Reading 2 - 4 Swansea
Scott Sinclair hit a hat-trick as Swansea became the first Welsh side to reach the Premier League after holding off a brave Reading fightback in a pulsating Championship play-off final at Wembley.
The Swans have not played in the top flight of English football since 1983 but they scored three unanswered first-half goals to take control of Monday's match.
Sinclair struck twice in as many minutes midway through the half, first from the penalty spot and then with a close-range finish, before Stephen Dobbie scored with his right foot from 16 yards.
Royals substitute Jay Tabb and assistant manager Nigel Gibbs were both red carded at the break after abusing referee Phil Dowd on what was turning into an afternoon to forget for Brian McDermott and his team, but the Royals surged back into the contest after the restart.
Joe Allen headed into his own net following Noel Hunt's flicked header, and Matt Mills converted a corner as Reading scored twice in eight minutes to leave the contest on a knife edge.
Jem Karacan struck the Swansea post but Sinclair converted his second penalty of the afternoon 10 minutes from the end as the Welsh side held on.
Swansea, who almost went out of business nine years ago, were far from their fluent best for most of the match but showed guts and resolve as Reading tore into them after the break.
And their victory means that boss Brendan Rodgers, sacked by Reading after 23 games in charge in December 2009, ends his first campaign in south Wales celebrating the first promotion of his managerial career.
Reading started the match with an intensity and tempo that suggested they did not want Swansea to settle into their smooth passing rhythm.
Shane Long buzzed along the Swans back line and the Welsh side looked rattled, with keeper Dorus de Vries spilling a low cross that Ashley Williams eventually cleared.
PAUL FLETCHER'S BLOG
“There is much to suggest that Swansea will be a welcome addition to the Premier League”
Swans right-back Alan Tate surrendered ground every time fit-again Royals winger Jimmy Kebe was in possession and the Reading man underlined his intent with one particularly dangerous run from inside his own half to the edge of his opponent's area.
Reading were perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a penalty of their own when central defender Garry Monk appeared to handle the ball.
However, the complexion of the contest changed completely when Sinclair scored his quick-fire double.
Nathan Dyer, the club's player of the season, had been anonymous but there was no doubt that Zurab Khizanishvili clumsily hacked him down for the penalty that Sinclair casually slotted home with a precise low finish.
The Reading defender was one of three players booked in the opening minutes of the game and he was perhaps fortunate to escape a second yellow for his foul on Dyer.
The Royals did not have time to regroup before Swansea scored again, with left-back Ian Harte's lack of pace cruelly exposed in the build-up.
Dobbie surged past the Irishman, who had a comfortable head start in the race for the ball, before delivering a low cross that Adam Federici could only deflect into the path of Sinclair, who slotted home from six yards.
Royals striker Hunt headed wide from a corner at the near post but the momentum was now firmly with the Welsh side, who struck their third shortly before the break.
Again the goal originated down the right, with Jobi McAnuff unable to block Dyer's cross and Dobbie slotting home from 16 yards after Khizanishvili deflected the ball into his path.
The Royals might have given themselves a lifeline before the break, but Long scuffed his six-yard strike after a deep cross fell invitingly at his feet, while De Vries saved a crisp 20-yard strike from Mikele Leigertwood.
Reading's afternoon deteriorated even further during the break when substitute Tabb and assistant manager Gibbs were both given their red cards.
But their crestfallen supporters were given encouragement shortly after the restart when Allen deflected a header into his own net at the near post after Hunt's flick.
The Swans almost restored their three-goal lead but Dobbie, who was substituted for Darren Pratley straight afterwards, shot disappointingly wide from a good position at the end of a brilliant mazy run.
His profligacy was punished as Royals skipper Mills headed home from a corner to bring his team right back into the contest.
The momentum was fully with the Berkshire club and they almost equalised but a deflected Karacan shot hit the base of the post and Monk blocked Hunt's goal-bound follow-up.
Swansea then restored their crucial two-goal advantage when Sinclair completed his hat-trick with a penalty that just eluded the dive of Federici.
There was no doubt about the spot kick, which was awarded after Andy Griffin clumsily fouled Fabio Borini and the Swans played out the final minutes with relatively few alarms to complete an incredible journey from League Two to the Premier League in just six years.
- 01 Federici
- 02 Griffin Booked (Robson-Kanu - 84' )
- 05 Mills
- 15 Khizanishvili Booked
- 23 Harte
- 04 Karacan
- 08 Leigertwood
- 11 McAnuff Booked
- 14 Kebe
- 09 Long
- 10 Hunt (Church - 76' )
- 41 McCarthy
- 24 Cummings
- 26 Pearce
- 07 Tabb
- 19 Robson-Kanu
- 20 Howard
- 18 Church
- 01 De Vries
- 02 Williams
- 05 Tate
- 16 Monk
- 22 Rangel
- 12 Dyer
- 21 Sinclair
- 24 Allen Booked (Moore - 89' )
- 37 Britton (Gower - 77' Booked )
- 14 Dobbie (Pratley - 55' )
- 15 Borini Booked
- 25 Ma-Kalambay
- 17 Serran
- 08 Pratley
- 27 Gower
- 29 Richards
- 09 Beattie
- 19 Moore
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:08
Corner taken by Ian Harte from the left by-line, Header by Mikele Leigertwood from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.90:00 +2:51
The ball is swung over by Simon Church, Luke Moore gets a block in.90:00 +0:36
The ball is swung over by Jimmy Kebe, Dorus De Vries makes a save.89:39
Jobi McAnuff crosses the ball, Headed from the edge of the area by Simon Church goes wide of the left-hand post.88:51 Substitution
Substitution (Swansea) makes a substitution, with Luke Moore coming on for Joe Allen.87:38
Angel Rangel fouled by Hal Robson-Kanu, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dorus De Vries.86:26
The ball is crossed by Jobi McAnuff, save by Dorus De Vries.83:18
Garry Monk takes the direct free kick.83:18 Substitution
Substitution Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Andy Griffin.83:18
Foul by Shane Long on Scott Sinclair, free kick awarded.82:30
Corner taken by Ian Harte from the right by-line, clearance made by Joe Allen.82:09
Ian Harte sends in a cross, Matt Mills takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in.81:31
Ian Harte restarts play with the free kick.81:31 Booking
Booking Booking for Mark Gower for unsporting behaviour.81:28
Unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe by Mark Gower results in a free kick.79:47
Fabio Borini provided the assist for the goal.79:47 Goal scored
Goal! - Scott Sinclair - Reading 2 - 4 Swansea Scott Sinclair scores a power penalty. Reading 2-4 Swansea.78:38
Fabio Borini fouled by Andy Griffin, the ref awards a Penalty.77:37
Ian Harte sends in a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Mikele Leigertwood misses to the right of the target.
Substitution Mark Gower replaces Leon Britton.75:04 Substitution
Substitution Simon Church replaces Noel Hunt.73:29
Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line, Dorus De Vries makes a save.73:17
Jobi McAnuff takes a shot. Blocked by Leon Britton.73:03
The ball is delivered by Jimmy Kebe.72:48
Andy Griffin delivers the ball, Angel Rangel manages to make a clearance.72:27
Centre by Jimmy Kebe, blocked by Alan Tate.70:44
Centre by Darren Pratley, Jem Karacan makes a clearance.69:16
Corner from the left by-line taken by Darren Pratley, clearance by Noel Hunt.69:08
Centre by Darren Pratley, Andy Griffin gets a block in.68:04
Shane Long is ruled offside. Dorus De Vries takes the free kick.66:59
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Angel Rangel by Noel Hunt. Garry Monk takes the direct free kick.66:20
The ball is crossed by Mikele Leigertwood.65:12
Joe Allen takes a shot. Blocked by Mikele Leigertwood.64:23
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Sinclair by Jem Karacan. Free kick taken by Fabio Borini.62:42
Handball decision goes against Fabio Borini. Mikele Leigertwood takes the free kick.61:42
Jobi McAnuff takes the outswinging corner, save by Dorus De Vries.61:36
The ball is swung over by Jobi McAnuff, blocked by Joe Allen.60:50
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff from the right by-line, Alan Tate makes a clearance.60:45
The ball is delivered by Andy Griffin, blocked by Alan Tate.60:26
The ball is swung over by Andy Griffin, Alan Tate gets a block in.59:55
Shane Long takes a shot. Clearance by Alan Tate.59:26
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ian Harte, Alan Tate manages to make a clearance.59:13
Jem Karacan produces a right-footed shot from outside the area and hits the bar.56:48
Assist by Jobi McAnuff.56:48 Goal scored
Goal! - Matt Mills - Reading 2 - 3 Swansea Matt Mills finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Reading 2-3 Swansea.56:35
Jobi McAnuff takes the inswinging corner,56:25
Jimmy Kebe takes a shot. Alan Tate gets a block in.54:44 Substitution
Substitution (Swansea) makes a substitution, with Darren Pratley coming on for Stephen Dobbie.54:36
Stephen Dobbie has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.53:53
Free kick taken by Ian Harte.53:53 Booking
Booking The referee shows Joe Allen a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.53:46
Joe Allen challenges Noel Hunt unfairly and gives away a free kick.51:47
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff played to the near post, Headed effort from close range by Matt Mills goes wide left of the goal.51:41
Jimmy Kebe sends in a cross, blocked by Alan Tate.50:54
Centre by Jimmy Kebe, clearance made by Ashley Williams.50:08
Fabio Borini fouled by Zurab Khizanishvili, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Garry Monk.50:00
Shane Long produces a cross, clearance made by Garry Monk.49:31
Andy Griffin fouled by Stephen Dobbie, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Griffin takes the free kick.48:41
Jobi McAnuff provided the assist for the goal.48:41 Goal scored
Goal! - Joe Allen - Reading 1 - 3 Swansea Joe Allen heads into his own net. Reading 1-3 Swansea.48:27
Jobi McAnuff takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post,47:55
Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Alan Tate.47:49
Jimmy Kebe crosses the ball, clearance made by Ashley Williams.46:31
The referee blows for offside against Shane Long. Dorus De Vries takes the indirect free kick.46:20
Jem Karacan takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Williams.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:01 Dismissal
Dismissal Jay Tabb sent off.45:00 +3:16 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +2:40
Corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, save made by Dorus De Vries.45:00 +1:40
Mikele Leigertwood takes a shot. Save made by Dorus De Vries.44:24
The ball is sent over by Jem Karacan, Matt Mills has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.42:59
Jimmy Kebe takes a shot. Blocked by Zurab Khizanishvili.41:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Long on Stephen Dobbie. Leon Britton restarts play with the free kick.39:35 Goal scored
Goal! - Stephen Dobbie - Reading 0 - 3 Swansea A goal is scored by Stephen Dobbie from deep inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Reading 0-3 Swansea.38:31 Booking
Booking Jobi McAnuff is cautioned by the ref for dissent.37:48
Noel Hunt takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Williams.36:59
Corner from the left by-line taken by Ian Harte, Dorus De Vries makes a save.36:20
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the left by-line, Stephen Dobbie makes a clearance.32:57
Jimmy Kebe produces a cross.32:37
The ball is delivered by Jimmy Kebe, Angel Rangel manages to make a clearance.32:10
Fabio Borini takes a shot. Blocked by Matt Mills.28:14
Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Close range header by Noel Hunt misses to the right of the goal.28:06
The ball is delivered by Andy Griffin, blocked by Alan Tate.25:57
Matt Mills takes a shot. Blocked by Fabio Borini.25:47
The ball is crossed by Mikele Leigertwood, clearance by Alan Tate.25:18
Corner taken by Ian Harte, Alan Tate manages to make a clearance.25:07
Jimmy Kebe produces a cross, Joe Allen gets a block in.23:48
Mikele Leigertwood concedes a free kick for a foul on Leon Britton. Free kick taken by Garry Monk.21:46
Stephen Dobbie provided the assist for the goal.21:46 Goal scored
Goal! - Scott Sinclair - Reading 0 - 2 Swansea Scott Sinclair finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Reading 0-2 Swansea.21:33
Shane Long concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Williams. Direct free kick taken by Garry Monk.20:30
Nathan Dyer provided the assist for the goal.20:30 Goal scored
Goal! - Scott Sinclair - Reading 0 - 1 Swansea Placed penalty scored by Scott Sinclair. Reading 0-1 Swansea.19:31
Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Zurab Khizanishvili.18:55
Garry Monk fouled by Noel Hunt, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Monk takes the direct free kick.17:46
The assistant referee flags for offside against Noel Hunt. Indirect free kick taken by Dorus De Vries.16:15
Jem Karacan takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in.14:49
Shane Long crosses the ball.11:50
Direct free kick taken by Adam Federici.11:50 Booking
Booking The referee shows Zurab Khizanishvili a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.11:44 Booking
Booking Fabio Borini goes into the referee's book.11:27
Fabio Borini challenges Adam Federici unfairly and gives away a free kick.10:16
Foul by Andy Griffin on Joe Allen, free kick awarded. Dorus De Vries restarts play with the free kick.9:08
Jobi McAnuff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Dobbie. Free kick taken by Leon Britton.8:30
Corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line played to the near post, Angel Rangel makes a clearance.8:14
Andy Griffin crosses the ball, Angel Rangel manages to make a clearance.7:51
Jimmy Kebe sends in a cross, Ashley Williams manages to make a clearance.7:10
Direct free kick taken by Alan Tate.7:10 Booking
Booking Andy Griffin is shown a yellow card.6:11
Andy Griffin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Sinclair.5:58
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Long on Leon Britton. Free kick taken by Garry Monk.4:42
Zurab Khizanishvili gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabio Borini. Leon Britton takes the free kick.2:28
Matt Mills concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Sinclair. Fabio Borini produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.1:25
The ball is sent over by Jimmy Kebe, Angel Rangel makes a clearance.0:27
Andy Griffin challenges Scott Sinclair unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Tate.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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