League 1

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Report: Gerrard will turn down MK Dons manager’s job

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Steven Gerrard‘s immediate future has been a hot topic for discussion since the 36-year-old Liverpool legend announced he’s leaving the LA Galaxy this winter, but remains as much a mystery late on Saturday as it was four days earlier.

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According to a report from ESPN FC, Gerrard will reject the offer he reportedly received from League 1 side MK Dons to become the club’s new manager. It has been reported that he has until Monday to accept or reject the club’s offer.

Somewhat fittingly, MK Dons also approached Gerrard’s fellow former England star Frank Lampard, but were reportedly immediately turned down, as the 38-year-old Chelsea legend intends to continue his playing career after departing New York City FC this week.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Man City, Spurs win late; Man United 1-1 Arsenal ]

Gerrard reportedly also has an offer on the table to finish the 2016-17 European season with Serie A side Inter Milan.

10-goal thriller sees Swindon into League 1 promotion playoffs final (video)

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It’s been 15 years since League 1 side (for seven of the last eight seasons) Swindon Town last competed in the Championship, England’s second-division league. Following a strong start to the 2013-14 League 1 season, Mark Cooper’s side faded late in the season and missed out on the promotion playoffs.

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Fast forward a year, and the Robins comfortably booked themselves a playoff place after finishing fourth in the league, 14 points north of the playoffs cut-off. Following their first leg defeat of Sheffield United, a semifinalist in this year’s League Cup, all looked to be going according to plan ahead of the second leg, which was to be played at Swindon’s County Ground.

What, almost certainly, wasn’t in Cooper’s plan was to concede five goals in that second leg. It would have been an all-time-great playoffs capitulation, except for the five goals Swindon contributed to Monday’s 10-goal thriller and booked their place in the promotion playoffs final, where they’ll face Preston North End at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, May 24.

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That, right there, is the full rundown of Monday’s events (via WhoScored.com), with Swindon on the left and United on the right.

To recap quickly, with just 18 minutes on the clock, Swindon held a 5-1 lead in the two-legged tie. 21 minutes later, that lead had been cut to 5-3. It was then 6-4 with 25 minutes left to play. Jonathan Obika made it 7-4 with just six minutes left to play. Then it was 7-5 four minutes later. Then 7-6 barely another minute on the clock.

[ MORE: Halfway to Wembley: Championship’s promotion playoffs after one leg ]

Is the Championship, League 1 or League 2’s quality anything close to that of the Premier League? Of course it’s not, but those leagues have the one thing the Premier League is missing: promotion playoffs. This time of year, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more thrilling, intense 90 minutes of soccer.

And the only thing better than the promotion playoff semifinals? The promotion playoffs finals, of course. League 2 – May 23; League 1 – May 24; Championship – May 25.