Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City

Cardiff City 0-0 Reading: The Bluebirds return to the Premier League for the first time since 2014

Phil Blanche
Cardiff City Stadium
Sunday 06 May 2018 15:26
Comments
The Bluebirds are back in the Premier League
The Bluebirds are back in the Premier League

Cardiff celebrated a return to the Premier League as a 0-0 draw against Reading proved enough to give manager Neil Warnock a record eighth career promotion.

A draw left Cardiff sweating on Fulham's result at Birmingham, but news of the Cottagers' 3-1 defeat began to filter through before the final whistle to kick start the party in the Welsh capital.

The scoreline also guaranteed Reading another season in the Sky Bet Championship, although results elsewhere meant the Royals would have been safe even had they lost for the fourth successive game.

Vincent Tan celebrated wildly in the stands

This will be a day long remembered in Cardiff as the Bluebirds nervously crossed the line back into the Premier League, their only previous stay being a one-season stop in 2013-14.

It was rarely pretty, as has often been the way this season from a side that Warnock has shaped in his no-nonsense image. But no-one can dispute the spirit and resilience of a squad Warnock has put together on a relative shoestring and one that has mustered 90 points from 46 league games.

Reading reached the play-offs last season under Jaap Stam but it has been a miserable season in Berkshire.

Stam departed in March to leave Paul Clement with the task of keeping Reading in the division, something which was thrown into grave doubt by last week's capitulation at home to Ipswich.

Clement - who started the season at Cardiff's bitter rivals Swansea - has just about it managed it, although a busy summer of rebuilding now awaits the former Chelsea and Real Madrid assistant manager.

There was a raucous atmosphere inside the Cardiff City Stadium from kick-off, with the record league crowd of 32,478 witnessing a rare visit from Bluebirds' owner Vincent Tan.

With so much at stake, there was plenty of passion from both sets of players but fluency and goalmouth opportunities were at a premium throughout a first half woefully low on quality.

Warnock celebrates the eighth promotion of his managerial career

Joe Ralls denied David Edwards a shooting opportunity and the Cardiff midfielder struck a firm volley which was blocked by the head of Tommy Elphick.

But the real moments of note came off the pitch as Cardiff supporters celebrated Birmingham's opener and the Reading faithful lauded goals for Derby and Preston against relegation rivals.

Cardiff went close after 19 minutes when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing squared the ball to Callum Paterson on the edge of the area.

Fireworks at the final whistle

The Scot completely missed his kick but the ball ran free to Junior Hoilett who curled his attempt inches wide. Hoilett soon wanted a penalty after tumbling under Tiago Ilori's challenge and Kenneth Zohore saw his close-range shot blocked as Cardiff carried the greater scoring threat.

The pattern continued into the second half with Zohore flashing over from the angle and Reading goalkeeper Vito Mannone gathering from Mendez-Laing and Craig Bryson at his near post.

The goal would not come for Cardiff, but it did not matter as referee Bobby Madley's final whistle and a pitch invasion signalled their return to the big time.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in