Nottingham Forest promoted to Premier League after double play-off penalty controversy
Burnley are relegated as Leeds clinch Premier League survival
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Nottingham Forest have returned to the Premier League 23 years after they were relegated thanks to a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final, though retiring referee Jon Moss appeared to wrongly turn down two huge penalty shouts for the Terriers. Forest have spent their period out of the top-flight in the lower league wilderness but have been revitalised under Steve Cooper.
It was a cagey affair at Wembley in a game that is often branded the richest in English football. But Forest secured their place back in the big time on the stroke of half-time, in rather fortuitous circumstances.
Manchester United loanee James Garner curled a shot into the box which fell in the direction of Ryan Yates. Yates was being closely marked by Levi Colwill with the ball bouncing off him and past Lee Nicholls.
It was an unfortunate moment for the defender but one that Forest fully deserved to receive. Cooper’s side dominated for long spells and enjoyed 65 per cent of the possession, with Huddersfield content to set-up in a counter-attacking style.
The Terriers had been one of the favourites to be involved in a relegation battle this season. But under Carlos Corboran they enjoyed a remarkable campaign, finishing one place outside the automatic promotion places.
They will have to endure a fourth successive season of Championship football though, having struggled to threaten Brice Samba in the Forest goal. They had just one shot in total at Wembley, but did see strong claims for a penalty turned down after Jack Colback appeared to trip Harry Toffolo, with the Huddersfield star booked for diving instead.
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Though Forest pushed for a second goal, it did not come, and Huddersfield saw a second penalty appeal waved away when Max Lowe bundled into Lewis O’Brien but Moss was again having none of it. Cooper’s side were relieved to hear the final whistle which brought wild scenes of celebration from the Forest bench and stands.
The Welshman has done a remarkable job in taking Forest up, with the club bottom of the second tier when he took charge earlier this term. He will now become the first person to manage Forest in the top-flight since Ron Atkinson.
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