Watford promoted to Premier League after one-season absence from top flight

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Author: [email protected] (Freddie Keighley)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Watford have been promoted to the Premier League just nine months after they were relegated from the top flight.

The Hornets secured the second automatic promotion spot – following in Norwich City’s footsteps – with a 1-0 victory over Millwall on Saturday afternoon.

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Elsewhere in the Football League, Hull City were promoted to the Championship with a 2-1 victory at Lincoln City. At the other end of League One, Swindon were relegated after their 5-0 thrashing by MK Dons.

Ismaila Sarr was brought down in the box and converted a penalty in the 11th minute to grab his fourth goal in five matches and steer Xisco’s men to victory.

With two games remaining in the season, Watford can still clinch the Championship title, although they will need Norwich to fail to win either of their two remaining games.

Watford have secured their return to the Premier League
Watford have secured their return to the Premier League

The Canaries beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on Saturday to maintain their five-point cushion at the table’s summit.

Watford have been no strangers to managerial changes in recent years – sacking Javi Gracia, Quique Sanchez Flores and Nigel Pearson last term – and another mid-season appointment worked wonders this campaign.

Vladimir Ivic was sacked in December after a marginally underwhelming start to the season left the Hornets fifth in the table.

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Sarr made no mistake from 12 yards to score the decisive goal
Sarr made no mistake from 12 yards to score the decisive goal

Will Watford survive in the Premier League next season? Have your say in the comments.

Xisco was appointed as Ivic’s replacement and brought about an upturn in form, leading the club on an impressive run of 10 victories in 11 games to pull clear of other automatic promotion hopefuls last month.

Sarr – the match-winner against Millwall – has been a standout performer throughout the season, top-scoring with 13 goals and laying on 10 assists for his teammates.

Watford also boast the best defensive record in the Championship having conceded just 28 times in 44 outings.

Attention now turns to the melee for the play-off spots, with Brentford, Bournemouth, Barnsley and Swansea currently occupying third to sixth in the table.

The Swans have an eight-point cushion over Reading in seventh.

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