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Leeds United's Championship play-off semi-final opponents confirmed after Southampton defeat

Leeds United's Wilfried Gnonto reacts after a missed chance against Southampton

Leeds United's Wilfried Gnonto reacts after a missed chance against Southampton© PA

Leeds United will have to do it the hard way if they are to secure an immediate Premier League return. Defeat to Southampton ended the Whites' lingering hopes of sealing automatic promotion and leaves them preparing for a play-off campaign.

United entered today's clash needing a miracle to snatch the final automatic promotion spot. Not only was a win over the play-off bound Saints a must, but the Whites required local rivals Huddersfield Town to do them a huge and unexpected favour by beating second-placed Ipswich Town at Portman Road. The Terriers were all but relegated after drawing at home to Birmingham City in their penultimate fixture.

Ipswich recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over the Terriers to clinch back-to-back promotions. It means United have made an unwanted bit of history following a gruelling campaign. They have become the first second-tier side since Sunderland in 1998 to rack up 90 points or more and not finish in the top-two.

The Whites, who finished third in the regular league season, will face Farke's former club Norwich City in the play-off semi-finals. The first leg will take place at Carrow Road on Sunday, May 12, kick-off 12pm. The second instalment is to be staged at Elland Road on Thursday, May 16, kick-off 8pm.

The Canaries, managed by ex-Huddersfield boss David Wagner, dropped to sixth after West Bromwich Albion defeated Preston North End on the final day. The Baggies will lock horns with Southampton in the other semi-final.

It will be the sixth time United have competed in the play-offs. They have never won promotion via the end-of-season knockout format.

Farke spent over four years at Norwich, twice guiding them to the Championship title. The German was dismissed in November 2021, just six months after winning the league with a record-breaking points total. 

Story by Dom Howson: Leeds Live 

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