SOUTHAMPTON achieved promotion back to the Premier League on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Leeds United in the Championship playoff final.

Club top goalscorer Adam Armstrong raced onto Will Smallbone's pass to fire in what transpired to be the winner.

Here is how we rated every Southampton player's performance...

Alex McCarthy - 8.

Dealt with easy efforts in the first half. Continued to gather crosses and corners as Saints were put under pressure by Leeds. Produced an excellent save in the dying moments to deny Dan James.

Kyle Walker-Peters - 8.

Looked so comfortable on the ball when under the press in his own half. Drove well with the ball and kept Championship player of the season Crysencio Summerville out of the game. Clash of heads with James but was ok to carry on.

Jan Bednarek - 8.

Was the first player to be shown a yellow card when he made a rash tackle on Georginio Rutter. Excellent as he has been all season. Headed clear as Leeds look to launch attacks. Improved so much under Russell Martin.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis - 9.

Important defensive intervention to deny Summerville and got the Dutchman booked in the process. Followed up with another key tackle on Joe Rodon early in the second half before being booked. Continued to clip balls over the top for attackers to run onto.

Jack Stephens - 8.

Defended well as Saints were on the ropes in the first 10 minutes. Loose with the ball a few times but was trying to progress things. Massive tackle on James late on to cut out a cross. Lifted the trophy at the end as skipper.

Ryan Fraser - 8.

Played at wing-back ahead of Ryan Manning. Dogged in closing down Archie Gray and got the better of his young opponent a few times. Was applauded by the fans when withdrawn after giving his all. Potentially his last game for the club.

Flynn Downes - 9.

Capped off a brilliant loan spell with a fantastic performance. Made a load of tackles and drove at the Leeds defence. Lucky not to get a yellow in the first half after a flurry of fouls. Continued to boss the midfield as the game progressed, but was eventually booked. Won the most duels (nine).

Will Smallbone - 9.

The academy graduate has gone from boyhood Saints fan to Saints key man this season. Had a well-hit early free-kick saved by Meslier. Set up the winning goal with a great through ball. Continued to be a creative force and created the most chances (two).

Daily Echo: Will Smallbone helped Saints get back into the Premier LeagueWill Smallbone helped Saints get back into the Premier League (Image: Richard Crease)

Joe Aribo - 8.

Won the free-kick which helped Saints settle. A loose pass in midfield almost handed Farke’s side a chance just after the restart. Kept things neat and tidy in the midfield. Looked to join the attack whenever possible. Could have done better with a ball into the box.

David Brooks - 7.

Kept his place ahead of the fit-again Che Adams, who started on the bench. Looked emotional as he was forced off with an arm injury on the half-hour mark. Had looked bright.

Adam Armstrong - 9.

Sealed Southampton's promotion to the Premier League with a brilliant low finish past Meslier to put Southampton ahead on 25 minutes after a lively start. Continued to look sharp in the final third.

Daily Echo: Adam Armstrong scored the winner at WembleyAdam Armstrong scored the winner at Wembley (Image: PA)


Sam Edozie - 7.

Came on for the injured Brooks. Settled into the game quite quickly given the occasion. Caused problems with his pace but should have done better with a one-on-one effort, which he bent just over. Was replaced by Ryan Manning late on for extra defensive cover.

Che Adams - 7.

Introduced with around 20 minutes to go, replacing Fraser. Brought on to help Saints go more direct, which was giving them joy just before he entered. Held the ball up well but was booked for tripping Ampadu after giving the ball away on the edge.

Ryan Manning - 7.

Brought on for the final minutes as Southampton looked to hold onto their lead at Wembley. Only touched the ball seven times but helped Saints over the line.