Reading have rocketed to fourth on the Championship table with a 3-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday, while Swansea City fell again.
Wingers Jimmy Kebe and Joel McAnuff scored within two minutes of each other and forward Noel Hunt added another in the second half as Reading romped to their eighth-straight win.
The result sees them close to within three points of second-placed Norwich City – and automatic progression to the top-flight – with four games left in the season.
Wales midfielder Andy King pulled a goal back in the 79th minute for Leicester, who are five points shy of the top six after managing just two wins from their past 10 games.
Elsewhere, inconsistent Swansea City dropped to fifth in the standings with a 2-1 loss at Burnley, ending the latter’s run of four consecutive losses.
On-loan Chelsea striker Fabio Borini put the visitors ahead in the 53rd minute, but an own goal to defender Ashley Williams four minutes later drew Burnley level and left Swansea facing more dropped points at the wrong end of the campaign.
Former Manchester United midfielder Chris Eagles made it a certainty on 71 minutes, slotting a penalty after Angel Rangel was deemed to have shoved striker Jay Rodriguez as he jumped for a cross.
Swansea’s loss is a boon for Leeds United, who are just five points away in sixth following a 2-2 draw at home to Watford.
Luck was on Leeds’ side in the 88th minute as Watford striker Troy Deeney put the ball into his own net, handing the hosts a valuable point in the fight for promotion.
Cardiff City kept up their momentum with a 3-0 win over 10-man Portsmouth, who paid dearly after losing Portuguese defender Ricardo Rocha to a straight red in the 18th minute.
At the other end of the table, Scunthorpe United inched within three points of safety with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in a match where both sides went down to 10 men.
Preston North End defeated fellow relegation battlers Sheffield United 3-1 to stay within a point of Scunthorpe.
In other results, Hull City defeated Doncaster Rovers 3-1, while Coventry City rode striker Marlon King’s brace to a 2-1 defeat of Millwall.
Ipswich Town edged Bristol City 1-0 despite losing Lee Martin to a straight red on the half hour mark, and on-loan Blackpool frontman Marlon Harewood scored as Barnsley held on for a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.
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