It's not quite chiasmus, but there's a pleasing symmetry between this title and my second last. Merge them, and you get the composite title Bristol City 4 Crystal Palace 2. It could just as easily have said Crystal Palace 2 shit goals from defensive errors, Bristol City 4 belters. 4 being higher than 2, we win.
It could all have gone horribly wrong. After dominating the first half, we'd conceded a stupid goal from a poor headed clearance, and they were much better after the break. It took a penalty miss from their top striker to get us to extra time. We did hit the bar twice, mind. I wouldn't want you to go underestimating us.
For all my American readers, extra time is just like overtime, and the scores are totalled over the two games. We'd won 2-1 at their ground, which combined with their 1-0 after ninety minutes made it 2-2. In any other competition, we'd have gone through on the away goals rule, where the team who's scored the most goals at the other teams ground wins, but rather annoyingly that rule doesn't apply in the playoffs.
I say annoyingly, but actually it gave us the opportunity to witness two brilliant goals. Firstly Lee Trundle scored another cracker, from a loose ball on the edge of the box. This was just before the turnaround (15 minutes each way in extra time). Then Michael McIndoe hit a great one from a well worked free kick. That's seven goals in three games, and six of them wondergoals.
After that Palace lost heart, and we just played out time. Our fans were briefly confused about how many we were winning by, and decided to ask the opposing manager if he knew. Warnock, what's the score? Warnock, Warnock, what's the score? I'm fairly certain he knew, but he wasn't letting on.
The whole experience was unknown territory for Neil Warnock, who'd won all his previous playoff semi-finals. Mind you, he'd never had to play us before. He also lost the Dignity and Composure as a Playoff Manager in a Press Conference to Gary Johnson, by a shocking margin. Yes, that's our Gary Johnson. We love him, you know.
And boo! to the last bus, which left so soon after full time I didn't have time for a drink. I had to come home instead, and settle for some cans of Guinness and a bag of Minstrels on my own instead. The chocolates, you understand. I don't like troubadours any more than the next man, but I'd never be so needlessly cruel.
So what now? Now we play one more game, at Wembley, against Hull or Watford. Hull won 2-0 in the first leg at Watford, so it's probably them, but we find out tonight. The winner plays in the Premiership next season, the loser stays in the Championship. Promotion is generally reckoned to be worth about £60million in revenue, making the playoff final the biggest game in world football, when considered from a financial point of view.
Incidentally, did you know the Championship gets more spectators every season than the top league in Italy? OK, there's 24 teams as opposed to 20, so 552 games against 380, but even so that's a remarkable fact, and testimony to the popularity of football beyond the world of oil gangsters and galacticos.
And it says something about City as well. Most weeks we get 15,000 or so, and we're playing teams whose home gates are 20-25,000. So everything we've achieved has been done against teams with much bigger budgets than ours. Hooray, hooray, hooray for us. Especially, hooray for Gary Johnson, the best thing that's ever happened to City. How do we feel about him? I think you know.