Winners of Championship Playoff Final seal promotion to the Premier League

    The winners of Tuesday night’s much anticipated Championship Playoff Final seal promotion to the Premier League, but it wasn’t the most exciting of games.

    Brentford and Fulham went head to head for the chance to return to the English top flight for the first time in 73 years – and earn roughly £160m in the process.

    The Bees finished third in the table, sitting just one place above the Cottagers on goal difference, and won both league meetings during the regular season.

    Scott Parker’s side started the better in the opening half, with Thomas Frank’s men having some hairy moments as they tried to play their way out from the back, David Raya’s clearance was intercepted, however Fulham just couldn’t get a shot away.

    Shortly after, around the 15th minute, Raya made another important one handed save as Onomah went for the low shot into the far corner – Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock eventually cleared the ball.

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    Fulham were missing Aleksandar Mitrovic due to a hamstring problem, but Josh Onomah suddenly became Fulham’s best player the the first half, proving to be a real threat.

    Brentford’s attacking front three were yet to make an impact or even get a look in.

    In the 28th minute, there were questions whether Fulham were lucky not to be down to 10 men after Reed caught Norgaard on the top of his boot but escaped with a booking.

    Fulham’s Tom Cairney (45) completed more 1st half passes in this play-off final than Brentford’s midfield trio managed, combined (Dasilva 19, Norgaard 13, Jensen 4).

    Minutes into the second half, Neeskens Kebano whipped in a free kick which went inches wide and into the side-netting. Close but Fulham needed to convert these chances into goals otherwise it would be extra time and penalties.

    Brentford’s Said Benrahma worked his way into the box with a swerving run but his attempt to cross was blocked and his appeals for a free-kick got ignored by referee Martin Atkinson.

    Approaching the 60th minute, a cross fell to Bobby Decordova-Reid at the back, but he couldn’t adjust his body to get it on target.

    With 20 minutes remaining, Ollie Watkins finally got a sight of the Fulham goal, however could only fire down Rodak’s throat who comfortably tipped the ball over. The corner ended up being wasted.

    It became a testy finish between the two sides with quarter of an hour remaining. Brentford were more on the ball than earlier in the game, working angles and exposing space, though still struggled to break through Fulham’s defence who were set up brilliantly.

    In the 83rd minute, a long period of Bees pressure ended with Dalsgaard sending a rising shot over from 25 yards. They were getting closer, but still not just quite there.

    Fulham took over in creating chances, Josh Onomah also had his shot fly over the bar.

    Both sides going for it going into injury time with plenty of energy, but neither could break the deadline, so extra time it was.

    Two minutes after the restart, Sergio Canos whipped in a low ball, Ollie Watkins met it at the near post but couldn’t convert.

    Shortly after, Kamara took aim from out wide following a poor clearance from Raya, but he made no mistake in dealing with the speculative effort and held onto the ball.

    Deadlock was finally broken in the 15th minute of injury. Incredibly, Joe Bryan spotted keeper Raya’s awful positioning, and smashed a powerful free kick from around 30 yards out into the back of the net, Raya ended up making a sensational pointless late dive with the ball already over the line.

    Brentford were more the threat the second half of extra time, however they couldn’t turn their efforts into goals.

    Joe Bryan made it game over, damaging any comeback hopes in the 27th minute of extra time.

    A long ball down the left was held up by Cavaleiro, with Bryan well inside his own half at the time. By the time the ball was laid off to Cairney, he sprinted his way towards the box – and took his ball inside. 

    A one-two on the edge of the box with Mitrovic put him through, and he cooly tucked the ball under Raya with his right foot.

    The final whistle blew soon after and Fulham sealed their place back into the Premier League.

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