Bees reach play-off final after thrilling Griffin Park finale
Brentford 3 Swansea 1
(Brentford win 3-2 on aggregate)
Brentford are through to the Championship play-off final after overcoming a first-leg deficit in a thrilling final match at Griffin Park.
They impressively overhauled a single-goal reverse against Swansea City from the first leg, with early goals by Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes, followed by another by Bryan Mbuemo. Rhian Brewster then netted for the Swans.
The Bees now look forward to a date at Wembley next Tuesday, with a place in the Premier League at stake.
They will face either west London rivals Fulham or Cardiff City, who conclude the remaining play-off semi-final at Craven Cottage on Thursday.
Brentford, having lost their previous three games, putting their promotion credentials in doubt, were under pressure to perform.
Fortunately, the players heeded the message by boss Thomas Frank right from the beginning and got off to the best possible start, wiping out the Welsh side’s advantage in only 11 minutes.
Watkins burst through from Mathias Jensen’s low pass through the Swans’ central defence to calmly slot under keeper Erwin Mulder for his 26th goal of the season.
Just five minutes later, with Swansea still reeling, the Bees doubled their lead.
Marcondes was alert to flash a header into the corner of the net from a pinpoint cross by Said Benrahma midway inside the Swansea half.
Benrahma could have even added a third for the hosts. The Algerian cracked the post a with low shot in the 19th minute, immediately after David Raya pulled off a smart stop by Swansea midfielder Conor Gallagher at the other end.
Following a dominant opening half by Brentford, they added a precious third goal just a minute after the break.
Mbuemo superbly steered the ball home from around six yards out following an impressive run and cross by Rico Henry on the left.
Raya was called into action on a rare Swansea counter-attack, but the Spaniard turned over Connor Roberts’ powerful angled shot.
However, just when Brentford looked safe to see out the tie in relative comfort, they allowed the Swans a lifeline.
In the 78th minute a glaring lack of control by Bees captain Pontus Jansson allowed Brewster to nip into the penalty area to expertly lob over Raya.
Although Swansea’s efforts became increasingly frantic, the Bees held on and deservedly booked their spot at Wembley.
Brentford: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Jansson, Dalsgaard, Norgaard, Jensen, Marcondes (Dasilva 77), Benrahma, Watkins, Mbuemo (Canos 77)