Championship review: Cardiff ease past Blackburn to extend lead at the top

Craig Bellamy and Morten Gamst Pedersen battle for the ball during Cardiff's win over Blackburn. Photo: PA

Cardiff ended their miserable run of form to beat Blackburn 3-0 and extend their lead at the top of the npower Championship standings to seven points.

Malky Mackay's Cardiff had only won one of their last five games before today's clash with Rovers at the City Stadium, but goals by Fraizer Campbell and Joe Mason either side of half-time and Peter Whittingham's injury-time penalty ended their dip in form and moved them further ahead of second-placed Hull, who play Watford tomorrow.

The win keeps Cardiff in pole position to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League as champions with seven games remaining.

Campbell fired the Bluebirds ahead with a close-range header in the 40th minute before Mason added the second with a late strike, before Whittingham sealed the comfortable win from the penalty spot after Scott Dann fouled Mason in the box.

The result meant Blackburn, who were relegated from the top flight last season, slipped into 19th place and only above the bottom three on goal difference.

Barnsley moved away from danger thanks to their 2-0 win over Leicester at Oakwell.

Michael Keane's fourth-minute own goal and Chris O'Grady's 40th-minute strike saw the Tykes climb into 20th place.

The defeat continued Leicester's woefully inconsistent form and saw them remain just out of the top six, with sixth-placed Brighton still to play Charlton tomorrow.

Barnsley's win also meant Huddersfield find themselves in the relegation zone before they kick off against Bolton tomorrow.

Wolves gave their hopes of avoiding the drop a shot in the arm with a 3-2 win over local rivals Birmingham at St Andrew's.

Stephen Hunt found the net from inside the six-yard box in the 20th minute before two goals by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, one from the penalty spot, saw Wolves take a three-goal lead at half-time.

After the break, Wade Elliott inspired a Birmingham fightback by scoring one penalty and netting the rebound after another was saved, but it was not enough as Dean Saunders' side held on for a vital win.

Elsewhere, Sam Baldock scored an injury-time equaliser for Bristol City as they drew 1-1 against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday at Ashton Gate.

Baldock cancelled out Jermaine Johnson's first-half strike in the second minute of injury time to leave Bristol City seven points adrift of safety, with Wednesday just above the drop zone.

Matt Phillips' late goal saw 10-man Blackpool defeat promotion-hunting Crystal Palace at Bloomfield Road.

Phillips fired into the top corner from Tom Ince's pass to earn the Seasiders a late win after Barry Ferguson was sent off close to the end of the first half for his second bookable offence.

The result leaves fourth-placed Palace two points behind Watford and six behind Hull, with those two sides playing each other tomorrow.

Lewis McGugan's last-gasp penalty salvaged a point for fifth-placed Nottingham Forest at Burnley.

Burnley took the lead in the second half through a deflected shot from Junior Stanislas before McGugan was given the chance to level things up when he was hauled down by Kevin Long in the box.

The midfielder blasted the ball past Lee Grant to secure a 1-1 draw and keep his side two points clear of Brighton.

Millwall and Ipswich played out a goalless draw at The Den.

In the late kick-off, Derby came from behind to defeat Leeds 2-1 at Elland Road.

Ross McCormack opened the scoring for Leeds in the 67th minute but Paul Coutts levelled six minutes later after Conor Sammon's penalty hit the post.

Jake Buxton headed the winner for the visitors from Ben Davies' corner with two minutes of normal time remaining as Leeds' hopes of reaching the play-offs all but disappeared.