Crystal Palace caused a mild surprise when drawing with Reading on Saturday, but Southampton's failure to win against Middlesbrough ensured the Royals clinched the Championship title.

Wilfried Zaha put Palace ahead before Kaspars Gorkss equalised and then Adam Le Fondre guided Reading in front.

Jason Roberts was red carded for Reading and Palace levelled courtesy of a delightful Glenn Murray strike.

Despite an early Billy Sharp goal Southampton were pegged back by play/off chasing Middlesbrough for whom Nicky Bailey and Merouane Zemmama scored.

Boro boss Tony Mowbray was encouraged. "That keeps it alive for us, it keeps it bubbling.

"We know now we have to go to Watford and win. Yes, we would still need someone else to do us a favour - Cardiff have a tough game at Crystal Palace, but we are still in there and fighting.

"And, to be fair, the lads deserve it after that performance. To come from a goal down so early showed great character.

"But they knew they had to. They knew that only three points would do and they played in a very positive manner."

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is still hopeful of securing automatic promotion.

"It would have been nice to seal it, especially for all those fans who have come such a long way to support us. But we will have to make sure we do it at home now.

"We know what we have to do next week when we play Coventry at our place in front of 32,000 people. We have to make sure.

"We had a great start here, it is not often you score a goal in the first minute and that should have given us a platform to go on and win the match, we know that.

"But credit to Middlesbrough, they worked very hard to get back in the match and they made it very difficult for us."

Blackpool guaranteed themselves a play off spot when thumping Burnley with goals from Stephen Dobbie, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Stephen Crainey, and Nouha Dicko.

Nathan Redmond's crisp strike gave Birmingham the lead away to Brighton & Hove Albion, who eventually equalised when Ashley Barnes netted.

Luchiano Becchio bagged for Leeds United as they frustrated Cardiff City, who had hit the front through Joe Mason.

Bristol City defeated Barnsley with Cole Skuse and Jon Stead scoring to ensure they will avoid relegation.

Portsmouth and Coventry City will drop down to League One as they both suffered losses against Derby County and Doncaster Rovers.

Elsewhere Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh struck two goals as Millwall continued their improved form with an away triumph over Ipswich Town, while Peterborough drew with Watford, and Hull City beat Nottingham Forest.

Reading win the ChampionshipReading Titles