Cardiff 9-1 to finish in top half after promotion

Cardiff will be playing in the Premier League next season after the Bluebirds – 9-1 shots for promotion ante-post – secured second place on the final day of the Sky Bet Championship campaign.

A goalless draw at home to Reading, coupled with Fulham's defeat at Birmingham, meant a record-breaking eighth promotion for manager Neil Warnock and bet365 make Cardiff 9-1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League next term.

Warnock's men are evens with bet365 to avoid relegation in 2018-19 and 4-5 to go straight back down. Optimistic Bluebirds fans can get 2,000-1 that Cardiff win the title.

There was great drama at the bottom of the Championship as Bolton scored twice in the last three minutes of normal time to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 – a result that lifted the Trotters out of the relegation zone.

They had traded at 40-1 in-play to claim the three points but Aaron Wilbraham's winner condemned Barnsley and Burton to the drop, along with bottom club Sunderland.

Derby brushed aside Barnsley 4-1 to earn a playoff semi-final against Fulham while Aston Villa and Middlesbrough meet in the other tie.

The Cottagers are hot favourites to pick themselves up from their final-day disappointment and win the playoffs.

Relegated Sunderland finished their dismal season on a remarkable high with a 3-0 home win over champions Wolves.

The Black Cats had been 5-1 for victory at the Stadium of Light and it was an expensive day for favourite-backers in the Championship with Wolves (4-7), Fulham (8-11) and Cardiff (7-20) failing to win at short prices.

That trend continued in the Premier League as 1-9 Manchester City couldn't find a way past a dogged Huddersfield side in a goalless draw at the Etihad.

The draw had been a 13-1 chance before kick-off while no goalscorer was available to back at 35-1 and the stalemate provided a huge boost to Huddersfield's survival chances.

After Southampton's draw at Everton on Saturday, the Terriers had been 6-4 for relegation with the Saints and Swansea both 7-4 shots.

Having taken a point off the champions, however, David Wagner's men are out to 5-1 for the drop and their result raises the stakes even more for Tuesday's game between Swansea and Southampton.

West Brom are 1-100 to go down with Southampton evens and Swansea 7-4.

Chelsea are 7-2 to finish in the top four after a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. Olivier Giroud scored the only goal in the Blues' fourth consecutive league win which keeps the pressure on the Reds (1-10 for the top four) and Tottenham (1-12).

Arsene Wenger's final home game as Arsenal manager ended in a 5-0 victory over Burnley with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice.

Match in Focus

19:45 Sa 26May BT2

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.

 

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