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Norwich City promoted after victory over Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final

25 May 2015

Norwich City made an immediate return to the Premier League after beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley.

First-half goals from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond clinched victory for the Canaries in front of more than 85,000 fans under the arch of the national stadium.

Norwich were comfortable for the majority of the game once they had secured a two-goal cushion, and they restricted a below-par Middlesbrough to few opportunities.

The Football League season finale had a breathtaking start as both sides alternated turns going forward. Boro attacked down the right through Albert Adomah, while Norwich exploited the width of the pitch through Redmond and Martin Olsson.

Jerome failed to connect with a ball into the box for the first real chance of the game, but the resulting clearance fell to Bradley Johnson, who rattled the crossbar with a sweet, half-volleyed strike. Boro then broke immediately, and the woodwork was hit again, this time by Jelle Vossen after Sebastien Bassong failed to clear his lines.

A mix up between Middlesbrough duo Dean Whitehead and Daniel Ayala then led to the first goal, with Jerome racing through to capitalise and slot past Boro goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos from close range.

City were in dreamland just minutes later when they added a second. Redmond found space in the opposition penalty area and controlled well to tee himself up with his left foot, before thrashing home with his right to double the Canaries' advantage.

Redmond continued to ask questions of Boro’s defence soon after, probing down the left and delivering dangerous balls into the box.

Aitor Karanka’s men earned some respite when they began to get a foothold in possession, but they failed to create any goalscoring opportunities.

That was until after half-time, when they returned to the field with an extra spring in their step. Adomah was again threatening down the right again, while Ayala headed just over from a corner.

Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year Patrick Bamford’s first real involvement came on the hour mark, when he quickly moved the ball from under his feet to sting the palms of Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Canaries' captain Russell Martin squandered a good chance to put the game to bed, but his headed effort from a Redmond centre eluded the target.

Boro striker Kike was introduced with little over 20 minutes to play and his presence was immediately felt when he guided a ball across the six-yard box, but only into the hands of the waiting Ruddy.

Ayala brought down substitute Graham Dorrans on the edge of his penalty area, and Redmond was inches away from adding to his tally from the resulting free-kick.

Ayala was in the thick of things once again - this time at the other end - as he had a goal-bound header blocked on the line by second-half substitute Lewis Grabban.

But it was to be the last chance for Boro to find a way back into the game, and Norwich marched onto victory to secure a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Whitehead (Nsue 45), Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Adomah, Leadbitter (Capt), Clayton, Tomlin, Vossen (Kike 68), Bamford.

Subs not used: Ripley, Forshaw, Reach, Amorebieta, Woodgate.

Booked: Vossen.

Norwich City: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin (Capt), Bassong, Olsson, Redmond (O'Neil  87), Howson, Tettey, Johnson, Hoolahan (Dorrans 74), Jerome (Grabban 74).

Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Hooper, E Bennett, R Bennett.

Booked: Howson.

Mike Dean.

Attendance: 85,636.

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