Heading into the second leg, one of the biggest worries from Brentford fans was that they’d simply roll over and accept defeat in the wake of their first leg loss to Swansea City. Alas, when it mattered the most, the Bees proved that they’ve still got a whole lot of fight left in them as they came back to beat the Swans and book their place in the 2020 Championship playoff final.
From the word go it was clear to see that Brentford wanted a good send off for Griffin Park, in what would serve as their final game there before moving to a new stadium. They started off as well as they could’ve possibly hoped, with Ollie Watkins’ cool finish giving them the lead in just the 11th minute. Then, before Swansea could even begin to regroup, the tie had been completely turned on its head with Emiliano Marcondes making it 2-0.
Pulling one out of the bag
You’d think that the visitors would’ve been able to readjust after the break, but within a matter of seconds, Bryan Mbeumo’s volley made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. Rhian Brewster then responded for Swansea with just 12 minutes remaining, but they were unable to get that second goal which could’ve taken the tie through to extra time.
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank: “We talked about not leaving the pitch without getting to the final. The message was we needed to start faster than we ever started before. And we did that.
“At 3-0 we should have been through to the final, but we made a mistake we shouldn’t make. But after that they weren’t really dangerous and it was nice to show the defensive side of our game.
“I am pleased and happy. It is a very nice moment and we have achieved something good. But we want to achieve something big and we are going to the final to win.”
The final step
Swansea head coach Steve Cooper: “We gave ourselves too much to do. We just didn’t play well enough in the first half. We weren’t aggressive with our play, both with and without the ball.
“We ended up being too deep, leaving too much space around our midfield line and our defensive line and allowed them opportunities to attack.
“The goals are obviously really disappointing. The first one is from our set-piece and the second and third ones, although they are really good finishes, you cannot leave people unmarked in the box like that.
“We didn’t give up and we went right until the very end but we gave ourselves too much to do.”
Brentford will either take on Cardiff City or Fulham in a West London derby when they head to Wembley on August 4.
Brentford: Martin (7), Henry (7.5), Pinnock (7), Jansson (6.5), Dalsgaard (7), Jensen (7.5), Norgaard (7), Marcondes (7.5), Benrahma (8), Watkins (7.5), Mbeumo (7), Dasilva (6), Canos (6)
Swansea: Mulder (5.5), Naughton (6), Hoorn (6), Guehi (6.5), Roberts (7), Fulton (6), Grimes (6.5), Bidwell (6.5), Gallagher (7), Ayew (6.5), Brewster (7.5), Celina (6), Dhanda (6), Cabango (6.5)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Goals: Watkins, Marcondes, Mbeumo :: Brewster
Yellow Cards: Dalsgaard, Benrahma, Cabango, Roberts, Dhanda, Ayew
Red Cards: N/A
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