Brentford will play in the top flight next season for the first time in 74 years after beating Swansea 2-0 in the Championship play-off final.
Nine times Brentford has made the playoffs in their history and failed to progress, but this was the 10th lucky time for the Bees as they also banished the demons from the final defeat of the last year against Fulham.
Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes’ penalty set them on track with first-half goals at Wembley, to bring the West London club back to the Promised Land for the first time since 1947.
For Swansea, this is a second straight playoff loss, having also been beaten by Brentford in the semifinals last year. Insult added to injury for them in the second half as Jay Fulton was also sent off as they finished the game with 10 men. They will start a fourth season of the championship next season.
Brentford blows Swansea to Wembley
It was a fierce opening for Brentford, playing with the kind of intensity rarely seen in the opening minutes of what is usually the most edgy game on the football calendar. And nerves clearly got the better of Freddie Woodman as he rushed off his line to bring down Bryan Mbeumo – allowing Toney to open the scoring with his usual cool from the penalty spot after just 10 minutes. .
After 20 minutes, they doubled their lead. This one came from a lightning counterattack after a Swansea turn as Mbeumo ran half the length of the pitch before finding Mads Roerslev, and he pulled the ball out so Marcondes could shoot.
Swansea was shocked, and within a minute of a second the game would have been over had Toney’s thunderous effort from 20 yards hit the crossbar and entered, rather than bouncing right past the line and clearing himself.
However, they nearly recovered a goal within two minutes of the restart, as a brilliant Connor Roberts cross found Andre Ayew, who darted between center-backs but managed to clear the lead.
Any hope of a return was dashed in the 65th minute when Fulton was sacked after a bad challenge on Mathias Jensen, leaving the Swans dejected and the Bees in dreamland.
What the managers said …
Brentford Thomas Franc: “I’m completely empty right now. I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s been such a long journey. There have been ups and downs …
“This group of players is amazing. Everyone played a major role in that. Someone told me we needed two hands and 10 fingers to lift the trophy and we did that on our 10th attempt The feeling was calm and relaxed and ready to be ruthless We didn’t talk about last year We focused on that.
“Right now I want to get drunk and worry about the Premier League tomorrow!”
Swansea Steve cooper: “It’s a cup final, you want to win. One team wins, one team doesn’t and unfortunately we were the latter. I think we gave ourselves too much to do; we didn’t start the game well but when you do that you can’t give goals like we did, it ended up being the turning point for the result.
“We didn’t give up and you could see the response to a 2-0 loss was positive. I know we didn’t have too many threats on goal, but we looked to push. started the second half and if André was done with that [chance] who knows? And then the red card. I don’t know if it’s a red card or not, but there’s no way he tried it and it’s been an even bigger mountain to climb. “
Analysis: “Brentford unity is evident”
Don Goodman of Sky Sports:
“I think they have [got that added X-factor] and if you watch that game and you take Ivan Toney off that Brentford side and put him in the Swansea side, maybe it would have been a more balanced game. Likewise, Ethan Pinnock, who has been magnificent for Brentford.
“But, as far as Swansea is concerned, Brentford was more of a collective star quality than Swansea. I said before kick-off that for Swansea to be here was a remarkable effort on their part, but Brentford is one of them. those teams that you can’t help yourself but admire and you can’t help but love the way they play.
“They are in front, they want to attack, they are the top scorers of the last two seasons and I thought they had no luck not to go up last season, if I’m honest, but to then get over that heartache. against Fulham, it takes on a huge character. This unit that Ivan Toney was talking about is clear to everyone. “
Analysis: “Cooper needs more support from Swansea”
Don Goodman of Sky Sports:
“Swansea has a great coach there and I don’t think it will be long before he ends up in the Premier League anyway. Swansea is hoping it will be with them but for that to happen I think just that he will need a little more financial support and a little more support, he hasn’t really had the funds to work.
“Overall we talked at the top about what it was like a huge overtake. I don’t think anyone from Swansea should be ashamed, but they should be proud of what they did at the over the past two seasons with the manager almost forced to do the job with one arm tied behind his back due to the financial constraints Swansea finds himself in.
“So my hope for Swansea is that they can support Steve Cooper a bit more in the transfer market, knowing that they have a great coach who knows what it takes to at least get that far, and he probably has learned what to do. to go in the next meter. “
Man of the match: Emiliano Marcondes
He hasn’t always been a regular at Brentford, but Emiliano Marcondes has a knack for showing up in big moments, and that’s exactly what he did at Wembley.
His arrival for the second goal was first class and the most important moment of the game. From the second he hit the back of the net, Swansea had no way of getting back.
- Brentford claimed their first-ever playoff final victory, having lost each of their previous four attempts today (1997, 2002, 2013 and 2020). They will become the 50th different team to play in the Premier League and the 10th London team to do so.
- Swansea have failed to win a promotion in three of their last four play-off finals, with the Welsh side failing in three different divisions in that race – 1997 (4th tier), 2006 (3rd tier) and 2021 ( 2nd level).
- Next season Brentford will play high performance football for the first time since the 1946-1947 campaign; their 73 seasons since are the most different seasons played between the top-flight English campaigns.
- Brentford scored as many goals in the first 20 minutes at Wembley today as they did in their previous four combined finals (1997, 2002, 2013 and 2020), when it was the first time that a team scored twice in 20 minutes of play. a league play-off final since Norwich in 2015 (vs Middlesbrough).
Brentford will play in the Premier League for the 2021/22 season, which begins on Saturday August 14, while Swansea remains in the league, which begins a week earlier on Saturday August 7.