Boro in top flight after Brighton draw, Burnley lift Championship
MIDDLESBROUGH – Middlesbrough are back in the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion in their lucrative, winner-takes-all promotion clash on Saturday while Burnley sealed the Championship title with a 3-0 victory at Charlton Athletic.
Middlesbrough needed just one point and Brighton three in the last game of the season to secure automatic promotion to the top flight in a game estimated to be worth 170 million pounds to the side that came out on top.
The home side prevailed at an ecstatic Riverside Stadium despite Christhian Stuani’s 19th-minute goal being answered by Dale Stephens’ second-half header for the Seagulls.
Yet Stephens went from hero to villain within three minutes, being then shown a straight red card for a late studs-up challenge which left Gaston Ramirez having to be taken off on a stretcher with what looked a serious leg injury.
The draw left both sides on 89 points but Aitor Karanka’s Boro will be back in the Premier League for the first time in seven years thanks to a superior goal difference by a mere two goals.
Brighton will now have to take their chances in the playoffs with Hull City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday.
Meanwhile, already-promoted Burnley wrapped up the Championship title with 93 points, four clear of their pursuers, thanks to a handsome win at Charlton secured through goals from Sam Vokes, George Boyd and Andre Gray. –Reuters