Leeds United automatic promotion picture becomes clearer after massive Leicester City and Southampton result

Leeds United watched on as two of their Championship promotion rivals went head-to-head on Tuesday.
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Leicester City took another huge step towards promotion after thrashing Southampton 5-0 on Tuesday, a result which also virtually ends the Saints’ hope of a top-two finish and leaves Leeds United and Ipswich Town set to battle for second.

Abdul Fatawu was the main man on the night in which one of Leeds United’s main promotion rivals all but sealed a return to the Premier League. Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy were also on the scoresheet to secure a massive three points for Enzo Maresca’s side, who saw their lead at the top extended to four points as a result.

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A five-point gap over third-placed Ipswich comes from having played a game more but there is every chance the Foxes secure their return before the final day, needing just three points to go up and four for the title. Defeat leaves Southampton six points adrift of second-placed Leeds but the latter side’s vastly superior goal difference means automatic promotion is virtually impossible.

Fatawu opened the scoring inside 20 minutes after the winger got in behind Kyle Walker-Peters to open the scoring. Southampton were calling for a foul on Che Adams in the build-up but replays showed it to be a fair challenge from Wout Faes, although Fatawu did look to be slightly offside when receiving the ball.

Leicester continued to dominate but were unable to extend their lead going into half-time. Southampton’s misery was compounded when Joe Rothwell was forced off with an injury, making the midfielder a doubt for the final-day trip to Leeds.

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Martin’s side came out swinging after half-time and created a few slight openings but Leicester soon got a grip back on the game and doubled their lead just past the hour mark. Stephy Mavididi was afforded too much space on the left and his cross was met by an unmarked Ndidi to head home.

Fatawu got his second of the game with 15 minutes remaining, cutting inside from the right and, under almost no pressure from Southampton, curling a trademark effort into the far corner. Vardy then capped things off shortly after, finding acres in the Southampton box to finish a Fatawu cross.

On Monday, Leeds pulled themselves back into the top two after beating Middlesbrough 4-3, with Crysencio Summerville’s brilliant brace bookending efforts from Patrick Bamford and Wilfried Gnonto. Daniel Farke’s side rode out a nervy finish at the Riverside Stadium after Emmanuel Latte Lath’s late header to take all three points and leapfrog Ipswich.

Victory at Queens Park Rangers on Friday would see Leeds open up a four-point gap between themselves and the Tractor Boys, albeit having played two games more. Kieran McKenna’s side have two tricky away-days at play-off chasing Hull City and Coventry to contend with and anything less than four points could see promotion out of their hands.

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Leeds host Southampton at Elland Road on the final day with the promotion race likely to be decided during that 90-minute spell. Leicester and Ipswich are also both at home to Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town respectively.