Hull City have secured their place in next season’s Premier League.
Steve Bruce’s side welcomed Championship champions Cardiff City to the KC Stadium on Saturday afternoon, knowing a win would seal their promotion. But it was their former player Fraizer Campbell who opened the scoring on 49 minutes, leaving the Tigers with an uphill struggle. However, goals from Nick Proschwitz and Paul McShane saw the home team go ahead. And they could have wrapped up the three points in stoppage time, but Proschwitz missed a penalty and then, just seconds later, the Bluebirds equalised when Nicky Maynard converted from the spot after Abdoulaye Faye handled.
So over to Vicarage Road, where the action had been delayed by 15 minutes due to a first half injury to home goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, who had only been selected when regular number one Manuel Almunia was injured in the warm-up. It was Leeds United who took the lead through Dominic Poleon on 42 minutes, but Almen Abdi levelled before the break. Troy Deeney was sent off for two bookable offences for the Hornets, who soon learned that Hull had drawn, meaning they would go up if they could find a winner. But as they pushed for that crucial goal the Whites were able to break, and in the closing minutes Ross McCormack found the net when his shot slipped through the fingers of rookie keeper Jack Bonham.
So Gianfranco Zola’s side will have to settle for a place in the playoffs, along with Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace who had already sealed places in the top-six. And they will be joined by Leicester City, who recorded a memorable win against fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest when Anthony Knockaert scored a last minute winner to seal a 3-2 win at the City Ground. And with Bolton Wanderers being held to a 2-2 draw against Blackpool, these three points were enough for Nigel Pearson and his team.
At the other end of the table, Bristol City had already been relegated and Wolverhampton Wanderers needed a miracle if they were to avoid joining them in League One. However, Dean Saunders’ side produced yet another disappointing performance, going to 2-0 at Brighton to mark a second successive relegation. On a day in which the table changed throughout, Peterborough United also suffered the drop as Crystal Palace came from 2-1 behind to inflict a 3-2 defeat on Darren Ferguson’s men. Huddersfield Town and Barnsley shared a 2-2 draw, which was enough to secure safety for both, whilst Sheffield Wednesday eased past Middlesbrough with two goals in the first half.