Two of the division's more talkative managers came face to face at Preston North End but neither Phil Brown nor Neil Warnock succeeded in winning the football debate as their sides drew 1-1. A point apiece was enough to keep Warnock's QPR top while proving insufficient to lift North End off the bottom.
"QPR will go up as champions so I'm pleased with the performance," said Brown. "But we're in the business of winning and we've not done that again. The lads have got the spirit but they seem to be playing inhibited football." Warnock appeared rather happier. "I've no complaints," he said. "That's a very good point. Let's give Preston credit, it proves there are no easy games. From now on it's going to be a grind."
Brendan Rodgers's third-placed Swansea City found things rather more straightforward with a 3-0 home win over injury-ravaged Doncaster Rovers, who failed to muster a single shot on target. Their fellow promotion hopefuls LeedS United United and Norwich City drew 2-2 in an attractive game at Elland Road, where Robert Snodgrass shone for Simon Grayson's side.
At the opposite end of the table, Selhurst Park hosted a relegation contest which saw Crystal Palace beat Sheffield United 1-0 courtesy of a stunning goal from Darren Ambrose. The Palace midfielder's eye-catching 25-yard, left-foot volley left Sheffield United without a win since Micky Adams took over as manager. "I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about the team," said Adams. "But you can't legislate for a wonder goal."
Middlesbrough assuaged their own relegation worries with a 3-2 victory set against a backdrop of crowd trouble at play-off chasing Millwall, with Leroy Lita claiming a late winner from Merouane Zemmama's cross. The introduction of Zemmama from the bench proved a watershed.
"Merouane was a bit of class," said Boro's manager Tony Mowbray. "He's a Moroccan international who I first signed for Hibernian five years ago. He's always had fantastic technical ability but he's matured into a man now."