Hull back in the Premier League
© Getty Images

Hull City clinched automatic promotion to the Premier League in sensational fashion after a 2-2 draw against Cardiff on a dramatic final day of action in the English second tier on Saturday.

Steve Bruce's side knew they would return to the English top-flight after a three-year absence if they matched or bettered third placed Watford's result.

They did just that - Watford losing 2-1 to Leeds United - to secure a lucrative promotion worth an estimated £120m, but only after an astonishing finale containing agonising twists and turns for both clubs.

"I have been around the block and this was wonderful entertainment, but Jesus Christ, it's put us through the ringer," Bruce told Sky Sports. "I have said for weeks there would be twists and turns, but I have never experienced anything like the last 10 or 15 minutes. It took guts for us. Overall we deserved it. The ref made an unbelievable decision to give Cardiff a penalty but it's our day."

The Tigers looked in trouble when Cardiff sent on former Hull striker Fraizer Campbell at half-time and he took just four minutes to haunt his old club as he raced onto a through-ball and slotted home. That could have sapped the spirits of nervy Hull, but German forward Nick Proschwitz transformed the atmosphere when he poked in the equaliser in the 58th minute.

Suddenly Hull had their tails up and they took the lead in the 63rd minute when Paul McShane bundled home from a corner. There was more drama in the final moments however as Proschwitz squandered a chance to seal promotion when he missed a 90th minute penalty.

Then seconds later Cardiff were awarded a spot-kick of their own and Nicky Maynard drilled home to give Watford a lifeline. Hull fans poured onto the pitch, but they and their players were forced to find televisions to watch the last minutes of the Watford match before their promotion was confirmed.