Leeds United’s hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League were shattered on the final day of the Sky Bet Championship as they fell 2-1 to Southampton at Elland Road.

Adam Armstrong gave Southampton an early lead, which was swiftly equalised by Joel Piroe for Leeds. However, Will Smallbone’s decisive finish restored the Saints’ advantage, which they held onto to secure the win.

Leeds entered the final match needing a win and hoping for Ipswich to lose to already relegated Huddersfield. Unfortunately, neither condition materialised as Ipswich comfortably won their game 2-0. Leeds finished six points behind, becoming the first side since Sunderland in 1998 to miss out on automatic promotion despite amassing 90 points.

Southampton’s win saw them return to form after three consecutive defeats, finishing the season in fourth place. Leeds now face a stern test in the play-offs, with a semi-final against Norwich, while Southampton will take on West Brom.

Leeds initially showed promise, with Georginio Rutter forcing a fine save from Alex McCarthy. However, Southampton quickly found their rhythm and took the lead through Armstrong after Leeds failed to clear a corner. Piroe brought Leeds back into the game after Sam Byram’s driving run, but defensive lapses allowed Southampton to capitalise again. Kyle Walker-Peters found Smallbone unmarked in the box, and the midfielder slotted home to restore the Saints’ lead.

Leeds came close to equalising before the break, with Willy Gnonto and Taylor Harwood-Bellis testing the Saints’ defence, but it was Southampton who looked more assured in the second half. Substitute Ryan Fraser almost added to their lead.

A fresh wave of energy arrived for Leeds through substitutes Archie Gray, Matteo Joseph, and Jaidon Anthony. Despite dominating possession, they couldn’t find the breakthrough they desperately needed, with Crysencio Summerville’s shot saved and Anthony’s effort narrowly off-target.

As Leeds prepare for the play-offs, they’ll need to dig deep to secure a return to the Premier League, starting with their semi-final clash against Norwich. Southampton will look to build on their win and aim for promotion via the play-offs.

Championship Play-off Dates:

Semi-final First Legs

  • Norwich vs Leeds (12pm) – Sunday, May 12
  • West Brom vs Southampton (2.15pm) – Sunday, May 12

Semi-final Second Legs

  • Leeds vs Norwich (8pm) – Thursday, May 16
  • Southampton vs West Brom (8pm) – Friday, May 17


  • Sunday, May 26 (kick-off time TBC)

Q: Why did Leeds United miss out on automatic promotion to the Premier League?
A: Leeds United missed out on automatic promotion because they lost 2-1 to Southampton on the final day of the Sky Bet Championship, while Ipswich won their match against Huddersfield.

Q: Who did Leeds United face in the Championship play-offs?
A: Leeds United faced Norwich City in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs.

Q: How did Leeds United perform in their match against Southampton?
A: Leeds United lost 2-1 to Southampton. Although Joel Piroe equalised for Leeds, Will Smallbone’s decisive goal secured the victory for Southampton.

Q: Who will Southampton face in the play-offs?
A: Southampton will face West Bromwich Albion in the Championship play-offs.

Q: When are the semi-final play-off matches scheduled?
A: The first legs of the semi-final play-off matches will be held on Sunday, May 12, while the second legs will take place on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17. The final will be played on Sunday, May 26.

Q: What was Leeds United’s final position in the Championship?
A: Leeds United finished third in the Championship, six points behind the automatic promotion spots.


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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