Luton Town are one game away from the Premier League after beating Sunderland 2-0 in the second leg to reach the Championship play-off final. It was a blood and thunder display from Rob Edwards’ side to turnaround the 2-1 deficit thanks to goals from unlikely scorers Gabriel Osho and Tom Lockyer.
Those two first half goals both came from set pieces and the Hatters were able to use their physical advantage to bully Sunderland. Their third place finish has now resulted in a place at Wembley and they will take on either Middlesbrough or Coventry City for a place in the Premier League next season.
This is a club that has enjoyed a rise through the divisions after dropping right down the National League amid financial difficulties. But now they are fighting their way to the top table and this semi-final victory will heal the wounds of the defeat to Huddersfield Town at this stage last season.
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This incremental progression season upon season has taken them to this stage and now they are just one game away from the unthinkable. The wider footballing public has mocked their stadium in recent weeks, but Kenilworth Road produced a sizzling atmosphere that is difficult to replicate anywhere else in the league.
It’s a horrible place to go, and the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne could be experiencing it next season. This incredible rise now has just one step left before the journey is complete. Wembley won’t be quite the same for Luton, but this squad has proven it has what it takes to win at all costs.
They have the physicality, the intensity and the will to win. Boss Edwards, who was sacked by rivals Watford earlier in the season don’t forget, got things spot on tactically. He saw his side lose their way at the Stadium of Light but knew he had the components to take his side to Wembley. Their set pieces were spot on and ultimately that is what has carried them to the showpiece event of the Championship.
Nine years ago they were in the fifth tier. Now they will play in the richest game in football. Luton have given this wonderful sport one of the greatest rises we have ever seen.
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