Relegations, survival and goal-scoring records: here are five of the biggest talking points from the Championship final day.
Five of the Biggest Talking Points From the Championship Final Day
Ivan Toney Breaks Top Scorer Record
He’s been in imperious form all season long and Brentford talisman Ivan Toney finished his campaign in style by breaking the Championship top goalscorer record.
Netting in the Bees’ 3-1 victory away at Bristol City, Toney’s 31st of the season pulled the 25-year-old one clear of Glenn Murray’s existing tally of 30, set by the at-the-time Brighton and Hove Albion striker in 2013.
The Englishman had equalled the record last time out, scoring in Brentford’s 2-0 win against already promoted Watford. Including assists, Toney has now contributed to over half of Thomas Frank’s sides goals this campaign.
Brentford will be hoping the prolific finisher can continue his form heading into the playoffs, with the Bees hoping to go one better than last season’s final defeat. They will take on Bournemouth in the semi-finals next week.
Barnsley Boost League Position Ahead of Play-Off Push
Having stayed up by a singular point last season, survival would have been the target for Barnsley heading into the 2020/21 campaign. Instead, the Tykes are remarkably three matches away from the Premier League.
Valérien Ismael has overseen a quiet revolution at the club this season, transforming their fortunes and guiding them comfortably to the top-six. They’re rank outsiders to complete the job, however, a point in their final match against champions Norwich City meant Barnsley leapfrogged Bournemouth.
It’s Barnsley’s highest league position since the 1997/98 season when the club were relegated from the Premier League. They haven’t been back since and will take on Swansea City in the play-off semi-finals.
Wycombe Wanderers Bow Out in Style on Championship Final Day
In two of the last three seasons, Wycombe Wanderers’ points tally of 43 would have been enough for them to have stayed up. Yet the 2019/20 League One play-off winners’ maiden Championship campaign has ended in immediate relegation back to the third-tier.
Pre-season favourites for the drop, Gareth Ainsworth’s side have battled bravely and made their presence known amongst the league. Having taken points off four of the top six, their inability to beat the teams in and around them has cost them dearly.
Wycombe left the Championship in style, however, seeing off Middlesbrough by three goals to nil. It’s unlikely they’ll manage to bounce straight back to the second-tier, given the strength of opposition in League One, yet Ainsworth and co. can keep their heads high after a valiant campaign.
Rotherham United Rue Missed Chances
Rotherham United had led for 80 minutes of their final match against Cardiff City but threw away any hopes of survival in the last minute of their match in South Wales. Given the result at Pride Park, with Derby County dropping points at home to Sheffield Wednesday, a victory would have been enough to keep Paul Warne’s side in the division.
They had the opportunity to go into the last day outside of the bottom three, yet a 0-0 draw against Luton Town in their game in hand mid-week meant Rotherham needed results to go their way.
They didn’t and it’s a third relegation from the Championship in five seasons for Rotherham. The Millers will join Wycombe in going straight back down to League One, yet unlike the team from Buckinghamshire, Rotherham have a track record of winning promotions out of the third-tier.
However, they may have to do it without their long-time manager Warne, who has been at the club since 2016. The 47-year-old has spent his entire managerial career with the South Yorkshire club, but given his qualities, it wouldn’t be surprising if a bigger club came knocking.
Derby County Desire Send Sheffield Wednesday Down
In what was a high-octane, breathless final day, Derby County managed to scrape survival at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday.
With five minutes of the season left, Derby were down. Only managing a draw at home to Wednesday and Rotherham leading away to Cardiff, Wayne Rooney’s side were facing their first relegation to the third-tier since 1979.
Marlon Pack saved Derby’s blushes: the 30-year-old midfielder’s late equaliser meant a point was enough for the Rams. For Sheffield Wednesday, it ends a torrid season that has been tarnished by troubles off the pitch.
If it wasn’t for their pre-season six-point deduction, Wednesday would have been safe heading into the final weekend. Instead, the 2016 Championship play-off final runners-up have suffered their third relegation in just over a decade.