Bonkers! Championship goes crazy as promotion race hots up with a glut of late goals
11:36 GMT, 6 March 2013
14:13 GMT, 6 March 2013
So did the world stop for you on Tuesday night Answers on a postcard, addressed to Senor Jose Mourinho, c/o Real Madrid.
The Special One might be slightly surprised to learn that for many the earth continued to revolve around its axis, despite the global marketing pull of a duel with Manchester United.
While 74,759 paying customers crammed into Old Trafford, another 175,547 decided that the npower Championship was the only show in town.
Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night
The second tier of English football has been even more crazily unpredictable than usual this season and did not disappoint on Tuesday night.
How about Kevin Phillips, 39 years old, and scorer of an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace in the 4-2 win over Hull
The same Hull who thrashed Birmingham last weekend and who started the night in an automatic promotion place. Steve Bruce’s team are down to third while Palace lurk a point behind.
At fogbound Nottingham Forest, the pre-match chat was all about the second coming of Billy Davies. No mention of Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano Ronaldo at all.
Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies
The force appears to be with Davies. Ipswich had two players sent off and came within four minutes of holding out for a point only to concede to a deflected goal from Lewis McGugan.
Since returning as manager, Davies has drawn one and won the last four games. With that sort of momentum the play-offs are beckoning.
Late goals were the theme of the night at Leicester, Bolton and Huddersfield, too. Just down the road from Old Trafford, Chris Eagles continued Wanderers’ fine run with an added-time winner against Lancashire rivals Blackburn.
Rest assured that none of the 19,063 fans at the Reebok would have given United a passing thought – apart from hoping they would lose, of course.
Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton
Danny Ward came off the bench to score in stoppage time and give Mark Robins his first home win as Huddersfield manager at the expense of a Middlesbrough side, who are in freefall. Eight defeats in 11 games is doing nothing for Tony Mowbray’s mood.
The biggest attendance of the night was 22,660 at Leicester, who had Manchester United loanee Michael Keane to thank for yet another added-time goal – an equaliser against Leeds.
Some people will always remember Tuesday as the night Roy Keane burned whatever bridges he had left with Ferguson after backing the sending off of Nani.
Wolves fans will remember it as the night manager Dean Saunders won his first match after 10 attempts.
Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall
The 2-0 win at Millwall took Saunders’s team out of the bottom three and sets them up nicely for the next match, except it is at Forest.
Rant of the night came from Dave Jones, manager of Sheffield Wednesday, after a 2-1 defeat at Watford. Suggesting the referee was more suited to the Sunday League will not go down well at
Howler of the night came from the same match. Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond scuffed a back pass from Marco Cassetti, which allowed Michail Antonio to run round him for a simple tap-in.
Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday
Brighton’s point at bottom club Bristol City came at the expense of a bad achilles injury to striker Craig Mackail-Smith, who is out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow to their play-off hopes.
Last, but not least, even runaway leaders Cardiff are wobbling. Craig Noone popped up eight minutes from time with an equaliser against Derby, who were so short of bodies they could only name five substitutes.
Now that’s something you don’t see in the Champions League, either.