Brentford was promoted to the Premier League for the first time in 74 years on Saturday as they beat Swansea 2-0 in a Championship play-off final worth around £ 180million ($ 255million ) to the winners.
Thomas Frank’s side completed their magical rise with first-half goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes at Wembley.
Jay Fulton of Swansea was sent off midway through the second half to put the result beyond doubt in what is widely considered to be football’s most lucrative game, mainly due to the broadcast income that Premier League clubs have receive.
After decades stuck in the darkness of the lower leagues, old-fashioned Brentford will be one of the smallest clubs to ever play at the highest level.
In their second season at the new Brentford Community Stadium, the Bees will host Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool in West London.
The riches gained from the victory will be transformative for Brentford, who has finally erased the painful memories of his miserable play-off past.
Defeated by Fulham in the Championship final last season, Brentford had failed to secure promotion in all of his nine play-offs heading into this season.
No team had lost more playoff finals than the Brentford Four, but Frank had insisted bad omens wouldn’t count for nothing.
The Bees boss got it right when he became the first Danish coach to win promotion to the Football League.
“I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s been such a long journey, ”Frank said before his players slammed into the interview to toss him in the air in celebration.
“This group of players is incredible. Everyone played a major role, ”added Frank when he got back on his feet.
“The feeling was calm and relaxed and ready to be ruthless.
“Right now I want to get drunk and worry about the Premier League tomorrow! “
Brentford’s rise has captured the imaginations of the neutrals after spending 59 of 60 seasons in the third or fourth tier before reaching the championship in 2014.
# photo1 They have gone way beyond their traditional status thanks to innovative owner Matthew Benham.
Benham has introduced an analysis-influenced approach overseen by two football managers, ensuring the club make the most of their resources, which are meager compared to the richest teams in the league.
– Prolific Toney –
Rightly, it was the Championship’s top scorer, Toney, who put Brentford on the elite path for the first time since 1947.
Toney, signed third at Peterborough last year, sent Brentford back to third despite star strikers Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma’s end-of-season sales at Aston Villa and West Ham respectively.
Now the 25-year-old, rejected by Newcastle in his youth, will have the chance to show he can thrive in the Premier League.
Six members of the Brentford squad started last season’s final and they quickly took the initiative in the 10th minute.
Bryan Mbeumo made a smart run behind Swansea’s defense to reach Sergi Canos’ superb pass into the penalty area, prompting Freddie Woodman to leave his line and crash into the Brentford forward.
Referee Chris Kavanagh pointed the spot and Toney stepped in to score the penalty in front of Woodman for his 33rd goal of the season.
Brentford was not going to sit on their lead and a dazzling counterattack produced their second goal in the 20th minute.
Coming out of their own penalty area, Frank’s men caught Swansea out of position as Mbeumo chose Mads Roerslev’s overlap.
Roerslev’s cross was perfectly measured for Marcondes and he guided a clinical finish ahead of Woodman at 12 meters.
Toney was inches from his second goal moments later when his diving volley hit the bar and bounced off the line.
Swansea, shocked by Shell, failed to manage a single shot on target in the entire game.
And when Fulton saw red in the 65th minute for a gross foul on Mathias Jensen, it was only a matter of time before Brentford could start his promotion party.
© 2021 AFP