How the relegation battle unfolded in final stages of the Championship season

A dramatic final round of championship fixtures saw all teams who were occupying the bottom five spots with six games to play secure their safety and place in the 2020-21 Championship.

Four points had separated Luton, Barnsley, Stoke, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield at the bottom of the table as the season entered the final stages but all managed to escape relegation.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how each of the clubs managed to avoid the drop to League One, and those who did not.

A look at the change in the Championship table in the final six games of the season
A look at the change in the Championship table in the final six games of the season

The clubs who escaped relegation

Huddersfield

Huddersfield all but guaranteed survival after an important 2-1 victory over West Brom on July 17 which put them six points clear of the bottom three, before manager Danny Cowley was sacked with the Terriers 18th in the table. Three draws and a win in their last six matches was enough to prevent the club suffering a second successive relegation.

Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's appointment of Neil Warnock in June helped the club avoid the drop zone
Middlesbrough’s appointment of Neil Warnock in June helped the club avoid the drop zone (Andrew Matthews/PA)

With Middlesbrough 21st in the Championship on June 23, the club turned to the experienced Neil Warnock after sacking Jonathan Woodgate. Warnock had eight matches to keep the Teeside club up, and they secured four successive away wins, including a final day victory over Sheffield Wednesday to guaranteed survival.

Luton

The Hatters came from behind in the final match of the season with the help of two own goals in a hard-fought must-win 3-2 victory over Blackburn on the final day to move clear of the drop zone for the first time since December. Luton started the resumption of the Championship six points off safety, but had crucial wins at Swansea, Huddersfield and Hull as they closed the gap.

Barnsley

The South Yorkshire club kept their survival hopes alive going into the final game of the season with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest, and then on the final day scored a dramatic injury-time winner to beat Brentford. Barnsley’s future in the Championship was only secured however after Wigan’s point-deduction was confirmed. The Tykes had been five points adrift at the start of the week.

Stoke

Stoke beat Nottingham Forest on the final day as they eventually finished 15th
Stoke beat Nottingham Forest on the final day as they eventually finished 15th (David Davies/PA)

Despite occupying the final drop zone place with six games left to play, Stoke finished the season strongly, with 10 points out of a possible 12, including a crucial 1-0 win over third-placed Brentford to secure safety in the Championship and eventually finished 15th.

And those who slipped into the bottom three

Hull

Hull's heavy defeat at Wigan further damaged their survival chances
Hull’s heavy defeat at Wigan further damaged their survival chances (Martin Rickett/PA)

Despite being eighth in the league after 26 games, Hull were relegated after losing 3-0 to Cardiff on Wednesday, which was a sixth straight defeat including an embarrassing 8-0 demolition at Wigan last week, to leave the club with 16 losses from 20 games.

Wigan

Wigan’s 1-1 draw with Fulham in their final game of the season condemned the Latics to relegation after a 12-point deduction for entering administration. Although the club could have stayed up with a win, they finished the season 10 points clear of the drop zone, only to be relegated once the deduction was confirmed at full time. The club are appealing against the sanction.

Charlton

In a season in which we've had absolutely everything thrown at us, Lee Bowyer, his staff, players & you, the supporters, gave everything for the cause and came so close.

A huge thank you for your support. You are the heartbeat of this club & we need you more than ever. #cafcpic.twitter.com/tsmHDfZg3b

— Charlton Athletic FC (@CAFCofficial) July 22, 2020

Charlton were relegated after a resounding 4-0 defeat to champions Leeds and Barnsley scored an injury-time winner at Brentford. The relegation brought an end to a difficult season for the Addicks, who failed to win in their final seven matches.

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