Leeds return to the Premier League after 16-year absence

Leeds United returned to the Premier League after a 16-year absence on Friday as West Bromwich Albion’s loss at Huddersfield Town guaranteed them a top-two finish in the Championship.

A huge favour from Leeds’ Yorkshire neighbours, who won 2-1, triggered wild celebrations at the Elland Road outfit.

The club’s Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani will also be toasting promotion which is worth an estimated 170 million pounds.

Leeds have 87 points with two games remaining, five more than second-placed West Brom who slumped to defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday and have one game left.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men are six points ahead of third-placed Brentford, who have also played 44, and a point from their last two matches will ensure they rejoin the elite as champions.

They could even claim the second-tier title on Saturday if Brentford fail to win at Stoke City.

The success will be doubly sweet for Leeds who missed out on promotion last season in the playoffs despite looking favourites for automatic promotion for much of the campaign.

It also comes less than a week after the death of one of the club’s greatest players — England World Cup-winning centre-half Jack Charlton.

Former skipper Dominic Matteo, who was part of the Leeds side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001, paid tribute to the 64-year-old Bielsa.

“This is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Matteo told Sky Sports. “Bielsa and the team have been incredible. Everything they have done from start to finish has been done the right way.

“What Bielsa has brought to this football club has been outstanding. He’s got a bit of magic and you can see the passion in his body. He brings the best out of everyone and makes every player better. All credit to him and his staff.”


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