Queens Park Rangers celebrated promotion from the Championship despite losing 2-1 at home to Leeds United on Saturday.After the Football Association announced earlier in the day the club would not be docked points over the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin, Neil Warnock’s team was guaranteed promotion to the English Premier League.
Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson gave QPR a first-minute lead at Loftus Road, but Leeds scored either side of half-time to take the three points.
Goals from midfielder Mark Gradel and Scottish attacker Ross McCormack left Leeds relying on Nottingham Forest to record a three-goal loss to steal the sixth playoff spot.
But it was not to be as Forest took a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Midfielder Lewis McGugan opened the scoring on 17 minutes and their task was made easier when Palace defender Dean Moxey was sent off eight minutes later.
Goals in the last 20 minutes from Marcus Tudgay and David McGoldrick guaranteed Forest would face Swansea City in the playoff semi-final.
Swansea rose to third on the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Sheffield United and the failure of Cardiff City, who drew at Burnley.
A brace from Scottish attacker Stephen Dobbie, along with a Scott Sinclair penalty and a Leon Britton strike, were enough to hammer League One-bound United.
Michael Adams’ team was in the game until Australian defender Shane Lowry was given his marching orders in the 54th minute.
A 90th-minute strike from Craig Bellamy was all that saved Cardiff from defeat at Burnley in their 1-1 draw.
His goal cancelled out a 13th-minute opener from Jay Rodriguez as Burnley finished the season in eighth.
Norwich City celebrated promotion, but only after a 2-2 draw against Coventry City.
All the goals at Carrow Road came in the second half as Coventry’s Richard Keogh and Norwich’s Grant Holt began the scoring after they exchanged strikes.
On-loan Liverpool attacker Daniel Pacheco gave Norwich the lead, five minutes after coming on for Holt, but Lukas Jutkiewicz pegged them back two minutes later as the teams were forced to share the points.
Reading ended a three-game winless run with a 2-1 win over Derby County.
With fifth place assured, Reading will enter their playoff clash with Cardiff City in winning form thanks to Hal Robson-Kanu’s 72nd-minute winner.
Ian Harte’s 24th-minute penalty had been cancelled out by Jamie Ward in the first half.
Elsewhere, Barnsley finished their campaign in style after a Reuben Noble-Lazarus goal gave them a 1-0 win over Millwall.
Middlesbrough ended the season with their fourth-straight win, a 3-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers.
Barry Robson broke the deadlock two minutes before the interval, while Leroy Lita and Adam Reach scored second-half goals.
At Glanford Park, Portsmouth forward David Nugent struck nine minutes before the end to secure a 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe United, who had led thanks to a Ramon Nunez goal.
Preston North End ended their season with a 3-1 win over Watford.
Andreas Weimann had given Malcolm Mackay’s team an early goal, but Barry Nicholson, Iain Hume and Jamie Proctor hit back for the hosts, who have been relegated.
Bristol City breezed past Hull City 3-0, mainly thanks to goals from Jon Stead and Brett Pitman in the opening 14 minutes with Jamal Campbell Ryce wrapping up the points early in the second half.
Leicester City recorded an entertaining 4-2 win over Ipswich Town after holding a three-goal lead at the break.
Andy King, Yakubu and Yuki Abe scored before the interval, but two goals in the space of as many minutes put Paul Jewell’s team back in the contest.
Grant Leadbitter struck from the penalty spot and Connor Wickham made it 3-2 a minute later, but Diomansy Kamara restored the two-goal buffer in the 72nd minute.