Nottingham Forest sealed their return to the Premier League after 23 years away thanks to a 1-0 win against Huddersfield at Wembley.
Levi Colwill’s own goal after 41 minutes was the difference between the sides in the Championship play-off final on Sunday, meaning Forest will play in the top flight for the first time since 1999.
It completes a remarkable season for Forest, who were bottom of the table after eight games when Steve Cooper took over in late September.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, see their dream of getting back to the Premier League after three years away come to an end.
How Forest sealed their top-flight return
The breakthrough came just before half-time for Forest via the unfortunate Colwill, who inadvertently turned James Garner’s shot into his own net with an outstretched leg that left Lee Nicholls in the Huddersfield goal helpless.
Huddersfield were struggling to create chances and threw on their semi-final matchwinner Jordan Rhodes and Duane Holmes with a quarter of the game to go to try and find a way back into the game.
- Nottingham Forest will begin next season as a Premier League side for the first time since 1998-99. Their gap of 23 seasons in between Premier League campaigns is the longest for any club.
- Since the construction of the old ground in 1923, Huddersfield Town are the first club side to fail score on four consecutive visits to Wembley Stadium.
- Nottingham Forest have been crowned champions / promoted in nine of their 12 matches at Wembley Stadium, winning here for the first time since 1992 in the Full Members Cup final against Southampton.
- The team that finished in fourth place in the Championship have earned promotion in four of the last nine campaigns, having not done so at all in 15 straight seasons between 1998-99 and 2012-13.
A short while later they finally got in behind Forest as Holmes raced in and found Harry Toffolo in the middle. He then appeared to go down under the challenge of Jack Colback, but referee Jon Moss deemed it a dive and booked the Huddersfield man – with a VAR check then upholding his decision.
And that would be that for Huddersfield’s challenge, in a disappointing conclusion to what has otherwise been an unexpectedly brilliant campaign from Carlos Corberan’s side.
Should Huddersfield have had two penalties?
The fact of the matter is that Huddersfield barely troubled Forest in open play throughout 90 minutes at Wembley, but they may have felt they should have been given a penalty on two occasions in the closing stages of the second.
In the first event, Toffolo was booked for diving after he seemed to be clipped by Colback, the second as Lewis O’Brien tangled with Max Lowe in the penalty area. Again, though, referee Jon Moss was not interested.
‘Forest will be a credit to the Premier League’
Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce on Sky Sports Football:
“Forest will be a massive credit to the Premier League next season. Credit to Huddersfield, but over 90 minutes the better side won.
“The atmosphere inside the stadium was incredible. I never played in a Forest team at Wembley with this type of atmosphere. You can see what it means to this football club. They have waited so long for this. I’m very proud of their achievement.
“On a one-off occasion this is a wonderful way of getting promoted, especially with the way Forest have done it with their history. This is now the manager and player’s job to create the next chapter of history at the club.”
Worrall: I’m proud of everyone
Nottingham Forest captain Joe Worrall on Sky Sports Football:
“I’m just so proud of the players, of the staff, the fans. We’ve been fantastic all season and were really unlucky not to go up automatically, in my opinion. We’ve played with honesty and we play the right way.
“We’ve been really good, and it’s not just this season – I’m not saying we’ve been good in the past seasons because we’ve been sh ** e – but it has been a long time coming. This club “has not been in the top flight for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of good people come and go, who have all added to this football club. It’s such an honor to captain Forest.”
The fixtures for the 2022/23 Premier League season will be released on Thursday, June 16. The EFL fixtures will be on Thursday, June 23. You can follow both days of announcements across Sky Sports.