Joe Aribo sparkles as Southampton beat Leeds United to seal promotion back to the Premier League 

Published: May 26, 2024
Joe Aribo sparkles as Southampton beat Leeds United to seal promotion back to the Premier League 

Joe Aribo put up an impressive performance as Southampton sealed promotion back to the Premier League following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Leeds United in the Championship playoff final staged at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

The Nigeria international was a key player for Southampton in the playoffs, starting all the three matches contested by the Saints. 

Southampton, the only team to achieve a league double over Leeds throughout the campaign, secured their third win at the National Stadium with top scorer Adam Armstrong scoring the decisive goal in the first half.

Twenty-four minutes into the contest, Armstrong found the bottom corner with a brilliant finish after he was played through on goal by Will Smallbone.

England youth international of Nigerian descent, Sam Edozie missed a glorious chance to give Southampton a two-goal lead midway through the second half when he sent his effort wide after a delightful pass from Aribo.

The miss would have proved costly six minutes from time had Dan James not sent a shot crashing against the woodwork. 

Aribo was booked in the 12th minute of stoppage time for preventing a free-kick from being taken quickly and then feigning injury.

Southampton were able to hold onto their lead and sealed an immediate return to the Premier League after suffering relegation in the 2022-2023 campaign. 

Aribo, who has been omitted from the latest Nigeria squad for 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin, registered four goals in 40 games across all competitions in 2023-2024.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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