Leeds on verge of promotion to Premier League
Leeds are on the verge of promotion to the Premier League after the Championship leaders beat struggling Barnsley 1-0 on Thursday.
Michael Sollbauer’s own goal in the first half at Elland Road was enough for Leeds to move within one point of automatic promotion.
With two games left, Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be guaranteed to end their 16-year exile from the top flight if second-placed West Brom fails to win at Huddersfield on Friday.
If West Brom wins, the next promotion opportunity would come if third-placed Brentford, six points behind Leeds, are unable to beat Stoke on Saturday.
Failing that, Leeds can seal promotion themselves when they play at Derby on Sunday.
bottom-of-the-table Barnsley remain four points from safety with two games left and look set for relegation to League One.
Barnsley forward Jacob Brown should have given his side an 11th-minute lead after being played in by Cauley Woodrow’s excellent pass.
But Brown dragged his effort wide from a tight angle with just keeper Illan Meslier to beat.
Leeds were given another let-off in the 27th minute when Mads Andersen’s flying header from Callum Styles’ corner flew inches wide.
But Leeds broke the deadlock moments later when Barnsley defender Sollbauer diverted the ball into his own net while under pressure from Helder Costa following Patrick Bamford’s cutback.
Leeds were given two more scares in as many minutes when angled drives from Conor Chaplin and Styles narrowly missed the target.
Sollbauer’s header forced Meslier into another save and the Leeds keeper also repelled Woodrow’s shot on the turn.
The tension in the stands among the Leeds hierarchy reached unbearable levels during the closing stages as the home side held on.
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