One half of this arena was a picture of frustration, the other pure disbelief: for the first time since 1947, Brentford will play at the pinnacle of English football. There were tears of joy in the stands and on the field, with Mathias Jensen among those who got emotional. Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo rushed inside to get their phones to share the moment, and Swansea was already empty when Henrik Dalsgaard led his teammates to collect the winners' medals.
Half an hour after the final whistle, Emiliano Marcondes and Jensen pretended to lift a giant. 12 A sea of red and white replica of the Championship playoff final trophy before the sun was drowned. Dalsgaard and Brentford captain Pontus Jansson ambushed Thomas Frank in the middle of the interview before giving his head coach the usual congratulatory blows. “I just want to get really drunk right now and we can think of the Premier League tomorrow,” Frank said as the interview resumed a few minutes later. Brentford owner and lifelong fan Matthew Benham, fives on the field. As the pyrotechnics skyrocketed behind the winners' podium, the players were guaranteed to get Peter Gilham wet, as Mr Brentford, who has been the club's matchday announcer since 1969.
After suffering a flurry of heartbreaking failures on the big stage – they finally conquered the playoffs. time to ask – this time Brentford made the promotion look like a breeze. Thanks to a nervous Toney penalty and a cool Marcondes strike, they were promoted to an early two-goal lead, and Swansea, impressed by the incident, made no response. When Jay Fulton was sent off in the middle of the second half, the Brentford fans decided to get the party started. No voodoo or hoodie can stop them now.
Swansea never stopped when captain Matt Grimes' rough challenge to Sergi Canós was an early indication of the anxiety consuming Steve Cooper's side. Four minutes later, Freddie Woodman panicked as the electrified Mbeumo, one of six players to start both this game and in last season's extra-time loss against Fulham, and began to advance forward, dodging Ben Cabango. Canós sliced the Swansea defense with a cynical reverse pass and stepped on a typically immobile Toney to send the spotlight, his 33rd first goal of the season.
Swansea swayed. Woodman made a pass and Cooper was cursing as Brentford moved towards the counterattack 02 minutes later. As soon as Mbeumo had a Brentford clearance within a few meters of his own half, Cooper returned to the distant bunker, pain etched on his face, possibly foretelling the outcome of his near-ending two-v-two scenario. Brentford moved forward, forcing Mbeumo to back up Swansea defender Kyle Naughton before waiting for the overlapping Mads Roerslev to appear to his left. Roerslev opted for the arrival of Marcondes, who completed a slippery break on the back post. Brentford assistant coach Brian Riemer nearly lost his pace during the celebrations, jumping from the billboards to jump to Frank.
Brentford had made that pitch their playing field and Toney came within centimeters, adding a magnificent third a minute later. He controlled a bouncing ball in his chest before letting it rip with a right foot kick that beat Woodman but shook the crossbar. Toney has gnawed at Swansea's young centre-back partnership, and Mbeumo has proven to be a constant threat. Naughton was lucky to evade the foul after losing a half-way battle, and Mbeumo rushed towards goal after catching an aimless Marc Guehi header, but was unable to generate any power on his shot after he moved away from his marker.
Brentford felt they needed one more penalty before the break when Vitaly Janelt's powerful shot slapped Jake Bidwell's left hand, but when referee Chris Kavanagh punished Toney for a backlog of foul. Toney could certainly add a third block, but as of late for Bidwell's smart block.
Swansea's supporters enthusiastically played the Welsh national anthem before kick-off, but their team fell bitterly. They stood up before halftime, André Ayew nodded to the roof of the net, and two minutes later Ayew approached again, inadvertently waved by Jansson from the bright diagonal of Connor Roberts.
The minute to play with is game over. It looked like Fulton had slipped and unwittingly attacked Jensen. The referee immediately reached into his back pocket. Fulton pulled his shirt over his face as he descended the tunnel and a Swansea supporter in the stands put both hands on his head. Brentford, on the other hand, enjoyed the disaster.