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Leaders Norwich ease past Luton, Watford up to second with win

·2-min read

NORWICH, England (Reuters) - Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki struck a brace while midfielder Todd Cantwell marked his return from a calf injury with a goal as the Championship leaders beat Luton Town 3-0 to stay 10 points ahead of second-placed Watford.

Finland striker Pukki opened the scoring with a fine finish in the 13th minute and doubled Norwich's advantage later in the first half before Cantwell fired home from distance to seal a seventh victory for the club in as many games.

Norwich have 76 points from 35 matches, with Watford their nearest rivals following a 1-0 home win over Nottingham Forest in an early encounter where defender Adam Masina netted his first goal in more than a year.

Swansea City forward Andre Ayew scored a 97th-minute penalty to double his tally for the game and ensure a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough that moved Steve Cooper's side up to third, one point behind Watford with two games in hand.

Ghanaian Ayew had held his nerve in similar circumstances when he struck a 96th-minute penalty in their previous game against Stoke City on Wednesday which earned them a late win.

Middlesbrough, who had a goal by Marc Bola disallowed in the second half due to a foul by Yannick Bolasie during the build-up, thought they had secured a point when Sam Morsy scored in injury time only to be left frustrated at the final whistle.

Fourth-placed Brentford were not in action on Saturday as Rotherham United moved their meeting to April 27 after a second COVID-19 outbreak at the club. Rotherham's game with Luton on Tuesday has also been postponed.

Promotion hopefuls Reading comfortably beat 10-man Sheffield Wednesday 3-0, as a penalty from Michael Olise and second-half strikes from Lucas Joao and Andy Yiadom left them in fifth with 60 points from 35 games.

Barnsley stayed on track to match Reading's tally with their game in hand, beating Birmingham City 1-0 with Daryl Dike's goal shortly after the break proving the difference.

In other games, Bournemouth drew 1-1 with Preston North End, Queens Park Rangers beat Bristol City 2-0 and Coventry City edged past Derby County 1-0.

Blackburn Rovers and Stoke were also winners on the day, beating Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers, respectively.

Cardiff City boss Mick McCarthy's 1,000th game as a manager ended in a 0-0 draw at Huddersfield Town on Friday. The Welsh club are yet to lose in 11 games since veteran McCarthy took charge in January.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)