EFL final day: Who managed to qualify for Championship, League One, League Two playoffs 2023?
EFL final day: Who managed to qualify for Championship, League One, League Two playoffs 2023?
EFL final day: Who qualified for the 2023 playoffs?

The English Football League regular season concluded in memorable fashion on May 8 with promotion and relegation places, plus playoff qualifiers, now decided across the Championship, League One and League Two.

Preston North End vs. Sunderland and Millwall vs. Blackburn Rovers delivered plenty of drama on the final day of the Championship as teams battled to secure a place in the playoffs, with the top two already decided.

There was also a thrilling finish to the League Two picture at the end of a long weekend of coronation celebrations in the UK.

For everything you need to know on how the EFL regular season concluded, and who will now contest the playoffs, the Sporting News has you covered.

MORE: EFL Championship playoffs 2023 games, teams, rules for Premier League promotion

EFL Championship final day: 2023 playoff permutations

Championship playoff semifinals 2022/23

Sunderland vs. Luton Town

Coventry City vs. Middlesbrough

While Burnley and Sheffield United had already been promoted back to the Premier League this season from the Championship, there were still a number of sides eyeing a playoff spot on the final day.

We knew that Luton Town and Middlesbrough would definitely finish third and fourth respectively, but five sides were still looking to secure the other two openings. Here is how things played out.

5th — Coventry City: 70 points, +12 GD

Starting the final day in fifth position, Coventry knew a win or a draw away to Middlesbrough would guarantee a playoff spot, while their goal difference gave them an added cushion to the chasing pack. Cameron Archer cancelled out Gustavo Hamer's opening goal in the first half, and 1-1 is how the game finished. These teams will meet again in the playoff semifinals.

6th — Sunderland: 69 points, +13 GD

Sunderland knew they needed to beat Preston North End and hope for a favour elsewhere. Things looked bleak when Millwall took a 3-1 lead over Blackburn Rovers, but their second-half collapse — coupled with a Sunderland performance inspired by Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo — saw the Black Cats finish sixth in the table on goal difference courtesy of a 3-0 win.

7th — Blackburn Rovers: 69 points, -2 GD

Blackburn's thrilling 4-3 comeback win over Millwall ultimately counted for nothing for them, as they missed out on the playoffs due to goal difference. The result did scupper Millwall's top-six hopes, though.

8th — Millwall: 68 points, +7 GD

Millwall had a top-six spot in their hands after taking a 3-1 lead over Blackburn into halftime, but a dreadful second-half collapse saw them miss out on the chance for promotion.

9th — West Brom: 66 points, +6 GD

West Brom's playoff hopes were not entirely in their own hands, so they always faced something of an uphill battle. A win was essential to their chances, but they twice let the lead slip at Swansea City before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat thanks to Joel Piroe's stoppage-time goal.

Final Championship table, fifth to ninth place

Pos. Team Played W D L GD Points
5 Coventry 46 18 16 12 +12 70
6 Sunderland 46 18 15 13 +13 69
7 Blackburn 46 20 9 17 -2 69
8 Millwall 46 19 11 16 +7 68
9 West Brom 46 18 12 16 +6 66

Final day Championship results:

Here's the list of fixtures and results for all the teams who were still within contention to finish in the Championship playoffs on the final day of the season. 

Millwall 3-4 Blackburn Rovers

Middlesbrough 1-1 Coventry City

Preston 0-3 Sunderland

Swansea 3-2 West Brom

EFL League One final day: 2023 playoff permutations

League One playoff semifinals 2022/23

Peterborough United vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Bolton Wanderers vs. Barnsley

We already knew that Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town had been automatically promoted, while Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley would definitely finish third and fourth. Bolton were also confirmed to finish in the playoffs, meaning just one spot was up for grabs. This is how things played out.

5th — Bolton Wanderers: 81 points, +26 GD

Bolton took fifth place in the end after a thrilling 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers on the final day. They will now face Barnsley in the semifinals of the playoffs.

6th — Peterborough United: 77 points, +21 GD

Peterborough knew they had to beat Barnsley away to have a chance at a playoff spot, while also hoping for a favour from Sheffield Wednesday against Derby County. The Rams suffered a 1-0 defeat, while Peterborough's 2-0 win saw them snatch sixth place on the final day.

7th — Derby County: 76 points, +21 GD

Derby knew that a win at Sheffield Wednesday would guarantee their playoff place, but things went horribly wrong in the first half when veteran defender Curtis Davies was sent off and Michael Smith scored the resulting penalty. The 10-man visitors battled bravely but could not find the equaliser that would have seen them finish above Peterborough.

Final League One table, fifth to seventh place

Pos. Team Played W D L GD Points
5 Bolton 46 23 12 11 +26 81
6 Peterborough 46 24 5 17 +21 77
7 Derby 46 21 13 12 +21 76

Final day League One results:

Here's the list of fixtures for all the teams who were still within contention to finish in the League One playoffs on the final day of the season. 

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Derby County

Barnsley 0-2 Peterborough United

EFL League Two final day: 2023 playoff permutations

League Two playoff semifinals 2022/23

Salford City vs. Stockport County

Bradford City vs. Carlisle United

There was plenty at stake on the final day of League Two, with an automatic promotion spot up for grabs while not a single team knew where would finish in the playoff picture this season. 

It's important to remember that in League Two — unlike the other two divisions — the top three sides go up automatically, while fourth to seventh make up the playoffs. Here is out the final day played out.

3rd — Northampton Town: 83 points, +20 GD

Northampton had a playoff spot guaranteed but they needed a win to be sure of finishing third and claiming the last automatic promotion place. They did just that, Sam Hoskins scoring after just five minutes to secure a 1-0 away win at Tranmere Rovers. 

4th — Stockport County: 79 points, +28 GD

With Northampton winning, Stockport's hopes of snatching third place became impossible. They ended the regular season with a 1-1 draw at home to relegated Hartlepool, but that result was never going to see them drop out of the playoff places.

5th — Carlisle United: 76 points, +23 GD

Carlisle's impressive goal difference meant it was always likely they would secure a place in the top seven by the end of the day. A late own goal saw them draw 1-1 at Sutton United, which left them in fifth place.

6th — Bradford City: 76 points, +18 GD

Bradford needed a draw to make certain they finished in the playoffs, but they faced the daunting task of a home game against champions Leyton Orient. The visitors took the lead late in the first half but Bradford levelled two minutes later, and that's how it finished.

7th — Salford City: 75 points, +18 GD

Salford were surprisingly beaten 1-0 at home by 17th-place Gillingham on the final day, giving Mansfield a glimmer of hope. In the end, the club run by former Manchester United stars including Gary Neville scraped into the playoffs by a single goal.

8th — Mansfield Town: 75 points, +18 GD

Mansfield almost managed an unlikely final-day success story. With Salford losing, they needed to defeat Colchester United by three goals to move into the top seven. James Gale gave them a 2-0 lead in the 97th minute of their match, but time eventually ran out as they lost out in the playoff race on goal difference.

Final League Two table, third to eighth

Pos. Team Played W D L GD Points
3 Northampton 46 23 14 9 +20 83
4 Stockport 46 22 13 11 +28 79
5 Carlisle 46 20 16 10 +23 76
6 Bradford City 46 20 16 10 +18 76
7 Salford City 46 22 9 15 +18 75
8 Mansfield 46 21 12 13 +17 75

Final day League Two fixtures:

Here's the list of fixtures for all the teams who were still in contention to finish in the League Two playoffs on the final day of the season. 

Sutton United 1-1 Carlisle United

Bradford City 1-1 Leyton Orient

Salford City 0-1 Gillingham

Stockport County 1-1 Hartlepool United

Colchester United 0-2 Mansfield Town

Tranmere rovers 0-1 Northampton Town

What's your reaction?



0 comment

Write the first comment for this!

Facebook Conversations

Disqus Conversations