Championship

May 22, 2010

Full-time

Blackpool

3 - 2

Cardiff City

Championship

14:00 +00:00, May 22, 2010

Wembley Stadium, London, England

Referee: A Marriner

  • 94'

    FULL-TIME. Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff. The second half didn't quite live up to the first but incredible fighting spirit from Blackpool - twice they were behind and they battled back. Chopra lies disconsolate, while Ian Holloway looks emotional - he will be a Premier League manager next season. What a game, what a result. Comiserations to Cardiff, congratulations to the mighty Tangerines.

  • 94'

    Amazing...Blackpool are in the Premier League. They started the season as relegation fodder and finished it by earning a place at the top table.

  • 94'

    Gilks has it in his hands, he hoofs it clear and the whistle goes.

  • 94'

    Seconds to go.

  • 93'

    Campbell was through but it's a heavy touch.

  • 92'

    Cleared away yet again and Marshall gets the ball back inside his area. He tries to take it past Burgess and nearly gives it straight to him.

  • 92'

    Free-kick to be swung in by Marshall.

  • 92'

    BLACKPOOL SUB: Bannan on for Vaughan.

  • 91'

    Whittingham crosses it in and Ledley heads it goalwards, but he's on the 18 yard line. He was never going to be able to egnerate enough power.

  • 91'

    Cardiff have it back but they can't seem to manufacture a chance.

  • 90'

    Burgess keeps the ball in the corner ad four minutes of added time are held up by the assistant.

  • 89'

    It's a Blackpool corner, another poor decision from Hudson to head it out. Where was the communication?

  • 88'

    The ball comes back into midfield and it's switched to the left, where Blackpool are just happy to keep possession.

  • 88'

    Blackpool break again and they have it in down in the corner.

  • 87'

    Gerrard in the clear and he's made a mess of it. He had a chance to shoot but dwelt on it far too long.

  • 86'

    Southern takes the ball into the corner, but is penalised and Cardiff have it back.

  • 86'

    It finds itself all the way through to Evatt at the back post and it's a throw in to Blackpool.

  • 85'

    The Tangerines can breathe for a second. It's a free-kick down the left wing and it will be Adam to take.

  • 84'

    Burgess doing plenty of running up front but he's not getting anywhere near the ball at the moment.

  • 83'

    Headed clear by Evatt and Campbell's pressure from the hoof up field forces Kennedy to play it safe and knock it out for a Blackpool throw.

  • 82'

    Adam pushes Darcy Blake and it's a free-kick for Cardiff on the right wing. Whittingham - as usual - will take it.

  • 81'

    46% possession for Cardiff in the Blackpool final third over the last ten minutes.

  • 80'

    Cardiff pushing hard as McPhail and Whittingham try to engineer an opening. The Tangerine sponge is soaking up the presssure.

  • 79'

    Darcy Blake - yes that is the first time I have mentioned him in this match - has a tame shot into the grateful grasp of Gilks.

  • 79'

    Blackpool are ten minutes away from being in the Premier League, what a remarkable result it would be.

  • 78'

    Holloway's side struggling to retain possession now. They haven't been known for their excellent defence this season and it might be that attack is the best form of defence.

  • 77'

    McCormack crosses and it's headed away - resolute defending from Blackpool.

  • 76'

    Cardiff doing all the pressing now and Blackpool starting to look a little tired.

  • 75'

    Cleared out from Whittingham's first delivery. McPhail gets a second bite of the cherry and it drops to McCormack inside the area. The striker, for the second time since coming on, drags his shot wide.

  • 75'

    Gilks drops the ball and somehow it's gone wide of the post - it looked like it was going to dribble in for a comical own goal. Corner.

  • 75'

    Gerrard is of course the cousin of Liverpool and England midfielder Steven.

  • 74'

    Great battling back from Etuhu, Adam looked to be away down the left side of the area and of all people it was the Cardiff striker who chased back and did enough to put him off.

  • 73'

    The right back hasn't recovered from a couple of earlier knocks in the half.

  • 73'

    CARDIFF SUB: Gerrard on for McNaughton.

  • 73'

    A speedy break and there were five Tangerines players streaming forward. Dobbie has a shot from inside the box and it's deflected out for a corner.

  • 72'

    Whittingham and Kennedy combine down the left and Kennedy sweeps a cross in. But it's headed away by Evatt and Blackpool come forward.

  • 71'

    Crainey shoulder barges Chopra out the way, the Blackpool left back wasn't looking at the ball and he's lucky that the referee judged it a fair challenge.

  • 70'

    This is Adam's 200th appearance in English and Scottish club football, and his goal today was the 50th of his career.

  • 69'

    Burgess with some good footwork but he can't find Campbell with the through ball.

  • 69'

    106.3 degrees fahrenheit is the temperature at pitch level. Ouch.

  • 68'

    It's definitely still anyone's game, both sides look dangerous when coming forward and the players will be tiring by the minute, meaning mistakes are more likely.

  • 67'

    Crainey overlaps well down the left and tries to pull it back but it's headed away.

  • 66'

    The reason I say that is because I've just seen him drag a shot wide of the left hand post.

  • 65'

    Missed a substitution before - CARDIFF SUB: McCormack on for Burke.

  • 64'

    Saved by Gilks and it's a Cardiff corner as McPhail receives treatment. it was quite a collision. Whittingham to deliver.

  • 63'

    McPhail loos in agony after a clash with Southern but it breaks to Etuhu and just bobbles up as he's about to hit it.

  • 63'

    Evatt peels away at the back post and volleys back across goal but it's over the bar.

  • 62'

    Adam searches for Campbell with a cross-field ball. It's headed away but Hudson gives away a cheap corner, Marshall is screaming at his centre-back, poor decision from Hudson.

  • 61'

    Stinging effort from Southern that rises up and over the bar. Well struck from about 25 yards.

  • 60'

    Will Ormerod's goal prove the winner? Dobbie is a Swansea player on loan at Bloomfield Road - could have more than hint of irony if he scores.

  • 60'

    BLACKPOOL SUB: Dobbie on for Ormerod.

  • 59'

    Whittinghma's delivery is met by Ledley, he beat Gilks to the ball and it looked like it was heading in but it's drifted wide.

  • 58'

    Chopra makes some space again, he's been fantastic so far. And he's won a corner from a seemingly hopeless situation.

  • 57'

    Adam strikes one from 30 yards and it curls wide of Marshall's post. Good build up play between Burgess and Ormerod.

  • 56'

    Great effort, he held his run beautifully as well. Maybe it just isn't Cardiff's day.

  • 55'

    McPhail plays him in, Chopra strikes it beautifully and it's thundered against the bar.

  • 55'

    Chopra hits the bar!

  • 55'

    The highest scoring Championship playoff final was Charlton 4-4 Sunderland in 1998. There have also been three 4-3 games. Bonanza.

  • 54'

    Charlie Adam saw Marshall off his line and went for an absolutely outrageous effort. It's gone wide.

  • 53'

    Good battling between Etuhu and Baptistse, with the Blackpool defender just about getting the ball away.

  • 52'

    BLACKPOOL SUB: Burgess on for Taylor-Fletcher, who looks gutted to be coming off. But he's picked up an injury and can barely walk off the pitch.

  • 51'

    Southern goes in hard on McNaughton, the Cardiff right back's had a bit of bother at the start of this half.

  • 51'

    Taylor-Fletcher and Campbell advance into some space but the chance is wasted.

  • 50'

    Whittingham to take as the box is packed up with blue shirts. Really poor delivery though and it's straight into Gilks' hands.

  • 49'

    Slip from Charlie Adam and he's given away a free-kick.

  • 48'

    Etuhu down the left, his first real invovlement. He shows a good burst of pace and crosses in towards Chopra, but the delivery is too far ahead of the Bluebirds striker.

  • 47'

    Chopra escapes down the right in some space. There's three Cardiff men in the box but the cross is out for a goal kick.

  • 46'

    Early clash between Ormerod and McNaughton. the Cardiff defender looks a little sore after the late challenge.

  • 46'

    Will this game continue at the same pace - I'm not sure I can type fast enough!

  • 46'

    We're off...

  • 45'

    We're back and ready for the second half.

  • 45'

    Half-time whistle goes.

  • 45'

    NO! Sorry Cardiff fans, he is offside from the flick-on from Whittingham's delivery.

  • 45'

    GOAL! Burke.

  • 45'

    Unbelievable stuff, bo time to breathe and now Cardiff have a free-kick.

  • 45'

    Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff. What a a game. Great footwork from Campbell on the edge of the box to manufacture some space. He slips while trying to shoot, but Ormerod is waiting for the breaking ball and he slams it home underneath Marshall's body with a powerful left-foot effort.

  • 44'

    GOAL! Ormerod.

  • 44'

    Taylor-Fletcher and Ormerod bring Blackpool forward.

  • 43'

    The ball just pinballing around a little at the moment, both sides will probably welcome the half-time whistle for a good break, some oranges, and the chance to regroup.

  • 43'

    Cardiff's new Malaysian owners looking on from the director's box.

  • 42'

    Between them, Cardiff striker Michael Chopra and the Championship's top scorer Peter Whittingham have netted 45 of Cardiff's 89 goals this season.

  • 42'

    Blackpool showing their resiliency, while Cardiff boss Dave Jones looks irate on the touchline.

  • 41'

    Really poor goalkeeping from Marshall though.

  • 41'

    Wow, it's tough to keep up with this. That all came about after Taylor-Fletcher's curling right-foot volley from 18 yards hit the post and was cleared out for a corner.

  • 40'

    Blackpool 2-2 Cardiff. Marshall was terrible, he twice fumbled it away and as Cardiff players tried to clear their lines, Taylor-Fletcher was there to bravely head it home, though it seemed like there were four Cardiff players on the line. What a game.

  • 39'

    GOAL! Taylor-Fletcher

  • 39'

    Taylor-Fletcher hits the post!

  • 38'

    Blackpool straight up the other end again - they have dominated possession but Cardiff have been the more penetrative side.

  • 37'

    I definitely jinxed it for you Blackpool fans - sorry. Just after I said Ledley has been anonymous he springs into life in dramatic fashion. Wonderful goal.

  • 37'

    Cardiff 2-1 Blackpool. Sharp movement, he played it to Whittingham who then returned it to the onrushing Ledley - great finish slotted home left-footed.

  • 36'

    GOAL! Ledley.

  • 36'

    Burke crosses but it's cleared out comfortably enough.

  • 35'

    End to end stuff. Fantastic break at pace from Cardiff.

  • 35'

    Counter-attack with Chopra who plays it in to Whittingham. Back into Chopra after a fantastic ball and Cardiff now have a corner.

  • 34'

    Crainey plays a superb left-wing cross into Campbell. It's a poor first touch but Blackpool have a corner.

  • 33'

    Ledley has been disappointing so far, for a player so often linked with a Premier League move, I thought he'd be doing more now that he's got a chance to help his team get there!

  • 32'

    Cardiff just looking to build up some sustained pressure for the first time since the opening ten minutes. But Blackpool continue to look the more composed side.

  • 31'

    Lovely passing exchanges from McPhail, Etuhu and Chopra, but Adam brings down Ledley to end the move.

  • 30'

    A huge back pass from Crainie, loopes high back to Gilks from past the halfway line.

  • 29'

    Great run by Fletcher-Taylor, down the right with purpose.

  • 28'

    Fantastic movement from Chopra - he's constantly looking dangerous and causing the Blackpool defence all kinds of problems.

  • 28'

    Etuhu does well to release Whittingham down the left. He puts it on a plate for Chopra but it's a poor connection on the shot.

  • 27'

    It ends up as a throw-in. Mis-cued quite badly from Whittingham.

  • 27'

    Great short corner routine from Whittingham and McPhail. A quick one-two gets it back to the left winger and he unleashes an effort from the edge of the box...

  • 27'

    Whittingham whips it in to the near post and Crainey heads clear for another corner.

  • 26'

    Burke advances down the right and it's a Cardiff corner.

  • 25'

    Coleman engineers some space down the right with a jinking run, but his cross is overhit.

  • 25'

    At the last count Blackpool's possession stats were 64% to Cardiff's 36%. Dave Jones must be pulling his hair out.

  • 23'

    Cardiff are hoping to become only the third side - and the first since Charlton 12 years ago - to win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs after finishing the regular season in fourth place. Leicester also did it in 1995.

  • 22'

    Blackpool have been really dominant over the past ten minutes, Cardiff have looked deflated since the Blackpool goal went in.

  • 21'

    Vaughan and Campbell interchange on the edge of the box and the striker shouts for a penalty from a handball that definitely came off McNaughton's stomach.

  • 21'

    Cardiff are unbeaten in seven matches against Blackpool, winning four and drawing three since losing to them in October 2002.

  • 20'

    Baptiste and Coleman close out Chopra.

  • 19'

    Speculative effort from Vaughan from about 30 yards out. It's a rasping left-foot strike and it actually ends up only just wide.

  • 18'

    Great play down the left from Campbell and he gets the ball across but it's a spooned effort from Ormerod ont he edge of the box.

  • 18'

    Well, that 1-0 prediciton went out the window pretty quickly! I should have known better - Balckpool and Cardiff are the third and fourth highest scorers in the division behind promoted Newcastle and West Brom.

  • 17'

    The ball is swung into the box and Marshall looks a bit uneasy but the referee penalises the surrounding Blackpool players.

  • 17'

    Taylor-Fletcher upended and it's another free-kick though at too much of an angle for the left-footer.

  • 16'

    Whittingham gives Etuhu an early touch and plays a one-two but the subsequent attempted ball to Chopra is intercepted.

  • 15'

    Blackpool have won 11, drawn three and lost two of the club's 16 previous matches in the play-offs.

  • 15'

    CARDIFF SUB: Etuhu on for Bothroyd.

  • 14'

    Not sure exactly what the problem is but he's been struggling since the start.

  • 14'

    Bothroyd on his way off.

  • 14'

    Chopra released again but this time Evatt is back into position to cover and tackle the Cardiff striker.

  • 13'

    What a final so far! Keep the goals coming. That was a sensational strike.

  • 13'

    Blackpool 1-1 Cardiff. WHAT.A.GOAL. 30 plus yards out and he has swung it, with pace, right into the top corner - magnificent strike.

  • 12'

    GOAL! Adam.

  • 11'

    Free-kick for Blackpool from about 30 yards out. McPhail handballed an attempted cross.

  • 11'

    Baptiste and Adam combine down the right.

  • 10'

    Cardiff had looked dangerous and Chopra had given them a warning, but the Tangerines didn't heed it.

  • 10'

    Plenty of character in the Blackpool team, they went behind in both legs of the play-off semi-finals.

  • 9'

    Great finish and now Blackpool come forward with Ormerod. He twists and turns inside the Cardiff box but he's run himself into a cul-de-sac.

  • 8'

    Blackpool 0-1 Cardiff. Fantastic finish by Chopra, great through ball from Whittingham and the striker slots it into the bottom corner with consumate ease.

  • 8'

    GOAL! Chopra

  • 7'

    Blackpool have won 31 and Cardiff 14 of the 64 previous matches between these clubs. It's been a 1-1 draw in three of the last four encounters.

  • 6'

    Blackpool players seem to always be looking to put DJ Campbelll in around the back. The boy has got some pace.

  • 5'

    Good spell of pressure for Cardiff but now Blackpool have it back and are trying to build some possession.

  • 5'

    Bothroyd moving a little gingerly at the moment.

  • 4'

    Burke dribbles down the right wing, but his attempted cross is cleared by Crainey.

  • 4'

    Great work by Whittingham down the left to carve open that chance.

  • 3'

    Will it be a repeat of the FA Cup final? Chelsea hit the bar five times in the first half last week!

  • 3'

    Whittingham came down the left, crossed into Chopra at the near post and his flick crashed against the bar.

  • 3'

    Off the bar!

  • 2'

    A similar ball to before from Evatt but as a centre-half - it always looked hopeful.

  • 2'

    Crainey brings the ball down the left for Blackpool and it's the Tangerines who have looked brightest in the early stages.

  • 2'

    Blackpool looking to advance early and it's a nice ball from Taylor-Fletcher into a dangerous area. Cardiff keeper David Marshall comes out and fails to collect but it's cleared to safety.

  • 1'

    If I were a betting man, I would put it on 1-0, that's what the last three play-off finals in a row have finished. It's a tense occasion.

  •  

    And we're off...

  •  

    The players are out on the pitch and we are just about ready to go.

  •  

    Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield is in the crowd - he played 569 games for the Tangerines and his last game for the club was the last time Blackpool were in the top flight - in 1971.

  •  

    Blackpool's key man is undoubtedly Charlie Adam, who is their top scorer this season. He will be the creative influence in midfield and has been a revelation since his £500,000 transfer from Rangers.

  •  

    Cardiff have a great forward line and there are goals galore throughout the team. Chopra and Bothroyd are up front, while Peter Whittingham - who scored in both legs of the semi-final - is the Championship's top scorer this season with 22 goals.

  •  

    So the anticipation is building and the sunshine is glorious at Wembley. Cardiff definitely the favourites for this, but write off Blackpool at your peril. They are the form team and as we've seen many times in the past, that can be the decisive factor.

  •  

    Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Blake, Hudson, Kennedy, Burke, Whittingham, McPhail, Ledley, Chopra, Bothroyd. Subs: Enckelman, Capaldi, Quinn, Gerrard, Etuhu, Wildig, McCormack.

  •  

    Blackpool: Gilks, Coleman, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Vaughan, Southern, Adam, Campbell, Taylor-Fletcher, Ormerod. Subs: Rachubka, Clarke, Burgess, Euell, Edwards, Bannan, Dobbie.

  •  

    The teams are in and there are just over ten minutes until kick-off...

  •  

    Hello everyone, it's the biggest match in the history of Blackpool and Cardiff football clubs. To the victor, the £90 million spoils and a much-coveted place in the Premier League.