Fulham moved above West Brom and into second place into the English Championship with a 2-0 win at home to struggling Cardiff on Wednesday
Tom Cairney, a half-time substitute, marked his return after a 10-month absence by opening the scoring 12 minutes into the second period at Craven Cottage.
Aleksandar Mitrovic doubled the London club’s lead in the 63rd minute with his 13th league goal of the season as the Cottagers closed to within five points of table-toppers Bournemouth.
Defeat meant Cardiff had lost their last seven league games, with Bluebirds manager Mick McCarthy well aware his job was under threat.
“It leaves me on the back end of a real horrible run of results,” he told the BBC. “If football is true to its usual stuff, we know what happens — but I can’t do anything about that.
“We’ve come back in off a bad defeat against Swansea, we’ve certainly had a better performance and I’ll be doing exactly the same for Middlesbrough until I’m told differently.”
West Brom, who kicked off in second spot, lost ground as Jamie Paterson’s fine strike saw Swansea beat the Baggies 2-1.
Karlan Grant put visitors West Brom ahead after just 52 seconds before Swansea hit back in the second half.
Joel Piroe’s eighth goal in all competitions this season drew Welsh club Swansea level before the Dutch striker turned provider for Paterson.
Coventry remained fourth despite a 2-1 loss at Preston. Tyler Walker gave the Sky Blues the lead before Preston turned the match on its head thanks to goals from Patrick Bauer and Emil Riis Jakobsen.
Reading dropped out of the play-off places as they squandered a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 loss to Blackpool.
Scott Dann and Tom Dele-Bashiru put the Royals 2-0 up before second-half goals from Owen Dale and Jerry Yates, his second a penalty with five minutes remaining, gave Blackpool all three points.
Middlesbrough continued to move up the table with a 2-0 win at home to Barnsley secured by goals from Andraz Sporar and Matt Crooks.
At the bottom of the table, Peterborough won 2-1 at Hull.
Jack Taylor and Josh Magennis scored late in the first half and, after Magennis had fired a penalty high over the crossbar in the 66th minute, Siriki Dembele won the game for Peterborough.
Wednesday’s only goalless game in the division saw Huddersfield go sixth with a 0-0 draw against Birmingham.