Play-off classics

Ahead of the Championship play-off final between Crystal Palace and Watford at Wembley on Monday, we look back into the archives for some memorable matches, next up is Swansea 4 Reading 2.

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Swansea have, in recent times, set the benchmark when it comes to securing promotion through the play-offs and then building steadily once part of the Premier League elite.

Having finished third in the Championship table in 2010/11, they could have been forgiven for wondering if their shot at the big time had passed them by. They were, however, able to battle their way past Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals and Reading in a gripping final showdown at Wembley.

The Swans were to etch their names into the history books as the first Welsh side to reach the Premier League after prevailing 4-2 over the Royals.

Scott Sinclair was largely responsible for their ascent to the top tier, with the flying winger enjoying one of those afternoons when everything goes right. He broke the deadlock from the penalty spot 21 minutes in, before adding a second less than 60 seconds later.

Stephen Dobbie then made it 3-0 to Swansea five minutes before half-time, suggesting a second-half stroll could be on the cards for Brendan Rodgers and his troops.

Reading, though, regrouped at the interval and came out a different side to that which had threatened to implode during the opening 45. Within four minutes of the restart they were able to force Joe Allen to put through his own net, and before the hour mark Matthew Mills had nodded home to put the tie back on a knife-edge.

Swansea, stunned by the Royals' response, realised that they needed something from somewhere, and were delighted to earn a second spot-kick of the afternoon. Sinclair kept his cool to convert again, seriously enhancing his blossoming reputation and earning himself a prized match ball.