Leeds are champions as Brentford put automatic promotion back in West Brom’s hands with defeat at Stoke
Leeds are champions as Brentford chose the worst possible time to end their winning streak and missed the opportunity to go second with a 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday.
Following West Brom’s defeat to Huddersfield, the Bees needed just four points from their last two matches to seal automatic promotion.
But despite travelling to the Bet365 stadium on the back of an eight-match winning streak, those dreams were dashed by Lee Gregory’s 38th-minute strike.
With struggling Barnsley at home in their last match, it’s likely a point would’ve been good enough for Brentford – and defeat will be tough to swallow given it’s the first time they have failed to score in 14 matches.
For Stoke, it’s a victory which secures their Championship status for next season – and for Leeds, it means they will go up as title-winners.
Thomas Frank’s men remain a point behind West Brom in third spot. While they host Barnsley on Wednesday, the Baggies take on QPR at the Hawthorns.
Leeds, whose promotion was already confirmed following Albion’s 2-1 loss at Huddersfield on Friday, are now uncatchable at the top, sitting five points clear.
Meanwhile, the win for Michael O’Neill’s Stoke in their last home match of the campaign left them eight points above the relegation zone in 17th.
After a low-key start to the contest in pouring rain, the first real goalscoring opportunity arrived in the 17th minute when Said Benrahma sent a cross towards the far post and Mbeumo’s header was well saved by Davies.
Three minutes later Brentford were on the attack again, with Ollie Watkins heading wide, before Sam Vokes nodded over the bar at the other end.
Pinnock went down in the Stoke box under pressure from Bruno Martins Indi, but nothing was given by referee Geoff Eltringham.
Having kept their opponents fairly quiet, Stoke then grabbed the lead as Raya’s parry from Clucas’ strike left a simple tap-in for Gregory.
Rico Henry fired off target in the opening moments of the second half, before decent chances were passed up by both sides, with Vokes directing a header wide and Da Silva then prodding the ball the wrong side of the post.
Watkins subsequently saw an attempt blocked by Danny Batth, and as the clock ticked down, Brentford’s efforts to rescue something continued to be in vain, with Marcondes sending a free-kick over the bar and then seeing a shot pushed behind by Davies.
Another substitute, Sergi Canos, sent a delivery across the danger zone in stoppage time but Benrahma was unable to get on the end of it, and Davies then produced another good save to keep out Pinnock’s strike.
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, talkSPORT reports