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Southampton edged past leeds in Championship playoffs to gain PL promotion

Southampton edged past leeds in Championship playoffs to gain PL promotion

Sunday, 26 May, 2024
McCreadie Andias

Southampton have won the richest game in football – the Championship playoff final – and with it, secured a place in the next Premier League season.

Saints join the automatically promoted Ipswich Town and division champions Leicester City in progression to England’s top flight.

It was all thanks to an Adam Armstrong first half goal that saw Saints win 1-0 in the Final at Wembley.

Saints may not have been in the race for automatic promotion for much of the season but nobody can doubt that when it really mattered they stepped up.

After holding West Brom to a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns in the first playoff semi-final, Southampton just needed to win at St Mary’s to book their place at Wembley and they did just that.

Three second-half goals from the home side put Albion to the sword, their only response was a late consolation goal.

Despite being underdogs going into the final at Wembley, Southampton found a way again and now have a return to Premier League football to look forward to.

It’s three up and three down in the Premier League and with Leicester, Ipswich and Saints moving up to the top tier, the three worst sides in the 2023/24 Premier League season must thus go down.

As it turned out, all three of the promoted sides from 2022/23 will be returning back to the Championship for the 2024/25 season with Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton Town all heading back to the second tier after just one season in the promised land.

Whilst the teams at the top of the Championship have battled for a place in the Premier League, at the other end of the table there was a scramble to avoid relegation to League One.

The first to be relegated to the third tier were Rotherham United after a bleak season which saw them win just five matches and finish on 27 points. They were followed by Huddersfield Town who knew their inferior goal difference made any final-day miracle impossible.

And then on the last day, despite winning at home to playoff-bound Norwich, Birmingham City were sent to the third division for the first time in 29 years – a dark day for a massive club.

From League One, Portsmouth, Derby County and Oxford United were promoted to the Championship.

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