Leicester City promoted to Premier League as Leeds crash

AFP , Saturday 27 Apr 2024

Leicester City were promoted to the Premier League on Friday after rivals Leeds United crashed to a shock 4-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

Leicester City
Leicester City s Wilfred Ndidi celebrates with teammates after scoring their side s second goal of the game during a Sky Bet Championship soccer match against Southampton at the King Power Stadium, Tuesday April 23, 2024. AP

The result leaves Leicester top of the Championship with 94 points with two games to play while Leeds stay second on 90 but with just one match left.

Third-place Ipswich Town can pip Leeds to the second automatic promotion place as they currently have 89 points with three matches still to play.

"It's not in our hands anymore (automatic promotion), we need to be honest," Leeds boss Daniel Farke told the BBC.

"The race is not over, if Ipswich win the next two games then I will say congratulations but if they don't win them then we will have a lot to play for (against Southampton on the final day of the season).

"As long as we have a chance, I'm far away from giving up."

Enzo Maresca's Foxes achieved promotion at the first time of asking having been relegated from the Premier League last season.

Their final two games begin with a trip to Preston on Monday, before they round off the season with a home finale against Blackburn on May 4.

Leeds will find themselves outside the top two if Ipswich beat Hull on Saturday or Coventry in their game in hand on Tuesday.

Should Ipswich win both, they will be promoted while Leeds will have to enter the play-offs.

"Congratulations to QPR and congratulations to Leicester," added Farke.

"In the first 20 minutes we didn't do the basics and QPR used this in an effective way to be 2-0 up."

Leicester were shock Premier League champions in 2016 but were relegated with Leeds and Southampton last season.

The Foxes were cruising towards promotion back in February when they were were 12 points clear at the top and had a 14-point cushion to third spot.

On Tuesday, they faced fellow promotion hopefuls Southampton after losing six of their previous 11 games.

However, they demolished the Saints 5-0 thanks to a Issahaky Fatawu hat-trick and goals from Wilfred Ndidi and evergreen striker Jamie Vardy.

That resounding victory put them on the brink of a Premier League return.

Joy at promotion will be tempered to a degree after they were charged in March by the Premier League for alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules (PSR) relating to their last three years in the top flight.

If found guilty, Leicester could start life back in the top flight with a points deduction.

Meanwhile, goals from Ilias Chair, Lucas Andersen, Lyndon Dykes and Sam Field gave QPR their deserved victory over Leeds and guaranteed their survival in England's second-tier.

QPR were second from bottom of the Championship when Marti Cifuentes took over from Gareth Ainsworth in October.

"It was a fantastic evening. We worked really hard to get this type of performance," said Cifuentes.

"All the way we have been showing resilience mentally. The whole club felt we were in a huge challenge but we were all together.

"I'm very happy for the players, the fans and the club. It was a difficult task but we managed to get the great escape."

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