It was a promotion party for Brentford at Wembley on Sunday as they swept aside 10-man Swansea to book their place in the English Premier League next season.
In what as billed as the richest game in club football, favourites Brentford roared out of the blocks and had Swansea reeling thanks to a double-whammy inside 20 minutes. With 10 minutes on the clock, Ivan Toney converted from the penalty spot after Freddie Woodman upended Bryan Mbeumo, and Emiliano Marcondes struck on the break to shatter Swansea’s dreams a further 10 minutes later.
After a valiant effort in the second half to get back in the game — Andre Ayew missing an absolute sitter, heading wide of an open goal — Jay Fulton was sent off harshly to end the match as a competition. He seemed to inadvertently catch a stud inside the boot of Mathias Jensen and was shown a straight red.
Brentford were in cruise control after that and — when the final whistle went — the Bees celebrated like they had won the Champions League. Youthful coach Thomas Frank is already making a name for himself and the Dane will be hot property next season if he can get them off to a flier.
“I’m completely empty right now. I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s been such a long journey,” he said. “This group of players is incredible. Everyone has played a major part in this.”
Emotions were high as Brentford hero Ivan Tony spoke to Sky Sports. “It’s crazy. I’ve got no words, my voice is going. It’s the best dressing room I’ve been in, I’ve loved every minute of it,” he said. I’m in the Premier League with the best bunch of boys I could ever dream of. I’m a Premier League striker now and I can’t wait to score goals there.”
Defender Pontus Jansson, who moved from Premier League side Leeds last season, added: “It’s unbelievable, I’m so proud. It’s been a hard year but we’re finally there. This year we had a very strong group and we believed in it from day one. A lot of people questioned my move here but I saw something in Brentford and I brought things here that I learned from Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds. I brought his ideas here with me.”
It was another landmark for Brentford as they became the 50th team to play in the Premier League.
Later on, Brentford will be watching the final of Europe’s flagship tournament between Manchester City and Chelsea in an all-English clash in Porto. As they took in the drama, the realisation of the daunting task that really awaits them next season will sink in. The bonus of up to 140 million quid for promotion to the richest league in football will soften that blow. “We will party tonight and worry about the Premier League tomorrow,” said Frank.