TO secure a top-six spot in the race for promotion to the Premier League the Swans needed to win and hope that either Cardiff City would lose at home to bottom side Hull or that Forest would be soundly beaten by Stoke. It also required the results to end up with a five-goal turnaround in Swansea’s favour.
It all seemed mission impossible. But then its sport the improbable often happens and it turned out to be a dramatic final night.
Swans needed an away victory at The Madejski Stadium against Reading plus a five-goal swing to force their way into the play-offs. Also, it required Nottingham Forest to lose to Stoke by a few goals.
Cardiff’s playoff position seemed secure with their home game with Hull City who was already relegated. The Bluebirds duly made their situation safe by winning comfortably 3-0.
But Swansea’s progress to the play-offs was far from secure. Not only did they need to win, but win well. Also, Nottingham Forest was in fourth position and three points ahead of the Swans. So for Swansea to claim the sixth spot the Forest had to lose badly.
At the end of both games, the incredible had happened. The Swansea won 1-4 away to Reading and Nottingham Forest lost 1-4 at home to Stoke.
The Swans scoring two late goals in the 84th minute and 90 +1 minute.
What began as an unlikely pursuit of a top-six place ended with position assured with a goal to spare as well.
Swansea City coach Steve Cooper summed it up :
“What an eventful night. In the end, we’ve got the job done and that was the objective. I don’t think anyone thought it would be that way but it was going to take something extraordinary to happen, and it did.
The Swans entertain Brentford at the Liberty Stadium Sunday (July 26) while Cardiff City host Fulham on Monday (July 27) in the semi-final first legs. The return second leg games will be on the following Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
For the record, the last time Swansea and Cardiff were in the Championship playoffs was in 2010-11 season and the Swans then won promotion to the Premier League.