2010 Football League Championship play-off Final
|Event||2009–10 Football League Championship|
|Date||22 May 2010|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Keith Southern (Blackpool)|
|Referee||Andre Marriner (West Midlands)|
|Weather||Sunny, 28 °C (82 °F)|
The 2010 Football League Championship play-off Final was a football match played at Wembley Stadium in London on 22 May 2010 to decide the third team to be promoted from The Championship to the Premier League for the 2010–11 season.
The culmination of the 2010 Football League Championship play-offs saw Blackpool beat Cardiff City to earn promotion alongside the Championship champions Newcastle United and runners-up West Bromwich Albion. In the match, Blackpool twice came back from going a goal behind, before taking the lead for the first time just before half-time. With no score from either team in the second half, the final result was 3–2 to Blackpool in normal time.
Blackpool entered the play-offs having finished sixth in the 2009–10 Football League Championship, bottom of the play-off places, while Cardiff finished two places above in fourth. Blackpool reached the play-off final after a 6–4 aggregate semi-final victory over third-place finishers Nottingham Forest, while Cardiff in their semi-final beat fifth-placed Leicester City by virtue of a penalty shoot-out.
As a consequence of winning promotion, Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium, which has a capacity of just over 16,000, became the smallest stadium to host Premier League football. It also meant Blackpool returned to the top flight of English League football for the first time since the 1970–71 season, when they spent one season in the old First Division, finishing bottom.
Route to the final
Having finished in sixth in the Championship, just a point ahead of Swansea City, Blackpool just crept into the play-offs, where they were paired with third-placed Nottingham Forest. Despite going behind to a 13th-minute goal from Chris Cohen, Blackpool were able to come from behind to win the first leg at Bloomfield Road 2–1, thanks to a goal from Keith Southern and a penalty from Charlie Adam.
They again went behind early in the second leg at the City Ground, this time to a goal from Robert Earnshaw, but a hat-trick from DJ Campbell – punctuated by another Earnshaw goal and one for Stephen Dobbie – was enough to put Blackpool through to the play-off final, despite a late goal from Dele Adebola, with an aggregate score of 6–4.
Cardiff City finished fourth in the Championship, three points behind Nottingham Forest and level with Leicester City in fifth. Cardiff's superior goal difference gave them the advantage over Leicester, and thus they would have home advantage in the second leg. The first leg at the Walkers Stadium was decided by a single goal from Cardiff's Peter Whittingham.
In the second leg, Michael Chopra opened the scoring to double Cardiff's lead in the tie, but an equaliser on the day from Matty Fryatt and an own goal from Cardiff captain Mark Hudson levelled the tie at 2–2. Andy King then gave Leicester the lead on aggregate with a goal just after half-time. With just over 20 minutes to play in the tie, Cardiff were awarded a penalty, which Whittingham put away to level the scores again at 3–3. With the away goals rule not in effect in the Football League play-offs, the tie went to extra time. No further goals were scored in the additional 30 minutes, so the tie had to be settled by a penalty shoot-out. Both sides scored each of their first three kicks, before David Marshall saved a Panenka from Leicester's Yann Kermorgant, allowing Mark Kennedy to give Cardiff the lead. Marshall then saved from Martyn Waghorn to put Cardiff through to the final.
22 May 2010
|Shots on target||6||5|
Source: BBC Sport
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2010 Football League Championship play-off Final.|
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- Wilson, Steve (2010-05-22). "Championship play-off final: Blackpool v Cardiff live". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2010-05-24.
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- "Nott'm Forest 3-4 Blackpool (agg 4-6)". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 11 May 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Shuttleworth, Peter (9 May 2010). "Leicester 0-1 Cardiff". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Shuttleworth, Peter (12 May 2010). "Cardiff 2-3 Leicester (agg 3-3)". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 July 2015.