(Football news) Luton Town created history as they will play in the Premier League for the first time after they beat Coventry City 6-5 on penalties in the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium. It meant that they earned a return to the Premier League after a 31-year absence. Coventry City’s Fankaty Dabo skied his penalty over the crossbar in the shootout as it went into sudden death following a 1-1 draw as Luton’s Joe Taylor had a late goal disallowed due to handball.
Coventry midfielder Gustavo Hamer equalised as he cancelled out Jordan Clark’s goal. Luton captain Tom Lockyer was carried off after he collapsed on the pitch. Luton confirmed that Lockye is talking to his family after he was taken to hospital for some mandatory tests. Luton are set to join Burnley and Sheffield United next season in the Premier League. The Kenilworth Road stadium will host Premier League football for the first time since 1992 but they need to invest 10 million on their stadium to follow the Premier League stadium requirements.
Luton’s journey to the Premier League is somewhat of a fairy tale as they were relegated to the Football League. Luton were playing in the fifth-tier Conference nine years ago and after a decade of financial hardship, they were the first team to go from the top tier to non-league and back again in such a short period of time. A lot of credit goes to the management and the fans who stuck with their club during the tough times as they will finally enjoy success in the Premier League.
Luton dominated the first half and took the lead in the 23rd minute through Clark, then they had two goals disallowed as Coventry came out with a different vigour in the second half as they drew level thanks to Hamer. The midfielder made a bursting run into the box to meet the pass and finished it with pinpoint accuracy. Luton finished third in the Championship and had to beat Sunderland in their playoff semi-final, the historic moment came when they sealed promotion as Dabo sent his penalty which was subsequently the first miss after 11 takers had all scored their spot kicks.
“It feels incredible,” Luton manager Rob Edwards said. “I’ve got to be honest, the only thing I’m thinking about now is Tom Lockyer… Health is the most important thing, more important than football.”
“I’ve completed football! I’ll retire this summer,” said Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, who has played for Luton at every level on their dizzying rise. It’s been a journey, through the highs and lows but you’ve got to believe in yourself. Here I am, a Premier League player.”
“It was our day, which was great, but I do feel for them as well,” Edwards said. “A lot of emotions going on right now, but I’m incredibly proud.”