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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Monday, 30 May 2011 17:36 UK

Championship play-off final as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

1730: And that, fine folk, is that for your 2010-11 domestic football season. Incredible. We've had cheers, tears, laughter and oh, so much entertainment - and you lot have been awesome throughout. Congrats to Swansea - we'll all see you in the Premier League next season - and in the meantime, don't forget to relive your glory moments in the Football League Show at 2245 on BBC One and Online (UK only). Chris Bevan will talk you through next weekend's Euro 2012 qualifier between England and Switzerland, and I'll be back for your new football season in August. See ya then, Sam Lyon out.

JameseyEdwards on Twitter: "The most exciting day on the footballing calendar. Scott Sinclair will take the premier league by storm."

Swansea hat-trick hero Scott Sinclair: "I'm buzzing. Credit to the boys - it's fantastic. Brendan [Rodgers] deserves massive credit - he's been exceptional and puts all the hard work in every day in training."

Swansea goalscorer Stephen Dobbie: "To part of this and be part of the history of being the first Welsh team in the Premier League is amazing."

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins: "It's hard to believe, we'll have to pinch ourselves on the way home. It's been a remarkable 10 years and to have the opportunity to play against the best teams in the country in fantastic. Brendan [Rodgers]'s personality has lifted the club and we couldn't ask for any more from him. We needed a little bit of luck but sometimes in sport you do. We will continue to build and I have no concerns about us playing in the Premier League and testing ourselves against the best."

davjmer on Twitter: "Q: How much will Swans fans enjoy driving past Cardiff en route to Premier League away matches? A: A LOT."

1721: And it's Pep Guardiola-style bumps from the players to manager Brendan Rodgers too. Love it.

1720: Swathes of Swansea fans have stayed behind at Wembley to salute their team on a lap of honour - and I think a fair bit of close-harmony singing will be heard in north west London into the night later on, too. Fair play to them, they're rightly soaking up every last drop of this promotion dream.

1717: Swansea captain Garry Monk: "Reading came back at us,, fair play to them, and then it was twitchy bum time. But we held on. Let's hope I don't get sold in the summer and then I can look forward to playing in the Premier League! It's a fantastic feeling, we all deserve it."

DylanSaints2203 on Twitter: "Good to see a Welsh team in the Premier League and good touch by the club with the t-shirts. Good luck to them."

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Absent friends are never far away as Swansea celebrate their success. As manager Brendan Rodgers toasts Premier League promotion, he takes a moment to point to the sky in honour of late mum Christina who passed away last year. Then Swansea's heroes don T-shirts in memory of former team-mate Besian Idrizaj who died last year, aged just 22. Class."

1710: He's celebrating now, though, Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers - and rightly so: "It's a great credit to the club, the fans were incredible and it was important to repay their faith in us and get promotion. It was a fantastic game, we didn't play as well as we have done for the rest of the season but in the moments we showed quality we were very good. These players deserve to be in the Premier League, they showed great courage, they passed the ball and I think ourselves, Norwich and QPR will be a credit to the Championship."

JacobWare95 on Twitter: "Scott Sinclair is trending on Twitter. What a day for the boy, very, very happy for him and for Swansea..."

1707: Cue the celebrations. Up the Wembley steps go the Swansea players, up into the sky goes the Championship Play-Off trophy, and up into the Premier League go a Welsh side for the first time. While the players go postal, Brendan Rodgers takes the time - having already offered a few words of comfort to Brian McDermott - to do the same for Reading chairman John Madejski. Touch of class from the Northern Irishman.

BlackburnJA on Twitter: "Dear British Sport, I have exams in under three days. Please stop being so compelling. Many thanks."

1705: BBC Sport's Pete Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Eight years ago Swansea City were 90 minutes from non-league oblivion, today the Swans have completed a fairytale rise into the Premier League. Wales will have its first Premier League club in the self-styled 'greatest show on earth' as the Jack Army plan trips to Old Trafford, Anfield and Stamford Bridge next season. Their 4-2 triumph over Reading was not their finest footballing hour but Brendan Rodgers will not care as Swansea are back in the top-flight after 28-years."

jbd_84 on Twitter: "Wow! Wonder where I can get a boxset of the last few playoff finals? Great entertainment."

danothepetros on Twitter: "The Championship Play-Off final has delivered once again, absolutely fantastic game."

1700: History. Swansea become the first Welsh team to reach the promised land of the Premier League - and what a way to do it. Yet another Play-Off Final classic. Hats off to Brendan Rodgers and his team, they've been fantastic this season, and commiserations to Brian McDermott and his boys. Surely the Royals will come again next season? What a finale to a sensational domestic season.

Full time
1655: FULL-TIME Reading 2-4 Swansea

1654: Oh dear. There's just time for Mikele Leigertwood, completely unmarked, to head a chance over from a corner. Reading are done and dusted.

1653: Into the 93rd minute... Reading offering very little... Swansea are as good as up...

1652: We'll have four minutes of added time... kitchen sink time for Reading? Nope, it's keep-ball in the corner time for Swansea.

1651: The heavens have opened at Wembley - and Reading's spirit is being dampened with every passing second.

1650: Into the last minute of normal time and Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers takes the opportunity to kill a few seconds, Luke Moore coming on for Joe Allen.

1648: Who's watching from the stands? Only Swansea legend John Toshack - the last man to lead the Welsh club in the top flight. How fitting. Reading look spent here.

BBC Sport's Pete Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Scott Sinclair's treble here is only the second hat-trick in Wembley play-off final history after Clive Mendonca's three for Charlton against Sunderland in the 1998 Division One final. What a time for the England U21 star to bag the first league hat-trick of his fledgling career."

1646: Keep-ball from Swansea - not what Reading want. Erm, obviously.

1645: Into the last six minutes and on comes Hal Robson-Kanu for Andy Griffin for Reading. Time to make yourself a hero, fella.

1643: Reading will continue to knock at the door, however, and the way this game has gone so far, who could blame them - Joe Allen doing excellently in defence for the Swans to head away a dangerous Jobi McAnuff cross, there.

Swansea goal: There is your drama - and is that the goal that kills off Reading's revival? Andy Griffin, inexplicably, wipes out Fabio Borini with an awfully clumsy challenge in the box - again it's a stonewall penalty - and Scott Sinclair keeps his cool to drill in a super penalty and complete a potentially Play-Off-winning hat-trick.

1641: GOALFLASH Reading 2-4 Swansea (Sinclair pen)


1639: A crowd of 86,581 is in situ at Wembley apparently... and every single one of them sense more drama...

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "If I was to try to describe the Wembley atmosphere right now I'd have to go for frantic and confused with a touch of desperate thrown in."

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Wales is renowned for its male voice choirs but Reading fans are showing the anxious Swansea support how to sing. Brendan Rodgers' men still lead but Reading's stunning comeback means Welsh fingernails are taking one hell of a biting."

1637: Reading change - Simon Church on for Noel Hunt. Swansea change - Mark Gower on for Leon Britton.

1635: You get the feeling these past couple of minutes might just be the calm before the storm here. More drama might just be unavoidable. Not that we'd want to, mind, this has been superb.

1634: Here come Reading again, though, and Jobi McAnuff forces a corner with a snap-shot from just outside the area... easily claimed by Dorus de Vries in the Swansea goal.

1632: Less than 20 minutes left in this one and Reading are just having a bit of a breather by all accounts. They still trail, of course, Reading 2-3 Swansea.

1630:'s helped away from goal by Reading defender Matt Mills.

1630: Corner - their first of the match - to Swansea...

1629: Just settling down a bit now Swansea. They were on the ropes to say the least 10 minutes ago, but they're just starting to push forward with some sort of composure again now.

1628: ...Mikele Leigertwood crosses wildly and another Reading charge is ended.

1627: Respite for Swansea, albeit brief, as they force a free-kick 25 yards out - Fabio Borini slams it into the wall. And here come Reading again...

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Rampant Reading are not giving their Premier League shot up without a fight, and while Swansea's footballing ability has never been questioned, their character and resolve now is. And then some."

1624: Swansea, desperate to get their foot on the ball, are being suffocated of any room whatsoever out on the vast Wembley surface. And yet you still feel they look dangerous on the counter too. Pick a winner right now? Not on your nelly.

1622: One-way traffic barely does this justice right now. Reading have set up camp in the Swansea half, complete with plumbing and working kitchen appliances. What a game.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1620: Blimey. You can't take your eyes off this for a second... Reading midfielder Jem Karacan, who has tried a few from range today already, does so again and rattles the base of the post with a brilliant effort via deflection - and then only a stunning Gary Monk block prevents Noel Hunt tapping in the rebound. Frantic.

Reading goal: Would you Adam it? Reading are right back in this... and if the match goes on as it is there's only one winner - the boys in blue and white. Matt Mills reduces the Royals' deficit to just one with a towering headering header from another Jobi McAnuff corner - and with half an hour to go we have a fully fledged classic on our hands.

1618: GOALFLASH Reading 2-3 Swansea (Mills)

1616: As Reading push on this half they're bound to leave gaps defensively - and Stephen Dobbie could, and should, take advantage when he dances around a couple of tackles in the box to leave him just the keeper to beat for 4-1... only to screw wide. Let-off for Reading.

BBC 5 live summariser Robbie Savage: "Sometimes it's hard coming out as a player when you are 3-0 up. Swansea have started very poorly, they already think they are in the Premier League."

Yellow card
1614: Joe Allen - who has just been credited with an own goal for that Reading reply - flies through a tackle on Mikele Leigertwood and referee Phil Dowd has little choice but to brandish the yellow card. Not a great minute.

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "So Reading are back in the Hunt (sorry) as Swansea commit the cardinal set-piece sin of conceding at the near post. That Noel Hunt goal just after the break ensures the half-time cuppa now tastes a little sweeter for the Reading fans who have found their voice again."

1612: And already that Reading goal has had the desired effect - the Royals buzzing, Swansea looking more nervy than a dog sat next to a pile of the brown stuff.

Reading goal: Listen here people, we've got a match on at Wembley. Four minutes into the second half, staring down the barrel of a 3-0 deficit, Reading pull one back, Noel Hunt meeting Jobi McAnuff's corner at the near post to flick home a fine header via the head of Swans defender Joe Allen.

1610: GOALFLASH Reading 1-3 Swansea (Allen og)

1609: Corner to Reading...

1607: Shoot-on-sight seems the early second-half modus operandi from Reading - and Jem Karacan sees the Royals' first effort of the half from range blocked.

1606: Anyway, we're back up and running, Reading 0-3 Swansea. Lazarus-style comeback needed from the Royals... have they got it in them?

1604: Confirmation that Nigel Gibbs and Jay Tabb have been dismissed - and both have just been told that neither are allowed to watch the second half from the dug-out. Salt. Into. Wound.

NickMotown on Twitter: "Surely a better headline would be: 'ROLE REVERSAL - SWANS OWN ROYALS'"

Mike_Gentle on Twitter: "Wow Swansea. Finally the 'right' team seems to be going up through the play-offs this season."

Red card
1558: Blimey. It's all going Pete Tong for Reading. According to Sky, during the half-time break assistant manager Nigel Gibbs and substitute Jay Tabb have been sent off by referee Phil Dowd for something they said to the officials going down the tunnel. Nightmare.

BBC 5 live summariser Steve Claridge: "At 3-0 the job should be done. It will take something absolutely huge to get back into this and Swansea are not a side you want to be 3-0 down to either, they have pace and beat you on the break. 3-0 psychologically, is absolutely massive."

A very nervous Reading fan via text: "Looks like we are gonna need a Liverpool v AC Milan moment... Step forward Jimmy Kebe."

JRAsh1 on Twitter: "The headline writers are in dreamland now. 'A Royal Stuffing'."

Half time
1551: HALF-TIME Reading 0-3 Swansea
BBC Sport's Pete Shuttleworth's HT snap-shot from Wembley:
"It's like a Saturday night in Wind Street in the East Stand as Swans fans party Premier League style. And who can blame them? Within an hour, the Premier League may just have its first Welsh team. Is it nos da (Welsh for goodnight) Reading?"

1549: Phil Dowd draws a close to a fascinating half. Swansea go in pinching themselves, Reading punching themselves.

1548: Reading will continue to plug away, though, and Mikele Leigertwood stings the palms of Swans keeper Dorus de Vries with a 22-yard pile-driver. Decent effort.

1546: What Reading need is to take any chance that falls their way - but Shane Long has just missed a sitter. Jobi McAnuff's deep cross eludes everyone, and even though Long could hardly have expected it to reach him, it does, and he fails to prod instinctively into an empty net from seven yards out. Waste.

1544: As poorly as Reading have defended this half, I have to say 3-0 is a very harsh scoreline on Brian McDermott's side, to say the least. Not that Swansea will care a jot. They are charging into the top flight for the first time since 1983.

BBC 5 live summariser Robbie Savage: "Brendan Rodgers would never have imagined this while Brian McDermott will not understand what has hit him. This has all come from Swansea's wingers, they have been absolutely superb."

Swansea goal: Incredible. I make that three clear-cut chances, three Swansea goals - and Brendan Rodgers' boys have one foot in the Premier League. Nathan Dyer's cross from the right is only lazily prodded at by Zurab Khizanishvili and it falls straight to Stephen Dobbie, who side-foots past a helpess Adam Federici for the Swans' third.

1541: GOALFLASH Reading 0-3 Swansea (Dobbie)

Yellow card
1540: Referee Phil Dowd gets in on the action again, Jobi McAnuff booked for a foul on Leon Britton. This one very much deserved, however, it was a poor challenge.

1539: Another Reading corner... met by Mikele Leigertwood... but scrambled clear by the Swans defence. Reading not done in this match yet, that's for sure.

1538: Reading corner... defended well by Alan Tate...

1537: Now this is more like what we expected - an extended spell of keep-ball from Swansea that prompts cries of "Ole" from the crowd. A rare moment of calm in a first 35 minutes that have absolutely flown by.

1534: And Swansea, in Scott Sinclair, have a man whose tail is sky high - the winger dancing down the left this time and feeding Fabio Borini in the box, the Italian's turn-and-shot 12 yards out blocked by Matt Mills.

1532: Many had been expecting this match to be a contrast of styles - Swansea's passing game against Reading's more direct style - but if anything, it is the Royals stroking the ball around nicely across the perfect Wembley turf. Still two goals down, mind.

1530: Close! Excellent near post corner from Jobi McAnuff and it is met by Noel Hunt, but the Reading striker can't direct his glance header on the dive on target. Reading gathering their sense again.

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Scott Sinclair could become Swansea's first £1m player today if Swansea City win Premier League promotion. But chairman Huw Jenkins won't mind too much as the former Chelsea winger scores twice, against the run of play, to put the Swans ahead in the so-called £90m game. Sinclair was the coolest character in the house as he slotted in 25th and 26th goals this season to knock the stuffing right out of Reading."

1527: It's a decent one from the Royals to be fair, as they force a corner that leads to snap-shot from the edge of the area by Matt Mills - but it's blocked.

1525: What response from Reading? Mountain to climb for them now.

BBC 5 live summariser Robbie Savage: "Incredible couple of minutes. What we saw there for the second goal is Ian Harte's lack of pace. Stephen Dobbie was five yards behind him but he beat Harte to the ball and rolled it across for Scott Sinclair."

Swansea goal: Two minutes, two goals, and Reading have been caught by the classic one-two counter. Stephen Dobbie is the creator this time with a fine burst down the right straight from the Reading restart and he keeps his head to roll back to Scott Sinclair, via the hand of keeper Adam Federici, and the Swans top-scorer rolls home at the far post. Elysium for Swansea.

1522: GOALFLASH Reading 0-2 Swansea (Sinclair)

Swansea goal: It's against the run of play - and yet Reading are fortunate that they are just a goal and not a man down too. Zurab Khizanishvili, on a booking, clatters through Nathan Dyer in the box - a clear penalty - but no subsequent card is forthcoming. Up steps Scott Sinclair, anyway, to break the deadlock. Breakthrough.

1521: GOALFLASH Reading 0-1 Swansea (Sinclair pen)


BBC 5 live summariser Robbie Savage: "Jimmy Kebe is causing havoc down the right against Alan Tate. Reading have settled down better, they are hitting Swansea on the counter-attack and are dropping a bit deeper now waiting for the ball to come to them rather than pressing high up the pitch."

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Swansea seem to be suffering a little from stage fright in the opening exchanges as the passing game that has earned Brendan Rodgers' side so many plaudits this term, is so far non-existent. Reading are using all their physical attributes to their advantage but the Royals may need to tread carefully as referee Phil Dowd has already given out more cards than I did last Christmas."

1518: Reading definitely the better side at present and Jem Karacan is unfortunate to see his goalbound effort from range well deflected by a Swansea defender's lunge.

1516: Two parts good, three parts bad for Reading as a bustling run on the counter from Jimmy Kebe almost forces a chance, but a couple of wasted passes and then a too-deep cross from Shane Long and the break is gone.

Yellow card
1514: Erm. Unnecessary. Fabio Borini and Zurab Khizanishvili have the most minor of spats from the keeper's restart and both are booked by Phil Dowd, who is clearly looking to stamp his authority on this match/get on the telly. Two Reading players booked already, then. Hhmm.

1513: Ooh, almost a lovely ball over the Reading defence by Angel Rangel that just - and I'm talking inches here - eludes Fabio Borini dashing into the box.

1511: Shane Long causing plenty of problems among the Swansea backline - and Reading force a corner. Like Swansea's free-kick of earlier, though, it's wasted, Jobi McAnuff failing to beat the first man.

Yellow card
1508: Boom. Firm challenge on Scott Sinclair by Andy Griffin - an early marker from the veteran, you might say - and it sparks a mini melee. Enough for the handbags graphic? Not quite. Shame. Griffin booked. Tightrope time for him, now.

1507: High tempo, plenty of bluster, and a cracking atmosphere to boot. Top start.

BBC 5 live summariser Robbie Savage: "Swansea's game-plan is to build from the back by feeding their full-backs and wingers with a diagonal ball from the keeper. One pass to Scott Sinclair there and they got that free-kick."

1505: ...wasted, Fabio Borini spooning a tame effort high, wide and not very handsome.

1504: Swansea bounce upfield, though, and Scott Sinclair's mazy run across the box is ended illegally. Free-kick, 20 yards out, Fabio Borini over it...

1503: And it's a fast and furious start from Reading, Shane Long feeding Jimmy Kebe on the right, whose cross is spilled by Swans keeper Dorus de Vries only for the boys in white to eventually clear well.

1501: Reading kick us off, the 2011 Championship play-off final is up and running.

1459: Right then, here we go people, everything to play for and kick-off just moments away... how are the nerves?

jonathanhunt_ on Twitter: "Why can't we both go up? Love from a very nervous Royal."

1456: BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Wembley erupts in a crescendo of noise, flags and balloons as both teams walk out onto the hallowed turf. You can feel the hope and anxiety, in equal measure, spreading throughout the terraces as this biggest of big game nears kick-off. Great banter and friendship between Reading and Swansea fans around the ground pre-match and with the two managers involved, the game is sure to be played in the same spirit."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "The music on the public address system at Wembley is so loud it is making my laptop shake. Really excellent atmosphere inside the stadium."

1453: What a fantastic finale to another sensational domestic season this promises to be. Not a spare seat in the house from what I can see inside Wembley, and an atmosphere that'd have Russ Abbott apoplectic with joy. We've even got some proper dad dancing from John Madejski in the stands. My eyes... my eyes...

delixu on Twitter: "Am I the only one who thinks it would be nice to have a Welsh side back in the Premier League? Go Swans!"

Sam, London via text: "I hope the FA managed to find a replacement net after Saturday! Pesky Spaniards!"

jedi_baz77 on Twitter: "Wow big game today! Worth £90m, 90,000 fans, 90 minutes and No.9 Shane Long to score the winner! C'mon URZ."

1450: Reading boss Brian McDermott: "I'm very proud for everyone. In February we were 12th in the league - the run we've been on is phenomenal. To reach Wembley is a fantastic achievement, I can't wait to get out there. Swansea are in good form, we're in good form, there are two good sides out there. It's been a long wait - we've been ready for a few days. Swansea know us, we know them, there are no secrets between the teams. We want to go and perform, and if we perform way that we can, this should be a really interesting game."

1447: Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers on playing at Wembley two days after Barcelona: "With our style of football and how we like to play, I've always thought an arena like this will suit us very well. They [Barca] are an amazing team, and the ideas and principles of how we play are the same. I used to work at Reading, but there's no extra edge to this match. They're a club I'll always be thankful to. I've grown from that experience."

1446: Time to hear from the managers I think...

Sylvie_M on Twitter: "Sam, if Reading win today, the whole town WILL lift off!!! Plus, there's small matter of Reading Carnival today as well!!!"

John O'Gadhra, Wildhern, Hampshire via text: "Forget Man Utd and Barcelona! This is the REAL final - worth £90m and elevation to the winners! Big shout to my friend Darren Skilling, Reading fan in Wembley!"

1441: In short, get two sticky bits of paper, colour one blue and the other white and black, and throw them at the same time at a wall. Whichever one lands highest, wins. Science.

1439: And anyone hoping to gauge which way this match might go based on form will be interested to know Reading have lost just one of their last 12 matches, while Swansea are unbeaten in six. Not too many pointers there, then.

1437: How did these two get here, though? Well... Reading, having qualified for the play-offs courtesy of a fifth-place finish, did for Cardiff on the back of a 0-0 play-off semi-final first-leg draw with a convincing 3-0 second-leg victory to secure their place in the Wembley showdown. Swansea, third in the table at the season's end, also drew their play-off semi-final first leg 0-0 but then went on to a dramatic 3-1 second-leg win, this time over Nottingham Forest.

swightman89 on Twitter: "Stephen Dobbie, here to finish what Messi started on Saturday night!"

Tom, Wembley, via text: "Sat inside Wembley now, waiting nervously for the start of the game. Glad Kebe is starting for us as he gives us that pace going forward. C'MON U RZZZZ."

1433: READING v SWANSEA (1500)
BBC Sport's Pete Shuttleworth at Wembley:
"Influential Reading winger Jimmy Kebe returns after a six-match absence because of a thigh injury, then, in an otherwise unchanged Royals starting line-up, while striker Hal Robson-Kanu is fit enough to take his place on the bench. Swansea, on the other hand, are unchanged from their play-off semi-final win over Nottingham Forest after captain and centre-back Garry Monk shrugged off a stomach bug."

ewarren14 on Twitter: "Feel so sorry for the half of the fans that will be in complete devastation at the end of this game, winner takes all!"

1429: By the way, as a neutral, has this fixture ever pitched together two nicer men than Brian McDermott and Brendan Rodgers? Having had the privilege of interviewing Rodgers, one of the game's genuine students, a few times, he's always been uber-generous with his time and knowledge - and Peter Shuttleworth had the honour in the lead-up to this match this time around. I'd wager, too, you'd find it hard to find to many people to have a bad word to say about McDermott, too. As Paul Fletcher found out, Reading's long-standing academy director Eamonn Dolan is certainly not one of them. Cracking pieces, those, both. Give 'em a read.

FootballBloggur on Twitter: "After all finals, the relegation battles, and the title deciders, you just can't beat a good play-off. Come on you Swans."

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley: "Swansea defender Alan Tate is the first player out on the Wembley pitch for a pre-match warm-up. The great story about Tate is that he played for the Swans when they beat Hull on the final day of the 2003 season to save their Football League status. After being 90 minutes from non-league, he and Swansea are now possibly 90 minutes away from the Premier League so you can probably understand why he wants to enjoy this occasion."

twissmiller on Twitter: "Wonderful game for the neutral, painful for a fan! As a Hammers fan i'm hoping I don't have to go through this next year!"

1425: You'd imagine there will be few surprises between these two sides today, wouldn't you. Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers, a man who spent 14 years at Reading as a player, coach and manager, comes up against the team who sacked him six months into his fairly unsuccessful reign as boss just 17 months ago - as well as the man who replaced him in the hot-seat, Brian McDermott, who stepped up from his position as Rodgers' chief scout to take the reigns in December 2009. The improvement as a result for both Reading and Swansea has been marked - and now both teams are vying to secure what would be only their third top-flight season in history. Context.

lewcarey25 on Twitter: "Crazy to think only eight years ago Swansea beat Hull 4-2 to keep the Swans in the Football League. How times have changed."

1421: READING v SWANSEA (1500)
Federici, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Long, Hunt. Subs: McCarthy, Tabb, Church, Robson-Kanu, Howard, Cummings, Pearce.
Swansea: De Vries, Rangel, Monk, Williams, Tate, Dyer, Britton, Dobbie, Allen, Sinclair, Borini. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Pratley, Beattie, Serran, Moore, Gower, Richards.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

dorsetbay on Twitter: "Wondering how long Swansea (or Reading) will last in the Premier League. History says a couple of seasons."

Tom in Gateshead via text: "If Reading can keep their shape and discipline then I think we have a great chance today, but Swansea are a dangerous team going forwards so I think it's going to be a very close match."

1417: READING v SWANSEA (1500)
BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth at Wembley:
"The stadium is already awash with the blue and white of Reading and black and white of Swansea as both sets of supporters soak up the atmosphere on their first visit to the new Wembley. This famous ground hosted a most beautiful game as Barcelona beat Manchester in Saturday's Champions League final and this Championship play-off finale promises to be just as entertaining. Swansea are aiming to become Wales' first Premier League club while Reading are confident of a top-flight return after a three-year absence."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "The two previous play-off finals at Old Trafford were good, but sitting here you can see why Wembley is so special. Massive."

Jimmy Kebe returns on the wing after injury for Reading, with Shaun Cummings dropping down to the bench. Swansea are as expected, Fabio Borini leading the line in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation.

COYI3232 on Twitter: "Two good footballing sides, should be an exciting game!"

Ed Whittle, Little London, Hampshire via text: "I'm a neutral fan and this is my favourite game of the season. The tension, excitement, tears..."

nedccfc on Twitter: "As a Cardiff fan, I'm gutted that we're not at Wembley today. However, this is going to be a cracking game. Come on Reading."

1410: Come close of play tonight, the 20th and final participant in next season's Premier League season will have been decided - and for Reading or Swansea, the possibility of a new era promises to dawn. And do you know what... you can be part of it! Magic! But only if you Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text me via 81111 (UK). Let's get cooking.

1407: Oh, all right, maybe it's a combination of the two. But you get my point, huh? It's big, it's huge, it's Reading v Swansea. Excited?

1404: Today's match has, of course, been dubbed "The £90m play-off". The most lucrative one-off match in our game. And by jove that is a hefty badge of honour for any match to boast. But today's Wembley face-off is so much more than that, isn't it? It's about pride, glory, expectation... it's about 90,000 fans packed under the Wembley arch and the thousands watching elsewhere dreaming of a return to the "big time" and all the exalted sense of adventure that comes with it. It's not about the level by which the pockets of the successful club's owners may be swelled. I'm right aren't I? Right?

1400: Two teams, one place left in the Premier League, one winner-takes-all encounter. Quite simply the biggest match our domestic game has to offer. Welcome to the Championship Play-Off Final.

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30 May 2011 23:59 UK

see also
Championship play-off photos
30 May 11 |  Football

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