Football News

‘Bielsa-inspired’ Brentford become Premier League’s No.50 by beating Swansea in Championship play-off final

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:35, 29 May 2021

Brentford became the 50th different club to call themselves a Premier League side following a 2-0 success against Swansea City at Wembley this afternoon.

By turning out today at the home of English football, Thomas Frank’s men had equalled last season’s feat of playing in the Championship play-off final. But they weren’t going to let this opportunity pass them by, with £170m at stake in football’s most lucrative match.

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In recent years, those who have come up have either gone straight back down or become a surprise package. Wolves and most recently Leeds United are perfect examples of the latter. Brentford defender Pontus Jansson, who joined from Elland Road in 2019. now feels vindicated in leaving and believes the spirit of his former boss runs through where he is now.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m so proud. It’s been a hard year but we’re finally there,” he told Sky Sports.

“This year we had a very strong group and we believed in it from day one. A lot of Leeds fans have been behind me and all of Brentford this season. I could go home to Sweden and retire now as this is what I have dreamed of. I won’t though!

“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.”

The Bees, who finished third in the regular season (four points behind runners-up Watford), proved too much for their Welsh rivals and raced into an unassailable half-time lead. Ivan Toney was spot on from 12 yards — maintaining his 100% record this season (11/11) — before Emiliano Marcondes finished off a swift counter-attack.

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Knowing a Swansea onslaught was coming in the final 45 minutes, they held firm and saw their opposition reduced to ten men just after the hour mark when Jay Fulton was shown a straight red after sliding into Mathias Jensen from behind. This moment of madness made life easier for Brentford, who can now look forward to a first top-flight appearance since 1947 (the first league season after World War II).

It consequently means they will be rubbing shoulders with Manchester City and Liverpool as well as Chelsea, subsequently keeping the West London derby alive in England’s top division next season after Fulham, who denied Brentford a year ago, were demoted. Once the celebrations die down, the onus will fall onto upper-management, who must be aware of the challenge that awaits.

Brentford, whose record signing is acquiring the services of Toney from Peterborough for a reported £5m with add-ons last summer, will be hoping their fate is not an immediate return to second tier football.

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