Charlton Athletic suffered relegation back to League One after a 4-0 defeat to Leeds United, combined with results elsewhere, left them 23rd and heading out of the Championship after just a single season.
Leeds were rampant at Elland Road and goals from Ben White, Stuart Dallas, Tyler Roberts and Jamie Shackleton wrapped up a long stint in the EFL in style.
However, the drama was elsewhere and a late Barnsley goal at Brentford has relegated Charlton and sent them crashing back into League One this evening.
As you might expect after the week gone by, Leeds were relaxed and as the players were put through their paces, the absent Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi chatted to various members of the home side’s staff.
For Bowyer, he took in familiar surroundings and looked up at the 20,000 ‘crowdies’ staring down at him; many of those faces will have supported him previously, but tonight he was the enemy and looking to spoil the biggest party LS11 has seen in 28 years.
Of course, his side had something to play for tonight and knew victory would mean Leeds were the only club exiting the Championship tonight. Up against it? You bet, from the first minute.
Jack Harrison curled over only minutes in after turning Naby Sarr inside out, with the lively Manchester City loanee involved in a very bright start from Bielsa’s newly crowned Champions.
Problems down the right from the off and, again, on 13 minutes, Pablo Hernandez found space to cross. Bowyer’s defence dealt with the initial ball, but White was waiting on the edge of the area and found time to bring it down on his chest before unleashing a fierce volley into the top corner for the game’s opening goal.
Mateusz Klich and Ezgjan Alioski wasted more good chances in the opening quarter and Bowyer was left rallying the troops after 23 minutes of chasing shadows.
With the shackles off, this Leeds side are dangerous and can pull you to pieces; Charlton found that out shortly before the half-hour mark. Pablo Hernandez was pulling the strings and, as Dallas drifted into space behind the defence, he found the Northern Irishman, who made no mistakes in doubling the lead.
The party was starting again outside Elland Road.
Luke Ayling and Dallas tested Dillon Phillips as Leeds probed for more, but there was space on the counter and Charlton almost exploited it when Alfie Doughty broke. His effort, though, was the wrong side of Illan Meslier’s post and Bowyer was left looking for answers after the toughest of 45 minutes at the worst possible time.
Chuks Aneke and Josh Cullen forced Meslier into action at the start of the second-half, but Leeds were quick to extinguish their fire as Roberts stepped off the bench to head Hernandez’s corner behind the hapless Phillips.
Bielsa has stuck with a core group of players this season in the Championship, but even when he’s made changes, the side don’t lose their shape and are capable of competing.
Pascal Struijk has proved that superbly in the last two games and his ranging pass on 66 minutes sent Ian Poveda down the right. The winger had the awareness to hold the ball and feed fellow substitute Shackleton, who rolled a fourth past Phillips.
There were no favours for Bowyer from Bielsa and this was vintage Leeds as they signed off from 16 long years in the EFL with little drama.
For Charlton, though, the drama elsewhere proved fatal for their Championship status and a late Barnsley winner against Brentford has relegated them.
Full-time: Leeds United 4-0 Charlton Athletic.