Sports

Championship play-off line-up confirmed as Sheffield Utd and Luton nab final spots



Sheffield United and Luton Town have booked their places in the Championship play-offs on the final day of the regular season.

The pair were sitting in fifth and sixth place respectively at the start of the day – and two home wins ensured that’s how it stayed. They will now join Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town in the play-offs with only one of those sides set to join Fulham and Bournemouth in next season’s Premier League.

The Blades headed into today’s home game with champions Fulham knowing only a victory would guarantee their participation in the end-of-season lottery. And despite coming up against a Cottagers side fresh off the back of a 7-0 thumping against Luton which sealed the title, Paul Heckingbottom’s side were rampant.

They found themselves 3-0 up inside 25 minutes thanks to strikes from Morgan Gibbs-White, Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge to shell-shock the visitors. Enda Stevens made it 4-0 after the restart on a memorable day for the Blades as they ended the regular campaign on a high.

Which side will join Fulham and Bournemouth in the Premier League next season? Let us know in the comments

Luton also booked their place in the top six – and it was thanks to a gift in a 1-0 victory at home to Reading. Royals’ stopper Orjan Nyland inexplicably dropped the ball in his area unaware that Harry Cornick was loitering. The Luton man gleefully rounded the ‘keeper and tapped in just before the break. And that’s how it stayed as Nathan Jones’ men clinched sixth spot.

Middlesbrough’s chances of breaking into the top six rested on them winning away at Preston North End. But Chris Wilder’s side simply didn’t turn up and a heavy 4-1 defeat to the Lilywhites – including a brace from Emil Riis – put paid to any faint hopes they had.

Millwall also entered the day with an outside chance of reaching the play-offs but Gary Rowett’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat at promoted Bournemouth with Kieffer Moore’s late effort the only goal of the game.

Huddersfield’s 2-0 win over Bristol City ensured they stole third spot at the expense of Forest.

Forest thought they had nicked a late winner at Hull through Brennan Johnson’s stoppage time penalty. But Keane Lewis-Potter had the final say to make it 1-1 and ensure Steve Cooper’s side finish fourth and will now meet Sheffield United over two legs.

The other tie sees Huddersfield face Luton. The Championship play-offs begin on Friday.

Confirmed play-off dates

First legs

Friday May 13, 7.45pm – Luton vs Huddersfield

Saturday May 14, 3pm – Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest

Second legs

Monday May 16, 7.45pm – Huddersfield vs Luton Town

Tuesday May 17, 7.45pm – Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United

Final

Sunday, May 29, 3pm – At Wembley Stadium





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