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Brentford vs Swansea City. Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs Semi-Final.

Griffin Park.

Brentford 3

  • O Watkins (11th minute)
  • E Marcondes (15th minute)
  • B Mbeumo (46th minute)

Swansea City 1

  • R Brewster (78th minute)

3-2

Brentford 3-1 Swansea (3-2 Agg): Bees launch second-leg comeback to reach Championship play-off final

Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg at Griffin Park

Simeon Gholam

Thursday 30 July 2020 21:50, UK

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second-leg match between Brentford and Swansea

Brentford gave Griffin Park a fitting farewell as they came back from a first-leg deficit to beat Swansea and reach the Championship play-off final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

Playing their final home game at the 116-year-old stadium, the Bees were trailing 1-0 against the Swans, but two quick goals from Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes quickly turned the tie on its head. Bryan Mbeumo then sealed their passage shortly after half-time and a 3-1 victory on the night.

Image: Brentford came back from a first-leg deficit to beat Swansea and reach Wembley

Swansea had snuck into the play-offs and were excellent in the first leg but, Rhian Brewster's late goal aside, struggled to cause Brentford too many problems.

Thomas Frank's side will face Fulham in the final at Wembley in a 7.45pm kick-off on Tuesday, August 4 as they target a first play-off triumph in their history at the ninth attempt.

Brentford say goodbye to Griffin Park and hello to Wembley

Brentford had lost their last three games on the spin before Wednesday night, but any question marks about how they would go about trying to overturn the deficit were answered quickly and emphatically as they struck twice in four minutes early on.

A quick counter-attack in the 11th minute levelled the tie as goalkeeper David Raya found Mathias Jensen, and he threaded through Watkins to charge in on goal and finish low past Erwin Mulder.

After 15 minutes Brentford had turned the tie. Said Benrahma's ball into the box found Marcondes, and he managed to guide a header just inside the near post.

More on this story

Swansea boss Steve Cooper made two changes at the break, but Brentford put the tie beyond them almost immediately after the restart. Rico Henry - who saw his red card rescinded from the first leg - raced down the left in the 46th minute and crossed for Mbeumo, who fired a fine left-footed volley past the helpless Mulder.

Brentford were cruising and seemed as comfortable as you can in a game of this magnitude. But in the 78th minute Pontus Jansson's inexplicable error allowed Brewster the opportunity to lob Raya from the edge of the box and give Swansea some hope of a recovery.

But they couldn't get another and Brentford saw the tie through. The fans were sorely missed, but they still said goodbye to their famous old stadium in the style they would have hoped.

What the managers said...

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Brentford head coach Thomas Frank was delighted with how his team reacted to the disappointment of their first-leg defeat to overcome Swansea 3-1 at Griffin Park and reach the Championship play-off final

Brentford's Thomas Frank: "Speaking today I said - 'we can't not win today in the final game at Griffin Park'. This morning I got a phone call, one of the fans had put a video together. We didn't know that. They wanted to show it on the final day, it was a top video, a little too long to go in the dressing room, but it was in the players' WhatsApp group.

"I asked them to watch it, I said you play for yourselves, your families, us, the club - but also for the fans. If you see that video, you'll see how much it means to them.

"I was honestly really proud of the players after the first leg. We had these two minor set-backs, everyone saying that we are crumbling, I just think we put too much on a specific game.

"Yesterday before and after training, in the huddle, I said we're not leaving the pitch until we're in the final. I felt we were the better team, and I thought we had that irritated feeling, and it helped we had beaten Swansea twice this season, so if we hit the high level we could be a better team."

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Swansea head coach Steve Cooper felt his side did not play well enough and were too passive in the first half as they succumbed to Brentford 3-1

Swansea's Steve Cooper: "We just gave ourselves too much to do with the manner of the goals we gave away. We can't do that in any game, but especially against these guys. The first one's from our set-piece, we got done on the counter-attack, and then the second one, it's just a free man in the box,we've worked all season on defending crosses.

"To concede 58 seconds into the second half was a killer. The lads didn't give up, we gave ourselves a bit of a lifeline with Rhian Brewster's goal, but it was just too much to do.

"It's painful at the moment, we're not going to lose sight of the fact we're building for the future, but when you get so close, you're just disappointed."

Analysis: 'Brentford didn't change their style'

Jobi McAnuff on Sky Sports Football...

"It's about getting over the line in these games and massive credit to Swansea, they got in late and they weren't going to give up without a fight. They really pushed hard but Brentford stood tall and managed to get themselves to the final.

"Brentford did it in a style that is their own, they didn't change at any point over the two games and I think that's what made it so entertaining. Sometimes when you're chasing a result, you tend to want to go too direct too quickly but they didn't abandon what they want to play, their philosophy and that's what went in to making it such a fantastic spectacle."

Liam Rosenior on Sky Sports Football...

"Swansea's strength of character and resilience to stay in the game and push Brentford all the way to the end. What an advertisement for Championship football.

"You saw why Brentford have been outstanding for the whole season and Watkins especially. Not just the goal but his hold up play and running in behind - he was absolute immense for the team and Thomas Frank must be delighted with every single player in his squad."

Man of the Match - Ollie Watkins

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Brentford striker Ollie Watkins was named man of the match as he scored the opening goal in the Bees' 3-1 victory

Has this lad seriously only been a No 9 for a year? Watkins took his goal brilliantly early on to really get Brentford going and then led the line sublimely for the rest of the game. Swansea simply couldn't handle him.

It's 26 goals now this season for the 24-year-old. Even if Brentford don't win at Wembley next Tuesday he will surely be a Premier League footballer next season.

What's next?

Brentford will head to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley on Tuesday, August 4. Coverage starts at 7pm on Sky Sports Football, ahead of a 7.45pm kick-off. They will face Cardiff or Fulham.

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