incidentally, should be enough for Wood to wrap up the Championship Golden Boot award. He is now three goals ahead of Tammy Abraham, who would need a second-half hat-trick against Birmingham to catch the Leeds man.

1.12pmAlmost a quickfire second for Leeds too as Kemar Roofe strikes the crossbar with a fine half-volley from 25 yards out.

1.14pmGOAL! Brentford 1-2 Blackburn (Lasse Vibe)

1.14pmBig goal at the bottom of the table and, while Blackburn may still be winning, rarely would a goal against them have given them more a sinking feeling. Vibe gets across his man and flicks Dean's cross into the bottom corner to leave Blackburn in an even more perilous position than they were before. They may need a favour from Ipswich rather than doing it themselves!

1.16pmGOAL! Nottingham Forest 2-0 Ipswich (Chris Cohen)

1.17pmAh. It is a dreadful couple of minutes for Blackburn as first they concede to Brentford and then Nottingham Forest double their advantage over Ipswich - a two-goal swing which could prove fatal for Rovers. The pair are still level on points, but Forest are now two goals better off in the goal difference column.

1.18pmAnd if Blackburn fans weren't deflated enough after those goals, Danny Graham has just missed a glorious chance to restore their two-goal lead. He had to score there, and the miss could prove so costly.

1.19pmAS IT STANDS! The column of importance at the moment is that middle one - Forest two better off than Blackburn with the two level on points. Blackburn need goals.

Bottom 6 @ 13.18


1.20pmGOAL! Norwich 2-0 QPR (Alex Pritchard)

1.21pmNorwich can finish no higher than eighth, but they look like ending their season on a high note nonetheless as Pritchard doubles their lead with a volley at the second attempt against QPR.

1.22pmGOAL! Burton Albion 0-3 Reading (Yann Kermorgant)

1.24pmGOAL! Newcastle 2-0 Barnsley (Chancel Mbemba)

1.24pmNewcastle can't quite start the title party just yet as a Brighton goal would change everything, but they are at least taking care of their own business. Mbemba gets his first goal for the Magpies to double their lead against Barnsley - still one point above Brighton as things stand. Elsewhere, Reading have put their game beyond doubt with a third against Burton.

1.26pmAS IT STANDS! This is how those goals leave the top of the table...

Top 7 @ 13.24


1.26pmMISSED PENALTY! A lifeline for Blackburn? Assombalonga has missed a penalty - his second of the day - to give Rovers a let-off. Blackburn still need goals themselves, but that could have been a killer for them.

1.27pmGOAL! Rotherham 1-0 Derby (Lee Frecklington)

1.28pmGOAL! Burton Albion 1-3 Reading (Ben Turner)

1.28pmRED CARD! Nathan Baker (Aston Villa)

1.29pmGOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton (Glenn Murray)

1.29pmGOAL! Nottingham Forest 3-0 Ipswich (Britt Assombalonga)

1.30pmGOAL! Burton Albion 2-3 Reading (Cauley Woodrow)

1.31pmA flurry of goals from around the Championship, and there are some big ones in there too! Nottingham Forest have a third against Ipswich, which leaves Blackburn now needing four themselves or for Ipswich to get back into the game - neither of which are looking likely. Brighton, meanwhile, have taken the lead through a Glenn Murray penalty which sends them back to the top of the table, while Villa have also been reduced to 10 men. Burton have raised hopes of a dramatic comeback with two quick goals against Reading, while relegated Rotherham have taken the lead against Derby.

1.33pmAS IT STANDS! It is worth remembering that Birmingham are not out of the woods just yet despite sitting up in 19th. A goal for Bristol City would see Birmingham drop from 19th into the relegation zone, which looks to be Blackburn's best bet now.

Bottom 6 @ 13.32


1.34pmAS IT STANDS! And here is the situation at the top of the table, where Brighton have moved back in front of Newcastle. Reading position in third still looks safe as things stand, despite those two goals from Burton.

Top 7 A 13.31


1.35pmGOAL! Huddersfield 0-3 Cardiff (Joe Bennett)

1.36pmThis has not been ideal preparation for the playoffs as far as Huddersfield are concerned. Goalkeeper Danny Ward will be suspended for the semi-final first leg after being sent off earlier in the game, and now Cardiff have scored a third - Bennett with his second of the match.

1.37pmBig moment for Blackburn as they are denied what looked to be a clear penalty following a foul on Conway. The winger stuck his own leg out to ensure contact, but the defender's leg was also out there and they can feel hard done by there.

1.39pmGOAL! Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Fulham (David Jones own goal)

1.41pmRED CARD! Harlee Dean (Brentford)

1.42pmGOAL! Brentford 1-3 Blackburn (Craig Conway)

1.42pmGOAL! Burton Albion 2-4 Reading (Lewis Grabban)

1.43pmA glimmer of hope for Blackburn! They win a penalty and Harlee Dean is sent off, leaving Brentford to finish this match with 10 men. Conway blasts the penalty home to reduce the gap in goal difference back to just two - although that is effectively three to Nottingham Forest. Blackburn must surely push for more goals against the 10 men of Brentford now, although their best hope is still a Bristol City goal against Birmingham. Elsewhere, Lewis Grabban makes it 4-2 to Reading against Burton.

1.45pmGOAL! Rotherham 1-1 Derby (Tom Ince)

1.45pmGOAL! Norwich 3-0 QPR (Josh Murphy)

1.46pmNorwich wrap things up once and for all against QPR courtesy of a Josh Murphy strike, while To Ince has scored from the spot to level things up for Derby against Rotherham.

1.47pmThis is the latest situation at the bottom of the table - Blackburn either need a three-goal swing to Nottingham Forest or for Bristol City to equalise against Birmingham. This really is going all the way down to the wire!

Bottom 6 @ 13.44


1.49pmFULL TIME: Wolves 1-0 Preston

1.50pmFIVE added minutes at Brentford, but more importantly there will be SIX at Ashton Gate. Still time for this to all change!

1.51pmGOAL! Norwich 4-0 QPR (Wes Hoolahan)

1.52pmNorwich look like being the biggest winners of the afternoon as Hoolahan adds his second of the day to make it four for the Canaries.

1.52pmFULL TIME: Wigan 1-1 Leeds

1.53pmFULL TIME: Burton Albion 2-4 Reading

1.53pmGOAL! Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton (Jack Grealish)

1.54pmGOAL! Newcastle 3-0 Barnsley (Dwight Gayle)

1.54pmFULL TIME: Rotherham 1-1 Derby

1.55pmFULL TIME: Huddersfield 0-3 Cardiff

1.55pmFULL TIME: Brentford 1-3 Blackburn

1.55pmFULL TIME: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Fulham

1.56pmFULL TIME: Nottingham Forest 3-0 Ipswich

1.56pmWe're still playing at Ashton Gate, where one Bristol City goal will see Birmingham relegated despite currently sitting 19th. Brighton, meanwhile, look like they have thrown the title away in the last minute after Villa pulled one back at the death.

1.57pmFULL TIME: Newcastle 3-0 Barnsley

1.58pmFULL TIME: Bristol City 0-1 Birmingham

1.58pmBLACKBURN ARE RELEGATED FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

1.58pmFULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton

1.59pmNEWCASTLE WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE!

1.59pmIt is a sad, sad day for Blackburn's players and fans, then, as they become the first Premier League champions to drop down into the third tier of English football. They couldn't have done too much more today, beating Brentford 3-1, but they left themselves too much to do and wins elsewhere for Birmingham and Nottingham Forest saw Tony Mowbray's side's drop into League One confirmed.

2.01pmIt was a relegation battle that went down to the very last seconds - one goal for Bristol City would have changed everything - but ultimately it is goal difference which sends Blackburn tumbling into League One. At the other end of the table it is Newcastle who are crowned champions having overcome a seven-point gap during the final three games of the season. Brighton were champions until the 90th minute of their match, but Jack Grealish's goal was enough to change that.

2.03pmCHAMPIONSHIP FINAL DAY RESULTS:

Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton
Brentford 1-3 Blackburn
Bristol City 0-1 Birmingham
Burton Albion 2-4 Reading
Huddersfield 0-3 Cardiff
Newcastle 3-0 Barnsley
Norwich 4-0 QPR
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Ipswich
Rotherham 1-1 Derby
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Fulham
Wigan 1-1 Leeds
Wolves 1-0 Preston


2.05pmLook away now Blackburn fans, it is time for the final 2016-17 Championship table...

2.06pmJust 22 years ago Blackburn were crowned champions of England, but they will be playing in League One next season having been relegated on goal difference. Nottingham Forest's win over Ipswich kept them safe, as did Birmingham's triumph against Bristol City, meanwhile that even Blackburn's 3-1 victory over Brentford was not enough...

Bottom 7 @ FT


2.08pmThere wasn't much to shout about in the middle part of the table, with the only positional switch coming right in the middle of the table as Cardiff secured a top-half finish courtesy of their win over Huddersfield. Aston Villa drop out of the top half to make way for them despite that last Jack Grealish goal.

Mid-table @ FT


2.10pmAt the top, meanwhile, Newcastle United lift the Championship trophy following a remarkable recovery over the final three games of the season - they were seven points adrift at one stage but won their last three games while Brighton took just one point from a possible nine to throw away the title. Elsewhere, there were no changes in the playoffs positions, which means that Reading will take on Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday will face Huddersfield in the semi-finals.

Top 7 @ FT


2.12pmREACTION: An understandably sullen Jason Lowe tries to put Blackburn's disappointment into words following their relegation from the Championship...

"We gave it everything we had today. It is a really disappointed day because we gave it absolutely everything. We knew if we won today we still didn't know what it would mean," he told Sky Sports News.


2.14pmIt has been a contrasting day of emotions for Alan Shearer, who has seen Newcastle win the title but another one of his former clubs, Blackburn, relegated. Shearer's goals helped Blackburn to the 1995 Premier League title before he moved on and became a Newcastle legend.





2.18pm

2.21pmThis was the moment that Newcastle found out that they were champions following the full-time whistle at Villa Park...



2.24pmREACTION: More reaction from the Blackburn camp as striker Danny Graham admits that the team have let the fans down following their relegation.

"Everyone is devastated. We've let those fans down this season. We've under-performed as a group over 46 games. We have to go again in pre-season now," he told Sky Sports News.


2.26pmREACTION: From devastation to delight - Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton has been speaking after his side avoided relegation on goal difference.

"When you heard the early goals elsewhere, you could hear the nerves around the ground, but the boys stuck to their task," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.


"We came in at 1-0 and it was in our control. It was about being positive. I'm delighted with the work ethic they showed. It's great for the club and supporters and we have to build from here."


2.28pmWhat a dramatic final day it has been, then, with twists and turns at both ends of the table right up until the last minute of the season. Newcastle are crowned champions after Brighton threw it away at the death, while Blackburn have been relegated to League One on goal difference despite beating Brentford. Nottingham Forest and Birmingham both did what they needed to stay up in one of the closest relegation battles in recent memory.

2.30pmRight, that is all we have time for this afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the final day of the 2016-17 Championship season, which will go down as one to banish from the memory for the likes of Brighton and Blackburn and one to savour for Newcastle, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest. We will see you in the playoffs!

Chris Martin for Derby County on October 25, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds85211431117
2Wolverhampton WanderersWolves8521138517
3Cardiff CityCardiff8521127517
4Preston North EndPreston843193615
5Ipswich TownIpswich7502128415
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd850386215
7Middlesbrough8422105514
8Bristol City83411510513
9Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds8341107313
10Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest84041113-212
11Queens Park RangersQPR83231212011
12Norwich CityNorwich8323812-411
13Aston Villa8242109110
14Fulham824287110
15Derby CountyDerby73131111010
16Millwall823311929
17Hull City82241415-18
18Reading722367-18
19Burton Albion8224615-98
20Barnsley7214811-37
21Sunderland8134712-56
22Brentford8044712-54
23Birmingham CityBirmingham8116412-84
24Bolton WanderersBolton8026416-122