Championship Review: Fulham replace Cardiff in second as McCarthy leaves Ipswich
Fulham moved above Cardiff City into the Championship's second automatic promotion place after the two teams were on contrasting sides of 1-0 scorelines on Tuesday.
Neil Warnock's side went down to Jack Grealish's late stunner at Aston Villa, while Fulham prevailed by the only goal at home to Reading, Stefan Johansen proving the match-winner.
The results leave Fulham one point better off with four matches remaining, although Cardiff can console themselves with the knowledge they still hold a game in hand.
Elsewhere, Ipswich Town won 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened Barnsley but it was announced after the game that manager Mick McCarthy - who was due to leave the Tractor Boys at the end of the season - will instead depart the club with immediate effect.
| Mick McCarthy spoke with iFollow Ipswich shortly after the full-time whistle at Portman Road this evening as he confirmed his departure from the Club. pic.twitter.com/TEFfbLGOkA-- Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) April 10, 2018
GREALISH SCREAMER DOWNS BLUEBIRDS
Villa kept their own, albeit faint, top-two hopes alive as they maintained their five-point gap to Fulham, and the decisive goal was worthy of winning any game.
With five minutes to go, a looping clearance fell to Grealish, who smashed a 25-yard first-time volley in off the right-hand post to seal all three points.
Cardiff have now taken just one point from three matches as Warnock's men wobble at the most inopportune of moments.
LIONS ROARING AGAIN
The final play-off place now belongs to Millwall, who won 2-0 at struggling Bolton Wanderers to leapfrog Middlesbrough after Tony Pulis' side went down 2-1 at Sheffield United.
Neil Harris' side have now won nine and drawn two of their past 11 games, after Tom Elliott and Ben Marshall secured victory at Bolton, who remain two points clear of the drop zone.
Boro's reverse - thanks to Lee Evans' first-half brace at Bramall Lane - means the Blades are one of seven sides separated by five points battling it out for the two play-off berths realistically still up for grabs.
MCCARTHY BOWS OUT EARLY
It had already been confirmed that McCarthy would leave Portman Road when his contract expired at the end of the campaign, but the former Republic of Ireland boss decided enough was enough four games ahead of schedule.
"I said I would see the season out but it's been a new experience and it's not one I have been enjoying to be honest," he said.
"I have continued to do my job to the best of my ability but there is something missing and I'm not comfortable with that."