Brentford reach Premier League after Championship play-off win – bagging £178m payday – in Wembley win against Swansea

BRENTFORD’S promotion to the Premier League at Wembley is the stuff of fairytale.

It is why we love our national game.

This club has risen from League Two to the Premier League in the space of 12 years with a prudent data-driven approach and are an example to every EFL club how to live the dream.

They are even owned by one of their fans – businessman Matthew Benham, who took over the club nine years ago.

If any team deserves to be the 50th to dine out on English football’s top table, it is the Bees.

To have suffered NINE play-off heartaches in all their previous attempts, they finally landed the biggest prize that was on offer yesterday.

Forget the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea, no match in world football offers a bigger financial reward than winning the Championship play-off final, which is now believed to be worth £178MILLION.

First-half goals – a 10th-minute penalty from Ivan Toney and 20th-minute second from Emiliano Marcondes –finally landed the Bees their honey.

The majority of Brentford fans have still not seen their team play since last February at their old Griffin Park home.

Fingers crossed the Covid vaccine programme will mean they will all be back watching their team take on the likes of tonight’s European champions at their brand new Brentford Community Stadium next season.

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Both the English and Welsh national anthems were sung before kick-off.
God Save The Queen and The Land of my Fathers were sung from the terraces with all the passion and emotion we have missed from fans over the past year.

Brentford opted to play in the home strip of red and white shirts with black shorts – despite the fact NO team had ever got promoted in the play-offs in 32 previous attempts.

Thomas Frank said it was a day to make history and put to bed all the heartache of the past.

Last season their famed BMW frontline of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins could not get going.

But the only remaining piece of the deadly trio that remains at the club – Mbeumo – was right up for this one and he ripped Swansea apart by helping the Bees race into a 2-0 lead after just 20 minutes.

The French ace was on to a superb defence-splitting pass from Sergi Canos and was sent crashing by keeper Freddie Woodman.

Ivan Toney – Watkins’ replacement – stepped up with his trademark one-step penalty to crash the ball past the on-loan Newcastle stopper to give the Bees a 10th-minute opener.

That was his 33rd goal of the season.

And the Bees ruthlessly doubled their lead with a classic breakaway movement.

Vitaly Janelt won possession back from Swansea on the edge of his box before releasing Mbeumo, who charged 50 yards down the pitch.

He opted to switch the ball left for Mads Roerslev and the Dane set up Emiliano Marcondes to crash the ball past Woodman.

The Swans were shell-shocked and Toney almost had the game wrapped up as he crashed a thunderous volley that thumped the crossbar and bounced on the goalline.

It was a case of the boot being on the other foot for Swansea. The last time they were in a Championship play-off final 10 years ago they raced into a 3-0 lead against Reading as they eventually booked their place in the Premier League with a 4-2 win.

Swansea barely laid a glove on their opponents but should have pulled one back early in the second half.

Connor Roberts sent over a cross and Andre Ayew somehow sent a header wide with just David Raya to beat.

The Welshmen were much improved and Jamal Lowe had a chance but shot high and wide.

And the Swans striker – who grew up only 15 minutes from Wembley – flashed another effort just wide.

You sensed if Swansea could just get a foothold into the game by pulling one back, nerves and doubts might start to spread through the Brentford team.

Yet it was the Bees who almost wrapped things up when defender Ethan Pinnock was certain to add a third but his shot was blocked by his own centre-half Pontus Jansson.

Any chances of Swansea getting back into it were ruined by the red card shown to Jay Fulton.

At first glance his tackle was reckless but replays showed that he inadvertently caught Mathias Jensen on the heel and lost his footing to end up with both his feet off the ground.

The Swans could only pump the ball long in a desperate attempt to try to force something but Toney almost added a third but his effort was blocked by Jake Bidwell.

Frank famously promised me last year he would have a pint in every pub remaining on the corners of Griffin Park if the club got promoted.

And he confirmed it again before this final.

Get yourself down to The Griffin, Thomas.

Somehow I think you will be having more than one – and you won’t have to buy a single pint. Cheers!

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