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Middlesbrough promoted back to Premier League

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Cristian Stuani celebrates with the fans after putting Middlesbrough into the Premier League.

Cristian Stuani celebrates with the fans after putting Middlesbrough into the Premier League.

UNITED KINGDOM, May 7 – Middlesbrough have won promotion back to the Premier League seven years after they suffered relegation following a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Boro started the day in second place on 88 points, level with Brighton but with a better goal difference. That meant they only needed a point from the clash between the two sides at the Riverside to take the second automatic berth alongside Burnley.

Cristian Stuani put Boro in front after 19 minutes, but Brighton came back strongly after the break and Dale Stephens levelled in the 55th minute.

But, just four minutes after his equaliser, Stephens saw red for a high challenge on Gaston Ramirez, who was forced off on a stretcher with a bad gash to his shin. The Seagulls pushed for a winner with 10 men but Boro held firm.

The red rules Stephens out of the playoffs, where Brighton will now face Sheffield Wednesday. The other match sees Hull City take on Derby County.

Burnley sealed the Championship title with a 3-0 win at relegated Charlton Athletic,

Each goal was greeted with a chant of ‘Champeones’ from the visiting fans in the Jimmy Steed Stand, and a chorus of ‘We want Roland out’ by the home supporters.

Sam Vokes scored the opener after 20 minutes as the statuesque Charlton defence failed to deal with a Stephen Ward cross and were duly punished. Burnley doubled their lead four minutes after the break when Andre Gray found George Boyd and he netted with a left-foot shot.

Gray added to his assist with a powerful finish after being picked out by Dean Marney to seal the win.

Hull warmed up for a playoff semifinal meeting with Derby with an emphatic 5-1 win over Rotherham at the KC Stadium.

Lee Frecklington gave Rotherham the lead before Robert Snodgrass, Abel Hernandez, Jake Livermore and Mo Diame hit back as Hull finished the first half in dominant fashion. A second goal from Livermore after the break completed the scoring.

Wolves ended their home hoodoo as they secured a 2-1 win against playoff bound Sheffield Wednesday at Molineux.

Kenny Jackett’s side had drawn their previous four home games 0-0 and had gone 360 minutes without scoring in front of their own fans. The goal drought came to an end after seven minutes against Wednesday thanks to an own goal by Michael Turner and Wolves then doubled their advantage through George Saville in the 35th minute.

Lewis McGugan capped an improved second-half display by Wednesday with a last-minute penalty but Wolves held off their late flourish to record their first home win since beating Bristol City 2-1 on March 8.

Derby suffered a worrying blow ahead of next week’s playoff semifinal when George Thorne was stretchered off in the 1-0 defeat to Ipswich at the iPro Stadium.

The influential holding midfielder appeared to damage a knee during a Derby attack late in the game which was won by David McGoldrick’s first-half penalty.

Scott Hogan continued his stunning return from injury to seal Brentford’s seventh win in nine games with a crushing 5-1 victory at Huddersfield.

Hogan struck a second-half double to take his tally to seven goals in four matches. The former Rochdale striker had been sidelined for 18 months with a recurring knee injury but his return to fitness has coincided with Brentford’s powerful end to the season.

The Bees claimed one of the quickest goals of the campaign when Sergei Canos scored after just 21 seconds. Jamie Paterson equalised just after half-time but Hogan’s quick-fire brace followed by others from his replacement Lasse Vibe and fellow substitute John Swift completed the demolition.

Karl Henry scored a superb winner as QPR ended their season with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Loftus Road.

Henry, whose contract expires this summer, struck in the 64th minute, curling a right-footed b
shot from near the edge of the penalty area beyond goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell and into the top corner of the net.

Russell Slade’s tenure as Cardiff manager ended with a 1-1 draw against Birmingham.

Slade, who will move into a new head of football role over the summer, saw his side fall behind to David Cotterill’s low drive in the 11th minute, but Anthony Pilkington’s close-range finish ensured a share of the spoils at Cardiff City Stadium.

Fulham ended a disappointing campaign on a high as they disposed of relegated Bolton 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

A Tom Cairney curler was enough to separate the two sides in a game the West Londoners were on top throughout and left the visitors without a win on the road for the season.

Paul Lambert was given a winning send off as Blackburn beat Reading 3-1.

The Rovers manager activated a release clause to bring his short tenure to an end but his team still gave everything for him and Elliott Bennett’s eighth-minute volley – his second for the club – and Danny Graham’s controlled effort six minutes later set the hosts on their way.

Yann Kermorgant’s third of the campaign – an unstoppable free-kick – gave the visitors a lifeline but a quiet second half was ended perfectly for Lambert’s men as Simeon Jackson tapped in a third.

Jordan Hugill’s stoppage-time equaliser secured Preston a 1-1 draw against Leeds at Deepdale.

Hugill profited from a defensive mistake to fire in the leveller after Chris Wood’s 78th-minute penalty appeared to be giving Leeds victory in what could be Steve Evans’ final game as head coach.

Britt Assombalonga came off the bench to score his first goal in almost 15 months as Nottingham Forest condemned relegated MK Dons to a 2-1 home defeat.

After Chris Cohen handed Forest the early lead with his first goal since September 2013, Nicky Maynard levelled for the hosts after 20 minutes.

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