Norwich and Sheffield promoted to EPL

LONDON • Norwich have been a perennial yo-yo club, with three promotions to and two relegations from the Premier League in the past decade.

But, having regained their top-flight status after a three-year absence with a 2-1 win at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, they "are ready for the Prem" and intend to stay there this time.

Victory left the Championship leaders - who recorded just one win from their opening six games - nine points clear of third-placed Leeds and secured a top-two place.

The Canaries kicked off at Carrow Road knowing just a point would be enough to secure promotion, and long-range strikes from German midfielder Marco Stiepermann and Bosnia striker Mario Vrancic were enough to see off their opponents, who pulled one back through Lewis Travis.

Afterwards, Northern Ireland defender Jamal Lewis hailed the work done by German manager Daniel Farke, who left his position as the coach of Borussia Dortmund's reserves to take over in May 2017, telling Sky Sports: "He puts his faith in us. Our team is so young but so hungry. It's been an amazing season. It's a moment I'll never forget."

Pundit Chris Sutton agreed, praising the achievement as one of their "greatest ever seasons".

The former club striker told BBC Sport: "I normally associate teams coming up from the Championship with real grit and resolve. Norwich... have played some really good stuff."

The title is still up for grabs and the competition's top scorer Teemu Pukki (28 goals), said that was the team's aim ahead of their final league game at Aston Villa on Sunday. He said: "It (promotion) means a lot... (but) we want to finish the season with a victory."

Norwich are three points ahead of second-placed Sheffield United, who beat already relegated Ipswich 2-0, and were also promoted yesterday after Leeds' 1-1 draw with Villa.

Marcelo Bielsa's team now head for the play-offs, with the winners securing the final promotion place.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2019, with the headline 'Norwich and Sheffield promoted to EPL'. Print Edition | Subscribe