Premier League promotion: Burnley, Sheffield United, Luton Town go up!


With Burnley and Sheffield United sealing automatic promotion back to the Premier League, all eyes were on the two teams in the Championship playoff final.

It was Luton Town who outlasted Coventry City in penalties following a tense, scrappy 1-1 over 120 minutes that saw the Hatters lead in the first half but concede in the second frame.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League on NBC ]

Luton was last in the top-flight in 1992, relegated just before the top-flight was rebranded to become the Premier League, and Coventry were last in the Premier League in 2001. As of 2018, both Luton and Coventry were both in the fourth-tier of English football.

Vincent Kompany and Burnley won the EFL Championship title on April 25 after beating Blackburn Rovers, as the Clarets bounced back at the first time of asking. Sheffield United finished in second place and were promoted after two seasons down in the second tier following their relegation in 2021.

[ MORE: Championship standings, stats, scores ]

As for the playoffs, third-place Luton Town beat sixth-place Sunderland 3-2 on aggregate in the semifinals, while Coventry City edged past Middlesbrough 1-0 in a tight semifinal tie as it will be Luton against Coventry in the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Saturday, May 27.

The richest game in football saw a minnow (Luton Town) and a team which has recovered from financial turmoil multiple times (Coventry) square off for a spot in the big time. And now we know the three teams who will join 17 survivors in the 2023-24 Premier League: Clarets, Blades, and Hatters. Oh my.

Championship playoff final recap, analysis

Coventry City 1-1 (5-6 pens) Luton Town — Recap, analysis, player ratings

Championship playoff semifinal results

Saturday, May 13
Sunderland 2-1 Luton Town (Diallo 39′, Hume 63′; Adebayo 11′)

Sunday, May 14
Coventry City 0-0 Middlesbrough

Tuesday, May 16
Luton Town 2-0 (3-2 agg.) Sunderland (Osho 10′, Lockyer 43′)

Wednesday, May 17
3pm ET: Middlesbrough 0-1 (0-1 agg.) Coventry City (Hamer 57′)

How much money is promotion to the Premier League worth?

The prize for being promoted to the Premier League is obviously all about reaching the top-flight. But there is also some serious money involved.

It is estimated that promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is worth around $210 million to each club over a three-season period.

That is due to shared TV income, increased sponsorship opportunities and a whole host of other income revenues improving, while the club also receives parachute payments over three years if they are relegated back to the Championship at the first time of asking. Those parachute payments see relegated teams receive a lower percentage of their previous income from being in the Premier League to help them recalibrate to life in the second tier.

Simply put, promotion to the Premier League for just one season significantly improves the financial health of any Championship club for several years.

How were Burnley promoted?

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley have been a complete force, scoring the Championship’s most goals and conceding the fewest in a manner that would make his old boss, Pep Guardiola, quite proud.

Burnley’s been led by Nathan Tella’s massive goal haul as the Clarets have six players with five or more goals. Josh Brownhill has also excelled in midfield.

Premier League promotion
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

How were Sheffield United promoted?

Sheffield United are back in the Premier League after a two-year absence and the Blades caused a fuss in the FA Cup, losing to Manchester City in the semifinals.

23-year-old Senegalese international Iliman Ndiaye led the way in attack with Oliver McBurnie and James McAtee also having fine campaigns.

Final Championship table 2022-23 Championship stats, leaders, scores, schedule

Riyad Mahrez hat trick leads Manchester City to FA Cup Final


Riyad Mahrez scored a hat trick as Manchester City worked its way past Championship side Sheffield United in an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium on Saturday as Pep Guardiola chases a treble.

The 32-year-old Mahrez now has three career club hat tricks. He scored one for Leicester versus Swansea City in the 2015-16 Premier League season and got his next for Man City against Burnley in PL play during the 2020-21 campaign.

The 3-0 win means City will meet either Brighton and Hove Albion or Manchester United in June in a bid to claim yet another trophy.

[ LIVE: Follow Manchester City v Sheffield United here ]

The Blades, favorites to join Burnley In going back up the Premier League, had early control and nearly made it 1-0.

But Mahrez scored from the spot before halftime and a City lineup resting Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Rodri, and Ruben Dias didn’t have to bother those stars about making an impact.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Sheffield United

Manchester City vs Sheffield United final score: 3-0

Goals: Riyad Mahrez (pen 43′, 61′, 66′).

Assist: Jack Grealish (66′)

Manchester City vs Sheffield United player ratings: Stars of the Show

Manchester City vs Sheffield United player ratings

What’s next?

City has a little match with Arsenal on Wednesday, and a win would tighten its grip on a third-straight Premier League Trophy.

Sheffield United hosts West Brom on the same day, and a win would see it promoted to the Premier League.

Riyad Mahrez goal video: Algerian slots penalty

How to watch Manchester City vs Sheffield United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:45am ET, Saturday
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
Online: Stream via ESPN+
Updates: Stats, commentary on

Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Erling Haaland has now scored 48 goals in all competitions this season as his record-breaking first campaign at Manchester City boggles the mind. City are on auto-pilot right now and Guardiola will be wary of rotating his lineup too much so his top players keep their rhythm ahead of the title showdown with Arsenal next week. That said, with Nathan Ake suffering an injury in midweek he will likely shuffle his defense around to avoid further issues.

The Blades are without two of their star players from this season, James McAtee and Tommy Doyle as both are on loan from Man City so are ineligible for this game. That said, Sheffield United are playing with house money here. Nothing is expected of them in this game and with promotion back to the Premier League almost secured, the Blades will sit back, defend deep and then try to spring counters. Watch out for Iliman Ndiaye and Ollie McBurnie in attack, while Sander Berge is a top quality central midfielder.

Manchester City team news, lineup options

OUT: Nathan Ake (hamstring)

Sheffield United team news, lineup options

OUT: James McAtee (unable to fare parent club), Tommy Doyle (unable to fare parent club), Jack O’Connell (knee), Rhian Brewster (hamstring), Enda Stevens (unknown)

FA Cup draw: Quarterfinal fixtures revealed


FA Cup draw results: Manchester City and Chelsea learned their quarterfinal foes on Thursday, while Liverpool must wait 24 more hours for the round of 16 to be completed.

[ MORE: Jesse Marsch discusses stigma around American coaches ]

The three Premier League giants were kept apart in the quarterfinal draw, setting the stage for a semifinals field potentially featuring the top three sides in the PL — Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. All they have to do is beat Southampton, either Nottingham Forest or Huddersfield Town, and Middlesbrough, respectively.

The other quarterfinal matchup will see another Premier League side, Crystal Palace, take on either Everton or fifth-tier Boreham Wood.

Check out the full FA Cup quarterfinal draw below…

FA Cup 6th round draw

Southampton vs Manchester City
Middlesbrough vs Chelsea
Nottingham Forest/Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool
Crystal Palace vs Everton/Boreham Wood

Report: MLS launching Division 3 league to bridge top-tier, academy play


Major League Soccer will dive straight into the deep end of lower-league soccer in the United States with the implementation of a Division 3 league, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter and Pablo Maurer.

The league would be a step between MLS and its MLS Next academy structure, says the report, providing more minutes to young players against grown men with “over half of MLS’s clubs fielding teams” with intention to add independent clubs later.

[ MORE: Full highlights, analysis of PL season ]  

MLS already has 11 clubs with affiliates in the USL Championship (Division 2) and another five in USL League One (Division 3).

The only other Division 3 league is the National Independent Soccer Association, a league headlined by grassroots success stories Chattanooga FC and Detroit City FC but just three years old.

USL also boasts USL League Two, but it is an amateur league. The New York Red Bulls U-23 side and Portland Timbers U23s are joined by several teams with USL or NISA affiliations, and USLL2 is considered an unofficial “Division 4” with the National Premier Soccer League.

What does this all mean? This development in a vacuum could be a natural progression that fills a developmental hole for MLS, but it is also curious given a previously strong cooperative vibe with the USL, who had delivered proof of concept for several markets prior to them making the jump to MLS.

Taken at its most vicious, it could also be loosely read as Major League Soccer’s bid to take down NISA or USL and take hold of Division 3. Is it somewhere between the two? Probably, and we look forward to reading up on this new projects as the league presumably confirms it in the coming days.

Follow @NicholasMendola

10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 38


What did we learn in the Premier League over the weekend?

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in the USA ]

Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Let’s get to it.

1. Curtain call for legendary Aguero (Manchester City 5-0 Everton): The final season and a half of Sergio Aguero’s Manchester City career saw the Argentine battle a series of injuries which ultimately ended his stay at the club, but he’s set to leave this summer as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and a genuinely legendary figure in the club’s history. On Sunday, for the final time, he took the field at the Etihad and was given the hero’s recognition he so richly deserves. The fact he capped the occasion with a pair of goals in his 20 minutes of action was simply iconic. (AE)

2. Late surge based on back four (Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace): With five straight wins to finish the season and a 10-game unbeaten run, Liverpool surged into the top three. Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams stood tall when they needed it most and Klopp was rewarded for playing two inexperienced center backs in their natural positions, instead of playing midfielders at center back. The shape of Liverpool’s team has been so much better since. (JPW)

3. When it rains, it pours (Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea): Not only did the Blues lose, they lost their goalkeeper as Edouard Mendy flew into the goal post trying to get a hold of Trarore’s opener. Then Timo Werner had Chelsea back within one just before the hour mark but hold on — the freeze-frame of VAR saw Cesar Azpilicueta offside by a couple of toes. And as Champions League opponents Man City ruthlessly ran past Everton. (NM)

4. Groundhog Day for Leicester (Leicester 2-4 Tottenham): A year ago, Leicester sat 3rd in the Premier League table with five games left to play; the Foxes finished 5th and missed out on Champions League qualification. This season, Leicester sat 3rd in the Premier League table with two games left to play; the Foxes again 5th and missed out on Champions League qualification. (AE)

5. Amazing season ends in European adventure (West Ham 3-0 Southampton): Get your passports out, West Ham fans. This was a truly superb season, as Moyes’ boys finished sixth and comfortably so. With so many attacking players standing tall at different times, this was a total team effort. The Hammers could go far in the Europa League next season.

6. Gunners finish with flourish, set up well for next season (Arsenal 2-0 Brighton): Mikel Arteta will point to their consistent second half of the season as reason for optimism, as the Gunners are right up there just behind City and Chelsea in points won. Crashing out of the Europa League semifinals will be the lasting memory of the season, but Arsenal could be heading in the right direction and not having Europa League action will actually help them develop as a team and Arteta can spend more time on the training ground. (JPW)

7. Bielsa’s boys held up wonderfully over 38 games (Leeds 3-1 West Brom): That was the biggest question ahead of the season — would the high-intensity, high-pressing nature of Marcelo Bielsa’s tactical system take too much of a toll on the players over a 38-game season played in four fewer weeks than is typically done? It was a fair ask at the time, but the Whites finished with their finest form of the season — just one defeat in their final 11 games (7W-3D-1L). (AE)

8. Nuno says goodbye (Wolves 1-2 Manchester United): This is not how many expected Nuno Espirito Santo to wave goodbye to Wolves, but the Molineux hero at least got to do it at home in front of fans. Nelson Semedo’s goal off a young Fabio Silva assist says a lot about where he’s taken the club, with a former Barcelona fullback scoring from the feed of an ultra-expensive top-tier striker prospect. Whether Nuno goes to Tottenham or somewhere else, many will have great memories of the Portuguese manager’s achievements. (NM)

9. Hi, Mikel (Fulham 0-2 Newcastle):Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he expects Joe Willock to play a role with the parent club next season but Newcastle will really want him to come back up north. Fresh off becoming the youngest player to score in six-straight PL games, Willock became the youngest to do it in seven. With Willock, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, and Callum Wilson all shining, how many will be at St. James’ Park next season? (NM)

10. Positive vibes before Championship return (Sheffield United 1-0 Burnley): Paul Heckingbottom and Jason Tindall could get the Sheffield United job on a permanent basis. Three wins in their last six games of the season will have Sheffield United hoping they can come straight back up next season. If they can keep most of this squad together, which seems likely, then why not? (JPW)

Follow @AndyEdMLS