Championship
StokeStoke City1BrentfordBrentford0
By Gary SmeeBBC Sport
Lee Gregory goal
Lee Gregory was left with a simple finish for Stoke's winner

Brentford missed the chance to put promotion to the Premier League in their own hands by falling to defeat at Stoke City, a result which handed Leeds United the Championship title.

Leeds, who were promoted on Friday, now cannot be caught at the top, while the Bees remain third in the table and a point behind West Brom heading into Wednesday's final round of fixtures.

Brentford conclude their season against Barnsley at Griffin Park while the Baggies, one of two teams left in the automatic promotion race alongside Fulham, host Queens Park Rangers.

Stoke are now mathematically safe for another season and move up to 17th, five points clear of the drop zone following the completion of Saturday's full programme of matches.

The only goal at the bet365 Stadium came in the first half when Lee Gregory tapped in after visiting goalkeeper David Raya palmed out Sam Clucas' long-range strike.

Brentford, who had won their previous eight games, put in arguably one of their poorest performances of an otherwise excellent season and their prolific front three of Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo were kept quiet.

Centre-back Ethan Pinnock almost scored a dramatic leveller deep into stoppage time but his stinging effort was superbly tipped wide by Adam Davies.

An incredible run ends

With West Brom losing at Huddersfield on Friday, a result which sent Leeds up to the top flight, Brentford knew victory in the Potteries would leave them realistically requiring one more point to secure promotion because of their superior goal difference.

However, they looked far from the side who had won eight in a row, and the Championship's top scorers created little against a resolute Stoke backline.

They were mainly restricted to half chances, although Brentford thought they should have been awarded a first-half penalty when Bruno Martins Indi appeared to tug down Pinnock in the box.

The defeat can take nothing away from what has been a sensational few weeks for Thomas Frank's side since the league resumed on 20 June.

Brentford were fourth and 10 points off the automatic promotion places when the Championship was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Their run of victories, combined with the Baggies winning just three of their past 10 matches, saw the deficit shrink to just one point - although they will feel this is a huge missed opportunity.

The west London side have not been in the top flight of English football since 1946-47, but the Baggies could now stop them going straight up even if they beat Barnsley.

Easy street for Leeds

Leeds United
Leeds United fans gathered at Elland Road on Friday to celebrate promotion

Over the past 24 hours Leeds have been promoted to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 and crowned second-tier champions without kicking a ball.

Marcelo Bielsa's side only needed another point from their final two matches, starting with Sunday's visit to Derby, for the title, but the job has already been done for them.

At the other end of the table Stoke's upturn in form this month, a 5-0 defeat at Leeds aside, has made sure they remain in the Championship.

The Potters only picked up two points from their first 10 matches, a run which saw Nathan Jones sacked in November and replaced by Michael O'Neill.

Their terrible start means they have been in and around the relegation zone for much of the season, but three straight home victories against Barnsley, Birmingham and now Brentford proved crucial.

'That is the roller coaster of football'

Thomas Frank
Brentford boss Thomas Frank saw his side drop points for the first time in nine games

Brentford manager Frank said he and his players felt emotional following their first defeat since 25 February.

"Of course we would have loved to go into the final game with everything in our hands," the Dane, 46, said.

"That is the roller coaster of football. What happened out there on the pitch is the past. We can only look forward, do everything we can to settle our emotions and be ready to go again Wednesday.

"I am very proud of them (his players). I think they gave everything out there today. We have been on an unbelievable run and if anybody had said to us before the start of the season that before the last game you would be one point off the top two...

"Also I am 100% sure I am going to be even more proud of them at the end of the season. If it takes one or four games (due to the play-offs) I don't know."

Stoke boss O'Neill indicated he was already looking towards next season.

"I think it's always relief when you are in this situation. It's a relief to get it finally done and to do it and win against a very, very good team is a positive for us as well," the former Northern Ireland manager said.

"But it's nothing for us to celebrate - it is just something for us to look at the progress we have made, and we will look to continue that going forward."

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 16Davies
  • 12Chester
  • 6Batth
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 14Smith
  • 24Cousins
  • 22Clucas
  • 11McCleanBooked at 90mins
  • 25PowellSubstituted forCollinsat 90+5'minutes
  • 19GregorySubstituted forSørensenat 89'minutes
  • 9VokesSubstituted forCampbellat 71'minutesBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

  • 1Butland
  • 5Lindsay
  • 7Ince
  • 20Oakley-Boothe
  • 26Campbell
  • 33Sørensen
  • 34Thompson
  • 35Tymon
  • 37Collins

Brentford

  • 1Raya
  • 22DalsgaardSubstituted forBaptisteat 83'minutes
  • 18Jansson
  • 5Pinnock
  • 3HenrySubstituted forDervisogluat 69'minutes
  • 8JensenSubstituted forCanósat 69'minutes
  • 6Nørgaard
  • 14DasilvaSubstituted forMarcondesat 59'minutes
  • 19MbeumoSubstituted forFosu-Henryat 84'minutes
  • 11Watkins
  • 10Benrahma

Substitutes

  • 7Canós
  • 16Valencia Castillo
  • 17Marcondes
  • 21Dervisoglu
  • 23Jeanvier
  • 24Fosu-Henry
  • 26Baptiste
  • 28Daniels
  • 35Rasmussen
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamBrentford
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home6
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home0
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 1, Brentford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Brentford 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Nørgaard (Brentford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Emiliano Marcondes with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Danny Batth.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Raya Martin (Brentford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Emiliano Marcondes with a cross following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Adam Davies.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Nathan Collins replaces Nick Powell because of an injury.

  9. Booking

    James McClean (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Brentford).

  11. Post update

    Nick Powell (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Lasse Sørensen replaces Lee Gregory.

  13. Post update

    Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Tyrese Campbell (Stoke City).

  15. Post update

    Christian Nørgaard (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Tyrese Campbell (Stoke City).

  17. Post update

    Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Nick Powell (Stoke City).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Tariqe Fosu-Henry replaces Bryan Mbeumo.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Shandon Baptiste replaces Henrik Dalsgaard.

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