Brentford ends Premier League drought after league play-off triumph over Swansea
Brentford ended a more than seven-decade hiatus for England’s footballing elite after triumphing 2-0 over Swansea City in the Championship play-off final on Saturday, to seal their first-ever Premier League appearance.
First-half goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes were enough for Thomas Frank’s side to beat the Swans at Wembley Stadium and join Norwich and Watford at the high table in the domestic game from the season on next.
It ends a streak of nine consecutive play-offs over the past 30 years and ends a 74-year absence from the Premier League for the Bees, ahead of a crowd of 11,689 north London.
Brentford at the end of three quarters of a century
Bees fans feared the club, stripped of dynamo forward Ollie Watkins in the offseason and moved from the historic Griffin Park home, struggled to regain the top of third place last season.
Even after proving the skeptics wrong with back-to-back top-six rankings for the first time since being in Ligue 1 under Danish boss Frank, the specter of a final Wembley play-off loss to Fulham in overtime thanks to a double from Joe Bryan last summer still lingered in people’s minds.
But Toney’s early penalty and Marcondes’ close-range finish in the opening quarter gave them a lead they never seemed in the mood to surrender easily – and when Swansea boss, Steve Cooper, saw Jay Fulton sent off with a quarter of the game to go, fans were able to let their dreams turn into a bright new reality.
Bees evoke a magical PL milestone
Qualifying for the 2021-22 Premier League season, Brentford will now become the 50th club to compete in the competition since its inception in 1992-93.
The Bees are also the last team to compete in the old Premier League – the last in 1946-47 – and have returned to the renowned top flight, with 14 other clubs yet to make the jump and one now missing.
Swansea, meanwhile, will remain in the league for another year, three seasons after relegation after a seven-term peak between 2011 and 2018, in which they won the 2012-13 EFL Cup against Bradford City.