The opportunity for Premier League promotion was Nottingham Forest's to lose and unfortunately for the Reds, they squandered it spectacularly.
Going into the final day of the Championship season, Forest were sitting relatively pretty in the sixth and final play-off spot.
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With a three-point lead and a five-goal cushion over seventh-placed Swansea, only a disaster was going to prevent manager Sabri Lamouchi's side booking their spot in the Championship play-off race.
On a drama-charged final day with numerous twists and turns, however, it was a disastrous end to the season for Forest.
With rivals Cardiff comfortable in claiming their play-off place, Swansea City needed to beat 10-man Reading, while requiring Forest to lose to Stoke City, along with a five-goal swing.
Improbably, the Swans stole sixth place after winning 4-1 - Wayne Routledge heading in his second goal in the 91st minute.
That scoreline left Forest – 3-1 down at home to Stoke at the time – needing to score, but instead they conceded, their promotion bid derailing in spectacular fashion as Nuno da Costa stabbed into his own net in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
The 4-1 defeat meant Forest – without a win since July 1 – finished seventh.
Forest's epic choke left football fans in a state of disbelief on social media.
I’ve never seen a team choke as badly as Nottingham Forest have done here 😂— hemanth 🌐 (@kritimant) July 22, 2020
Nottingham Forest.....that's a choke of epic proportions!! 😮— I'm Spurtacus (@SwainySpurs) July 22, 2020
I'm devastated. I'm completely speechless. I can’t believe what I have just seen. One of the worst days of my life.— José Antonio Joaristi (@Jose_J95) July 23, 2020
Nottingham forest have done one of the biggest bottles ever.
That is one hell of choke from Nottingham Forest 😱😂— Ben (@WarnesBen) July 22, 2020
Hey, Nottingham Forest.. do you fancy bottling the play offs? https://t.co/nnSoR7z7Jo— Fantasy Hub (@FantasyFootyHub) July 22, 2020
Nottingham Forest with the choke job of the century. God damnit.— Dylan (19* TIMES 🏆) (@DillyDilly97) July 22, 2020
Has to be one of the biggest bottles in football history from Nottingham Forest. How on earth have they blown the play off?— James Hall (@James_Hall92) July 22, 2020
nottingham forest were in the top 6 from boxing day until the 91st minute of the season tonight. finished 7th.— oli (@gorn__) July 22, 2020
Baggies seal promotion in dramatic finale
West Brom clinched the second automatic promotion place in the Championship as Wigan Athletic's spirited survival bid failed.
After both West Brom and Brentford were beaten at the weekend, the Baggies only needed to match the third-placed side's result to seal a return to the Premier League after two seasons away in England's second tier.
A seemingly straightforward home fixture against QPR did not go entirely to plan for West Brom, but a 2-2 draw took them up as Brentford went down 2-1 to Barnsley on Wednesday.
That result saw Barnsley stay up, but Wigan could not join them as they drew 1-1 with Fulham – who could have been promoted with a win – and went down due to a looming 12-point deduction.
Charlton Athletic and Hull City were also demoted, while there was a similarly chaotic finish in the play-off race.
Both West Brom and Brentford lost their nerve with two matches of the campaign remaining, but a return of just a single point from a pair of games proved enough for the Baggies.
West Brom trailed to Ryan Manning's strike before turning the match on its head with goals either side of half-time through Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson, only for Eberechi Eze to equalise just past the hour-mark.
It mattered not, though, as Brentford failed to capitalise, instead losing again.
Josh Dasilva cancelled out Callum Styles' opener for Barnsley, but as Brentford pushed for a precious winner, Clarke Oduor tapped in at the other end in the 91st minute.