May 6 (Reuters) - Cardiff City secured promotion to the Premier League after a goalless draw with Reading on Sunday helped them clinch second place in the second tier Championship on the final day of the campaign.
Fulham, who were in contention for automatic promotion to the top-flight, slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City to finish third.
That result ended Fulham’s 23-match unbeaten run in the Championship and forced them to settle for a playoff spot.
Cardiff finished with 90 points, two points ahead of Fulham but nine adrift of champions Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Birmingham’s win helped them avoid relegation for the second successive campaign but there was misery for Burton Albion and Barnsley, who dropped into League One after losing 2-1 to Preston North End and 4-1 to Derby County respectively.
Bolton Wanderers narrowly avoided the drop after staging a comeback in the closing minutes to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2.
Champions Wolves fell to a shock 3-0 defeat at basement side Sunderland, whose relegation to the third tier was confirmed last month.
Fulham join Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby County in the playoffs, which kick off on May 11. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)