Lionel Messi is entering the final six months of his Barcelona contract. The end of an era is, potentially, in sight and that would usher in a strange new world, particularly for Barca and his possible next employers.

Messi declared his desire to leave Barcelona back in August, but the club and then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu stood firm – their talisman and most iconic player in the institution's modern history was reluctant to drag them through the courts.

Although his initial announcement came as a shock, in some ways it was entirely predictable. The turmoil engulfing Barca's hierarchy and their decision-making in the past few years looked destined to come to a head – there would be major consequences, and Messi leaving was always going to be the worst-case scenario.

The departure of Bartomeu and the likelihood of Joan Laporta being his successor certainly improve Barca's chances of keeping Messi, but as he heads into the final six months of a contract that ends on June 30 he can start to discuss free transfers with other clubs.

Messi leaving Barca appears a real possibility. What will determine his next destination? Romance? Trophies? Vengeance?

If it's the latter, we have a few tongue-in-cheek destinations in mind, however unlikely they may be…

Real Madrid

Imagine the chaos, the hysteria. If Barca have angered him so much, what better way to really get his own back on them? Moving to the Santiago Bernabeu would be a remarkable switch, the ultimate act of vengeance. Luis Figo had a pig's head thrown towards him when he returned to Camp Nou after joining Madrid – you can only wonder what reception would await Messi if he were to commit the cardinal sin of crossing that divide.

Stoke City

There is a running joke in England that Messi "wouldn't be able to do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke". It derives from pundit Andy Gray, who in 2010 claimed – without a hint of irony – that Messi would "struggle on a cold night at the Britannia Stadium". His comment became embellished, but was regularly used as a stick to beat Messi with by Premier League fans who wanted to accentuate the physicality of England's elite division. Based on the idea Stoke were scrappy and the city sees more than its fair share of bad weather, as well as the stadium's renown for being windy, it was seen as the Premier League's grimmest away trip. After earning millions every season for the past 15 years or so, why not take a modest deal to prove he can in fact do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke?

Inter

The player rivalry that has defined the past 13 years or so at the top of football has been Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo. During the latter's days at Real Madrid, the pair were involved in some of the most enthralling matchups in world football as they tussled in a host of Clasicos and often played decisive roles in LaLiga title races. But their rivalry didn't stop there – it extended to their domination of prestigious individual awards, such as the Ballon d'Or; Messi has six to Ronaldo's five. Why not rekindle that fire by joining Juve's rivals Inter? The Derby d'Italia could usurp El Clasico as the world's most-anticipated club game.

Borussia Dortmund

For all of Messi's apparent issues with the Barca board, it seems unlikely that he doesn't still love the club – after all, he was signed up as a 12-year-old. The 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich back in August will have hurt. How better to get revenge than to move to Die Roten's arch-rivals Dortmund? He could be the final piece of the puzzle that finally overthrows Bayern's Bundesliga dominance.

Jose Mourinho was again critical of Dele Alli and confirmed Gareth Bale suffered another injury setback in Tottenham's 3-1 EFL Cup quarter-final win at Stoke City.

Bale cleverly headed home a third goal of his second spell with Spurs to put them in front in a one-sided first half at the bet365 Stadium on Wednesday.

The Wales captain was then replaced by Son Heung-min at half-time, with Mourinho revealing he had asked to be withdrawn due to a calf problem.

Jordan Thompson equalised with the Championship side's first shot eight minutes into the second half, but a rasping long-range drive from Ben Davies and Harry Kane's 16th goal of the season put Spurs into the last four.

Alli, who has fallen out of favour under Mourinho, twice went close to scoring in the first half and was not impressed when Mourinho took him off after 66 minutes.

Two of Alli's three shots were well saved by a busy Andy Lonergan and he also contested a game-high 19 duels, as well as drawing more fouls (five) than any other player.

Yet Mourinho made it clear he was not happy with a flick from the attacking midfielder that did not come off before Thompson levelled from out of the blue.

"Yes, for me a player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team," Mourinho said of Alli, who started in an advanced role behind Kane.

"In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.

"We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands, so yes I am upset."

Eyebrows were raised when Bale did not return for the second half, but Mourinho said he made the change at the request of the on-loan forward.

"Yeah, it was his decision," said the Tottenham boss. "Something he felt in the last part of the first half and he didn't want to come out for the second half.

"While he was walking to the dressing room he told me immediately that he couldn't come out for the second half.

"Something I think with his calf. I'm not sure as at that time I just want to reorganise the team and make the change."

A thunderous strike from Ben Davies and Harry Kane's 16th goal of the season sealed Tottenham's place in the EFL Cup semi-final as Stoke City were consigned to a 3-1 home defeat.

Spurs dominated the first half and Gareth Bale put them ahead with a glancing header on a miserable Wednesday evening.

Bale was withdrawn at the break, leading to concerns he may have sustained another injury, and Jordan Thompson equalised with Stoke's first shot of the tie eight minutes into the second half.

Spurs were not to be denied a place in the last four, though, as Davies thumped in from distance before Kane sealed a first win in four games as Tottenham moved to within two games of winning their first trophy since 2008.

 

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham's EFL Cup quarter-final at Stoke City must be viewed in isolation despite their patchy league form heading into the tie. 

Under a week ago, Spurs were top of the Premier League on goal difference ahead of Liverpool, but a late 2-1 loss away at the Reds was followed by a 2-0 home defeat against Leicester City. 

The double setback has seen Spurs slip to sixth in the table, six points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's champions, who now once again lead the way. 

Tottenham boss Mourinho was asked at a news conference how important it is for his side to stop the rut quickly as they switch focus to the EFL Cup, yet the Portuguese thinks it will have little impact at the bet365 Stadium. 

"I think it's isolated of the context. It's nothing to do with the match that we lost and nothing to do with the match we have to play against Wolves in the next weekend," he said.  

"It's isolated context, it's a cup game, a game to go to the semi-finals or watch the semi-finals at home on TV. We have to go with a positive attitude and try to win it." 

Earlier this month, Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock described the changing rooms his side had to prepare in at Stoke as a "pigsty" and a "disgrace". 

Mourinho said he is aware of what awaits his team but that the issue is one for others to deal with.

"I have a video of it, a video made from a colleague that works in another team that recently played against them and I was not going to raise the question, you raised that question," he added. 

"But I think it shouldn't be a question for me, it should be a question for the authorities - all the authorities. Football authorities, safety authorities, but not me, I'm not going to be the bad guy who is going to make a comment about Stoke's away dressing room." 

Mourinho has mainly used two different sides in the Premier League and Europa League this term, and confirmed he is likely to use a "mix" of both against Stoke. 

The EFL Cup is a competition that has led to much joy for Mourinho in the past, given he has won the trophy four times as a manager – three with Chelsea and once with Manchester United. 

Asked about the importance of potentially winning the competition again, he replied: "To win this tournament we need to win three matches.  

"One against Stoke and then if we beat Stoke then we will have two more matches to play, against teams that have the same ambitions as we have.  

"So if I'm not wrong, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Newcastle, Brentford, everybody wants the same.  

"Even [teams from] the Championship. From the last decade, the difference between the Championship and Premier League is minimal. The teams are very good, they have very good players, they have very good coaches, so even the fact we play Stoke or Newcastle play Brentford doesn't give us easier matches than the others.  

"It's a difficult competition to win, we have to win three matches to win it. But going in the direction of what we are saying the rest of the season, the next match is a match we want to win."

The 2020-21 EFL Cup final has been moved from February to April in order to have "as many supporters in attendance as possible", the EFL has announced.

The first major domestic showpiece of the English season was previously scheduled for February 28, 2021.

However, restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom have limited the attendance of fans this term.

Some stadiums are still allowed to house spectators, but their return in London was brief as the capital was placed under lockdown.

The EFL hopes a new Wembley Stadium date of April 25, 2021 will enable supporters to make the trip.

"The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person." a statement read.

The competition is at the quarter-final stage, with last-eight ties to be played this week.

Holders Manchester City face struggling Arsenal on Tuesday after Brentford host Newcastle United, with Tottenham at Stoke City and Manchester United travelling to Everton on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller surprisingly referenced Stoke City after the Bundesliga champions defeated Stuttgart 3-1.

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa scored following Tanguy Coulibaly's opener as Bayern overcame hosts Stuttgart on Saturday.

Bayern claimed their 65th Bundesliga win against Stuttgart, while the titleholders have now conceded at least one goal in seven consecutive games in all competitions for the first time under head coach Hansi Flick.

After Bayern stayed two points clear atop the table, Muller referenced the term "can they do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke" – an expression made famous by commentator Andy Gray in 2010-11.

Muller – via BT Sport – said: "How do the British people say it? You have to show it on a windy night in Stoke?

"Today it was not windy and Stuttgart is not Stoke but Stuttgart is a team that plays very well in the last few weeks.

"We knew that today it could be tough. We didn't have a good start in the first half, we hit the post and then we [conceded] the goal.

"But we turned it around, put everything in that we had and we won.

"It's ok that we won but you are right when you say it was tough. It was not our best performance and not our easiest style of football.

"But in the end it was three points in the pocket and the show must go on."

Bayern have scored 31 goals in the first nine games of the season, matching the Bundesliga record set by Eintracht Frankfurt in 1974-75.

Costa scored his first Bundesliga goal since March 2017, having re-joined Bayern from Juventus at the start of the season. It was already the fifth Bayern goal scored by a substitute – a league high.

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly remains a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo, 35, is into his third season at Juventus after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner enjoyed stellar spells at Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But the Portugal international has been linked with a move from Turin previously, and that talk continues.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STILL EYEING RONALDO

PSG could make a move for Ronaldo again next year, according to CalcioMercato.

However, the report says Ronaldo is committed to seeing out his contract at Juventus through to 2022.

Ronaldo has scored three goals in two games for Juve this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Barcelona and Juventus combine for further deals next year? CalcioMercato says the two European giants may begin talks about a swap deal involving Ousmane Dembele and Federico Bernardeschi. Earlier this year, Miralem Pjanic left Juve for Barcelona, while Arthur joined the Serie A champions.

- Mesut Ozil wants to stay at Arsenal. TyC Sports says Saudi club Al-Nassr made a £5million bid for Ozil and Arsenal were prepared to accept it, but the playmaker wanted to remain at the Premier League club.

- With Alisson injured and Adrian under fire, Liverpool have been linked with a move for a goalkeeper before the domestic transfer deadline in England on Friday. However, the Mirror reports the Premier League champions will not sign a new goalkeeper despite links to Stoke City shot-stopper Jack Butland.

- After staying at Sevilla amid links to Manchester City, Jules Kounde could be set for a new contract. Muchodeporte reports the LaLiga club could look to renew the defender's deal.

- Despite being linked with a move, Nikola Milenkovic ended up staying at Fiorentina. However, CalcioMercato says Milan could return with a bid for the defender in January after deciding against paying the €40m Fiorentina wanted for the 23-year-old Serbia international this off season.

- Juventus think they can get more than €50m for defender Merih Demiral, according to CalcioMercato. Demiral has been linked to Inter and Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino could find himself back in management sooner rather than later.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, having led Spurs to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Now, Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly considering moves for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – POCH A MAN IN DEMAND IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are both eyeing Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Mirror.

Pochettino has been out of work since his Tottenham sacking last year, and the former Spurs boss has emerged as the favourite to replace struggling United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly ready to sack Solskjaer if results do not improve, while City are considering Pochettino, with Pep Guardiola yet to sign a contract extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona are already planning for the next transfer window. The LaLiga powerhouse are keen to sign two players, with City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay at the top of the list. Barca are also looking to offload Ousmane Dembele who failed to join United on deadline day.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, claims the Mirror. It comes after Adrian struggles to deputise in the absence of injured number one Alisson.

- Tuttosport reports Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The two clubs are eyeing Alaba on a free transfer, with the Austria international's contract expiring at season's end. Alaba has also been linked to the likes of City and Real Madrid.

West Ham are trying to sign Brentford star Said Benrahma in a £17million deal, according to the Telegraph.

Mikel Arteta will face former mentor Pep Guardiola after Arsenal were drawn against Manchester City in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Arsenal manager Arteta spent three seasons as assistant to Guardiola during an unprecedented period of success for City before swapping jobs last December.

The sides have met twice since then, with Arsenal exacting revenge for a 3-0 Premier League defeat towards the end of last season with a 2-0 win in the 2019-20 FA Cup semi-finals.

Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties after a goalless last-16 tie on Thursday, while City saw off Burnley 3-0 to stay on course for a fifth EFL Cup triumph in six years.

Elsewhere, Manchester United will travel to Everton in another all-Premier League tie and Tottenham's reward for knocking out London rivals Chelsea is a trip to Championship outfit Stoke City.

Brentford are the other second-tier side remaining and host Newcastle United – penalty shoot-out winners against Newport County on Wednesday – for a place in the semi-finals.

The last-eight ties will be contested over one leg on the week commencing December 21.

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club. The end of an era is, seemingly, in sight and that will usher in a strange new world, for Barca and his next employers.

Unsurprisingly, debates have raged ever since the news came to light on Tuesday, with Barca receiving communication that their talisman, the most iconic player in their modern history, wants out.

In some ways it was predictable. The turmoil engulfing Barca's hierarchy and their decision making in the past few years looked destined to come to a head – there would be major consequences, and Messi leaving was always going to be the worst-case scenario.

Whether he does or not is a different matter. Some believe his request is a power-play to oust president Josep Maria Bartomeu early, and there are plenty calling for his resignation.

But, for arguably the first time, Messi leaving Barca appears a real possibility What will determine his next destination? Romance? Trophies? Vengeance?

If it's the latter, given almost every football club's Twitter account is throwing their hat in the ring, we have a few tongue-in-cheek destinations in mind, however unlikely they may be…

Real Madrid

Imagine the chaos, the hysteria. If Barca's board have angered him so much, what better way to really get his own back on them? Moving to the Santiago Bernabeu would be a remarkable switch, the ultimate act of vengeance. Luis Figo had a pig's head thrown towards him when he returned to Camp Nou after joining Madrid – you can only wonder at what reception would await Messi if he were to commit the cardinal sin of crossing that divide. 

Stoke City

There is a running joke in England that Messi "wouldn't be able to do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke". It derives from pundit Andy Gray, who in 2010 claimed – without a hint of irony – that Messi would "struggle on a cold night at the Britannia Stadium". His comment became embellished, but was regularly used as a stick to beat Messi with by Premier League fans who wanted to accentuate the physicality of England's elite division. Based on the idea Stoke were scrappy and the city sees more than its fair share of bad weather, as well as the stadium's renown for being windy, it was seen as the Premier League's grimmest away trip. After earning millions every season for the past 15 years or so, why not take a modest deal to prove he can in fact do it on a wet and windy night in Stoke?

Napoli

While Manchester City appear to be leading the chase, Inter are also being strongly linked with Messi. But a different Serie A move that would capture the imagination even more would be joining Napoli. Not only would Messi's arrival get one over on long-standing rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who would no longer be the solo big ticket in Serie A, it would give him the chance dispel some other demons. For much of his career Messi has contended with people saying he's not at Diego Maradona's level – maybe it's time to disprove such claims where El Pibe de Oro left his greatest mark…

Borussia Dortmund

For all of Messi's apparent issues with the Barca board, it seems unlikely that he doesn't still love the club – after all, he was signed up as a 12-year-old. The 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this month will have hurt, particularly as it looks like being his final match for the club. How better to get revenge than to move to Die Roten's arch-rivals Dortmund? He could be the final piece of the puzzle that finally overthrows Bayern's Bundesliga dominance.

Bournemouth will start life back in the Championship at home to Blackburn Rovers, while Watford host Middlesbrough and Norwich City travel to Huddersfield Town.

The Cherries were relegated after a five-year stay in the Premier League, while Watford and Norwich were also demoted in a top-flight campaign that was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

That halt means the new Championship season starts on September 12, with beaten play-off finalists Brentford travelling to Birmingham City on the opening day, while south Wales rivals Cardiff City and Swansea City – who also made the top six – host Sheffield Wednesday and visit Preston North End respectively.

Wycombe Wanderers – playing in the second tier for the first time – welcome fellow new boys Rotherham United for their first game, while Coventry City's return to the Championship starts with a trip to Bristol City.

Derby County and Barnsley start at home against Reading and Luton Town, with Stoke City and Nottingham Forest heading to London to face Millwall and QPR.

Bournemouth host Norwich in the third round of matches, the same weekend Watford renew acquaintances with fierce rivals Luton. Watford and the Canaries face off at Vicarage Road on December 26.

The three relegated teams will hope to be in the promotion hunt come the final day on May 8, with Bournemouth and Watford at home to Stoke and Swansea, while Norwich go to Barnsley.

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has signed for Championship side Stoke City. 

The ex-Nigeria captain spent the 2018-19 season in England's second tier with Middlesbrough before joining Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor. 

However, Mikel left the club in March after expressing concerns about the league's decision to continue playing matches as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Europe. 

He is Stoke's fourth signing during the off-season, following Morgan Fox, James Chester and Steven Fletcher to the bet365 Stadium. 

"We're delighted to bring John to the club. His playing career speaks for itself and underlines his calibre as a player," manager Michael O'Neill said. 

"I was really impressed with him when we met for the first time and he outlined what he wants from the next phase of his career. 

"We spent four hours talking and he made it clear he wants to get back into the Premier League and finish his career there and hopefully he can do that with Stoke City." 

Mikel won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League during a glittering career with Chelsea. 

He earned 91 senior caps for Nigeria, played in two World Cups and lifted the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations before announcing international retirement last year. 

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.

Fulham remain in the hunt for second place in the Championship after downing Sheffield Wednesday 5-3 on Saturday.

With Brentford having lost 1-0 at Stoke City earlier, thereby crowning Leeds United champions, Fulham responded to move within a point of the top two thanks to two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Cardiff City swept aside Middlesbrough to keep their play-off ambitions in their own hands, with Preston and Millwall now unable to finish in the top six.

At the other end of the table, Stoke's victory sealed their survival, while Kazenga LuaLua struck a huge late blow for Luton Town at Hull City and Charlton Athletic snatched an important point.

FULHAM POUNCE AS BRENTFORD FALTER

Lee Gregory's first-half finish from close range gave Stoke a 1-0 win over Brentford at the bet365 Stadium that ensured their Championship survival and denied the visitors the chance to go second.

Fulham are now just a point behind Brentford in the table after beating Wednesday 5-3 and, with West Brom only two above them, the Cottagers will be ready to capitalise on any slip-ups on the final day.

Mitrovic and Neeskens Kebano scored twice at Craven Cottage before Bobby Reid's late fifth, with Jacob Murphy and Atdhe Nuhiu (2) on target for Wednesday, who cannot yet consider themselves safe given the risk of a possible EFL points deduction.

 

BONNE CHANCE FOR LUTON AND CHARLTON

In Saturday's relegation showdown between Hull and Luton, it was the visitors who left the KCOM Stadium feeling hopeful of survival after LuaLua fired home the winner in the 85th minute.

Luton are now on 48 points, level with Charlton, who were trailing 2-1 to Wigan Athletic until Macauley Bonne equalised on exactly 92 minutes.

Hull are three points behind and, given they are 16 goals worse off than Charlton, they look destined for League One barring possible points penalties for either Wednesday or Wigan. Bottom-club Barnsley, with two games left, can still stay up.

CARDIFF WIN ENDS PRESTON, MILLWALL HOPES

Two goals from Josh Murphy helped Cardiff to a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough, whose survival could now depend on getting a result on Wednesday, at Wednesday.

Cardiff stay sixth, three points ahead of Swansea City, whose 1-0 win over Bristol City keeps their play-off hopes alive ahead of the final day.

Preston cannot now make the top six, despite beating Birmingham City 2-0 - another side who are not yet guaranteed to avoid the drop - while Millwall are also out of play-off contention following Cardiff's win and their own thrilling 4-3 defeat at QPR.

That was not the day's only seven-goal game: at Ewood Park, Sam Gallagher's 87th-minute header gave Blackburn Rovers a 4-3 win over Reading that lifted them into the top 10.

Leeds United have won the Championship title as a result of Brentford's 1-0 loss to Stoke City on Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa's side saw promotion to the Premier League confirmed on Friday after West Brom were beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town.

Victory for Brentford would have lifted them above the Baggies into second place and closed the gap to Leeds to three points.

However, a first-half goal from Lee Gregory secured a win for Stoke at the bet365 Stadium, guaranteeing the Potters' survival and crowning Leeds as champions a day before they face Derby County in their penultimate game of the season.

The result also means Brentford stay third, a point behind West Brom, with just one game to go.

Page 1 of 4
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.