ROBBIE BRADY SAW red in stoppage time for Preston North End as they came from behind to beat local rivals Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Deepdale.
The Ireland international was sent off for two yellow cards on a day when Ireland-qualified striker Tom Cannon, on loan from Everton, scored what turned out to be the winner from an assist from Alan Browne.
Wigan were superior for much of the first half and deserved their lead at the interval, gained after former Ireland international Greg Cunningham deflected Christ Tiehi’s shot into his own net.
The result leaves James McClean’s Wigan rooted to the bottom of the Championship on 31 points, with Mick McCarthy’s Blackpool second only to them on goal difference following their 3-1 defeat at Reading.
Huddersfield Town are another team with 31 points and were heavily beaten by catwalk leaders Burnley, who look destined for the Premier League after extending their unbeaten run to 14 games.
Anass Zaroury crossed for Ashley Barnes to open the scoring, with Connor Roberts and Josh Brownhill adding more goals in the first half, and substitute Michael Obafemi scoring after the break.
Burnley completely dominated a first half in which they had 82 per cent of possession, with reigning Ireland player of the year Josh Cullen at the center of that dominance.
Vincent Kompany’s side are 19 points clear of the automatic promotion places, and should be promoted as champions given that they are 12 points clear of Sheffield United in second place.
The Blades, with John Egan at the heart of the defence, also kept up their automatic momentum after Watford’s Ryan Porteous scored an own goal on 73 minutes.
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They finally found the net for what turned out to be the winner when Oliver Norwood’s corner found Oli McBurnie at the far post, whose header back caused an unlucky Porteous to turn the ball into his own net with Egan also lying in wait.
United are now seven points clear of Middlesbrough after Michael Carrick’s side lost ground with a 2-0 defeat to West Brom. Both Dara O’Shea and Jayson Molumby starred for the Baggies who need to make up five points to get back into the play-off picture.
O’Shea, the West Brom captain, came close to scoring a third when he rose higher to receive Josh Swift’s corner from the right, but headed his effort down and just outside the far post.