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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.

Cardiff City 0-0 Reading
Cardiff City 0-0 Reading

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.

Tense for both sides

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
  • 10Zohore
    Substituted forMadineat 86′minutes
  • 33HoilettBooked at 58mins
    Substituted forWardat 78′minutes

Substitutes

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

Reading

  • 1Mannone
  • 20Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori
    Substituted forKellyat 34′minutes
  • 3ElphickBooked at 27mins
  • 6Moore
  • 2Gunter
  • 19Bacuna
  • 4van den Berg
  • 16Edwards
  • 14Aluko
    Substituted forMcShaneat 84′minutes
  • 23Bödvarsson
    Substituted 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
Home15
Away1
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Reading 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+8′

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Reading 0.

Posted at90’+7′

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at90’+5′

Delay in match (Cardiff City). Video Review.

Posted at90’+4′

Foul by Gary Madine (Cardiff City).

Posted at90’+4′

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

Posted at90’+3′

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at90′

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

Posted at90′

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

Posted at89′

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.

Posted at88′

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Posted at88′

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

Posted at88′

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

Posted at88′

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

Posted at87′

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

Posted at87′

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Substitution

Posted at86′

Substitution, Cardiff City. Gary Madine replaces Kenneth Zohore.

Substitution

Posted at84′

Substitution, Reading. Paul McShane replaces Sone Aluko.

Posted at83′

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.

Posted at83′

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

Posted at81′

Hand ball by Jamie Ward (Cardiff City).

Posted at79′

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

Substitution

Posted at78′

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

Posted at78′

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

Posted at78′

Foul by Joey van den Berg (Reading).

Posted at76′

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at75′

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

Booking

Posted at74′

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

Posted at74′

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

Posted at74′

Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Reading).

Posted at72′

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Posted at72′

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

Substitution

Posted at70′

Substitution, Reading. Yann Kermorgant replaces Jón Dadi Bödvarsson.

Posted at68′

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.

Posted at68′

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Chris Gunter.

Posted at67′

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at67′

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

Posted at64′

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

Posted at63′

Foul by Craig Bryson (Cardiff City).

Posted at63′

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


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