LONDON (Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion were promoted to the Premier League as goals from Glenn Murray and Solly March secured a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic in the Championship on Monday.
Brighton’s rise to the top flight was confirmed after Huddersfield Town were held to a 1-1 draw at Derby County in the late game.
That result left Brighton on 92 points, seven ahead of Newcastle United and 13 clear of third-placed Reading with four games remaining.
Brighton fans had invaded the pitch at the end of their game to celebrate their return to the top flight after a 34-year absence.
A run of five straight wins came at just the right time for Brighton, who agonisingly missed out on automatic promotion last season after finishing third and failing to get through the playoffs.
“I’m incredibly proud of the way that they bounced back. To put together the run they have, at this stage of the season, is incredibly difficult, and they deserve every bit of credit,” Brighton manager Chris Hughton said.
”I knew we had a group of lads that were capable of doing it, but being capable of doing it and actually doing it are two different things.
“They’ve been good all season. They’ve bounced back and shown good determination and desire to win as many game as possible. It is a wonderful achievement,” he added.
Second-placed Newcastle slumped to a 3-1 loss to Ipswich Town in what has been a disappointing Easter for Rafa Benitez’s team who were held to a 1-1 home draw by Leeds United on Friday.
Reading kept up the pressure on Newcastle and are now six points behind them after coming from a goal down to beat bottom side Rotherham United 2-1 thanks to second-half strikes from Lewis Grabban and John Swift.
Fulham defeated Aston Villa 3-1, taking advantage of Leeds’s 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers to climb above them into sixth position and the final playoff spot.
Sheffield Wednesday maintained their playoff push and are in fifth place on 75 points, two ahead of Fulham, after a 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers.
Reporting by Simon Evans and Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond