Playoff

Result: England lose out to Sweden in third-place play-off

England missed out on a third-placed finish at the Women’s World Cup as they were beaten 2-1 by Sweden in their play-off in Nice. Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead at the Allianz Riviera, with Kosovare Asllani firing in in the 11th minute after an Alex Greenwood error and Sofia Jakobsson adding a fine strike in the 22nd. Phil Neville’s Lionesses replied through Fran Kirby’s left-footed effort just after the half-hour mark and two minutes later the ball was in the Swedes’ net again courtesy of an Ellen White finish. We just couldn’t get it over the line 💔 Thank you for your support guys, you have been the best. pic.twitter.com/FwmD15r1Sf — Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 6, 2019 But, just had been the case in the 2-1 semi-final loss to the United States four days earlier, White had what she ha...

The key talking points ahead of England’s Nations League play-off

England face Switzerland in the Nations League third-place play-off on Sunday afternoon. The Three Lions were beaten by Holland in extra-time on Thursday night to miss out on a place in the final, while Switzerland fell to hosts Portugal. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the talking points ahead of England’s final game of the season. Always the bridesmaid…. Gareth Southgate and his players applaud the crowd after losing the World Cup third-place play-off match against Belgium last summer (Aaron Chown/PA) For the second summer in a row England will participate for the honour of finishing third rather than competing for a trophy. They were beaten by Croatia in the semi-final of last summer’s World Cup before losing to Belgium 2-0 in St Petersburg. Gareth Southgate made f...

Result: Dijon retain their Ligue 1 status with play-off victory over Lens

Tunisia midfielder Sliti struck first just before the half-hour mark. Naim Sliti scored a brace as Dijon retained their place in Ligue 1 with a 3-1 victory and a 4-2 aggregate success over Lens in the promotion play-off at Stade Gaston Gerard on Sunday night. After last week’s first leg ended 1-1, Tunisia midfielder Sliti struck first just before the half-hour mark and Jean-Kevin Duverne equalised for the Ligue 2 visitors 11 minutes later. Wesley Said put Dijon ahead for the second time with 20 minutes remaining before Sliti made the game safe at the death as he completed his double.

Frank Lampard: ‘No tension at Derby County ahead of playoff final’

Frank Lampard has compared Derby’s play-off final showdown to Chelsea‘s crucial Champions League qualification which changed the course of the club’s future. The Rams play Aston Villa in Monday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final, which is worth an estimated £170million. In 2003, Lampard’s Chelsea faced Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, with the game labelled ‘the £20million match’ as the winners would qualify for the Champions League. Lampard, left, played in a crucial 2003 win for Chelsea over Liverpool that changed the club’s history (PA) Chelsea won 2-1 to finish fourth but without Champions League football Roman Abramovich may not have bought the club, who have won five Premier League titles since. Ahead of the Wembley clash with Villa, La...

Bradley Johnson: ‘Derby will not repeat playoff mistakes from last season’

Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson has vowed the Rams are a different animal this season. The 32-year-old believes Frank Lampard’s side have developed from the team who lost in the play-offs last year. Under Gary Rowett, Derby lost 2-1 on aggregated in the play-off semi-final to Fulham and were criticised for trying to contain the Cottagers in the second leg, despite being 1-0 up. Derby suffered play-off heartbreak at Craven Cottage last season (John Walton/PA) They face Aston Villa – who have beaten them 3-0 and 4-0 this term – in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday but Johnson insisted Derby will not shut up shop. He said: “This year our mentality is different, we want to go out and win every game. The young lads want to win and when they play with conf...

Dean Smith talks up Frank Lampard ahead of Championship playoff showdown

The Derby manager went to Brentford when Smith was Bees boss to talk to the squad. Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is out to silence Frank Lampard at Wembley after already hearing his words of wisdom. The pair face off in Monday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final when Villa clash with Derby in the £170million game on Monday. They will be rivals in the battle for the Premier League but, when Lampard was working on his coaching badges at Chelsea, Smith invited him to Brentford, where he was manager, to speak to his squad. He has already been impressed with Lampard the manager and Smith was interested with the former England midfielder’s motivational speaking. He said: “I knew his old man, Frank Sr. I asked him if Frank wouldn’t mind coming in and doing a talk. He came ...

How have previous Championship playoff winners fared in the Premier League?

Almost two-thirds of clubs promoted to the top flight via the play-offs since the introduction of one-off finals in 1990 have gone straight back down. Derby, who face Aston Villa in Monday’s Championship play-off final, know very well how hard it can be to adjust after promotion via this route. They posted the all-time lowest Premier League points total of just 11 following their play-off success in 2007. Here Press Association Sport looks at the survival rate for teams promoted via the play-offs. Second tier to top flight – the toughest step of all Graphic showing the survival rates for clubs promoted via the play-offs (PA Graphic) In all, 18 of the 29 clubs to come into the First Division or Premier League via the play-offs since 1990 have gone straight back down. Four of the last five t...

John McGinn: ‘Defeat in playoff final would make Aston Villa season a failure’

John McGinn thinks Aston Villa‘s season is a failure as it stands after not challenging for automatic promotion. However, the club’s player of the year believes Villa can redeem themselves with victory in the Championship play-off final – a game McGinn feels will be the biggest of his career. Villa were never in the hunt for a top-two finish, ending the campaign 13 points adrift of runners-up Sheffield United and a further five points behind champions Norwich. Dean Smith’s side only forced their way into the play-offs with a perfectly-timed club-record run of 10 successive wins in March and April. McGinn said: “There have been so many highs and so many lows and I think overall this season has been a failure initially. “The size of this club, it should be in th...

Micky Mellon heaps praise on playoff hero Connor Jennings

Tranmere manager Micky Mellon described Connor Jennings‘ story as one from a comic book after he earned Rovers victory in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final. Jennings scored with 90 seconds of extra time remaining, heading home from close range to earn Rovers a 1-0 success against Newport at Wembley and secure back-to-back promotions. It came just a fortnight after his grandad died and 12 months on from going from being in a coma to helping his side win promotion from the National League a week later. Mellon said: “I am so pleased for him, I don’t want to get too romantic and emotional but he has had a tough couple of weeks. Connor Jennings wheels away in delight after netting the winner at Wembley (Adam Davy/PA) “He lost his grandad, we never even knew. He just ...

Championship playoff final: Five talking points ahead of Wembley showdown

Recognised as the richest fixture in football, the Sky Bet Championship play-off final will be contested by Aston Villa and Derby with a place in next season’s Premier League up for grabs. Villa defeated West Brom in a penalty shoot-out earlier this month to book their spot in this match for the second time in 12 months while Derby overturned a two-goal deficit to stun Leeds in their semi-final. Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points ahead of the pivotal encounter at Wembley on Monday afternoon. Money, money, money Winner. Takes. All.#EFL | #EFLPlayOffs | #StepUp pic.twitter.com/QVbFeNuxPv — Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) May 24, 2019 There is simply no getting away from it. While the opportunity to play in the Premier League will ensure members from b...

Frank Lampard plays down Chelsea speculation ahead of playoff final

Frank Lampard will hold talks over his future with Derby owner Mel Morris after Monday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final. Chelsea‘s record goalscorer has been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge as manager if they part company with Maurizio Sarri after Wednesday’s Europa League final against Arsenal. Lampard has guided the Rams to within one win of the Premier League in his first season as a manager and they face Aston Villa at Wembley on Monday. Sarri will also discuss his future with the Chelsea hierarchy “to know if they are happy with me” after their final in Baku. Lampard, who won three league titles at Stamford Bridge, reiterated he was happy at Derby but will discuss the club’s direction and his own future after Wembley. He said: “I&...

Sunderland boss Jack Ross does not want repeat of famous 1998 playoff final

Jack Ross was a 21-year-old defender with Camelon Juniors when Sunderland and Charlton played out arguably the most famous play-off final in history at Wembley in May 1998. Clive Mendonca struck a hat-trick against his home-town club and Serbian goalkeeper Sasa Ilic made the crucial save as the Addicks reached the top-flight on penalties after a 4-4 draw. Memories have inevitably resurfaced since the two clubs booked a repeat appearance, this time in the League One final, at Wembley on Sunday – but Ross admits he would dread the prospect of such a breathless repeat. Sunderland fan Clive Mendonca sunk his home town club in 1998 (Adam Butler/PA) Ross said: “When the two teams avoided each other in the semi-final people naturally started to point towards that, but I must admit nobody ha...

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