Leicester back in EPL after Leeds' promotion push falters again

Find the biggest stories from across the soccer world by visiting our Top Soccer News section and subscribing to push notifications.

Leicester City secured an instant return to the Premier League on Friday courtesy of promotion-chasing Leeds United’s sobering 4-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

# Team Played GD Points
1 Leicester 44 +47 94
2 Leeds 45 +39 90
3 Ipswich Town 43 +32 89

Leeds can’t catch Leicester by the end of the Championship finale on May 4. Therefore, the Foxes are assured of a place in one of the league’s two promotion places while Ipswich Town, with three matches left to play, control their own destiny.

Enzo Maresca, a treble winner as part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City last season, was the architect of Leicester’s ascent. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes left the club following its relegation from the Premier League, but those who stayed include the Foxes’ top scorer, 37-year-old Jamie Vardy, and their assist leader, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

Some newcomers starred, too: Harry Winks was a calming presence in the midfield while Abdul Fatawu and Stephy Mavididi helped forge an exciting and productive contingent of attackers.

Things aren’t so rosy at Leeds. Their form was already concerning, but now it’s potentially catastrophic. With Ipswich effectively given two opportunities to leapfrog them into second place, Leeds are staring at the prospect of a testing playoff campaign following a run of just two wins over their last seven outings.

Steven Paston – PA Images / PA Images / Getty

“You can never guarantee anything in football. But what I can assure (you) is that we’ll speak, we’ll be self-critical,” Leeds manager Daniel Farke promised after his side’s latest setback, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

Southampton have already rubber-stamped their place in the playoffs. Barring a miracle from Coventry City, they will be joined by three out of Leeds, Ipswich, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, and Hull City.

The lopsided result at Loftus Road also ended the risk of QPR being relegated into the third tier.