‘This is extraordinary’ yells commentator as Ipswich star nets outrageous last-second winner in Prem promotion showdown

JEREMY SARMIENTO climbed off the bench to snatch a winner SEVEN minutes into stoppage time and send Sky Sports commentators wild.

It kept Ipswich top of the Championship and put a dent into Southampton’s automatic promotion hopes.

Ipswich's late winner saw them go top of the Championship


Ipswich’s late winner saw them go top of the ChampionshipCredit: Rex
Jeremy Sarmiento poked home a dramatic late winner


Jeremy Sarmiento poked home a dramatic late winnerCredit: Rex
Kieran McKenna has led Ipswich to nine wins in their last ten


Kieran McKenna has led Ipswich to nine wins in their last tenCredit: Reuters

And anyone doubting the Tractor Boys’ staying power in this remarkable Championship promotion race had better start believing this lot can gatecrash the Premier League party next season.

The second tier’s comeback kings looked beaten here at Portman Road after goals from Che Adams and Adam Armstrong put Saints firmly in the driving seat after Leif Davis’ 13th-minute opener.

Saints were bossing the midfield. Stuart Armstrong had the freedom of the park. Ipswich were hit by the blow of losing striker Kieffer Moore after just 36 minutes.

But anyone who writes off this Ipswich team does so with their peril.

Boss Kieran McKenna once again showed why he is quickly establishing himself as one of the brightest coaches in English football right now.

He made a triple change on the hour bringing on Jack Taylor, Harry Clarke and Nathan Broadhead.

And two of them combined to bring Ipswich level with Taylor’s wonderful pass finding Broadhead and in one swoop he swivelled and struck the ball through the legs of a defender and past Bazunu.

With five minutes left Davis was played in but Bree hauled him down and ref Michael Salisbury duly produced a red card.


And then McKenna brought on Sarmiento and after David Brooks squandered a late chance himself for Saints he ruthless punished them at the death.

Davis crossed to the penalty spot where Sarmiento mis-kicked before instinctively lashing out with his right foot, nudging the ball beyond Bazunu.

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And the Ipswich boss said: “It was right up there with the best games since I’ve been here.

“It was another brilliant match to be involved in and to win it in the last minute, it’s a moment to really cherish.

“We kept out calm at half-time and just needed to regroup – and then the subs have done their job. That’s why these players are there – you need quality on the bench to win games like this.

“This has been one of the toughest games to prepare for because Southampton cause so many problems.

“I’ve almost forgotten what sleep is these past few days – but when you get a day like this it makes it all worthwhile.” Earlier Sam Morsy’s lovely raking ball found Davis on the left edge of the box.

Musician Ed Sheeran watched the thrilling game from the stands


Musician Ed Sheeran watched the thrilling game from the standsCredit: PA

And the Geordie thumped a ferocious effort past Gavin Bazunu at his near post – but the pace on the ball was what did for the keeper.

But within the blink of an eye Saints were back level.

Adam Armstrong crossed from the right and Joe Aribo burst forward to get on the end of it.

The ball broke for Adam to score a typical poacher’s goal from six yards.

Ipswich were appealing for offside but Cameron Burgess was playing everyone on.

Here's how the match played out on paper
Here’s how the match played out on paper

And, incredibly, Saints moved into a 23rd-minute lead with a goal of sheer quality.

Bazunu taking possession to the ball being in the back of the net took just five touches.

Stuart Armstrong threaded a beautiful angled pass that dissected the Ipswich defence and caught Davis slightly out of position.

And Adam Armstrong ran on to it to drive a low effort into the bottom left.

Russell Martin refused to accept his fourth-placed Saints defeat and he said: “We were the best team and didn’t deserve to lose.

“We had 17 shots on goal, had five huge chances and missed three. They had relatively little until late on.

“We were the dominant team and should’ve gone on to win the game. Even when we were down to 10 men, we missed a great chance and they scored theirs.

“So I’m proud of the players. It was a brilliant performance and if played like that between now and the end of the season, we’ll still have a chance of automatic promotion.”

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