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Blades join Norwich in top flight - now it's a battle for the title

PUBLISHED: 16:03 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:03 28 April 2019

Leeds United's Mateusz Klich is confronted by Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane after he scores his side's first goal whilst Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia was down injured Picture: PA

Leeds United's Mateusz Klich is confronted by Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane after he scores his side's first goal whilst Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia was down injured Picture: PA

PA Wire

Sheffield United will play Premier League football for the first time since 2007 next season after promotion rivals Leeds drew with Aston Villa in extraordinary circumstances.

Leeds needed to win to have any chance of preventing the Blades from joining Norwich in the top flight, but were held to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Mateusz Klich put the home side in front as Villa players signalled for the ball to be put out of play so that the injured Jonathan Kodjia could receive treatment, the goal sparking a melee which led to Anwar El Ghazi being sent off for a clash with Patrick Bamford, who clutched his face when in fact no contact was made.

When play eventually resumed, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told his players to allow Villa to score an equaliser and although Pontus Jansson tried to stop him, Albert Adomah was given the freedom to slot the ball into an empty net.

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The Blades had effectively secured promotion on Saturday with a 2-0 home victory over relegated Ipswich, Scott Hogan and Jack O'Connell scoring the goals.

Manager Chris Wilder has not given up hope of beating Norwich to the title and will be hoping to mastermind a lengthy stay in the Premier League after the club's last spell in the top flight lasted just one season and ended in acrimony.

West Ham avoided relegation thanks to a final-day victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, with Carlos Tevez scoring the only goal of the game. The Hammers were fined £5m by a Premier League inquiry for breaching rules governing third-party ownership, but no points were deducted and Tevez was permitted to play in the final three games of the season.

United are at Stoke next Sunday while Norwich go to Villa.

Wilder said: “First and foremost, Marcelo Bielsa full respect, Patrick Bamford not. He (Bielsa) did the right thing, Bamford didn't. At the moment we're the second best team in the division and we're going to try and be the best next Sunday.”

Striker Billy Sharp added: “I'm so thankful to the gaffer and grateful to be part of this. The gaffer's the best manager in the club's history, the fans will definitely agree with me.”

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