The Warmdown: Brentford confirm first top-flight promotion in 74 years  
Brentford lift the Sky Bet Championship play-off trophy and celebrate promotion to the Premier League at Wembley
(Photo by Catherine Ivill via Getty Images)

The attractive football and free scoring Brentford have long gone unrewarded for their confident and expressive style of play.

Saturday's play-off final victory against Swansea City put a 74 year hiatus from the top-flight to an end, as well as eradicating an unwanted EFL record of nine play-off defeats. 

The so close yet so far narrative didn't rumble on in the capital as the Bees travelled back to West London with an upgrade from their Sky Bet Championship status. 

  • Ice cold Ivan 

Ivan Toney has set the Championship alight since his arrival from Peterborough United, serving as a remarkable replacement for the loss of Ollie Watkins, who provided 26 goals last season. 

In his first season in the second tier, Toney has broken the goal scoring record, netting an astounding 31 goals, with an additional two coming in the play-offs to take his tally to 33. 

Like he has so many times this season, Toney put the club's weight on his shoulders at Wembley

The lively Bryan Mbeumo was hauled down by Newcastle United loanee stopper - Freddie Woodman in the Swansea net, and the referee pointed to spot inside 10 minutes. 

Toney's nerves remained cool as he showcased his short, strolled walk up to the spot and fired home comfortably into the bottom left corner. 

The penalty saw Brentford take an early lead, whilst Toney added to his impressive penalty record this campaign - scoring 11 from 11 to boast the best record from the spot in England's top four divisions. 

  • Fab for Frank 

The past two seasons in particular for Brentford, under the watchful eye of Danish international Thomas Frank, have been superb and have clearly been guided in a direction, with only an upward trajectory. 

After four-and-a-half years in charge, Emiliano Marcondes' strike in the 20th minute to double the Bees lead typified the journey that was now so close to being grasped. 

A swift counter-attack from Mbeumo left the Swans on the back foot, and youngster Mads Roerslev darted into the area and picked out the onrushing Emiliano who fired home a crucial goal on the biggest stage, which is huge for the players future, with the 26-year-olds contract dwindling down this summer. 

Frank has played an attractive style of football since his arrival in West London back in December 2016 and will now be able to test himself toe-to-toe with the games elite coaches and players with Brentford in the top flight. 

A mix of Scandinavian talent in the squad, with captain Pontus Jansson shepherding the defence alongside gifted youngsters and experienced figures, has made Brentford a daunting fixture this campaign, as the Championship's top scorers laid down their blueprint.  

  • Tenth time lucky 

After falling to defeat in the first leg of their semi-final at the hands of Jonathan Woodgate's AFC Bournemouth side, Frank's men completed an eye-catching turnaround at the Brentford Community Stadium to book their place at Wembley on Saturday afternoon. 

Last season, the Bees were relentless in attack with the 'BMW' attacking trio of; Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Bryan Mbeumo. The departure of all but Mbeumo cast shadow on their promotion credentials, however, the arrival of Toney has sourced 41 goals this season. 

Like eight times previously, 12 months ago Brentford were condemned to defeat but one year on after adversity against Fulham in the same fixture, the Bees cruised past Swansea to end their war with the play-offs, at the tenth attempt - but famously, to play their first minutes in the Premier League as a club. 

  • What next for the sunken Swans? 

Swansea's dramatic surge into the play-offs last campaign was soon played down by Brentford at the semi-final hurdle, and now 10 months later, the South Wales outfit have been punctured once again. 

Jay Fulton's dismissal in the second-half was unfortunate but fair, following a slip while tackling Mathias Jensen

With studs off the ground and high feet on the midfielder, referee Chris Kavanagh had no option but to reduce the Swans to 10, which weighed up further problems for Swansea's promotion credentials. 

Despite two years of heartbreak, Steve Cooper has a talented group of players and a tight-knit defensive base that sees them boast the third best defensive record in the division. 

The departures of Woodman and Marc Guehi back to parent clubs Newcastle and Chelsea respectively, will be a huge loss at the back for Swansea, however, the club's keenness and success in the loan market opens an interesting prospect on which names will replace them. 

  • A deserved status 

Brentford's title as 2021 Championship play-off victors and Premier League golden ticket cash in, is very much deserved. 

Finals can often be slow, dull affairs, but Frank's side played the way they know how and how they have to dispatch teams this campaign. The performance was worthy of promotion, and now leaves Brentford a summer to ponder and prepare for top flight football. 

With fans being ushered back into stadiums, a new community ground to bring extra publicity to the club whilst modernising the terraces, with additional capacity to tie in with the club's ambition to grow in West London.

Spirits are high for everyone connected with the Bees, as the Premier League journey beckons... 

 

VAVEL Logo