LONDON – London club Brentford sealed their place amongst the top flight for the first time in 74 years thanks to a dominant 2-0 win over Swansea City in the Championship playoff final on Saturday (May 29).
Ivan Toney’s early penalty and a goal on the counter-attack by Emiliano Marcondes put Brentford in command with only 20 minutes on the clock and they were rarely threatened.
Victory for Brentford ended a run of nine playoff failures, including in last season’s final, and will earn them something in the region of £170 million (S$320 million) in Premier League income.
The high stakes of what is regarded as the richest game in world club football appeared to stifle Swansea, who finished fourth in the regular season to Brentford’s third, and they were reeling after five minutes at Wembley.
Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo was fouled by Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and Toney coolly dispatched the penalty for his 33rd goal of an incredible first season with Brentford.
The 5,000 or so Brentford fans who made the short trip were ecstatic in the 20th minute when Mbeumo accelerated down the left before waiting for support from the overlapping Mads Roerslev who picked out Marcondes to fire home.
Swansea, who were relegated in 2018 after seven seasons in the Premier League, attempted to apply some pressure and things might have been different had Andre Ayew managed to direct his diving header on target in the 48th minute.
But when they had Jay Fulton sent off for a second booking after 65 minutes, it sealed their fate.
The final whistle sparked jubilation for Thomas Frank and his players and the fans of the club who can now dream of being part of the elite next season.