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Page last updated at 21:13 GMT, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 22:13 UK

Tuesday football as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

2210: And on that bombshell, it's wrap o'clock. Thanks for your company, well done Reading and Man City - you know, I really feel like these past few hours have helped. Don't forget to watch highlights of the play-offs on a special edition of The Football League Show at 2345 BST on BBC One and online, and join Chris Whyatt for the Europa League final between Braga and Porto on Wednesday. I'm Jonathan Stevenson, and I'm off to phone my mate who supports Reading to ask him what it feels like. Night.

From Vik, Chelsea fan, London, on text: "Stevo - I am not saying this to please you, but I seriously believe Forest were the best of all four contenders having watched both legs of both the play-offs."

From mymindisbroken on Twitter: "As a Reading supporter who isn't a fan of Brendan Rodgers, I can't help but admire what he's done at Swansea. Bring on the final!"

Man City boss Roberto Mancini: "I always say that Carlos Tevez has a five-year contract. At the moment I've no fears [about a contract wrangle with Tevez] for the summer. I talk with him many times. But it's better we think about the next game."

Reading striker Shane Long: "It's amazing. It means so much to the fans and everyone at the club. It's been a long time coming. It wasn't easy but we did enough on the night. Any goals I can score at Wembley will be more important. It wasn't one of my best games but I scored two and that's how it goes."

Cardiff manager Dave Jones: "Full credit to Reading. We were on top in the first half, but they got a little break and then we gave a penalty away. I'm proud of the players, they've worked hard and got so close again. Now we've got to suffer. You can't legislate for conceding goals like that. We have to pick ourselves up and go again. Our hearts are on the floor at the moment."

2155: Meanwhile in the Premier League, Manchester City are now in pole position to claim third place. You might ask why that matters - well, it's because third means you go straight into the Champions League, while fourth have to qualify. City are a point ahead of Arsenal - Roberto Mancini's team go to Bolton on Sunday, while the Gunners are at Fulham.

From Bruce, on text: "Hey Stevo, Racing Genk have just won the Belgian league, beating Standard Liege on the last day of the season, how about a shout out for the hundreds/only (delete as applicable) Genk fan(s) in England!"

From nedccfc on Twitter: "I really hope we stick with Dave Jones. This club has come so far under him. We've been through a lot worse than this."

2146: Full-time update:
Friendly international: England Ladies 2-0 Sweden Ladies
FA Youth Cup final first leg: Sheff Utd 2-2 Man Utd

Championship play-off final:
Monday 30 May, 1500 BST: Swansea v Reading

Reading manager Brian McDermott: "The players are absolutely fantastic, and the fans as well. It was a great occasion and we're going to Wembley, it'll be a cracking day. It's all about the group, not individuals. How have we achieved this? We kept winning. We live in the now, not too far ahead."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Reading's third goal with 10 minutes left was like a starting gun for Cardiff fans to head for the exit doors. Reading thoroughly deserved victory to end dreams of an all-Welsh Championship final. On a night of huge celebrations for the Royals there will inevitably be questions asked about the future of Bluebirds boss Dave Jones."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser David Pleat at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Reading were the better team, no doubt about it. They were more athletic, they were calmer, and they took their chances. It's a sad night for Cardiff, but they've got to be brave and get ready to go again next season."

2137: Full-time Cardiff 0-3 Reading (agg: 0-3)

2136: Cardiff's players are getting increasingly frustrated, and you can't really blame them. With that squad, they must have thought they were going to reach the Premier League next season.

2135: Full-time Manchester City 3-0 Stoke City

2134: Into injury time at Eastlands now, where Man City still lead Stoke City 3-0. There will be three minutes of stoppages at Cardiff, for what it's worth.

2132: Classless. Some of the Cardiff fans are throwing things at the Reading players as they prepare to take a throw-in. What a shame it has to finish like this.

2131: With three minutes to go, Reading make their first change as Shane Long is replaced by Simon Church. Long gets a top hand from the Royals fans and my word he deserves that.

From sammckechnie on Twitter: "Is it paranoid of me to suggest that maybe the FA didn't want a Cardiff-Swansea playoff final? Just saying..."

Reading goal: Only one team has turned up tonight, and they're going to Wembley. Reading wrap it up in real style, Jobi McAnuff picking up the ball 30 yards out, superbly jinking past two Cardiff defenders and keeping his footing to shoot low past Stephen Bywater. Fabulous finish, and the Reading fans are in dreamland.

2127: GOAL Cardiff 0-3 Reading (agg: 0-3) (McAnuff)

From Andrew, Blades fan, on text: "The attendance at Bramall Lane tonight for the FA Youth Cup Final was 29,977. Just goes to show the interest that can be generated by a team of local lads achieving. Cracking game as well. Finished honours even at 2-2."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser David Pleat at the Cardiff City Stadium: "No sign of a Reading substitute with 10 minutes to go, which goes to show the faith of manager Brian McDermott in his group of players."

2125: Some Cardiff fans are leaving. I'm flabbergasted.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff boss Dave Jones and coach Terry Burton have not moved from the edge of their technical area for some time. Time is running out for the Bluebirds. The home crowd have tried to rally their team but they have now fallen largely silent. Understandably, the noise is coming from the away section."

2123: ... Carlos Tevez clips it wide... Meanwhile at Cardiff, Reading have a chance to kill the home team off but Noel Hunt fires wide of the far post from an angle 10 yards out on the right. Ten minutes left.

2122: Man City have a free-kick 20 yards out and Carlos Tevez is very much going to take it...

2121: Uh-oh, another big call at Cardiff goes against the hosts. A long punt downfield sees Jay Bothroyd chasing it down, but Adam Federici gets there first. Cardiff fans think he handles it before booting downfield - and they've got a point, you know - but again Howard Webb waves play on.

2118: Man City continue to knock the ball around without a care in the world at Eastlands. They lead Stoke 3-0 and are going third in the Premier League, above Arsenal.

2117: Darcy Blake heads a Cardiff corner over, and it's gone a bit quiet in south Wales. They have to score soon, otherwise they'll leave it too late like Forest did last night.

From LeBlissier on Twitter: "Reading didn't McAnuff of that last attack..."

From Christian, Pompey fan, on text: "Re: 2051, I will give up following football if Dave Jones is sacked. The managerial merry-go-round desperately needs to stop right across the Football League."

2114: Ian Harte gets his head to a Reading corner from the right but Stephen Bywater catches above his head. Twenty minutes to go, it remains Cardiff 0-2 Reading, on the night and on aggregate.

2112: ... Ian Harte whips it over the wall and over the crossbar. Incidentally, that chance a few moments ago fell to Jay Bothroyd, not Jon Parkin. Cardiff send on Adam Matthews for Jlloyd Samuel.

2111: Free-kick to Reading, 25 yards out, very much in Ian Harte territory...

Someone has struck the woodwork
2110: Nearly 4-0 to Man City, who are running riot at Eastlands. Edin Dzeko gets into the box on the left and hammers a left-foot shot against the outside of the post.

2109: Cardiff bring Jon Parkin on and take off Michael Chopra. Moments later they are so close again, this time Jay Bothroyd's shot from inside the six-yard box forcing another fine save from Adam Federici.

Man City goal: That's genius. Man City have got to do everything in their power to keep Carlos Tevez, because there aren't many players in the world who can do that. Free-kick, 30 yards out, hit with ferocious power and with brilliant curve to get it round the wall and into the top left-hand corner of Thomas Sorensen's net. Wow.

2106: GOAL Man City 3-0 Stoke City (Tevez)

2105: Jason Koumas gets the ball in from the left and Chris Bruke tees up Seyi Olofinjana on the edge of the box, the midfielder tamely side-footing into the arms of Adam Federici.

2104: Cardiff make that change - Jason Koumas on for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Still more than half an hour left.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser David Pleat at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff need something clever to try and unlock this Reading defence - I think it's time to introduce Jason Koumas."

2102: Jobi McAnuff twists and turns his way past Darcy Blake down the Reading left before spanking a shot into the side-netting. All about the next goal. Cardiff are preparing a sub.

2101: Edin Dzeko tries to get a third for Man City against Stoke, but after cutting inside past Danny Collins he can only shoot tamely at Thomas Sorensen. In the FA Youth Cup final, it's Sheff Utd 2-2 Man Utd.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2059: Could be the decisive moment. Reading are so, so close to a third as a cross from Shane Long down the left takes a deflection off a defender and is chested against the far post by Noel Hunt.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "The rain is pouring down here (laptop could be in trouble) but that will not dampen the enthusiasm of the Reading fans. The Cardiff supporters are trying to raise their team and calling for Jason Koumas. I also strongly suspect they are developing something of an allergy to referee Howard Webb."

2056: Cardiff have improved hugely after the break and Seyi Olofinjana heads into the floor and into Adam Federici's midriff after a decent Darcy Blake cross from the right. The crowd have responded, too.

Man City: Long way back for Stoke at Eastlands now. The hosts win a free-kick for a foul on Micah Richards and when the ball is delivered into the box, Joleon Lescott gets up above Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen to nod into an empty net.

2055: GOAL Man City 2-0 Stoke City (Lescott)

2054: Oof. Cardiff go close to pulling one back, Jay Bothroyd swinging over a cross from the right and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas half-volleying wide at the far post. Probably just as well he didn't score, cos he was offside there.

2052: Goalflash England Ladies 1-0 Sweden Ladies (Jill Scott)

2051: Shoot-on-sight for Cardiff, as Darcy Blake whistles a left-foot shot a few yards wide from outside the Reading box. If they score, the stadium will erupt. So much time left in the game.

From deanolufc9 on Twitter: "Can't help but think that Dave Jones has 45 minutes to save his job."

2049: And they've kicked off again in the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final, where it's Cardiff 0-2 Reading, same score on aggregate. The Welsh team have 45 minutes to score at least twice and keep their Premier League dream alive.

2047: Back under way in the Premier League at Eastlands, where it's Man City 1-0 Stoke City. No half-time substitutions.

From Nick, Newcastle library, 'revising', on text: "Good luck to Reading, should fit into the PL - taking the lead against a better side. It's what football is all about: absorbing the pressure of the opposition whilst being clinical and taking the chances given to you."

2043: Cardiff fans - if these games have taught us anything (apart from how to drink ourselves out of misery) down the years, it's that at 2-0 the game is not even close to being over. Next goal is the key. Agree? Get tweeting me to @Stevo_football, or with the hashtag #BBCFootball. If tweeting ain't your bag, whack us a text on 81111.

From philbeck10 on Twitter: "That happens every game, and that's the first time I've ever seen it (correctly) given as a penalty. Brilliant shout Mr Webb."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser David Pleat at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Reading are playing very sensibly - the manager will be pleased and will want more of the same for the second half. They are just playing a bit cleverer than Cardiff."

2038: Couple of updates on other scores - at half-time in Oxford, it's England Women 0-0 Sweden Women, while in the FA Youth Cup final, it's Sheff United 1-1 Man United.

Half time
HALF-TIME Cardiff 0-2 Reading (agg: 0-2)
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff have been the better side for long periods but they have it all to do now. Freezing on the big occasion once again? Irish striker Shane Long has shown why he is being watched by so many clubs."

Half time
HALF-TIME Man City 1-0 Stoke City
Ian Hughes reports:
"Man City on cruise control for much of a half that was lit up by a piece of utter brilliance by Tevez. Surely they cannot let that man leave at the end of the season?"

Reading goal: Would you credit this? Cardiff, having been denied three shouts for a penalty, concede one when Decal Keinan grabs Matt Mills' arm as Cardiff defend a corner, and it's the most blatant spot-kick you'll ever see. Shane Long steps up coolly and clips the ball into the corner of Stephen Bywater's net.

2031: GOAL Cardiff 0-2 Reading (agg: 0-2) (Long, penalty)


2028: Reading threaten twice down their right-hand side, and twice they get into the Cardiff box, with two strong challenges preventing dangerous crosses getting to Royals' players.

2026: A stray Reading backpass almost lets in Jay Bothroyd, but Adam Federici races off his line at super speed to thwart the England striker. Plenty of life in this one yet, remains Cardiff 0-1 Reading.

2025: Still very quiet at Man City, the hosts are totally in control and they continue to lead Stoke 1-0. A scoreline the Potters fans are presumably pretty tired of, I'd wager.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "The Reading fans chant 'One-nil to the Eng-er-land'. If we are going to have an all-Wales final then Cardiff will have to dig deep now. Every poor pass and indecisive act brings about cries of frustration from the home fans."

2022: Might as well copy and paste this: Cardiff want a penalty. A cross comes in from Chris Burke on the right and Seyi Olofinjana goes down at the back post, alleging he had been shoved. Howard Webb again waves play on.

From Nick, on text: "Surely I'm not the only one who had a Tevez & Long first scorer double today?!? Get in!"

2018: Cardiff want a penalty again, and again Howard Webb turns them down. Michael Chopra's shot hits Zurab Khizanishvili, it seems to deflect off his body on to his left arm, seen them given, those (not last night, though). Meanwhile in the FA Youth Cup final, it's now Sheffield United 1-1 Manchester United.

From tomclaret on Twitter: "Shane Long is a class act, but you can see why Derby wanted rid of Bywater!"

Reading goal: Deadlock broken - and now this play-off is well and truly under way. There will be repercussions for Cardiff as Stephen Bywater comes way out of his goal to deal with Shane Long, kicks the ball against the striker and can only watch on in horror as Long superbly hits the rebound first-time high into the air and into the net from 25 yards. Top-class finish.

2014: GOAL Cardiff 0-1 Reading (agg: 0-1) (Long)

2012: Man City are cutting Stoke apart right now, and another flowing move ends with the ball at Carlos Tevez's feet 15 yards out, the Argentine curling into the arms of Thomas Sorensen.

2009: I thought that was in. Jay Bothroyd lets fly from 20 yards, his shot takes a huge deflection off Zurab Khizanishvili and flies inches wide of Adam Federici's right-hand post with the keeper nowhere. From the resulting corner, Dekel Keinan heads downwards and into the arms of Federici.

2007: Opening for Stoke at Eastlands as Joe Hart flaps at a cross and can only touch it on to John Carew, who controls the ball and blasts a fierce volley that crashes into Micah Richards and flies behind. Ouch.

From davegre on Twitter: "It's already tomorrow in Australia and the score was Cardiff 1 - Reading 2 - well done the Royals!"

2004: Goal-saving block. Jay Bothroyd's clever pass finds Michael Chopra just onside inside the Reading area and his goalbound right-foot shot is superbly intercepted by a sliding Matt Mills.

2003: Michael Chopra takes a snap-shot from the edge of the Reading area, the striker's left-foot effort sailing wide of Adam Federici's right-hand post. Cardiff still the better team, Reading can't keep the ball for long enough.

2001: So, as it stands Man City are going third in the Premier League. At Cardiff, the pace has slowed down slightly after a frenetic opening.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Very decent start from Cardiff, which has really brought the crowd to life. It is not a sell-out here but it is close to it, and the noise levels are rocketing up with every Bluebirds attack."

Man City goal: That's a sensational goal, so out of place in the game so far. Carlos Tevez plays a one-two with James Milner outside the Stoke box and when he gets it back he dummies brilliantly past two defenders, smashing a right-foot shot into the top corner from 12 yards on the right-hand side of the area. Fabulous.

1958: GOAL Man City 1-0 Stoke (Tevez)

1957: Better from Man City, they put together a good build-up and then Carlos Tevez plays James Milner in with a ball over the top, only for the England man to slice his shot horribly wide from 10 yards. Meanwhile, Manchester United's kids have taken the lead at Bramall Lane in the first leg of their FA Youth Cup final against Sheffield United.

From Dan in Cranleigh, Surrey, on text: "Don't really mind who goes up as long as they are half as entertaining as Blackpool."

1953: Pretty tame start at Eastlands, where Carlos Tevez takes a long ball down and hammers a shot miles high and miles wide. Nothing from Stoke yet.

1951: The Cardiff players have brought the fans to life and Peter Whittingham slaps a left-foot shot into the arms of Adam Federici from 30 yards. It's wet in south Wales, and well worth a go from that distance.

1950: Now Cardiff get going, and Michael Chopra wants a penalty. He goes down in the Reading box under a challenge from Matt Mills, but World cup final referee Howard Webb waves play on.

1948: Cardiff haven't started yet - and Reading very much have. Shane Long collects the ball on the right outside the box and he skins Jlloyd Samuel inside the area, shooting into the side-netting from a tight angle. Lively stuff from the Royals.

1946: Right, they've kicked off in the Premier League between Man City and Stoke and also in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg between Cardiff and Reading. Keep that chat coming: hit me on Twitter to @Stevo_football, or with the hashtag #BBCFootball. If you'd rather text, whack us one on 81111.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "A definite tension here in Cardiff, in sharp contrast to the confidence and positivity in Swansea on Monday. The absence of Craig Bellamy is obviously a big blow for the Bluebirds. All the seats had a cardboard rattle type thing on them. The supporters are certainly using them to create some noise. Not sure it is a good sound, but it is at least able to compete with the mega sound system here."

1943: Prior to kick-off, some chat from Infostrada Sports: "Cardiff City are bidding to become the first team for 13 years to finish fourth in the Championship and win the play-offs... If Cardiff City win, Dave Jones is the second person to reach the Championship playoff final three times as a manager, following Brian Little... Cardiff are 56% favourites to reach the final, and have a 31% chance of promotion."

Reading manager Brian McDermott: "There is a great atmosphere at Cardiff, they love their team, love their players and it's a crowd that get behind their team like we do. But I don't regard it as hostility. It will be a great atmosphere. When I was a player there we were playing in front of five or six thousand, but times have changed and it is one of the best grounds in the division now. But we have won at Anfield as a group so we have no fear."

Cardiff boss Dave Jones: "Both sides wanted to go into the second game either winning or on even terms and that's how it worked out. It's half-time and you have to have a shout of doing something in the second leg. It was about staying in it. We'd like it to be more open this time around, but it depends on what the teams do. It has to be won on the night so you would think both teams will have a go."

1938: Our schedule for the evening, again:
1945 BST: Cardiff v Reading
1945 BST: Manchester City v Stoke

From Tommo_lane on Twitter: "Samuel was destroyed at Boro a few weeks ago, that and no Bellamy make Reading favourites for me."

1933: Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers is a pundit on Sky tonight. Salt, open wound... you know what I mean.

Man City v Stoke City team news:
Ian Hughes reports: "Manchester City
make three changes to the side that beat Stoke to lift the FA Cup on Saturday, with Mario Balotelli, Aleksandar Kolarov and Gareth Barry all replaced by Adam Johnson, Pablo Zabaleta and James Milner. Stoke bring in five new faces, with John Carew leading the attack and Matthew Etherington, Jermaine Pennant and Robert Huth among those rested."

1929: Man City v Stoke City line-ups:
Man City:
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Adam Johnson, Milner, De Jong, Silva, Toure Yaya, Tevez.
Subs: Given, Wright-Phillips, Dzeko, Kolarov, Barry, Vieira, Boyata.
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Collins, Wilson, Whitehead, Whelan, Diao, Pugh, Carew, Walters.
Subs: Nash, Soares, Jones, Tonge, Delap, Faye, Shotton.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1928: Sorry for the delay with the Man City-Stoke teams. Not sure what the hold up is, but should have them any second now.

From Anon, on text: "I sympathise with you as a Stoke fan after having my dreams crushed on Saturday - and to be honest, I'd rather we lost tonight. Screw pride, I want us to avoid the 'what if' feelings. And with Forest - unlucky. Four play-offs and never past the semis. Haha."

From jwarents on Twitter: "I don't support Cardiff but I hope they win tonight! A final vs Swansea could produce one of the greatest ever play-off finals."

Cardiff v Reading team news:
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff's Craig Bellamy misses out with the hamstring injury he picked up at Reading and is replaced by Michael Chopra. Full-back Paul Quinn also misses out for the Bluebirds, with Jlloyd Samuel in for him. Reading make one change from Friday's stalemate, with the injured Hal Robson-Kanu replaced by Shaun Cummings. Normally a defender, the 22-year-old is expected to play on the right of midfield."

1918: Cardiff v Reading line-ups:
Bywater, McNaughton, Keinan, Samuel, Blake, Whittingham, Burke, Olofinjana, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Bothroyd.
Subs: Heaton, Naylor, Rae, Hudson, Parkin, Koumas, Matthews.
Reading: Federici, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Harte, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Cummings, Long, Hunt.
Subs: McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Tabb, Church, Howard, Pearce, Manset.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

From Nick, London, on text: "As a neutral living in London, I seriously hope Reading progress. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a Welsh derby which would hold such importance. Imagine the consequences."

From kurt_sullivan on Twitter: "Cardiff have stuffed it up so many times in recent seasons, I can only see a Reading triumph here..."

1912: There are a couple of other games tonight, slightly off radar. In Oxford, England's Women continue their preparations for the World Cup in the summer with a friendly against their Swedish counterparts - more from Alistair Magowan on that one in due course. And there's also the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final between Sheffield United and Manchester United, which takes place at Bramall Lane.

1909: If you missed Swansea booking their place in the play-off final, I strongly recommend you get involved in Paul Fletcher's superb blog on the thriller. "It was the type of game that reminded me why I fell in love with football in the first place," says Fletcher. Funny that - seemed to have the exact opposite effect on me...

From Paul, on text: "Made the away game but am stuck in Newcastle after Uni exams. We are on our end of course night so I've converted 15 lads into Cardiff fans. Any chance of a shout out for us? Am absolutely bricking it. Bluebirds!"

Man City v Stoke scene-setter:
Ian Hughes reports:
"Take two: Only 72 hours after the teams played in the FA Cup final at Wembley, they're head-to-head again. Although there's no silverware on offer this time, the stakes are still high - especially for Cup winners City, who can take a step towards making their season highly satisfying by collecting three points to move them above Arsenal into the final automatic Champions League place. Stoke will be playing for that never-to-be-underestimated incentive, pride - as well as a top-10 finish."

Cardiff v Reading scene-setter:
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff are knocking on the Premier League door once again - and with Welsh rivals Swansea already through to the Championship play-off final, the pressure is on the Bluebirds to deliver. Reading are in excellent form and desperate to return to the top-flight after three seasons in the second tier. Both Cardiff and Reading have plenty of goals in them and after Friday's cagey stalemate, it is time for the gloves to come off and some toe-to-toe combat."

1903: Let's set tonight's games up, then...

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Some early team news I'm hearing - Craig Bellamy misses out for Cardiff, as does Jimmy Kebe for Reading. Shaun Cummings starts on the right wing for the Royals."

1900: Stevo's Predos:
Cardiff 4-3 Reading
(after extra-time)
Man City 1-1 Stoke

From JackHawkins23 on Twitter: "I can sense you are still grieving from that second post. Ouch... very ouch."

1855: This might turn into Play-offs Anonymous. For me, anyway. Except I think I've blown my cover. Right, whether it's to chat about Cardiff/Reading/Man City/Stoke, to offer me a shoulder to cry on or to kick a man when he's down, I want to hear from you: you can tweet me, if you like, to @Stevo_football, or with the hashtag #BBCFootball. If you don't do Twitter, whack us a text on 81111, you dear old-fashioned thing.

1852: Don't go anywhere. If you only listen to one thing I ever tell you, it's that play-off semi-final second legs are the most extraordinary football matches you will ever experience in your life. After a humdinger between Swansea and Forest, it's the turn of Cardiff and Reading to go at it. In the Premier League, meanwhile, there's the small matter of an FA Cup final repeat only three days later, with Manchester City aiming to go third in the table by completing a quickfire double over Stoke. If it's action you want, you've come to the right place.

1848: Last night, I had my heart ripped out of my chest and smashed to smithereens. Tonight, it's my duty to tell you which of Cardiff or Reading are going to face Swansea at Wembley for a place in the Premier League. I'm Jonathan Stevenson, and my season might have come to a shattering conclusion, but yours isn't over yet.

1845: I know, I know. It's a bit cruel really, isn't it?

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Npower Championship results

17 May 2011 23:59 UK

Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 17 May 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 37 39 77
2 Chelsea 37 37 71
3 Man City 37 25 68
4 Arsenal 37 29 67
5 Tottenham 37 8 59
6 Liverpool 37 16 58
7 Everton 37 5 51
8 Fulham 37 6 48
9 Stoke 37 -1 46
10 Bolton 37 -2 46
11 West Brom 37 -15 46
12 Newcastle 37 -1 45
13 Aston Villa 37 -12 45
14 Sunderland 37 -14 44
15 Blackburn 37 -14 40
16 Wolves 37 -19 40
17 Birmingham 37 -20 39
18 Blackpool 37 -21 39
19 Wigan 37 -22 39
20 West Ham 37 -24 33

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