Leeds United's final-day picture becomes clear after massive Ipswich Town promotion boost

Leeds United look set for a place in the Championship playoffs after seeing their main rivals enjoy a massive win at Coventry City.
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Leeds United will need a final-day miracle to achieve automatic promotion after seeing Ipswich Town beat Coventry City 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

Ipswich were far from their best but got the job done at the CBS Arena, twice taking the lead through Kieffer Moore and Cameron Burgess. Haji Wright cancelled out the former shortly after half-time but Kieran McKenna’s side rallied to take a massive three points back to Portman Road.

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The Tractor Boys are now back into second-place and three points clear of Leeds, with just one game remaining. It means Daniel Farke’s side must now beat Southampton and hope West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town do them a favour and win at Ipswich - a scenario that would send the Whites up on goal difference. Any other combination of results would mean playoff football at Elland Road.

Ipswich went into the game knowing victory would provide a huge step towards the Premier League and they enjoyed a dream start, taking the lead inside eight minutes through Moore, who swept home in acres of space on the penalty spot after Wes Burns had got in behind the lacklustre Jay Dasilva. The Tractor Boys had most of the ball in the first quarter of an hour but Coventry grew into the game and were deserving of an equaliser.

Their biggest first-half chance came on 32 minutes, with Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky somehow managing to palm Wright’s effort away from a matter of yards after Kasey Palmer’s shot had been blocked by two separate defenders. Ellis Simms also found himself in good positions on a couple of occasions but was not at his clinical best.

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Coventry came close again just minutes after the break and Leeds fans watching on the television may have been celebrating a goal for a split second, only to realise Josh Eccles’ drilled effort had, in fact, rippled the side netting. Ipswich were then unfortunate not to double their lead on the hour mark when Nathan Broadhead picked up a loose ball and lashed an effort onto the crossbar, keeping Leeds hopes alive.

And those hopes grew shortly after as Wright fired an equaliser through Hladky from a tight angle. Coventry had built up patiently and worked the space brilliantly, albeit Hladky would have been frustrated not to have kept it out.

But Ipswich responded well and after seeing two chances well saved by Coventry goalkeeper Brad Collins, Burgess somehow squeezed in a scruffy effort as a corner fell at his feet. The centre-back’s effort appeared to force through multiple bodies before somehow getting in at the near post.

Coventry had nothing to play for after seeing playoff hopes extinguished last week and so Ipswich were able to manage the final 20 minutes with relative ease, riding out waves of pressure as they came. Full-time celebrations in the away end were understandably joyous, with the Tractor Boys firmly in the driving seat come Saturday.

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While there is still a chance of Leeds nicking a top-two finish, the most likely outcome will be a third-place finish and a spot in the playoffs. Farke’s side will first play the sixth-placed finishers over two legs, with any one of Norwich City, West Brom or Hull City potentially coming to Elland Road in May. Fourth-placed Southampton will face the fifth-placed finishers - one of Norwich or West Brom - with the winners of each two-legged semi-final meeting at Wembley on Sunday, May 26.