The was joy and jubilation this afternoon among the Welsh fans, when Swansea beat Reading 4-2 in the Championship Playoff final at Wembley, to become the first ever Welsh side to make it to the Premier League.
Scott Sinclair scores Swansea’s second goal
And it looked like the game was all over at half time, after Swansea had taken a stunning 3-0 half time lead.
Swansea got their first goal through a penalty when former Newcastle defender Zurab Khizanishvili made a stupid challenge on Italian Fabio Borini, and it was a stone cold penalty.
The only mystery was why the Georgian international didn’t receive a second yellow card for the clumsy tackle, and he would have been sent off – since he had already picked up a yellow card earlier – but the reason was he had already received one yellow card – obviously.
Scott Sinclair, the former Chelsea youngster, made no mistake from the spot, as he put home the penalty with cool precision.
Referee Phil Dowd had hastily given out three yellow cards in the first 11 minutes, and why referees do that when they know the players are full of adrenalin initially – I don’t know.
Surely they should be lenient in the first 20 minutes or so, to let the players settle down a bit.
And then just over a minute after the penalty, Scott Sinclair had a brace, as he put the ball home when goalkeeper Adam Federici, could only parry a cross, and the 22 year-old made no mistake and Swansea had scored two goals in 75 seconds to 2-0 up.
And the stunned Reading side tried to come back but then on 40 minutes, Stephen Dobbie had an opportunity as the ball came out to him just inside the penalty box, and he hit the ball home first time into the net – it was a terrific goal from the Swansea player.
And it was 3-0 at half time and of course the TV commentator was saying the game was over and all the usual nonsense.
And we suppose Reading didn’t agree with that assessment, as the Reading boys came storming back after the break.
On 49 minutes Noel Hunt, whose brother plays for Wolves, had his shot deflected into the net by Joe Allan, and Reading were back in it at 3-1 – and Joe Allen was given the own goal.
And then after 57 minutes Reading got the all important second goal, when Mathew Mills jumped higher than anybody to a left wing corner, and headed home beautifully and it was game on at 3-2.
Swansea looked completely shaken out of their game, and their usual dominant defense didn’t look at all steady, and then Dobbie had a chance to get a fourth for the Welsh side, as he was clean through but somehow shot two yards wide when presented with an open goal from 14 yards out.
It was touch and go after Reading’s second goal, but then Reading gave away another daft penalty after 80 minutes, and it was a bad mistake from former Newcastle right back Andy Griffin as he brought down Italian striker Borini.
That gave Swansea a lifeline, and Scott Sinclair made no mistake from the spot, and got his hat-trick and will be the match hero in the valleys tonight – there’s no doubt about that.
Scott Sinclair scores from penalty after 80 minutes – the clincher
Swansea City held on for the remaining 10 minutes to record one of their most important victories for years and years, and they return to England’s top division after being absent since way back in 1983.
And for a club who almost went out of the Football league a short 8 years ago – this was a tremendous achievement by the Welsh club.
The match attendance was an impressive 87,000 with an estimated 40,000 Swansea fans present , and there will be some celebrating tonight for sure.
That means that QPR, Norwich and Swansea are the three promoted sides and they replace West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham.
So there’s 18 points for Newcastle next seaosn – surely.
And one more thing – that means Newcastle can now go in and bring Shane Long to Tyneside – it’s at least a possibility.