Southampton returns to the Premier League after overcoming Leeds

Southampton will not have lasted forever in the Championship: a year after its last place in the Premier League, the Hampshire club returns to the elite of English football. 4th at the end of the regular season, one place and three points behind their opponent of the day, the Saints validated their ticket by winning the play-off final played at a packed Wembley this Sunday (1-0). They join Leicester and surprise Ipswich, the other two promoted.

A week after their victory against West Bromwich (3-1), Southampton suffered against the enterprising Peacocks, who made a thunderous start. However, they showed shortcomings in finishing, which were confirmed throughout the more than 100 minutes played, including added time. Russell Martin’s men took advantage of one of their rare forays into the opponent’s last thirty meters to open the scoring by Armstrong, perfectly served behind the defense by Smallbone (24th).

Leeds missed their chance

Already winner of the two confrontations between the two teams this season, Southampton was able to hold back against an imprecise Leeds when approaching the opponent’s area (12 shots to 7, but only 2 shots on target to 3). Ex-Red Devil Daniel James, coming off the bench, came close to equalizing, finding the bar with a huge shot (85th) then McCarthy’s gloves (90th+4). Leeds, in a good position for direct progression throughout the season, collapsed at the end with 4 defeats over the last 6 days. The Peacocks have paid dearly for their inconsistency and will therefore have a second season in the Championship.

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