Joe Bryan's unlikely extra-time double sent Fulham to the Premier League in a 2-1 extra-time win over west London rivals Brentford in Tuesday's Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The full-back caught goalkeeper David Raya off guard with a 35-yard effort towards the end of the first half of extra time, with the Brentford goalkeeper expecting his opponent to cross.

Incredibly Bryan scored a second after a wonderful move in the closing moments as the former Bristol City man proved the difference-maker in a game otherwise lacking in quality

Henrik Dalsgaard pulled one back in stoppage time of the second period of extra time but it was too little, too late as Fulham returned to the top flight at the first time of asking following relegation last season.

Brentford's defeat in a match dubbed the richest game in football meanwhile means their 73-year wait to play in English football's top tier continues.

Fulham were the main aggressors in a first half devoid of chances, Josh Onomah forcing Raya into a smart low stop down to his right after 17 minutes the closest Scott Parker's side went.

Harrison Reed was perhaps fortunate only to see yellow for a late slide on Christian Norgaard half an hour in, while Neeskens Kebano bent a free-kick in the side-netting shortly after the break.

Fulham again had a chance when Bobby Decordova-Reid shot wide on the half-volley from a promising position inside the area.

It took until the 71st minute for Brentford dangerman Ollie Watkins to test Marek Rodak with an edge-of-the-box drive and he also scuffed wide under pressure from Michael Hector early in extra time.

The game needed a spark and Bryan provided it to the dismay of Raya, the full-back shooting from an improbable free-kick out on the left after spotting Brentford's keeper well out of position. 

Fulham made sure when Bryan received Tom Cairney's pass, played a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic and slotted past Raya with his weaker right foot.

There was still time for Dalsgaard to nod in when Norgaard kept Said Benrahma's cross alive but the seconds soon ticked down on Brentford's promotion push as the final whistle brought delirious Fulham celebrations.,

Eddie Howe has stepped down as Bournemouth manager by mutual consent.

A 3-1 win over Everton in Howe's final game in charge on July 26 was not enough to save the club from relegation, ending a five-season stay in the Premier League.

Howe, 42, has led Bournemouth in more than 450 games across two spells in charge that span all four of England's professional divisions.

"Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager, this decision – made together with the club – is one of the hardest I've ever had to make," Howe, who made in excess of 300 appearances for the Cherries as a player, told fans in an open letter.

"However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction.

"Bournemouth will always be in my heart but I firmly believe that now is the right time foe the club to have a change.

"I have always ensured that every decision I have ever made as manager has been in the best interests of the club and its supporters, and this is no different."

Howe initially took charge of Bournemouth on a caretaker basis in December 2008, with the club bottom of the Football League having started the season on -17 points.

He masterminded an unlikely survival bid and earned promotion the following season – an achievement that sparked widespread interest in his services.

In January 2011, he made the move to Burnley but left Turf Moor to return to the south coast 21 months later.

An incredible run of two promotions in three seasons followed, with Howe's commitment to expansive, attacking football remaining largely unchecked throughout their impressive Premier League stay.

 

Troy Parrott has joined Millwall on loan for the 2020-21 campaign and is relishing the chance to prove himself away from Tottenham.

Parrott, 18, is highly regarded at Spurs and signed a new three-year deal in February, but he found first-team football hard to come by this season.

The teenager was thought to be in with a chance of increased game time when Harry Kane suffered a serious hamstring injury at the start of January, though Parrott finished the season with just two Premier League appearances to his name.

The Republic of Ireland international will now drop a division to the Championship for the forthcoming campaign, as he moves across London to Millwall on a season-long loan deal.

The switch should provide a grateful Parrott with his first exposure to regular first-team football, and it sees him follow in the footsteps of Kane, who spent the second half of the 2011-12 season with Millwall and won the club's Young Player of the Year award.

"I'm buzzing to get straight into things, I'm really looking forward to it," Parrott told Millwall's website. "The crowd, the club itself - I've heard a lot of good things. When I've watched games, the littlest of things gets them going, and I want to be a part of something like that.

"It's not hard to see from the outside that all [the fans] are looking for is someone to give 100 per cent every game. When I was growing up playing football, that was the player I always was, so I feel as though I can fit it very well. I'm really excited to get going, work hard and give everything for the fans.

"I'm really grateful to Spurs for letting me go out on loan and get some regular football. Hopefully I can improve a lot whilst at Millwall."

Wigan Athletic have confirmed manager Paul Cook has left the financially troubled club.

Following his appointment in May 2017, Cook claimed the League One title in his first season in charge, while Wigan finished 18th in the Championship the following campaign to retain their status in the second tier.

Wigan appeared on course to stay up again this term after a spectacular run of form since the start of 2020, but they were deducted 12 points after entering administration and went on to be relegated.

While they have launched an appeal - they would have finished 13th without the points sanction - Cook announced his departure on Saturday with a "heavy heart".

"It is well publicised that the club is going through an incredibly challenging period and, of course, we are all hoping a positive outcome can be found so this football club can write its next chapter under new ownership," he said in a statement.

"That has to be the main priority for everyone involved and I know the administrators are working hard to ensure the club can get through these difficult times and find new owners.

"I want to thank every player for their efforts, hard work and commitment during my three years as manager. I would like to thank my assistant Leam Richardson and as a collective I thank all of my support staff and the staff behind the scenes who are so pivotal to the football club.

"We must also not forget the 75 people who unfortunately lost their jobs a few weeks ago and I hope for those people that the club can find a positive solution and move forwards in the near future."

Cook has been linked with the vacancy at Bristol City, while he was also rumoured to be in the running for the Birmingham City job before the appointment of Aitor Karanka.

Aitor Karanka has been appointed as the new head coach of Championship side Birmingham City.

The Spaniard, who has signed a three-year deal, replaces compatriot Pep Clotet, who was dismissed with four games of the Championship remaining.

Karanka led Middlesbrough out of the second tier in the 2015-16 campaign and spent a year as Nottingham Forest boss before departing in January 2019.

"I'm delighted to be joining a club with the history and fanbase that Birmingham City has," Karanka told the club website.

"I share the excitement and determination of everyone here to start working together on all the challenges that lie ahead."

Birmingham finished just two places and two points above the relegation zone this season, and it would have been just one spot had Wigan Athletic not been docked points for entering administration.

As a player, Karanka won a LaLiga title and three Champions League medals with Real Madrid, for whom he was also an assistant coach under Jose Mourinho.

Fulham lost 2-1 to Cardiff in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final but held on to progress 3-2 on aggregate and set up a final with west London rivals Brentford.

The hosts finished eight points better off than their opponents at the end of the regular season and held a 2-0 lead from Monday's first leg in south Wales.

No team has overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit in the play-offs but Cardiff gave themselves real hope inside eight minutes at Craven Cottage through Curtis Nelson's close-range header.

Fulham required 54 seconds to restore their two-goal aggregate advantage, however, with Neeskens Kebano - on target late in the first leg - sweeping a low shot past Alex Smithies.

The tie took another twist 82 seconds into the second half when Lee Tomlin, introduced at half-time, volleyed in after Nathan Mendez-Laing's header was parried by Marek Rodak.

Aboubakar Kamara had a long-ranger tipped on to the post by Alex Smithies before Cardiff asked the questions late on, though Fulham withstood the pressure and will face neighbours Brentford - 3-2 aggregate winners over Swansea City on Wednesday - at Wembley in five days.

 

That was not good for the blood pressure, but...

WE'RE GOING TO WEMBLEY!!! pic.twitter.com/YXyN6lf0g8

— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) July 30, 2020

Brentford survived a nervy finish and beat Swansea City 3-1 in the final match at Griffin Park to reach the Championship play-off final.

The Bees, who last played in the top flight in 1947, missed out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season and then lost the semi-final first leg 1-0 in Wales.

But a superb start on Wednesday set Brentford on their way to a 3-2 aggregate success.

Ollie Watkins raced onto Mathias Jensen's defence-splitting pass after 11 minutes and finished calmly as Swansea were punished on the counter-attack.

The hosts then led for the first time in the tie just four minutes later as Emiliano Marcondes headed in unmarked when found by Said Benrahma, who soon struck the post.

And Swansea's hopes of a swift second-half recovery were dashed when Bryan Mbeumo added a superb third 54 seconds after the interval.

A dismal Pontus Jansson error teed up Rhian Brewster for a lob that brought the visitors back into the match with 12 minutes to go, but Brentford battled bravely to book a Wembley date.

Neil Warnock will attempt to guide Middlesbrough back into the Premier League after the veteran manager committed to leading the former UEFA Cup runners-up next season.

The 71-year-old replaced former Real Madrid and Leeds United defender Jonathan Woodgate at the Middlesbrough helm in June and four wins in eight games ensured they avoided relegation from the Championship.

He had previously been appointed only on a short-term basis but will stay on for the new campaign, Middlesbrough announced on Tuesday.

Warnock, who has achieved eight promotions in his managerial career, is planning an overhaul of his squad before the 2020-21 season begins on the second weekend in September.

He said: "It won't be easy, we need quite a large influx of players and I'll be doing my best over the next few weeks to get the right ones."

Warnock is eyeing a promotion quest next term, rather than another scrap near the foot of the Championship table.

He told Middlesbrough's website: "It's been hard work, make no mistake. But this is a great club and I'd like to take it towards the other end of the table.

"I must have retired about five times now, but there's always something that's brought me back, a challenge, helping somebody out, and this is a similar situation."

Middlesbrough, who lost to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup final, last competed in the Premier League in the 2016-17 season. In the three years since their relegation, they have finished fifth, seventh and 17th in the second tier.

Superb goals from Josh Onomah and Neeskens Kebano gave Fulham a 2-0 win over Cardiff City in the away first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final.

Cardiff were the better side in the opening stages and only a superb last-ditch challenge from Michael Hector prevented Robert Glatzel from prodding into an empty net.

Fulham went close to taking the lead in first-half stoppage time when Tom Cairney's curled effort from 25 yards clipped the outside of Alex Smithies' right-hand post.

They did forge ahead four minutes after the restart, Onomah waltzing past three Cardiff defenders inside the penalty area before coolly finishing past Smithies.

Kebano then whipped home a wonderful free-kick in stoppage time to give Scott Parker's side a healthy advantage ahead of the second leg at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp has been crowned the League Managers Association (LMA) Manager of the Year.

Klopp oversaw a stunning campaign for the Reds, guiding them to a club-record total of 99 points to claim their first top-flight title in 30 years.  

They lost just three Premier League games all season and finished a whopping 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

After being presented with the Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy, named after the iconic ex-Manchester United manager, Klopp said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be named the winner of this wonderful Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy, named after a man that I admire so much.

"It feels extra special to win this award because it is voted for by my fellow managers.

"It's an honour to be in the company of so many managers who have been named as LMA Manager of the Year before, including Liverpool managers like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish and, in recent years, Brendan Rodgers.

"Everything we have accomplished at Liverpool this year couldn't have been done without the superb input of my coaching staff; they make us a really special bunch of football brains.

"I love to work with my coaches, my players and everyone at Liverpool and, of course, I am thankful for the support from all our wonderful Liverpool fans."

Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa was named as the Championship Manager of the Year, meanwhile, after guiding the Yorkshire giants to the title and a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Andre Ayew brilliantly atoned for an earlier penalty miss to give Swansea City the advantage in their Championship play-off semi-final with a 1-0 first-leg win against 10-man Brentford.

Swansea scraped into the top six on the final day of the season as Brentford narrowly missed out on automatic promotion thanks to a second straight defeat.

The Welsh side subsequently had all the momentum coming into this home leg but struggled to capitalise on their dominance until late in a contentious clash.

Ayew headed against the post in the first half, with Rhian Brewster miscuing a simple rebound, although the Liverpool loanee made amends after the break to win a spot-kick as he was tripped by Pontus Jansson in the box.

David Raya then saved from Ayew, but Brentford's task became tougher still just a minute later as Rico Henry was controversially sent off for a lunge on Connor Roberts.

While Swansea had to wait for their breakthrough, with Brewster booked for diving in the area, Ayew thrashed in from 15 yards following a fine team move with nine minutes remaining to seize control ahead of the return fixture in London.

Huddersfield Town have appointed Marcelo Bielsa's assistant Carlos Corberan as their new head coach.

Corberan joined Leeds United as their Under-23 coach ahead of the 2017-18 campaign but was soon promoted to work alongside Bielsa.

He will not be part of the Argentinian's coaching staff when Leeds play Premier League football for the first time in 16 years next season, though, after being confirmed as the permanent successor to Danny Cowley at the John Smith's Stadium.

Cobreran, whose only previous experience as a head coach was in the Cypriot top flight, told Huddersfield's media channel: "I think it was the right moment to make this step, especially because it was the right opportunity to do it with Huddersfield.

"I had a lot of trust from the first meeting I had with the people here. I was thinking that it was the right moment to do this step, the right moment to take the opportunity and to start to operate together.

"Of course, one of the reasons that I'm here is because both of them [chairman Phil Hodgkinson and head of football operations Leigh Bromby] had the same feeling about what we want to be on the pitch.

"We want to be brave, we want to be a great team, we want to show when I start that we want to have one identity, we want to defend this identity playing at home and playing away.

"We will be trying to develop an identity, trying to create a culture, trying to create an environment that allow us to define one's style of game."

Birmingham City retired the number 22 shirt following Jude Bellingham's final game ahead of his move to Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund reportedly paid an initial €23million (£21m) to sign the Bellingham, making him the most expensive 17-year-old in history.

The England youth international bid an emotional farewell to Birmingham following their 3-1 loss to Derby County on Wednesday.

Bellingham became Blues' youngest ever player when he made his debut last August and went on to make 44 appearances for the club.

In a statement published on Thursday, Birmingham said: "In such a remarkably short space of time Jude has become an iconic figure at Blues, showing what can be achieved through talent, hard work and dedication.

"His caring, humble and engaging off-the-field demeanour has also made him such an impressive role model.

"The 22 shirt has become synonymous with Jude, his rise to the first team aged just 16 years and 38 days and these qualities.

"And as such the club have decided it would be fitting to retire this number, to remember one of our own and to inspire others."

Bellingham will wear the number 22 at Dortmund and will link up with his new team-mates on July 30.

Jude Bellingham expressed his love for Birmingham City after the tearful teenage sensation played his last game for the Championship outfit ahead of his move to Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham will play for Bundesliga giants Dortmund in 2020-21 following the completion of his €23million (£21m) transfer on Monday, prior to Birmingham's season finale on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old stepped out in a Birmingham jersey for the final time in a 3-1 Championship defeat to visiting Derby County midweek.

Bellingham was overcome with emotion post-match at St Andrew's, where he emerged from his boyhood club's youth system last year.

"I tried my best to hide it but sometimes it's difficult," Bellingham said. "I love the club, I am a massive fan of the club.

"I've been coming here since I was seven, not just playing in the academy.

"I fell in love with Birmingham City and then fell in love with football.

"So just to get a little bit of time out there on my own and with my little brother, mum and dad meant the world to us.

"We've shed a few tears and I am really devastated about how it's finished but at the same time I am optimistic for the future and looking forward to that."

Bellingham ended the 2019-20 season with four Championship goals and two assists in 41 appearances.

West Brom clinched the second automatic promotion place in the Championship on a dramatic final day of the season as Wigan Athletic's spirited survival bid failed.

After both West Brom and Brentford were beaten at the weekend, the Baggies only needed to match the third-placed side's result to seal a return to the Premier League after two seasons away in England's second tier.

A seemingly straightforward home fixture against QPR did not go entirely to plan for West Brom, but a 2-2 draw took them up as Brentford went down 2-1 to Barnsley on Wednesday.

That result saw Barnsley stay up, but Wigan could not join them as they drew 1-1 with Fulham – who could have been promoted with a win – and went down due to a looming 12-point deduction.

Charlton Athletic and Hull City were also demoted, while there was a similarly chaotic finish in the play-off race.

BAGGIES BEST BRENTFORD

Both West Brom and Brentford lost their nerve with two matches of the campaign remaining, but a return of just a single point from a pair of games proved enough for Slaven Bilic's team.

Following Friday's defeat to Huddersfield Town, West Brom were boosted by Brentford's own reverse at Stoke City yet could not beat QPR.

West Brom trailed to Ryan Manning's strike before turning the match on its head with goals either side of half-time through Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson, only for Eberechi Eze to equalise just past the hour-mark.

It mattered not, though, as Brentford failed to capitalise, instead losing again.

Josh Dasilva cancelled out Callum Styles' Barnsley opener, but as Brentford pushed for a precious winner, Clarke Oduor tapped in at the other end in the 91st minute.

BRAVE BARNSLEY, WIGAN WOE

There were contrasting scenes at full-time in the final regular league match at Griffin Park after Barnsley celebrated as Brentford collapsed.

The visitors were heading down until Oduor struck but stayed up at Charlton's expense, the Addicks going down 4-0 at champions Leeds United.

Hull propped up the table after a 3-0 defeat at Cardiff City, while Luton Town stayed up thanks to a rallying 3-2 success at home to Blackburn Rovers, aided by two own goals.

Wigan needed to win due to their deduction following administration, but one of the form teams in the division let a lead slip against Fulham, their total of 59 points bumped down to 47 to fall a painful point short.

 

It isn't just a game of football, it's absolutely everything to our players, staff and supporters.

Hold your heads high!#wafc pic.twitter.com/5oTj7eV4jV

— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) July 22, 2020
SWANS SAVOUR GOAL SWING

With rivals Cardiff comfortable in claiming their play-off place, Swansea City needed to beat 10-man Reading while Nottingham Forest lost to Stoke City, along with a five-goal swing.

Improbably, the Swans stole sixth place from Forest after a remarkable finale.

The Welsh side won 4-1, netting their fourth in the 91st minute as Wayne Routledge headed in his second.

That scoreline left Forest – 3-1 down at home to Stoke at the time – needing to score, but instead they conceded, their promotion bid derailing in spectacular fashion as Nuno da Costa stabbed into his own net in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The 4-1 defeat meant Forest – without a win since July 1 – finished seventh.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Derby County, Millwall and Middlesbrough, bringing the curtain down on another season in gripping fashion.

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