Championship
Cardiff0Reading0

Cardiff City 0-0 Reading

Kenneth Zohore unleashes a shot as Cardiff strive to break through a stubborn Reading rearguard
Kenneth Zohore unleashes a shot as Cardiff strive to break through a stubborn Reading rearguard

Cardiff City secured automatic promotion to the Premier League despite drawing at home to Reading, thanks to Fulham's defeat at Birmingham.

The Bluebirds dominated their tense encounter but were frustrated by the Royals.

However, Fulham's loss - their first of 2018 in the Championship - brought relief and pure euphoria to the Welsh side.

And Reading joined in the celebrations, with the draw sealing their survival.

The real scenes of jubilation, however, belonged to the home side, with Cardiff's fans streaming on to the pitch to mob their players as soon as the final whistle blew.

Manager Neil Warnock had said winning a record eighth promotion would be his "greatest achievement" - and it is no wonder, considering the Bluebirds were second from bottom and in disarray when he was appointed in October 2016.

Despite working with modest means, the veteran manager signed resourcefully to assemble a group of players in whom he instilled a tireless work ethic and bloody-minded will to win.

The style of play may not always be aesthetically pleasing but, with a robust structure and sheer refusal to relent, this is a Cardiff team whose spirit mirrors that of their manager and supporters.

The Bluebirds started the day second in the Championship table, one point ahead of third-placed Fulham. Cardiff only needed to match Fulham's result at Birmingham to secure promotion.

For Reading, meanwhile, there was still the danger of relegation, which raised the stakes for both sides and fed a cacophonous atmosphere inside a sold-out Cardiff City Stadium bathed in sunshine.

The tension was palpable and, although the hosts sought to keep their fate in their own hands with a strident start to the game, the mutual sense of apprehension meant there were few early scoring opportunities.

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'Hey ho, it's better than the Championship!' - Cardiff boss Neil Warnock on PL promotion

However, the anxiety soon eased thanks to events elsewhere.

Reading's fans were the first to celebrate, chanting "We are staying up" after discovering both their chief relegation rivals, Barnsley and Burton, were losing.

And those cheers were soon drowned out when news of Birmingham's opening goal against Fulham was met with an almighty roar from the home supporters.

Wild celebrations

It was something of a reprieve for Cardiff, who were dominating possession and territory but unable to carve open their obdurate opponents.

Junior Hoilett curled one effort narrowly wide and then had an appeal for a penalty rejected after he fell under a challenge from Tiago Ilory.

Again, the home nerves jangled but, again, Birmingham calmed them by doubling their lead against Fulham.

The second half followed the same pattern: Cardiff the aggressors, trying but failing to force their way through; their frustration tempered by the scoreline at St Andrew's.

That was to prove enough, with Che Adams' goal for Birmingham sealing Fulham's 3-1 defeat and sparking pandemonium in the Cardiff City Stadium stands and a premature pitch invasion from some supporters.

They took their seats for the closing moments and when the final whistle eventually went, the wild celebrations could begin in earnest as Cardiff toasted their return to the Premier League for the first time since 2014.

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 25Etheridge
  • 2Peltier
  • 4Morrison
  • 14Bamba
  • 3Bennett
  • 18Paterson
  • 8Ralls
  • 21Bryson
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 10ZohoreSubstituted forMadineat 86'minutes
  • 33HoilettBooked at 58minsSubstituted forWardat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 6Richards
  • 13Pilkington
  • 24Grujic
  • 28Murphy
  • 29Ward
  • 44Madine

Reading

  • 1Mannone
  • 20IloriSubstituted forKellyat 34'minutes
  • 3ElphickBooked at 27mins
  • 6Moore
  • 2Gunter
  • 19Bacuna
  • 4van den Berg
  • 16Edwards
  • 14AlukoSubstituted forMcShaneat 84'minutes
  • 23BödvarssonSubstituted forKermorgantat 70'minutesBooked at 74mins
  • 17Barrow

Substitutes

  • 5McShane
  • 8Evans
  • 10Swift
  • 18Kermorgant
  • 27Martin
  • 31Jaakkola
  • 38Kelly
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
32,478

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamReading
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home16
Away1
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Reading 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Reading 0.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (Cardiff City). Video Review.

Foul by Gary Madine (Cardiff City).

Joey van den Berg (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

Delay in match Yann Kermorgant (Reading) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Gary Madine with a headed pass.

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Paul McShane (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Joey van den Berg.

Attempt missed. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Jamie Ward (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Gary Madine replaces Kenneth Zohore.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Paul McShane replaces Sone Aluko.

Attempt missed. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Joe Ralls.

Attempt blocked. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Bennett.

Hand ball by Jamie Ward (Cardiff City).

Attempt blocked. Jamie Ward (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Bennett.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Jamie Ward replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Liam Moore (Reading) because of an injury.

Booking

Yann Kermorgant (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Reading).

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Sone Aluko (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Yann Kermorgant replaces Jón Dadi Bödvarsson.

Attempt missed. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Joe Ralls with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Chris Gunter.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

Offside, Cardiff City. Sean Morrison tries a through ball, but Kenneth Zohore is caught offside.

Foul by Craig Bryson (Cardiff City).

Liam Kelly (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves46309782394399
2Cardiff462791069393090
3Fulham462513879463388
4Aston Villa4624111172423083
5Middlesbrough4622101467452276
6Derby4620151170482275
7Preston4619161157461173
8Millwall4619151256451172
9Brentford4618151362521069
10Sheff Utd46209176255769
11Bristol City461716136758967
12Ipswich46179205760-360
13Leeds46179205964-560
14Norwich461515164960-1160
15Sheff Wed461415175960-157
16QPR461511205870-1256
17Nottm Forest46158235165-1453
18Hull461116197070049
19Birmingham46137263868-3046
20Reading461014224870-2244
21Bolton461013233974-3543
22Barnsley46914234872-2441
23Burton461011253881-4341
24Sunderland46716235280-2837
View full Championship table

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