What happened on a remarkable last night of the Championship season?

Gerhard Struber
Gerhard Struber led Barnsley to two wins from their final two games and survival

With something riding on all but one of the final 12 matches of the Championship season, it was always likely to be a rollercoaster ride to the finish.

But what happened over the course of a remarkable couple of hours on Wednesday will live long in the memory.

Here's a round-up of how things went...

Promoted

Leeds & West Brom

West Brom celebrate
Baggies boss Slaven Bilic was drenched in fizz at full-time

Three teams remained in the race to join champions Leeds in the automatic promotion places. In the end it was second-placed West Bromwich Albion who had the mettle and stamina to hold off Brentford and Fulham.

The equation was a simple one - the Baggies had a one-point lead over Brentford and two over Fulham with a superior goal difference. The pressure was on the two west London clubs to better West Brom's result and hope each other's result went their way.

As it happened, all three sides went a goal down. First Wigan netted to go 1-0 up against Fulham, then QPR went in front against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Brentford, who at that point were still goalless against relegation-threatened Barnsley and up to second, were unable to take advantage.

The Bees went behind to Callum Styles' opener for the Tykes, and Grady Diangana levelled for West Brom in their game just before the break. Advantage Baggies.

Callum Robinson scored to put Slaven Bilic's Albion ahead after half-time, but Eberechi Eze's spectacular strike levelled for Rangers. At Wigan, Neeskens Kebano was levelling things up for Fulham.

Thomas Frank's Brentford were the form team in recent weeks, winning eight games to propel themselves into the automatic mix before losing to Stoke on Saturday, and Josh Dasilva's equaliser again handed them the initiative with 17 minutes to go. At this stage, all three promotion hopefuls were level, but it was still West Brom in second.

The crucial goal came at Griffin Park, but it was not for Brentford. Instead, in stoppage time Kenyan Clarke Oduor turned in Patrick Schmidt's cross to stun the hosts, save Barnsley and make sure West Brom went back up to the Premier League after two seasons away.

Play-offs

Brentford, Fulham, Cardiff & Swansea

Swansea celebrate
Swansea managed a six-goal swing to climb into the play-offs and dump Forest out

The race for the final couple of places in the play-offs was probably, beforehand, the least exciting facet of the final round. One to keep half an eye on. Nottingham Forest and Cardiff were pretty much there. Swansea were the rank outsiders. Or so we thought.

Steve Cooper's side needed a victory and a six-goal swing to wrestle their way into the top six and were counting on already safe Stoke giving them a hand against Forest. The Potters did just that.

Forest began three points ahead of Swansea, but their 4-1 defeat by Stoke and the Swans' own 4-1 win against Reading meant Forest dropped from fifth to seventh.

What began as an unlikely pursuit of a top-six place ended with that position assured and with a goal to spare as well.

Swansea finished sixth and will now meet Brentford in the play-off semi-finals, starting with the first leg at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Cardiff will welcome west London opposition themselves on Monday when they take on Fulham.

The Bluebirds beat Hull comfortably, who finished bottom, to ensure a place in the play-offs while Fulham's slim chances of automatic promotion were ended after a 1-1 draw with Wigan, a result which also relegated their opponents by virtue of their 12-point deduction for going into administration.

Relegated

Charlton, Wigan & Hull

David Marshall
Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall was distraught at full-time

Barnsley's late, late winner at Brentford saw them pull off a miraculous escape and meant Hull City and Charlton Athletic were joined in the bottom three by Wigan. That's barring a successful appeal against their 12-point deduction for entering administration.

The Latics would still have avoided the drop had they managed to beat Fulham, but they were unable to find a winner despite creating numerous chances in a 1-1 draw.

Hull's hopes of securing their survival were always slimmer than slim and they will be playing League One football next season for the first time since 2005 following their defeat at play-off bound Cardiff City, which left them bottom of the pile.

The fact even a victory would not have saved them from going down will be of little consolation.

Charlton's final-day defeat was perhaps the most predictable as they were soundly beaten by champions Leeds United.

As things turned out, a win would have seen them well clear of the bottom three, but that was never likely as they were outshone on their way to a 4-0 mauling at Elland Road.

There were welcome final-day reprieves for Luton Town and Middlesbrough, who beat Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, as well as Birmingham, who lost at home to Derby County.

Remarkably, none of the teams in the bottom five on 2 July ended up being relegated. Luton, Barnsley, Stoke, Huddersfield and Middlesbrough all managed to pull clear when in trouble with six games remaining.

Leeds crowned champions

Leeds goal
Leeds eased to a 4-0 win over Charlton...
Leeds celebrate
celebrated their title with the boss...
Leeds trophy
and picked up the Championship trophy

Play-off schedule (all times BST)

Semi-final first legs

  • Sunday, 26 July - Swansea v Brentford - 18:30
  • Monday, 27 July - Cardiff v Fulham - 19:45

Semi-final second legs

  • Wednesday, 29 July - Brentford v Swansea - 19:45
  • Thursday, 30 July - Fulham v Cardiff - 19:45

Final (Wembley Stadium)

  • Tuesday, 4 August - Brentford or Swansea v Fulham or Cardiff - 19:45

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