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Watford return to Premier League after win over Millwall, Norwich close in on championship, highlights

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Watford bounced back to the Premier League at the first time of asking after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Millwall sealed promotion.

Brentford’s win at Bournemouth earlier in the day meant that only three points would be good enough for Xisco Munoz’s men to be promoted alongside Norwich, who came down with them last season.

Ismaila Sarr’s early penalty gave Watford the perfect start, but they had to withstand a nervy finale to guarantee their place back in the prestige and riches of the English top-flight.

Prior to Munoz’s appointment on December 20, automatic promotion looked unlikely after a dip in form under Vladimir Ivic.

However, 17 wins in just 24 league games under the Spaniard helped amass a 10-point lead over Brentford, who have just three games left to play.

“Everyone helped me, I have a big group behind me and it was an excellent run in the to the season,” said Munoz.

“I have been lucky with the players, we have a great connection, when everyone works with the same ideas and passion.”

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Watford celebrate at the final whistle as they are Promoted to the Premier League following their win over Millwall at Vicarage Road. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Brentford are now at least guaranteed a playoff spot with Bournemouth, Barnsley and Swansea almost certain to join them in the battle for the final promotion place.

Barnsley moved nine points clear of seventh-placed Reading with a hard-fought 1-0 win over struggling Rotherham thanks to Carlton Morris’s early goal.

A week after securing their promotion, Norwich closed in on the Championship title with a 3-1 win at Queens Park Rangers to maintain their five-point lead over Watford with two games to go.

Xavi Quintilla, Max Aarons and Emiliano Buendia were on target for Daniel Farke’s men at Loftus Road.

At the other end of the table, all of the bottom three lost to give Wayne Rooney’s Derby a reprieve despite the Rams losing 2-1 at home to Birmingham.

Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday, who lost 3-1 at Middlesbrough, are still four points behind Derby, although Rotherham have two games in hand to try and overturn that gap.

Bottom-of-the table Wycombe were realistically relegated by a 2-1 defeat at Cardiff.

The Wanderers are six points adrift of Derby but have also have a 13-goal gap to bridge on goal difference.

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Arteta battling with ex-mentor Guardiola to secure Arsenal's first summer transfer

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Arsenal and Manchester City have both been linked with Ryan Bertrand.

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VAR drama hands Foxes first ever win, Wembley

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Kasper Schmeichel described leading Leicester to the club’s first ever FA Cup as a dream come true after he played a huge role in beating Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday when a late equaliser was ruled out by VAR.

Youri Tielemans’s stunning strike just after the hour mark separated the sides in front of the largest sports attendance in England since the coronavirus pandemic hit, with 22,000 fans at Wembley.

Schmeichel had to rescue his side late on with brilliant saves from Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount.

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“I’ve dreamt about this since I was child,” said Schmeichel, whose father Peter Schmeichel won three FA Cups with Manchester United.

“We have talked about wanting to win trophies. The performance today, the grit and determination, I’m so proud of everybody, everybody contributed to get to the final. Everyone has played and been sensational.”

Even when Schmeichel was eventually beaten, Chilwell’s late equaliser against his former club was ruled out for off-side after a VAR review.

“Thank you VAR! What an amazing technology,” said Tielemans. “What a moment, I’m really happy. I can’t think of a better goal than this. I’ve scored a few but it was a really nice goal to score in the final of the FA Cup.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers dedicated the victory to the club’s chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha.

“It is an amazing feeling. I was not aware before I came into Leicester that they had never won the FA Cup, they had lost in four finals previously,” Rodgers said.

“To be able to give that to the supporters, to Top and his family, it is such a special occasion.

“It was a monumental performance, and what a day for everyone involved with Leicester.” Celebrating his first major trophy in England football after his successful spell at Celtic, Rodgers added: “It’s the FA Cup so it’s truly special. It means so much to us, so proud, but happier for everyone else.

“The success of this team and club is getting to positions like this and competing, the so-called bigger clubs are expected to win.

“But our success is competing and, if we can perform like today, we can go and win.”

Man City prevail in seven goal shootout | 01:29

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Five players Barcelona could sell to fund Erling Haaland transfer – including Lionel Messi

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Barcelona are set to go all-out to try and sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer, but might have to sacrifice players in order to do so.

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