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HomeFootballArmstrong makes the difference: Southampton return to the Premier League

Armstrong makes the difference: Southampton return to the Premier League

The final participant for the upcoming Premier League season has been found. With a win at Wembley against Leeds United, Southampton FC punched their ticket to direct promotion after a one-year absence

After 46 games in the regular Championship season, Leeds and Southampton missed out on direct promotion, which is why the two relegated teams from the previous year went into the promotion play-offs. While the Whites had booked their place in the final with an emphatic 4-0 second-leg win over Norwich, the Saints had been successful against West Bromwich Albion (3-1).

In the final match for the last remaining Premier League place, which was held at Wembley, both coaches made no changes from the previous game. Leeds coach Daniel Farke once again opted for ex-Hoffenheimer and top scorer Rutter, among others, while Southampton coach Russell Martin hoped for goals from top scorer Armstrong (21 goals this season).

Leeds defense loses sight of Armstrong

The game, which was also of great financial importance, began with a lot of momentum, although there were no goalscoring opportunities worth mentioning at first. After Leeds went close for the first time through Gray (4) and Gnonto (7), Smallbone failed to beat the alert Meslier with a direct free-kick at the other end (13).

Eleven minutes after his long-range attempt, Smallbone was again at the heart of the action – this time, however, as the provider of the assist. The Irish midfielder kept his cool under pressure and reacted quickly to pass the ball through to the starting Armstrong with his far post. He in turn took full advantage of a coordination problem in the Whites’ defense, finishing with the right and netting at the bottom left to take the lead.

While the robustness in the tackles increased as a result, there were no further goalmouth scrambles for the time being. Leeds got back into the game before the break, but the last promising opportunity before the break was missed by Saints striker Armstrong, whose low shot was well saved by Meslier (45′).

Edozie misses the 2:0 – James fails to hit the crossbar

Only a few minutes after the restart, the Whites had a double chance to equalize, but neither Rodon nor Summerville managed to put the ball in the Saints’ net (49′).

From then on, Wembley went back and forth, with Leeds, who were still behind, increasingly gaining control of the game. However, with the Saints’ defense revealing very little space in the final third, Daniel Farke’s team continued to chase the deficit.

Substitute Edozie missed a great chance to make it 2:0 in the 68th minute, narrowly missing from close range. The Whites, meanwhile, did not look dangerous again until the 84th minute. Leeds joker James didn’t hesitate for long, going for the volley and hitting the crossbar from around 16 meters out

Leicester, Ipswich and Southampton promoted

After a minute-long stoppage and over ten minutes of stoppage time, all the dams broke at Wembley – at least on the Saints’ side – when referee John Brooks blew the final whistle.

After Leicester City and Ipswich Town, the last remaining starting place in the Premier League is now taken. England’s top division returns from the summer break on August 17.

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