Cardiff pipped Fulham to promotion to the Premier League as Bolton came from behind against Nottingham Forest to secure safety
What a breathless final day that was. It was brilliant drama. Cardiff City have been promoted alongside Wolves, four years after being relegated from the Premier League, and Bolton Wanderers have somehow managed to stay up at the expense of Burton Albion and Barnsley, who join Sunderland in League One. As for Fulham, it was a deflating end to their 23-match unbeaten run. They’ll need to dust themselves down for the play-offs. Their semi-final is against sixth-placed Derby County. The other one is between fourth-placed Aston Villa, who will have the luxury of the second leg at Villa Park, and Tony Pulis’s Middlesbrough. That’s all from me. Thanks for reading. Bye!
Here’s Stuart James with the all-important verdict on Cardiff’s promotion.
In the directors’ box, Vincent Tan is having a good time. Premier League fans will be delighted to see the return of Big Vinny T.
Neil Warnock speaks! “It’s the biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute mile. I’ve got a great bunch of lads. Nobody gave us a chance. I’m so proud of them. In the end we did enough. I’ve had some great promotions and squads but because of the circumstances when I came here, second bottom, it’s the proudest achievement of my life. All credit to everybody. At my age you’re not going to get many more chances. I owe Sharon [Warnock’s wife] a lot.”
Neil Warnock - who still looks like Livia Soprano - is beaming in the tunnel. The Cardiff fans are enjoying themselves on the pitch.
“We’ll probably have a couple of drinks,” Morrison predicts. “A couple. Just a couple.”
“It’s been an incredible year!” Sean Morrison, Cardiff’s captain, says. “To finish on 90 points is fantastic. The gaffer has rallied us all year. I can’t explain how happy I am. We were hearing things during the game. You try to block it out of your mind. Five minutes to go, you hear it’s 5-1, you thank your lucky stars.”
One to forget for the visitors.
Pitch invasions everywhere! The Championship, eh?
Adite Nuhiu completes his hat-trick.
A disappointing day for Fulham. They’ll need to recover quickly for the play-offs after finishing third. As for Birmingham, they escape relegation again.
It wasn’t pretty but Cardiff have been promoted to the Premier League! Time for a pitch invasion! What a job Neil Warnock’s done!
It’s all over! Bolton have avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth! They were going down with three minutes to go, only for goals from David Wheater and Aaron Wilbraham to save them! Barnsley and Burton Albion are relegated along with Sunderland.
Heartbreak for Ipswich!
The big one.
Burton are relegated.
Forest go close to an equaliser. But the ball loops over the Bolton goal. They’re almost there.
The Cardiff fans are celebrating. Cardiff could concede and they’d still be going up.
Millwall have missed out on a play-off spot but they’ve still had a great season.
Derby make the play-offs. Barnsley are down unless Nottingham Forest equalise against Bolton.
10-man Preston score on the break and Burton are going down.
There will be five added minutes at Bolton. But...
Wolves wanted 100 points. Er.
Cardiff are going up!
Le Fondre runs dart the right and his cross is headed in at the near post by Aaron Wilbraham! Bolton are turned it around in the space of a minute! They’re safe unless Burton score.
Fulham are pushing like mad for an equaliser against Birmingham. They’ve had a couple of good chances since Cairney’s goal.
David Wheater equalises for Bolton! Another goal saves them!
This is no consolation. Barnsley are down unless Burton concede against Preston.
Colback volleys home from 15 yards and Bolton are slipping away.
A lovely free-kick from Joe Byran.
At St Andrew’s, Fulham are doing nothing. Birmingham could be three or four up. Cardiff, who are still drawing 0-0 with Reading, are surely going up in second place.
Barnsley are surely going down.
Ben Osborn charges down the left and slams a low shot into the far corner from 20 yards! Bolton had only been safe for three minutes! Burton are out of the bottom three again! The Bolton fans are stunned.
The winger pulls the visitors level.
A loose ball falls to Le Fondre in the Forest area and the substitute loops a volley into the top-left corner! Bolton are out of the bottom three! Burton are back in it - unless they can score again against 10-man Preston!
Vydra turns provider, crossing for Nugent to head home.
Wolves, by the way, thought they were getting to 100 points today. Sunderland had other ideas.
Sunderland are back!
That’s one back.
Hope Akpan curls a a brilliant shot into the top corner and the away fans are going wild! Burton are staying up as it stands. Barnsley are going down. It will change if Bolton can score against Nottingham Forest.
Reading have a penalty appeal waved away, Cardiff’s Sol Bamba getting away with a slight push on Liam Moore at a corner. Cardiff are still toiling but Fulham are still two down.
Having conceded a penalty with a foul on Hull City’s Fraizer Campbell, Brentford’s Luke Daniels redeems himself with a superb save from Harry Wilson.
This is absurd!
Did anyone else notice this? Bobby Madley certainly didn't!
A bit of confusion as to where the touchline is in the Cardiff City Stadium sunshine today! ☀
Jerome rolls down the right and centres for Vydra, the league’s top scorer, to double Derby’s lead. Barnsley are relying on Preston denying Burton now.
“I’m hoping for another couple penalty shouts turned down for Cardiff then a late, late Reading winner (combined with an unlikely Fulham comeback victory),” says JR in Illinois. “Then I’m hoping on the final whistle Paul Clement runs out on to the pitch to celebrate instead of shaking Neil Warnock’s hand. Pretty sure Warnock’s head would explode. There’s not many things funnier than an enraged Neil Warnock.”
Bodin’s brainless dismissal is a huge boost for Burton. The Brewers have plenty of time to find the equalising goal that would - as it stands - keep them up and their opponents are down to 10 men.
And it’s one of the best red cards of all time. He was booked for handling the ball into the net in the first half and now he’s picked up a second yellow for diving in the Burton area. Cheerio!
That should be that.
Fulham have brought on Aboubakar Kamara at St Andrew’s. He made a difference in their win over Sunderland.
Peep! Off we go again.
As it stands ... Cardiff are going up, Fulham aren’t, Derby are going to finish sixth, Birmingham, Reading and Barnsley are staying up, Burton and Bolton are going down. But things can change.
Did you know Leeds were in a Champions League semi-final once?
Wednesday are finishing on a high.
What a half from the Blades!
Barnsley are lucky to only trail by a goal. Derby have been very good and look certain to seal sixth place.
Scores elsewhere mean that Bolton will stay up if they win. They are not winning.
Fulham would be 45 minutes away from promotion if they were winning. They’re not.
Cardiff haven’t been great but they’re still going up as it stands.
Burton are going down at the moment.
As you were.
The visitors equalise just before half-time.
The hosts lead thanks to an early strike from Freddie Sears.
Take promotion away from Wolves.
A Shaun Williams penalty separates the sides.
What a team!
Jota beats a couple of men on the left and his cross finds Harlee Dean, who heads home for his first Birmingham goal! It’s looking like the play-offs for Fulham.
It’s all Cardiff. No breakthrough yet, though. Fulham will be kicking themselves unless something changes soon.
Bryson sees a volley deflected wide at the Cardiff City Stadium. It’s been frustrating for Cardiff so far. Luckily Fulham are still losing at St Andrew’s.
A clever overhead kick gives the hosts the lead.
Bolton have just hit the bar and had a goal disallowed. Uh oh.
The little Argentinian doubles the home team’s lead.
It’s unlikely to be enough for the Lions to make the play-offs.
A superb volley from Billy Sharp doubles the Blades’ lead.
Junior Hoilett falls in the Reading area. Tommy Elphick, already on a booking, seems to bring him down from behind. Nothing doing, though. Neil Warnock is unamused.
With Burton and Barnsley losing, Bolton will be out of the bottom three if they can score against Nottingham Forest. What tension!
Callum Robinson converts from a corner, which means Burton drop back into the bottom three.
Camerone Jerome has a second for Derby disallowed for handball. Richard Keogh’s shot had crashed off the bar and fallen to the striker, but he controlled with an arm before scoring.
Well, this makes no sense.
Junior Hoilett, who was once going to be the best winger in England, goes close for Cardiff. Reading are living dangerously.
News of Birmingham’s goal has filtered through to the Cardiff City Stadium, where a huge roar has just gone up from the home fans. If that doesn’t rouse Cardiff nothing will.
Nuhiu heads home from close range.
A huge goal at both ends of the table! Birmingham break down the right and Lukas Jutkiewicz darts to the near post to lift a cross into the roof of the net! Fulham are up against it now.
Cameron Jerome bursts through and slams the ball into the roof of the net. It’s a deserved lead. As it stands Barnsley are going down.
It’s another goal in a game that doesn’t really concern us.
Cardiff look a little edgy. Reading have had a couple of promising moments.
Leon Clarke’s fantastic shot from 25 yards zooms into the top left.
Freddie Sears bursts into the box from the right and drills a low shot into the bottom corner. This is a bit of nothing game: Ipswich are playing for pride and Middlesbrough are guaranteed a play-off spot.
Derby’s Marcus Olsson creeps forward and lets fly from 25 yards. His rising shot’s pushed wide. Barnsley are second best at the iPro Stadium at the moment.
Cardiff have made a high-intensity start. Reading are going to be placed under a lot of physical pressure. At St Andrew’s, meanwhile, Targett zips a low cross to the far post and Piazon, sliding in, turns the ball wide from close range! Fulham were so close to the perfect start.
There have been no goals yet. Nothing has changed. Disgrace.
Peep! Off we go! The final day of the Championship season is underway.
The teams are coming out. There’s a buzzing atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium. The home fans clearly fancy this. But is there a twist on the way?
This is the third time in five seasons that Birmingham have gone into the final day in relegation bother. Which isn’t very good.
Neil Warnock speaks! “I think it is easy for me to say it’s a normal day because it’s not a normal day. But the preparation has been the same. They’ve just to give me their best. It’s been good enough a lot of the time. We’ve got to try and win today and if we can’t we’ve got to try and win those play-offs. We’ve got to expect Fulham to win and budget for that. They’re in good spirits, the lads. One or two nerves. We’ll give it our best shot and see where it takes us.”
On Sky, Keith Andrews calls Reading “a five-a-side team trying to play 11-a-side”. The Royals, of course, were play-off finalists last year and only lost on penalties to Huddersfield at Wembley. But things went very wrong under Jaap Stam this season and they’re in a lot of bother after losing 4-0 at home to Ipswich last week. Paul Clement’s side have the toughest fixture of all the struggling sides today. It’s just as well they’re not in the bottom three. But if they lose to promotion-chasing Cardiff, they’ll be relying on others to do them a hand.
It’s a Clockwatch! On a Sunday! Which can only mean that it’s the final day of the Championship season!
Excitement awaits, especially at the top of the table, where the final automatic promotion place is still up for grabs. Fulham, unbeaten since 1973, have charmed neutrals up and down the country this season, playing football that is so easy on the eye. You can’t help but love watching Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney, while Aleksandar Mitrovic has been inspirational since joining on loan in January. But their fate isn’t in their hands. Victory over Birmingham City won’t be enough for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side if Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City win at home to Reading or match their result. Fulham could finish on 91 points. Cardiff could finish on 92.
It was carnival time in the Welsh capital as Cardiff City celebrated their return to the Premier League on a day that felt like a triumph for Neil Warnock as much as for the club he has revived.
This is Warnock’s eighth promotion – a record that sees him eclipse the achievements of Jim Smith, Dave Bassett and the late Graham Taylor – and completes an astonishing turnaround since he took over as manager only 19 months ago, when Cardiff were second from bottom.
• Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic: ‘We must be ready for the next step’ • Bolton’s Mark Beevers: ‘I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry’
Fulham will need to swallow quickly the pain of missing out on automatic promotion to Cardiff City after a shock defeat on the final day in the Championship when Bolton avoided relegation with an extraordinary comeback win.
Trailing at home against Nottingham Forest, Bolton were heading for League One until David Wheater equalised three minutes from time and, 60 seconds later, Aaron Wilbraham popped up with the winner. The result proved a hammer blow for Barnsley and BurtonAlbion, who were relegated after defeat at DerbyCounty and PrestonNorth End respectively.
Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:19:46 +0000: Roy Bentley obituary - Reading | The Guardian Innovative England centre-forward who was top scorer and captain when Chelsea won their first league title in 1955
Roy Bentley, who has died aged 93, became the first deep-lying centre-forward in English football, in the style of the Hungarian Nándor Hidegkuti. His inspired wanderings – now dropping back, now moving to the wings – combined with sharp opportunism with head and foot, were a crucial factor in Chelsea’s first league championship win in 1954-55, when he was captain. He scored 21 goals in 41 games that season and altogether amassed 150 goals from 367 appearances for Chelsea, the joint-fifth highest total in the club’s history.
Bentley spent eight years at Stamford Bridge after signing in 1948, finishing top scorer in seven consecutive seasons, and was appointed captain in 1951. His exploits for Chelsea earned him a dozen appearances for England between 1949 and 1955, including two matches in the 1950 World Cup finals in Brazil.
• Slavisa Jokanovic’s side go above Cardiff after 20th match unbeaten • Cardiff lose at Villa and Millwall win 2-0 at Bolton to go sixth
Fulham climbed into the automatic promotion places at the expense of Cardiff, thanks to Stefan Johansen. The Norway midfielder’s 25th-minute strike was enough to beat Reading 1-0 at Craven Cottage and stretch Fulham’s unbeaten run to 20 matches. Leandro Bacuna was sent off in stoppage time for the visitors.
Millwall made it 16 games unbeaten to leap into the play-off positions with a 2-0 win at Bolton. Ben Marshall set up the first for Tom Elliott to head home and then rifled in the second after a lightning counterattack.
Before heading out to Austria on Sunday morning, the Royals had a tough pre-season outing against Fulham in Aldershot on a hot Saturday afternoon – and commendable work by the side led to a 0-0 draw against the newly-promoted Premier League side.
After two defeats in pre-season, the Royals registered a well-earned draw against top-tier opponents in the form of Fulham – a result which Tyler Blackett believes reflects the progression that the team is making.
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:44:52 +0000: Ajax midfielder Clement joins Reading - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Reading | BBC Dutch attacking midfielder Pelle Clement joins Reading on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Ajax.
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:20:33 +0000: Peterborough sign Royals keeper Bond - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Reading | BBC League One side Peterborough sign goalkeeper Jonathan Bond on a six-month loan from Reading.
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:06:31 +0000: Shrewsbury Town sign Jules and Adams - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Reading | BBC Shrewsbury Town sign Reading defender Zak Jules for an undisclosed fee and Ebou Adams on loan from Norwich.
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:45:02 +0000: Lech Poznan loan for Reading's Rakels - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Reading | BBC Reading forward Deniss Rakels agrees a season-long loan deal with Lech Poznan in Poland.
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:47:53 +0000: Luton sign Reading full-back Stacey - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Reading | BBC League Two side Luton Town sign right-back Jack Stacey from Reading for undisclosed terms on a two-year deal.
Newly promoted Reading have been scouting out many possible additions to their squad for next season with manager Brian McDermott having a large number of possible targets he wishes to bring to the Madjeski for the season kick off in August. The Royals manager has stated he would like to reinforce in all departments for next season with a mixture of new and experienced players.
Reading have just offered a contract to up and coming high flying goal keeper Stuart Taylor after the player
enjoyed a successful trial spell at the club in recent weeks. The Royals have been looking for a long term replacement in the goal keeping department for some time and look set to make Taylor the man to do the job as long as the club and the player can agree personal terms before the season kicks off.
Goal keeper Mikkel Anderson looks like he will be heading in the other direction to Portsmouth this summer after the club decided they wished to sign Taylor to replace him and Pompey manager Appleton is extremely keen on the young goal keeper. The southern club have offered to take the player on loan for the season but Reading seem coy on this idea as they would much prefer to dispense with his services on a permanent deal but as of yet both clubs are unable to reach an agreement on the situation so the drama continues.
Young Watford starlet Adrian Mariappa is the first signing of the summer for the Royals as he has just arrived on a three year deal from the London club. The talented Jamaican international central defender is a great addition to the Royals squad and McDermott believes the player will offer them a new dimension in the heart of their defence for next season.
Another player who looks all set to arrive at the Madjeski this summer is Nottingham Forest full back Chris Gunter who has been a long term target of the club for some time. The Welsh international has been out of favour at Forest for the better part of last season and now is keen and excited to the prospect of life in the premier league and the deal looks all set to go through within the next couple of weeks as long as the player agrees personal terms and passes the clubs medical.
In recent weeks there has been growing speculation that the Royals have been enquiring about gaining the services of Jermain Defoe from Tottenham after the striker endured a bit part season last year for his home club. Defoes chances in the first team were extremely limited and now the striker may look elsewhere to ply his trade if talks with the club break down this summer which will leave the door right open for the Royals to bring the player to the Madjeski.