Dramatic final day see’s West Brom earn promotion
In an action-packed final night of action in the Championship, West Bromwich Albion earnt promotion back to the Premier League. In a day full of twists, turns, mixed emotion and late goals, we finally arrived at the conclusion of the season. Matters were settled, at least so it seems, at the top where West Brom prevailed and bottom where Wigan were punished. Last night’s drama makes this perhaps the most exciting and unpredictable league in world football.
Hunt for automatic promotion reaches conclusion
At the start of the night, three teams remained in the hunt to join champions Leeds United in the Premier League next season. In the end, it was the perennial chasers West Brom who rather fell over the line to join Leeds United in their promotion glory, holding off Brentford and Fulham in doing so.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 23, 2020
In an unforeseen twist, all three sides went a goal down in each of their matches. First, Wigan Athletic, who were in need of the points themselves, netted to go 1-0 up against Fulham. Then QPR went in front against West Brom, putting Brentford in pole position. That was until Callum Styles’ opener put Barnsley ahead to peg back the Bees.
After West Brom managed to turn their match around and took the lead. Before long, highly-rated QPR forward Eberechi Eze equalised to put the Baggies promotion credentials in doubt once more. Brentford’s Josh Dasilva scored a leveler and handed the Bee’s the initiative with 17 minutes to go. However, a late goal through Clarke Oduor for the visiting Tykes, left the hosts stunned.
Fulham got back on level terms at Wigan with a Neeskens Kebano free-kick just after half-time. A point was never likely to be enough for Scott Parker’s men and West Brom gained automatic promotion following their 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns.
This meant that both London clubs, Brentford and Fulham, will now face the lottery of the play-offs. Prior to the night’s fixtures, the other two occupants seemed pretty much set in stone, how wrong that was.
Play-off places drama
Swansea were the rank outsiders to make the top six. They began the night needing not only a points swing, but also a huge goal difference switch to overtake either Nottingham Forest, or Welsh rivals Cardiff City.
Steve Cooper’s Swan’s needed all three points themselves, either side to lose, and a six-goal sway to find themselves in the top six at night’s end. Remarkably this is exactly what they got.
Swansea City started the day needing a five-goal swing over Nottingham Forest to clinch a play-off place.
A story in two parts: pic.twitter.com/uBKymbDcPT
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Nottingham Forest were the obliging side who made way. Already safe, Stoke City stunned Forest by winning 4-1, including a 95th-minute own goal.
Meanwhile, Swansea were on the right side of a 4-1 scoreline. Wayne Routledge’s 91st-minute goal sent the South Wales club to the playoffs. This stunning win came after Rhian Brewster had opened the scoring with a 40-yard wonder-strike.
We could now see a derby in the ‘most expensive game in football’ should either both Welsh clubs or both West London clubs win their respective semi-finals. Swansea will host Brentford in the first leg at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Cardiff will welcome their own west London opposition themselves on Monday when they take on Fulham. The final will take place on Tuesday August 4th at Wembley.
Relegation fate confirmed
Barnsley’s late winner at Brentford meant they kept their Championship status for next season by the slimmest of margins. Oduor’s goal saw them pull off a miraculous escape and meant Hull City and Charlton Athletic – both teams suffering heavy defeats in their final match – were joined in the bottom three by administration hit Wigan.
Wigan, who in real terms finished 13th following their draw, were immediately hit with a 12-point deduction at the final whistle, plunging them to 22nd and into League One – barring a successful appeal. Should Wigan’s appeal be successful, Barnsley, who celebrated survival last night, may yet find themselves relegated alongside Hull and Charlton.
More excitement still to come?
Calculators can now take a well-earned rest as the Championship came to an enthralling conclusion, in normal league terms at least. It remains to be seen who will join Leeds United and West Brom the top flight.
The future of Charlton manager Lee Bowyer is now up also for debate, having earned promotion last year, only to be relegated at the first time of asking, the Addicks may struggle to keep hold of their man who has been linked with moves away in recent weeks.
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘West Brom earn promotion amid final day drama’. How do you think the Baggies will fair in the Premier League? Let us know!
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