Football: Leeds crowned English second-division champions as Brentford lose at Stoke

Leeds United supporters gather outside their Elland Road ground in Leeds, England, on July 17, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Leeds United were crowned champions of the second-tier Championship in England after third-placed Brentford lost 1-0 at Stoke City in their penultimate game of the season on Saturday (July 18)

Leeds secured promotion to the Premier League on Friday after second-placed West Bromwich Albion's loss at Huddersfield Town guaranteed a top-two finish and Marcelo Bielsa's side now have an unassailable five-point lead with a game in hand.

Stoke took the lead in the first half when Sam Clucas's shot from range was parried by goalkeeper David Raya into the path of striker Lee Gregory who scored with a simple tap-in.

Brentford remain a point behind West Brom and the fight for the second automatic promotion spot will go down to the final day of the season where Brentford take on bottom side Barnsley while West Brom host Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Fourth-placed Fulham also joined the hunt for automatic promotion after a 5-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday moved the London side to within two points of West Brom.

However, they will be without midfielder Harrison Reed in their last game against Wigan Athletic after he was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card.

Cardiff City's 3-1 win at Middlesbrough means they only need a draw on the final day to keep their seventh-placed Welsh rivals Swansea City at bay in the race for the final playoff spot.

Millwall are out of the running for a playoff place after a 4-3 loss at QPR left them in ninth, five points behind Cardiff.

At the bottom of the standings, Luton Town claimed a precious three points against relegation rivals Hull City with a 1-0 win at the KC Stadium.

While Luton moved up to 22nd with 48 points - behind Charlton Athletic on goal difference - Hull are three points behind.

Hull's plight looks bleak, but the situation at the foot of the table is complicated by 13th-placed Wigan, who are facing a 12-point deduction for going into administration.

The Latics, who drew 2-2 with Charlton on Saturday, plan to appeal this month, but on the current standings the deduction would drop them into the relegation zone on 46 points.

A 2-0 defeat by Preston North End also leaves Birmingham City two points above the drop zone.

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