Leicester City celebrate promotion to Premier League

Rivals Leeds United suffer shock 4-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers

Leicester City secured automatic promotion back into the Premier League after Leeds lost to QPR. PA
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Leicester City fans began a long weekend of celebrations as they were promoted to the Premier League on Friday after rivals Leeds United crashed to a shock 4-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

The result leaves Leicester top of the Championship with 94 points with two games to play while Leeds stay second on 90 but with just one match left.

Third-place Ipswich Town can pip Leeds to the second automatic promotion place as they currently have 89 points with three matches still to play.

It was a dream first half for QPR as the London side scored two goals without reply.

First Ilias Chair scored with a deflected effort from outside the area, while a curled finish from Lucas Andersen midway through the first half made it 2-0.

Leeds tried to make things happen in the second half but failed, with French forward Georginio Rutter pulling a shot wide from the middle of the penalty area.

Scottish forward Lyndon Dykes and Sam Field both scored headers from set pieces in the second half to complete the 4-0 win.

The Rangers, second from bottom following six straight defeats when Marti Cifuentes took over from Gareth Ainsworth in October, are safe with a game to spare.

After the memorable result, Cifuentes said: "It was a fantastic evening. We worked really hard to get this type of performance.

"All the way we have been showing resilience mentally. The whole club felt we were in a huge challenge but we were all together.

"I'm very happy for the players, the fans and the club. It was a difficult task but we managed to get the great escape."

Meanwhile, Leeds United manager Daniel Farke said he was determined to fight for promotion despite the shock defeat.

"It's difficult to find an explanation for the first 20 minutes," Farke said.

"We lacked the basics. The basics are to run, to fight, to invest, to be brave, to be compact as a team. We were lacking this in the first 20 minutes."

Ipswich Town, who are now favourites to join Leicester in the other automatic promotion spot, sit one point behind Leeds in third with two games in hand. They face Hull City on Saturday.

"Congratulations to QPR for a well-deserved win and congratulations to Leicester for promotion," added Farke.

"Right now it's not in our hands anymore. The race is not over. If Ipswich don't win the next two games we have a lot to play for on the last day."

Promotion to the English top flight is one of the most lucrative results in sport. According to Deloitte Sports Business Group, promotion to the Premier League is valued at around £170 million and can reach £290m if teams avoid relegation the following year.

Updated: April 27, 2024, 6:34 AM