Leeds United 0-1 Southampton

Home » Leeds United 0-1 Southampton

Southampton beat Leeds in the Championship play-off final to secure an immediate return to the Premier League and the £140m to go with it.

Saints’ 11-year spell in the top flight came to an end after a wretched campaign last time out but, despite finishing one place and three points behind Leeds in fourth, it is they who join Leicester and Ipswich in going up.

Adam Armstrong scored the decisive goal with a clinical finish after being put clear by Will Smallbone.

Leeds substitute Dan James clattered a bouncing ball against the crossbar late on as they pushed for an equaliser but Russell Martin’s men saw out almost 12 minutes of time added on.

Defeat for Leeds consigned them to another season in the Championship and meant they have now lost their past three finals at Wembley without scoring and been unsuccessful in all six of their play-off campaigns.

Saints’ promotion means that all three play-off finals this year were won by the team who had finished lower in the league table, with the team who had finished higher failing to score in all three.

Both teams came into the game off the back of comprehensive second-leg wins in the semi-finals, Leeds beating Norwich 4-0 and Southampton easing to a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

There was nothing between the two sides for the first quarter of the game before Armstrong put Saints in front with his 24th goal of a prolific campaign.

Chances were few and far between thereafter, an oddly off-colour Crysencio Summerville shooting wide for Leeds and Samuel Edozie wasting a fine chance on the break for Southampton.

James twice came close to sending the match to extra time but Alex McCarthy made an excellent full-length save from his low 20-yarder after the bar had earlier denied the Welshman.

The win gives Martin, who had been discarded at Norwich as a player in Leeds boss Daniel Farke’s spell at Carrow Road, his first promotion in management.

Vindication for Martin as Saints bounce back

Martin left Swansea to take over at Southampton last summer after a season which had seen Saints sack both Ralph Hasenhuttl and Nathan Jones and end up finishing bottom under Ruben Selles.

He had built an excellent reputation during his spells in charge of MK Dons and the Swans for playing attractive football but had not managed to finish in a play-off spot, much less win promotion prior to this season.

Things did not get off to a great start as skipper James Ward-Prowse was sold after featuring in the opening-day win at Sheffield Wednesday and a run of four straight defeats in September, including a 5-0 shellacking at Sunderland, left some wondering if Martin’s spell at St Mary’s would be a brief one.

A 3-1 win over Leeds on 30 September sparked a complete turnaround in their form as they embarked on a 25-game unbeaten run that propelled them into automatic promotion contention.

They were still well in the chase in April but three successive losses against Cardiff, Leicester and Stoke put paid to that.

After a goalless draw at West Brom in the first leg of their play-off semi-final they cruised through in the return leg and although not at their sparking best in Sunday’s final, they had more than enough to see off Leeds.

Luck runs out for promotion specialist Farke

German Farke said after the play-off win over his former side Norwich he would not have returned to England to take over any other Championship club than Leeds, having twice won the division with the Canaries.

He, like the thousands of Leeds fans at Wembley, will be left with recriminations from a day where his side didn’t get going until it was basically too late.

The Whites became the first second-tier side to accumulate 90 points and not go up automatically since Sunderland in 1997-98, with the Black Cats also beaten in that season’s play-off final.

Questions will now linger over the futures of Championship player of the season Summerville, teenage star Archie Gray and French forward Georginio Rutter.

With the backing of the 49ers Enterprises investment group, they should be well positioned to challenge again in 2024-25 but the nature of this defeat will sting.

Recent Comments

No comments to show.

100% match bonus based on first deposit of £/$/€20+. Additional bonuses.

T&Cs Apply

New players only. Welcome Bonus - 100% bonus on your first deposit up to €/$/£200 Unless otherwise stated. This bonus only applies for deposits of €/$/£10 or higher! All you need to do is just deposit the money in your website.com account and you will receive this bonus instantly!

*New users only

casinosingaporesite.com is an independent source of information about online casinos and online casino games, not controlled by any gambling operator. All our reviews and guides are created honestly, according to the best knowledge and judgement of the members of our independent expert team; however, they are intended for informative purposes only and should not be construed as, nor relied upon as, legal advice. You should always make sure that you meet all regulatory requirements before playing in any selected casino. Copyright ©2023