Southampton promoted to Premier League after Championship play-off final win against Leeds

Southampton secured promotion back to the Premier League with victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The battle between third and fourth went the Saints’ way as Adam Armstrong scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute, finishing clinically after racing onto Will Smallbone’s through ball.

Leeds weren’t at their flowing best after smashing Norwich City 4-0 in the second leg of their semi-final and came closest to scoring when Daniel James clattered the crossbar with a dipping effort that left Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy stranded.

Daniel Farke’s side piled on the pressure during nine minutes of second-half stoppage time but couldn’t find an equaliser, meaning United will return for another season in the Championship at a minimum.

For Southampton, however, the win sees the south coast club return to the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation in 2022/23. It is the first time they have been promoted to the top flight immediately after going down.

Russell Martin’s outfit finished fourth after 46 games, three points adrift of Leeds, and were paired up with West Bromwich Albion in the play-off semi-finals. A goalless away draw was followed up by a 3-1 victory at St Mary’s.

Adam Armstrong, David Brooks, Will SmallboneAdam Armstrong, David Brooks, Will Smallbone

Southampton beat Leeds at Wembley / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Match-winner Armstrong told Sky Sports: “I don’t know what to say. It’s what we’ve been working for all year, we know how good the Championship has been this year.

“What a way to go up! I saw the space in behind [for the goal] and I knew if I put it across goal it was going to go in, so it was a nice one.

“It means everything. The gaffer and his staff came in in pre-season and put a marker down of what they wanted to see, and look at this.

“This is why we’re footballers, we want to be involved in the biggest games, what a way to win.”

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