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22nd Apr 2019

Leeds lose again and are on course to play Derby in play-offs

Simon Lloyd

Leeds’ bid for automatic promotion looks to be over

Leeds United’s hopes of sealing automatic promotion were dealt another significant blow on Monday as they lost 2-0 to Brentford at Griffin Park.

Having fallen behind to Neal Maupay’s opener at the end of the first half, Leeds conceded again shortly after the hour mark – Sergi Canos scoring what proved to be the final goal of the game.

The defeat, which followed the surprise loss to ten-man Wigan Athletic at Elland Road on Friday, leaves Marcelo Bielsa’s men in third, three points behind second-place Sheffield United.

Though Leeds have games against Aston Villa and Ipswich Town remaining, it looks increasingly likely that they will have to secure promotion back to the Premier League after a 15-year absence via the play-offs.

If they finish third, Leeds will face the team that ends the Championship season in sixth for a place in the play-off final. As things stand, that would mean taking on Derby County, who moved back into the play-off places thanks to two stoppage time goals from Harry Wilson against QPR.

Leeds have beaten the Rams twice already this season, the last meeting finishing in a 2-0 win at Elland Road in January. Their win that night came after Bielsa had admitted he was behind the ‘spy-gate’ incident at Derby’s training ground, a story which generated plenty of headlines.

Derby boss Frank Lampard made his feelings known about that incident at the time – and about the press conference Bielsa later scheduled to explain how he prepares to face opponents.

Though much can change in the final two rounds of Championship fixtures, plenty of football fans on Twitter already seem excited by the prospect of the two sides meeting again with so much at stake.

Derby are currently level on points with Middlesbrough, but have a better goal difference and a game in hand. Bristol City are a point behind them but also have a game in hand on Middlesbrough.