EFL Sky Bet Championship Goes Right Down To The WirePeter Houghton
The conclusion of the EFL Sky Bet Championship last night was a bonanza for the League’s broadcasters last night. Although Leeds United, 14-year absentees from the Premier League. had already been declared Champions and their 4-0 defeat of lowly Charlton Athletic added the icing to their cake while sentencing their opponents to League 1.
Behind Leeds though is where last night’s football took the inevitable last dance twists and turns.
West Bromwich Albion, not out of the top 2 since October saw their automatic promotion threatened. especially if Brentford could have produced something similar to Leeds at home to Barnsley. It looked possible for a while with West Brom at 2-2 with QPR and Brentford and Barnsley at 1-1. But just as Slaven Bilic was filling the field with attackers, Barnsley scored a stoppage-time winner to send Albion back to the Premier League and Brentford into the play-offs.
Meanwhile at the foot of the table, things were distorted by Wigan Athletic’s 12-point post-match deduction plus the possibility of something happening at Sheffield Wednesday. Post-lockdown, Wigan had played some excellent football, catapulting them to the normal safety of 13th place. The loss of 12 points, while under appeal, sees the slither down the snake to 23rd, despite holding promotion hopefuls Fulham to a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium.
Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Luton Town, all crept out of trouble along with Barnsley.
Nottingham Forest, long time contenders for the play-offs, found themselves eased into 7th place as Swansea City took advantage of 2 late goals to beat Forest on a goal-difference of 1.
So, many different issues in the Championship happened on the last evening and it vindicates the hard work done by Bob Eastwood and his colleagues at the EFL in getting the competition restarted. This is one of the most valuable leagues in world football and the rewards for those attaining promotion are massive.