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Report: Buzzing Brentford promoted to the Premier League

29 May 2021

Brentford broke their Play-Off hoodoo to earn promotion to the top flight for the first time since 1946/47, beating 10-man Swansea City 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship Final at Wembley.

First-half goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes saw the Bees build a two-goal lead, as one of the division's meanest defences was carved open twice in the opening 20 minutes. Swansea's task was made even more difficult after the break, as Jay Fulton was dismissed for fouling Mathias Jensen with 25 minutes remaining. 

Brentford - who lost out to local rivals Fulham in the 2020 Final - looked comfortable thereafter, seeing out victory to claim a place in the Premier League for the 2021/22 season.

In front of 12,000 noisy supporters and under the famous arch at a sun-soaked Wembley, the opening exchanges were evenly matched, with Swansea captain Matt Grimes receiving an early booking for a poor challenge on Brentford's Sergi Canos. 

Just three minutes later, the Bees were given a golden opportunity to take the lead, as Freddie Woodman brought down Bryan Mbeumo inside the Swansea area, allowing Toney - as he has so often this season - to find the net from 12 yards and send the East End of Wembley wild. It was the striker's 33rd goal in what had already been a record-breaking season at Championship level, and his most important yet. 

Having struck first, the Bees were in the ascendancy, and continued to come forward in search of a second, with the Swans struggling to test David Raya. And as Steve Cooper's men looked to to capitalise on a free-kick in a dangerous position, Brentford broke away at pace and quickly claimed a second. A swift move which started with Mbeumo ended with the ball being teed up for Marcondes inside the area, and the midfielder did the rest to put Brentford in dreamland.

With Swansea reeling, Brentford might have even had a third almost immediately after the restart, as Toney's spectacular 20-yard volley crashed off the underside off the crossbar but didn't cross the line. Swansea then looked to respond with half an hour on the clock, as a ball over the top threatened to get the better of the Brentford defence, but Thomas Frank's men dealt with the danger to preserve their two-goal cushion. 

As the game approached half-time, Marc Guehi gifted Brentford another chance to extend their lead as Mbeumo raced onto the defender's headed back-pass but couldn't take advantage after spinning and shooting tamely at goal. Nonetheless, the Bees had a healthy scoreline to take into the break.

Half-time: Brentford 2-0 Swansea City

Swansea came out fighting and had a glorious opportunity to halve the deficit just 90 seconds after the restart as Andre Ayew met Connor Roberts' superb cross, but couldn't direct his header on target. Jamal Lowe then evaded two challenges inside the Brentford half and, despite his curling effort going high and wide, it was another positive sign from the Welsh side.  

The opening 10 minutes of the second period saw Swansea have 65 per cent of the possession as Cooper's men sought a response, and Lowe found himself in another good position on 58 minutes. Much like Mbeumo in the first half, though, his quick spin and strike inside the box didn't trouble the goalkeeper. 

Brentford provided a reminder of their attacking abilities just after the hour mark, as Ethan Pinnock hammered an effort towards goal after the ball had fallen to him from a corner, but it struck fellow defender and team-mate Pontus Jansson before going wide. With time beginning to run out, Swansea made two changes, introducing Liam Cullen and Yan Dhanda from the bench.

Things would be about to go from bad to worse for the Swansea, however. With two players chasing down a loose ball just outside the Brentford area, Fulton was shown a straight red card for fouling Jensen, giving Brentford a one-man advantage for the last 25 minutes of the match. 

Chances were few and far between following the flashpoint with the vocal Brentford following sensing victory, though they were almost celebrating a second Toney goal with nine minutes remaining, only for the striker to be denied by a last-ditch block inside the area.

It was to be the last of the goalmouth action at Wembley, as Brentford closed out a hard-earned win, one which will undoubtedly be remembered by those associated with the club for many years to come. 

Full-time: Brentford 2-0 Swansea City


Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson (C) (Reid 79'), Pinnock, Roerslev, Janelt (Ghoddos 73'), Jensen, Marcondes (Bidstrup 90+2), Canos (Forss 73'), Mbeumo, Toney.
Unused subs: Daniels, Norgaard, Fosu, Goode, Stevens.
Scorers: Toney 10' (pen), Marcondes (20')
Swansea City: Woodman, Naughton (Cullen 61'), Cabango, Guehi, Bidwell (Manning 83'), Fulton, Grimes (C), Hourihane (Dhanda 63'), Roberts, Ayew, Lowe.
Unused subs: Hamer, Bennett, Smith, Whittaker, Latibeaudiere, Freeman. 
Sent off: Fulton (65')

Attendance: 11,689

Man of the Match: Marcondes

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