Sunderland sealed the final play-off place in the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-0 win at Preston after Millwall were denied by a dramatic 4-3 home defeat to Blackburn in a thrilling climax to the season.
On a topsy-turvy afternoon in the race for the final two play-off spots, Ben Brereton Diaz struck a second-half doule as Blackburn came from two goals down to beat Millwall 4-3 and send their hosts tumbling out the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.
Both sides started the day with top-six ambitions and the hosts looked on their way to securing the win they needed when Duncan Watmore’s double and Oliver Burke’s addition sent them into the break 3-1 up.
But Gary Rowett’s side crumbled after the break and after Joe Rankin-Costello reduced the arrears, Brereton Diaz’s double completed a remarkable turnaround.
Sunderland’s win at Preston saw the Black Cats claim sixth spot, with Blackburn leapfrogging the Lions and only missing out themselves on goal difference on a day of high drama at The Den.
Sunderland clinch play-off date against Luton
Sunderland’s Premier League dream remained alive after they clinched a play-off place on the final day of the season, scoring three times inside 11 minutes to beat Preston 3-0 at Deepdale.
Goals from Amad Diallo, Alex Pritchard and Jack Clarke did the trick on a day to remember.
The Black Cats needed results elsewhere to go their way and Millwall’s failure to win saw them sneak into the top six; Tony Mowbray’s side will now face Luton over two legs for a place at Wembley.
If they manage to go up, they will become just the fourth side to achieve back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League.
Coventry clinch play-off place with point at Boro
Coventry claimed a final-day point to clinch a Sky Bet Championship play-off place after earning a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough – who they will now meet in the two-legged semi-final.
On a dramatic day in the promotion race, Boro and Coventry finished fourth and fifth respectively to keep their dreams of a Premier League return alive.
They will now meet again on Sunday May 14 at the Coventry Building Society Arena before returning to the Riverside for the second leg on Wednesday May 17.
West Brom miss out on play-offs
West Brom missed out on the play-offs after losing 3-2 at Swansea.
Albion started the final day in eighth, needing to win to keep their promotion bid alive, and hopes of extending their season were raised after Okay Yokuslu and Semi Ajayi twice gave them the lead in South Wales.
But Luke Cundle and Olivier Ntcham equalised and, with results elsewhere going against them, Joel Piroe sealed their misery in stoppage time with a brilliant free-kick.
In the event, West Brom spent just four minutes of the final day in the play-off places – the time between a Blackburn equaliser at Millwall and Cundle’s leveller – and Coventry and Sunderland joined Luton and Middlesbrough in the play-off positions.
Albion – second bottom of the Championship when Carlos Corberan succeeded Steve Bruce in October – finished the season ninth, with Swansea just below them on goal difference after taking 21 points from their final nine games.
How Championship finished
Champions Burnley join the 100 club
Burnley broke through the 100-point mark on the final day of their Championship-winning season thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win for Vincent Kompany’s team over Cardiff.
The victory featured goals from Josh Brownhill, Scott Twine and Ashley Barnes, the 33-year-old striker making his last appearance for the club after nearly a decade at Turf Moor.
The day marked the end of a wildly successful campaign for Burnley, relegated from the Premier League 12 months ago, who will return there with 101 points, the most in the division since Leicester won the Championship with one more in 2014.
The trophy presentation followed the final whistle as new minority owner JJ Watt, the former American football star, was among those home fans celebrating.
McBurnie and McAtee on target in Sheffield United win
Premier League-bound Sheffield United rounded off their Championship campaign by beating Birmingham 2-1.
Oli McBurnie opened the scoring early in the second half before James McActee doubled the lead soon after.
Dion Sanderson pulled a late goal back for Blues.
Luton prepare for play-offs with draw
Luton and Hull played out a goalless draw in their final game of the Sky Bet Championship season at Kenilworth Road.
With the Hatters having already qualified for the play-offs in third place, and the Tigers safe in mid-table, Luton boss Rob Edwards made eight changes.
Watford ensure top-half finish
Watford ended a season to forget with a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Stoke.
Imran Louza and Keinan Davis scored second-half goals to ensure Chris Wilder’s side at least finished the campaign with a top-half finish, but defeat capped a disappointing end to Stoke’s season as they failed to win any of their last seven games.
QPR finish frustrating season with home defeat
QPR suffered their 12th home defeat of a miserable season as Bristol City ended the Sky Bet Championship campaign by winning 2-0 at Loftus Road.
Mark Sykes and Sam Bell scored for the Robins, who ended the season 14th in the table.
Rangers, who were top in October but only secured safety from relegation by winning at Stoke in their previous match, finished 20th and there is clearly lots of work for boss Gareth Ainsworth to do over the summer.
Warnock signs off as Huddersfield boss with victory
Neil Warnock celebrated his final game as Huddersfield boss with a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship victory over already relegated Reading.
Prospective new American owner Kevin M Nagle was in attendance at the John Smith’s Stadium as the Terriers claimed a seventh win of 74-year-old Warnock’s 15-match ‘great escape’ reign.
Superb second-half strikes from Josh Koroma and substitute Joseph Hungbo ensured Warnock’s latest management swansong ended on a high, boosting the 18th-placed Yorkshire side’s final points tally to 53.
Blackpool sign off with win at Norwich
Relegated Blackpool ended a disappointing Sky Bet Championship season on a high note as they recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Norwich at Carrow Road.
A well-taken first-half goal from Morgan Rogers proved enough to settle an entertaining encounter between two clubs with nothing but pride to play for.
It was a reward for a spirited showing from the visitors, who signed off on a positive note under caretaker head coach Stephen Dobbie, while for Norwich it was a sad exit for striker Teemu Pukki, who failed to mark his final game for the club with a goal.
It also completed a miserable end to the campaign for the Canaries, who won just one of their final 11 matches and slumped to an 11th home loss of the campaign.
Wigan and Rotherham play out goalless stalemate in dead rubber
Wigan and Rotherham shared the spoils after a goalless Sky Bet Championship draw at the DW Stadium that lived up to its billing as a dead rubber.
With the Millers already safe and the Latics already relegated, there was little to play for in front of a bumper crowd, boosted by a sell-out contingent from South Yorkshire.