Brentford combat off Swansea to attain play-off ultimate in Griffin Park swansong



Nighttime for shifting on. For shedding baggage, and laying the previous to rest. On the night time Brentford stated their farewells to Griffin Park, they got here nearer to top-flight soccer than they have carried out at any factor when you consider that 1947.

Brentford combat off Swansea to attain play-off ultimate in Griffin Park swansong

They did so with a glowing cutting-edge manufacturer of soccer pretty at odds with the weathered girders and sardine seats of their ancient home.

Fulham or Cardiff lie in wait at an abandoned Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, the ultimate fixture in this strangest of seasons, and if Brentford are to destroy their hoodoo of eight successive play-off screw-ups, they can ask for few higher platforms. Few higher front-threes than Saïd Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Bryan Mbeumo. Few better midfield conductors than Mathias Jensen, who amid the mayhem and flying tackles ran this sport on strings.

Few higher proprietors than the visionary Matthew Benham. Few higher managers than Thomas Frank, who as properly as instilling an elastic, spine tingling, relentlessly percussive fashion of play has additionally compelled Brentford to dream big, to write a new chapter in a cherished history.

Of course, breaking into the world’s richest league requires greater than a healthful experience of predestination. You want to go through and you want to sweat, and on a heat night, each, these aspects performed their phase in an arrestingly bodily encounter. Frank had promised in the buildup he would lift his exhausted gamers off the pitch at the quit if necessary, and in a stunning, full-throttle opening 15 minutes that grew to become the tie on its head, his group had been as exact as his word.

It began, as so many of Brentford’s strikes do, from the very back: the goalkeeper David Raya discovering Jensen, the Denmark Under-21 midfielder on the fringes of the full team. All night time Jensen pulled Swansea this way and that, and right here he performed the type of defence splitting omit – utterly 60 yards, all alongside the ground, straight down the center – that you desired to watch once more and again. It was once a skip with its very own not possible choreography, proper down to the perfectly-timed run of Watkins, who completed with an assassin’s cool for his twenty sixth aim of the season.

Perhaps Swansea have been a little concussed’ via the brutal, geometric coldness of that goal. Certainly, that would provide an explanation for the non-permanent loss of shielding structure that allowed Benrahma to boost to the area of their vicinity simply moments later. As Swansea’s midfield collapsed on to the again three like a boxer sinking into the lethal embody of the ropes, Benrahma had all the time in the world to flop a scrumptious go on to the head of Emiliano Marcondes. In the area of 4 minutes Brentford had been 2-0 up and Swansea’s one-goal cushion had become into an ejector seat.

The hazardous Benrahma used to be establishing to develop into the game, taking part in a string of first-rate openings, at one factor clattering the interior of a put up after a magical little trade with Jensen.

Swansea’s excellent threat got here via Conor Gallagher, and as half time approached they had simply about managed to stem the bleeding. However, inside barely a minute of the restart, Brentford hit them again: Jensen again, releasing Rico Henry (reprieved from suspension after being despatched off in the first leg), crossing for Mbeumo to volley domestic with authority and swagger.

With 12 minutes to go, Pontus Jansson’s horrible fluffed clearance was once punished’ by means of a marvellous bit of suggestion from Rhian Brewster, lifting the ball over the advancing Raya from 30 yards. Now, as Swansea threw themselves into one final effort, Brentford’s defence would step up. Raya made an amazing keep from Connor Roberts. Christian Norgaard made two or three fundamental clearances in a row. In addition, for all the miles in the legs, the one hundred and one fits these two facets had already dragged themselves thru this season, remarkably the remaining tiers of the sport have been simply as severe and spellbinding as the first.

A hanging and unfamiliar sound stuffed the air in the minutes after full-time. Fans pouring out of the pubs and the terraced homes into Braemar Road, gathering backyard the floor and giving the ancient vicinity a raucous send-off. There is discuss of a desirable farewell at some point, possibly even a socially distanced exhibition game. However, in a sense, this was once the best way for it to end. The stands will quickly be houses. A sparkling new chapel awaits simply one give up up the line at Kew Bridge.

Time, in extra senses than one, for Brentford to take the subsequent step.

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