May 03, 2014

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 9 comments

Final day in The Championship today in England. Last year the final promotion, final playoff and final relegation spot were all decided with goals after the 89th minute.

Today there's no automatic promotion spot available, but three teams are squabbling over the final playoff position. Reading are favourites, but need a win at home to already promoted Burnley to be sure. If they daw or lose, then Brighton can overtake them with a better result against mid-table Nottingham Forest.

Blackburn are theoretically in with a shout, but goal difference suggests they need Brighton to lose as well as Reading and then they'll need to score at hat full at home to Wigan.

At the bottom Birmingham have the chance to follow the 2013 Wolves team as a "big" club from the West Midlands going into the lower leagues, as they need a draw just to have a chance to survive. That point could put them level with Doncaster if they lose in Leicester. Leicester are already champions, but would love a win or draw to push them over 100 points for the season.

The other two teams at the bottom - Millwall and Blackpool - are in better shape, as they're at home to teams with nothing to play for. Blackpool only need a draw to be safe after a weird season. They were top after five weeks and in the playoff spots in November, then didn't win another game until March.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:54 AM on May 03, 2014

Blackburn are working on that "hat full" - they're 3-1 up with another goal disallowed in just over half an hour.

If Reading lose and Brighton draw, they'll just need another five goals.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:58 AM on May 03, 2014

Birmingham just scored a 90th minute goal to tie their game with Bolton at 2-2, and with Doncaster losing 1-0 to Leicester that proved enough to save Birmingham and keep them in the Championship for next season thanks to their better goal difference.

Meanwhile, at the top end Brighton scored in the 90th minute to beat Forest and vault over Reading into the playoffs, as Reading could only draw 2-2. Blackburn's mad chase for goals ended in a 4-3 win over Wigan.

Of course, the most important game of the day was at Portman Road, where Ipswich beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1. Take that, rcade.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:17 AM on May 03, 2014

Ugh. Wednesday lost the last three and five of the last eight, nicely smothering any hopes of season-ending optimism.

Excellent extra time relegation drama. Wish it was televised.

Two months 'til preseason friendlies, and most of that will be eaten up by the World Cup.

posted by rcade at 11:30 AM on May 03, 2014

Not much drama today in the league that does get televised. Fulham and Cardiff both have to win to save their seasons and are tonked 4-1 and 3-0 respectively.

Norwich are currently in the only remaining relegation spot and probably have to win both their final pair of games. Against Chelsea and Arsenal.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:18 PM on May 03, 2014

Amir Khan won his comeback fight tonight against quality opponent Luis Collazo and dominated him to the degree that American judges gave him a unanimous decision that included two scores of 119-104, despite Khan having a point deducted.

Khan also took one of the lowest punches I've ever seen - Collazo practically hit him in the grandchildren.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:11 AM on May 04, 2014

And while Floyd Mayweather certainly had one of his tougher challenges against Marcos Maidana, the judge who scored it 114-114 appeared to be going for the C.J. Ross Memorial Trophy.

posted by etagloh at 01:53 AM on May 04, 2014

We've drawn Brighton in the playoffs. Hmmm. My niece is the Seagull's mascot, but family loyalty has no place when there's a return to the Premier League at stake.

Hopefully this time we'll do better, and not just turn up to collect the parachute payment at the end of the season.

posted by owlhouse at 03:01 AM on May 04, 2014

Norwich are currently in the only remaining relegation spot and probably have to win both their final pair of games.

Or a court case. Anyone else feel the FA never penalized Sunderland because at the time they seemed a sure bet to get relegated no matter what?

posted by yerfatma at 01:26 PM on May 04, 2014

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