Playoff

St Mirren boss Oran Kearney defiant over relegation playoff

St Mirren boss Oran Kearney has warned play-off rivals Dundee United his side have definitely improved since their last meeting. The Buddies got the result they were looking for against United’s city rivals Dundee, a 3-2 win, but it was not enough to spare them from finishing second bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership. Hamilton’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone means the Paisley outfit now face a two-game clash with Robbie Neilson’s Tangerines next week to save their top-flight status. United will take confidence from the fact they dumped Kearney’s side out of the William Hill Scottish Cup win back in February at the Simple Digital Arena. But since then, Saints have lost just three games and their boss believes they now have the vital momentum after registering a six-game...

Result: Dundee United ease past Inverness Caledonian Thistle to reach playoff final

Nicky Clark’s controversial penalty sent Dundee United on their way to the Ladbrokes Premiership play-off final with a 3-0 victory over Inverness. Clark slotted home in first-half stoppage-time after Brad McKay was harshly penalised for handball by referee Kevin Clancy. Visiting boss John Robertson was sent to the stand at half-time after making his feelings clear and Osman Sow netted his first goal for United 10 minutes into the second half before Pavol Safranko scored late on to seal a 4-0 aggregate win. United will now host either Hamilton or St Mirren on Thursday night in the first leg of the final as they look to make it third time lucky in the play-offs. Inverness had Tom Walsh back fit to replace the suspended Liam Polworth, whose red card had a major bearing on United’s...

From Spygate to playoff heartbreak: Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United tenure so far

Leeds are ready to activate their option to extend Marcelo Bielsa‘s stay at Elland Road for another year. But the 63-year-old Argentinian gave no guarantees over his future after his side’s heartbreaking Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Derby. Here, Press Association Sport charts Bielsa’s timeline at Elland Road. Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, left, introduced Marcelo Bielsa to English football last summer (Mike Egerton/PA) June 15, 2018: Leeds made Bielsa the Sky Bet Championship’s highest-paid manager when appointing him as Paul Heckingbottom’s replacement. The Argentinian shook hands on a three-year agreement, with the club having the option to extend his stay at the end of each year. September 18, 2018: Bielsa’s side set the early s...

Marcelo Bielsa refuses to discuss Leeds future after playoff heartbreak

Marcelo Bielsa is ready to consider an offer to extend his stay at Leeds, but gave no guarantees over his future after his side’s play-off heartbreak. Leeds, top of the table with nine games of the regular season left, missed out on a top-two finish and blew a second chance of promotion by losing 4-3 on aggregate to Derby in their Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final. Bielsa and Leeds have in place a three-year agreement, which gives the club the option of extending his contract at the end of each season for another 12 months. Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa is dejected after defeat to Derby (Nick Potts/PA). The agreement allows for Bielsa to leave, should he choose, at the end of each year, with clauses in place to protect Leeds if he took charge at another club. Had Leeds gone on ...

Jack Marriott left speechless after sending Derby through to playoff final

Jack Marriott had one of the best moments of his life as his brace in Derby’s rousing Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final win at Leeds propelled them closer to the Premier League. The Rams forward stepped off the bench just before half-time and scored with his first touch 33 seconds later to cancel out Stuart Dallas‘ opener. Marriott’s intervention sparked Derby’s thrilling fightback. Trailing 1-0 after the home leg and 2-1 on aggregate at half-time, quickfire goals from Mason Mount and Harry Wilson put them 3-2 ahead. No words. ๐Ÿ˜#Wembley pic.twitter.com/fjCVs4b9xN โ€” Jack Marriott (@jackmarriott94) May 15, 2019 A second goal from Dallas levelled it up at 3-3 on aggregate, but Marriott skipped in for his decisive second to clinch the tie in front of a partisan E...

Result: Derby County stun Leeds United to reach Championship playoff final

Derby County beat Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road and 4-3 on aggregate to set up a Championship playoff final clash with Midlands rivals Aston Villa. Derby County have booked a place in the Championship playoff final with a remarkable 4-2 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road, recovering from a two-goal aggregate deficit to progress through 4-3 on aggregate. The Rams, trailing 1-0 from Saturday’s first leg, found themselves with a mountain to climb when Stuart Dallas found a way through 24 minutes in. County boss Frank Lampard brought on Jack Marriott towards the end of the first half, though, and that proved an inspired change as the striker kickstarted his side’s comeback following a big error at the back from Kiko Casilla and Liam Cooper. Mason Mount levelled up the tie l...

Result: Villa beat Albion on pens to reach playoff final

Aston Villa book their place in the Championship playoff final with a 4-3 penalty-shootout win against West Bromwich Albion following a 2-2 draw after extra time. Aston Villa lost 1-0 on the night but came out on top 4-3 on penalties against 10-man West Bromwich Albion to book their place in the Championship playoff final. ยฉ Reuters West Brom had a penalty appeal turned down in the opening 10 minutes when Anwar El Ghazi got across Mason Holgate in the box and blocked the ball with his upper arm. Neither side were able to really take control of the match in a sloppy opening quarter of the match, but it was the Baggies who made the breakthrough just short of the half-hour mark. Holgate’s long throw from the right was met by Craig Dawson, who got between Tammy Abraham and Ahmed Elmohama...

Video: Mike Dean celebrates enthusiastically as Tranmere reach playoff final

Dean stood on the terrace railings and cheered as Tranmere beat Forest Green to seal a place at Wembley. Premier League referee Mike Dean led the celebrations as Tranmere booked their place in the League Two play-off final. The 50-year-old, who last month became the first ref to show 100 red cards in the Premier League, was caught on camera celebrating wildly in the stands as Rovers beat Forest Green to reach Wembley. ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŸ โ€“ MIKE DEAN AND TRANMERE ARE HEADING TO WEMBLEY! The Premier League referee cannot hide his excitement at The New Lawn as his side secure their place in the play-off final! ๐Ÿ”ฅ pic.twitter.com/ZCrOur7xbn โ€” Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 13, 2019 Dean stood on the terrace railing at the New Lawn after Tranmereโ€™s 1-1 draw secured a 2-1 aggregate victory. He had earlier...

Result: Tranmere beat Forest Green on aggregate to reach playoff final

James Norwood struck his 32nd goal of the season to help take Tranmere to Wembley for the Sky Bet League Two play-off final against Newport. A header from Forest Green skipper Joseph Mills after just 13 minutes cancelled out Ollie Banks’ cracker from the first leg. However it was Norwood’s goal after 27 minutes which proved decisive, earning a 1-1 draw on the night and a 2-1 victory on aggregate, while the hosts had Carl Winchester sent off midway through the second half. Tranmere had started the better at The New Lawn and chalked up the first shot of the game when Liam Ridehalgh tried his luck from outside the area but it was easily gathered by Forest Green keeper Lewis Ward. The hosts soon got into their stride and opened the scoring when Junior Mondal floated a free-kick int...

Inverness boss Robertson criticises “ludicrous” playoff schedule

Inverness will take on Dundee United in the play-off semi-finals. Inverness boss John Robertson has branded the scheduling of the play-off semi-finals “ludicrous”. Inverness set up a last-four meeting with Dundee United following a 4-2 aggregate victory over Ayr. Dundee United will travel to Inverness on Tuesday, having not played since May 4 after their second-placed finish in the Ladbrokes Championship, Robertson believes his side should have a longer break between matches. “We didn’t want to say anything before the game, but I don’t understand why we cannot play the first leg on Thursday and the second leg on Sunday,” said Robertson. “It’s ludicrous that you are trying to get the best product on the pitch, and I don’t think it is fai...

Leeds fan gets tattoo reading “2019 playoff winners”

“Sometimes it’s just written in the stars,” said Jamie Richardson. But his predictions haven’t always been accurate… One Leeds United fan is so confident his side will win the Championship playoffs that he’s had it tattooed on himself. Jamie Richardson, from Allerton Bywater, West Yorkshire had the inking done on his shoulder ahead of Leeds’ Championship semi-final against Derby County. It reads: “Leeds United 2019 Championship Playoff winners.” “We’ll absolutely rip them to bits,” he said, predicting a 3-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s Rams. “Sometimes it’s just written in the stars.” The tattoo also reads “in Bielsa we trust”, and Richardson has full faith in the Argentine to steer ...

Sunderland boss Ross: Playoff pressure isn’t “hell”

The Black Cats missed out on automatic promotion after a late-season slump. Sunderland boss Jack Ross is refusing to let the pressure of the League One play-offs get to him as looks to make the most of a second chance. The Black Cats saw their hopes of automatic promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship go up in smoke after their final seven games yielded just one win and only six points. As a result, the first leg of their play-off semi-final clash with Portsmouth on Saturday evening has proved a hard sell with disappointed fans and left Ross and his players facing a degree of criticism, although the Scot is taking that squarely on his shoulders and is determined to enjoy what lies ahead. He said: “It shouldn’t be hell, otherwise you’re in the wrong job. “Is there...

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