Cardiff City earned themselves a place amongst Premier League royalty with a final day draw with the Royals.
The Bluebirds ended their four-year absence from the top-flight after securing promotion on the final day in front of a club record attendance.
Neil Warnock’s men didn’t get the win they were after but Fulham’s defeat to Birmingham City meant they were promoted regardless of the result in South Wales.
This is only Cardiff City’s second promotion to the Premier League, but it’s the first in blue and it was clear what that meant to the supporters as they rushed onto the pitch at the final whistle.
It was a cagey opening to the game as one might have expected given all that was riding on the game for both teams.
Though, Cardiff were on top from the get-go and the supporters responded, especially when they heard news of Fulham going behind at Birmingham.
And the Bluebirds almost took full advantage of the score elsewhere when Junior Hoilett took aim from the far corner of the box, but his effort curled just inches wide of the post.
A scrappy nature ensued with Reading looking to spoil things for the Bluebirds, knowing they may only need a point.
however, Cardiff continued about their business and caused problems. Kenneth Zohore and Craig Bryson both should have done better with efforts in the area.
And those wasted opportunities meant the teams went in at the break goalless, though both no doubt aware that Fulham were trailing Birmingham by two goals at St Andrew’s.
Reading started the second half brightly but Cardiff quickly regained control, in fact, they created the first real chance after the restart when Zohore smashed one wide.
Mendez-Laing then came close after beating two defenders, but his effort was untidy, allowing Mannone to gather at his near post.
Zohore was next to try his luck with a late strike, but he was denied on the line after turning Joe Bennett’s cross goalwards.
The Bluebirds just couldn’t find a way through, but nor did it matter. Results elsewhere had gone the Bluebirds’ way and it was time for the party to start in South Wales.
Man of the Match – Nathaniel Mendez-Laing
This was the Mendez-Laing we saw at the start of the season. Beating opponents with pace and trickery and having the bravery to run at his opposing full-back.
Mendez-Laing was a constant thorn in Reading’s side and it caused problems with tge visitors doubling up on Junior Hoilett on the other side.
Lee Peltier also performed well despite being up against a lightning fast Sone Aluko, and Sol Bamba did well against a usually troublesome Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
There were no stand-out poor performances, and it seemed fitting that was the case on a day of celebration for the Bluebirds.
Cardiff City are back in the Premier League and anything beyond that fact seems a little irrelevant.
However, there’s a lot to be said about this team who handled the pressure again to keep their nerve on the final day, when it mattered most.
The Bluebirds didn’t get the win they desired, but they held their nerve better than Fulham, who really blew it against Birmingham.
There was no such collapse at the Cardiff City Stadium and that means the Bluebirds are heading back to the Premier League.