London (AFP) – Newcastle went three points clear at the top of the Championship after an emphatic 3-0 win over Ipswich, while promotion rivals Norwich crashed to a shock 1-0 home defeat on Saturday.
Rafael Benitez’s side scored the fastest goal in the Championship this season when Ayoze Perez struck after just 60 seconds at St James’ Park.
Perez added his second in the 73rd minute before setting up Matt Ritchie’s late strike as the Magpies reeled off a fifth successive victory.
While Newcastle cruised on the road back to the Premier League, Norwich, who were also relegated from the top flight last season, couldn’t find a way past Preston at Carrow Road.
Alex Baptiste’s 75th-minute header secured a fourth win in six games for Preston and Norwich slipped to fourth in the table.
Brighton replaced Norwich in second place after Dale Stephens struck with a fine 25-yard effort midway through the second half in a 1-0 win at Wigan.
Elias Kachunga’s stoppage-time goal gave third-place Huddersfield a 1-0 win over Derby, who suffered their first defeat since boss Steve McClaren returned for a second spell in charge.
Sheffield Wednesday are up to fifth after Gary Hooper’s goal late in the first half was enough to beat QPR 1-0 at Hillsborough.
Bristol City are also in the play-off places after substitute Aaron Wilbraham’s deflected 88th-minute strike sealed a 1-0 win against Blackburn at Ashton Gate.
Jonathan Kodjia’s 80th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win for Aston Villa against Fulham and maintained their improvement under new boss Steve Bruce.
It was the first time Villa had managed back-to-back victories since May 2015.
Kenny Jackett’s first match as Rotherham manager ended in defeat as a late goal from Paul McShane clinched a 1-0 win for Reading at the New York Stadium.
The Royals wasted the chance to take the lead when Garath McCleary’s penalty was saved by Lee Camp, but McShane ensured there was no harm done when he prodded home from close range in the 86th minute.
Kemar Roofe grabbed his first goal for Leeds to earn a 1-0 win at Wolves, who have now gone five matches without a win, while Barnsley ended their miserable form with a surprise 2-0 win at Brentford.
The Tykes had taken just one point from their previous six matches but Adam Armstrong put them in front in the 29th minute before Sam Winnall’s second-half strike sealed the win.