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Championship playoffs: Leeds, Norwich draw in semifinal first leg

Crysencio Summerville Leeds Crysencio Summerville - The Canadian Press

In the race to secure the last promotion spot for the Premier League there was nothing separating all four teams after first legs of the semifinals on Sunday.

Norwich and Leeds drew 0-0 at Carrow Road and that was followed by another goalless draw between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton.

Leeds host Norwich in the second leg on Thursday and Southampton is at home against West Brom the following day.

All four teams will hope they can produce more creativity and cutting edge in the second legs to secure a place in the final at Wembley on May 26.

Perhaps it was the pressure of what is at stake that led to both games being so tight.

Neither goalkeeper in the game between Norwich and Leeds was overly troubled.

Leeds finished the regular season in third place in England's second tier on 90 points. That was 17 more than sixth-placed Norwich, but failed to show its superiority on this occasion.

Norwich had been down in 17th in November when many supporters wanted manager David Wagner sacked. Wagner survived and the man who took Huddersfield up via the play-offs in 2017 found himself pitted in the 2024 version against fellow German Daniel Farke, who had led Norwich to automatic promotion as Championship winners in 2019 and 2021.

Southampton finished fourth in the Championship, one place above West Brom.

Both Leeds and Southampton are aiming to make an immediate return to the top flight after being relegated last season.


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