Dream comes true for Reading


LONDON - Reading, founded 135 years ago, have reached the top flight of English football for the first time. The Berkshire club clinched promotion to the Premiership with a 1-1 draw at <

ST1:PLACE w:st=”on”>Leicester and have lost just twice in 40 Championship matches. “It’s a dream come true,” says Reading manager Steve Coppell, a one-time Manchester United winger. “We’ve a small squad who give everything.”

Scottish side Gretna, who nestle on the border with England, are also celebrating promotion with six matches to spare. Gretna, who were playing non-League football in England not so long ago, clinched back-to-back promotions and a place in Division 1 with a 2-1 home win over Alloa.

Didier Drogba, Chelsea‘s Ivory Coast striker, was embroiled in more controversy after his quickfire two-goal salvo floored depleted Manchester City 2-0 in London. Already widely labelled a “diver,” he clearly controlled the ball with his hand in doubling the lead and Sylvain Distin, the City skipper, was sent off for a prolonged protest. Drogba admitted his offence before adding: “That is football.”

Manchester United, the nearest challengers to leaders Chelsea, cruised to a 3-0 home win over Birmingham and a sensational strike from Australia‘s Harry Kewell clinched a 3-1 win for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield, despite Liverpool having England star Steven Gerrard sent off in the 17th minute. Stuart Parnaby struck in the 90th minute to clinch Middlesbrough’s dramatic 4-3 home defeat of Bolton.

Southend are eight points clear at the top of League One after winning 3-0 at home to Hartlepool. In League Two, Carlisle lead by three points after beating Boston 4-2, while closest challengers Grimsby crashed 5-0 at Lincoln.

Celtic edged to the brink of the Scottish Premier title with a 2-0 success at Livingston and second-placed Hearts, now on their fourth manager in 10 months, squeezed a 2-1 win at Falkirk through Edgaras Jankauskas’ late goal.

* Promoted Gretna, the new Division 2 champions, meet mid-table Dundee from Division 1, in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Saturday. Next day, Edinburgh rivals Hibernian and Hearts clash in the other semi at Hampden Park.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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