Birmingham win promotion back to Premier League

Birmingham clinched automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 win over Reading, condemning their hosts to the play-offs.

Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann gifted the visitors the lead in the 19th minute when Keith Fahey's curled effort from outside the box squirmed through his grasp and over the line.

Kevin Phillips doubled their lead on the hour but seconds later Marek Matejovsky reduced the deficit.

The result ended Sheffield United's hopes of sneaking into the automatic promotion places as their goalless draw at Crystal Palace had little effect on the standings.

Burnley join them in the play-offs following a 4-0 win over Bristol City, thanks to two Graham Alexander penalties either side of Wade Elliott's thunderous volley and a late fourth from Joey Gudjonsson.

Preston beat QPR 2-1 to grab the last play-off spot by virtue of having scored one more goal than promotion-rivals Cardiff.

Sean St Ledger scored the crucial 74th-minute winner after Patrick Agyemang had levelled matters following Jon Parkin's first-half strike.

That ensured final day heartbreak for Cardiff, who lost 1-0 at Sheffield United with Jermaine Johnson's stunning half-volley putting an end to their Premier League dreams.

At the other end of the table, Norwich will be playing in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1960 after they were humiliated 4-2 at Charlton.

The hosts, already relegated, marked their last match in the Championship in style and they were three goals to the good by the half-hour mark thanks to Nick Bailey's opener and a brace from Deon Burton.

Norwich gave themselves a faint lifeline through Alan Lee in first-half stoppage time but things went from bad to worse minutes after the interval when Burton completed his hat-trick.

Sammy Clingan's free-kick reduced the deficit once more but it was too little too late.

The result ensured Barnsley would stay up regardless of their score at Plymouth, but the Tykes triumphed 2-1 to make sure of their Championship status.

Adam Hammill levelled matters after Gary Sawyer's opener and Jamal Campbell-Ryce fired the visitors into the lead shortly after the interval.

Elsewhere, already-relegated Southampton's miserable season continued as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest with Luke Chambers, Joe Garner and Robert Earnshaw grabbing the goals for the hosts following Bradley Wright-Phillips' opener.

Champions Wolves wrapped up their campaign with a 1-0 home win over Doncaster, with Richard Stearman's stoppage-time winner ensuring they take the title by seven points.

Roy Keane enjoyed his first home game in charge with his second win in as many games.

Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Counago's first-half goals gave Ipswich a 2-1 win over Coventry, with Clinton Morrison pulling one back late on.

Meanwhile. Blackpool beat Swansea 1-0 thanks to Dudley Campbell's 13th-minute goal and Watford triumphed 3-1 over Derby with a brace from former Rams striker Grzegorz Rasiak and one from Jobi McAnuff in the first-half, before John Eustace's late consolation.

Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Commonwealth GamesEntertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game