A dramatic four-way fight for survival reached a dramatic conclusion as the 2020-21 Sky Bet Championship season drew to its close.
Rotherham knew that only a win would see them stay up at Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe’s expense, as Lewis Wing’s eighth minute strike moved them out of the relegation zone at Derby’s expense.
Sam Hutchinson’s first-half injury-time flick in then saw Wednesday move above Derby but Wayne Rooney’s Rams immediately hit back after half-time through Martyn Waghorn and Patrick Roberts to put them on the brink of survival.
Callum Paterson and Julian Borner however soon put Darren Moore’s Owls back in front to drop Derby back into the relegation zone and give Rotherham hope.
Waghorn however snatched his second from the penalty spot which proved enough for Derby to stay up with an eventual 3-3 draw, which sent Sheffield Wednesday down to League One for next season at least.
Rotherham also went down after Marlon Pack rescued Cardiff a 1-1 draw with his 88th minute equaliser to break the Millers’ hearts just minutes from safety.
Wycombe meanwhile needed a 12 goal swing and results elsewhere swinging their way in order to survive, of which either scenario happened despite Gareth Ainsworth’s Chairboys thrashing Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
Up top, Norwich twice came from behind to hold Barnsley to a 2-2 draw at Oakwell with the Canaries already promoted, whilst Valerien Ismael’s Tykes finished fifth and will play fourth-placed Swansea in the semi-finals of this season’s Promotion Play-Offs.
Watford consolidated second by defeating Steve Cooper’s Swans with second half strikes from Andre Gray and Isaac Success.
Sergi Canos provided a goal and assist for Brentford as Thomas Franks’ third-placed Bees defeated Bristol City 3-1 at Ashton Gate, heading into their play-off semi where they will face Bournemouth who lost 2-0 to Stoke City.
Elsewhere, Adam Armstrong grabbed a hat-trick to finish the season as the Championship’s second top goalscorer with 28 goals, as Blackburn came from one goal down to thrash Birmingham City 5-2 at Ewood Park.
Matty James provided two assists and a goal as Coventry City thrashed Millwall 6-1 in their final home game at St Andrews’, as the Robins move back to the Ricoh Arena next season.
Reading sealed seventh as Michael Olise provided a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw at home to Huddersfield, as Rarmani Edmonds-Green 93rd minute strike rescued the Terriers a point.
QPR finished ninth after goals from Charlie Austin, Stefan Johansen and Albert Adomah wrapped up a 3-1 home win over Luton.
Finally, Preston came from behind to defeat Nottingham Forest away at the City Ground through a controversial handball goal from Tom Bayliss and Liam Lindsay header, after James Garner had put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute.
Here is the full 2020-21 Championship table in full.
(C) = Champions, (P) = Promoted, (R) = Relegated
|1 (C), (P)||Norwich City||97||+39|
|13||Preston North End||61||-7|
|14||Stoke City||60||– 2|
|17||Nottingham Forest||52||– 8|
|18||Birmingham City||52||– 24|
|19||Bristol City||51||– 22|
|22 (R)||Wycombe||43||– 30|
|23 (R)||Rotherham||42||– 16|
|24 (R)||Sheffield Wednesday||41||– 21|