Brentford managed to right the wrongs of last year’s Championship play-off final and secure promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Swansea City at Wembley.
The Bees were cruelly beaten by Fulham in last year’s final and much had been made of their strength of character going into this game. However, they were the better team from start to finish and first-half goals from the talismanic Ivan Toney and then from Emiliano Marcondes ensured they will play in the top flight of English football for the first time since 1947.
Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes Send Brentford to Premier League
Early Goals Set Bees on Their Way
In a well-battled first half, Swansea were perhaps lucky to continue with ten men from as early as the fifth minute when Matt Grimes lunged in on Sergi Canos. The midfielder was only shown a yellow for his tackle, however.
It took all of just eight minutes for Brentford to take the lead, though. A ball forward towards Toney got away from him, but Bryan Mbeumo instead took up possession and was clattered by Freddie Woodman as he attempted to go around him. Toney then stepped up to slot home his 33rd goal of the season in his trademark penalty style.
As if that wasn’t a bad enough start for the Swans, Brentford doubled their lead with a brilliant counter-attacking goal after 20 minutes. In a similar fashion to the goal the Bees conceded in the second leg of their play-off semi-final against Bournemouth, Mbeumo led the breakaway and eventually teed up Mads Roerslev, who played a delightful ball across the box for Emiliano to smash low into the net.
Toney almost made it an incredible 34 for the season just minutes after Emiliano’s goal, but he saw his stunning half volley from outside the area bounce off the underside of the bar and land inches the wrong side of the line.
Swansea’s only real reply of the half came from the left boot of Conor Hourihane. The Aston Villa loanee found the net in the league game in South Wales from a similar position, standing over a free-kick wide on the right-hand side. His delivery almost got the better of David Raya once again, but the goalkeeper did just enough to force Andre Ayew to head the ball onto the top of the crossbar and over.
Fulton Dismissal Ends Swansea’s Hopes
In a quieter second half, Swansea were perhaps doing more of the pushing goalwards while Brentford sat back on their two-goal lead and soaked up the pressure.
Thomas Frank’s side, though, stood firm and were able to keep the Swans at bay. Even when they did manage an effort on goal, there was no trouble for Raya in the Bees net. Jamal Lowe came the closest when he was allowed to turn in the area, but his effort flashed across goal and went harmlessly out of play.
Any hope of Swansea getting back into the game was vanquished when Jay Fulton was shown a straight red card for a challenge from behind on Mathias Jensen. The pair were chasing a loose ball and though Fulton could perhaps blame the fact that he lost his footing, the challenge was still there as he went to ground and his studs came up the back of Jensen’s leg, leaving the referee with little choice.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the closing stages of the game, aside from Emiliano going close with a free-kick, but it still wasn’t enough to trouble Woodman in the Swansea net.
Instead, Brentford comfortable held out in the final minutes and will take their place among the English elite next season as a reward.