Swansea City FC ruthless as they seal promotion

Welcome to the Premiership Swansea City!Wembley was the scene where history was repeated for Barcelona as they clinched their fourth European triumph where they had won their first. Today, though, it was a scene where history was made as Swansea City became the first club from Wales to earn a place in the Premier League in a 4-2 victory over Reading in a dramatic final.

The game was full of incident right from the off. Similar to what had happened in Saturday’s Champions League final, the losing side started off the brighter team. Reading caused The Swans’ defence problems. In fact, they almost scored within minutes as Swansea goalkeeper de Vries failed to deal with a driven cross, leading to a goalmouth scramble.

Reading continued to pile the pressure on the Swansea goal and were undoubtedly the better side. Despite that, the Royals soon found themselves behind thanks to their own inadequacy in defence.

The home of football had seen master classes from three world class players in Xavi, Iniesta and Messi as Barcelona triumphed over Manchester United. On the contrary, the first half of this Wembley encounter will be remembered for the defensive idiocy of Zurab Khizanishvilli. The Reading defender, having already been booked, made a clumsy challenge to give Swansea the perfect opportunity to open the scoring. And they did.

Scott Sinclair, on loan to the Welsh side, was the epitome of composure as he confidently dispatched the penalty to give his side the lead. In doing so, Sinclair scored his 25th goal of the season and showed how valuable he has been to Swansea’s road to the play-offs.

The young winger’s 26th followed moments later in what was becoming a first-half disaster for Reading. Immediately from the kick off, Swansea regained possession. Stephen Dobbie showed fantastic skill as he flew past the rash challenge of Khizanishvilli and sprinted clear to expose Ian Harte’s lack of pace. Reading failed to deal with Dobbie’s teasing cross and Sinclair was on-hand at the back post to sweep home and double his side’s advantage.

Reading were disconsolate now and on the edge of being totally out of the game. They struggled to win possession from Swansea who toyed with their opponents. Soon, The Swans had seemingly killed the tie before half-time as they added a third.

Khizanishvilli’s performance took another turn towards disaster as the defender failed to deal with a cross sufficiently. Instead, he poked a clearance straight to the feet of Stephen Dobbie who rounded off a fantastic first-half for Swansea with an emphatic half-volley into the far corner.

Reading would have been desperate for the half-time whistle to regroup in the dressing room. However, their plight worsened at the interval when Brian McDermott’s assistant was banished from the dugout and substitute Jay Tabb was sent off for abusive language towards the officials.

It would not have been stupid to assume the second-half would have been no more than a formality for Swansea in sealing their place in next season’s Premier League. However, Reading had different ideas.

The Royals posed a constant threat from set-pieces and finally had a goal to show for their efforts. McAnuff produced a fantastic corner which found the clever run of Noel Hunt, who flicked a delicate header into the near post to give his side the slimmest glimmer of hope. But it was a hope.

Reading were buoyant now and soon halved the deficit. The breakthrough again came from a corner and McAnuff was again the provider. The ball in this time was deeper and was planted onto the head of Reading captain Matt Mills, who steered a bullet of a header above the man on the post to send Reading’s supporters into delirium.

The Royals could smell blood now and kept pressurising a Swansea side which had perhaps become too complacent after the break. In fact, Reading would have been worthy of an equaliser which so nearly came as Karacan’s shot rattled the post. The ball rebounded to Noel Hunt who looked destined to score his second of the game only for a heroic block from Swansea captain Gary Monk to deny him.

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