Brentford beat Bournemouth in thriller, reach playoff final - Video
A wild second leg saw Brentford seal a superb comeback win to beat Bournemouth and reach the Championship playoff final at Wembley for the second-straight season.
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Bournemouth led 1-0 after the first leg and took an early lead in west London as Arnaut Danjuma finished off a counter attack clinically to make it 2-0 on aggregate.
But then all hell then broke loose.
First, Championship leading goalscorer Ivan Toney scored a penalty kick which was harshly awarded for a handball, as Bournemouth captain Amir Begovic was booked as an angry melee was sparked in the celebrations.
Moments later, Bournemouth were down to 10 men as former Brentford defender Chris Mepham took down Bryan Mbeumo and was sent off.
And although Bournemouth held out down a man until the second half, Vitaly Janelt made it 2-1 on the day and 2-2 on aggregate with a bizarre goal. He attempted to tackle Jefferson Lerma but instead struck the ball straight into the top corner from outside the box to give Brentford a precious lead.
Amid a crescendo of noise from the 4,000 home fans, half time substitute Marcus Forss was then the hero.
In the 81st minute the Finnish international striker just got ahead of USMNT center back Cameron Carter-Vickers at the near post and prodded home to send the Brentford fans wild.
The agony and ecstasy of the playoffs was in full show at the final whistle as Bournemouth’s players sunk to their knees and interim head coach Jonathan Woodgate looked distraught.
Can Brentford finally reach the Premier League?
As for Brentford, their head coach Thomas Frank celebrated wildly on the sidelines as he and his players lapped up a celebratory lap of honor.
“What an atmosphere,” Frank said. “4,000? It sounded like 40,000!”
The Bees are heading back to Wembley, as they aim to go one step better than last season when they lost narrowly to Fulham and missed out on promotion to the Premier League.
It has seemed like Brentford have been ready for Premier League promotion for about four or five years now, and their analytical approach to recruitment from owner Matthew Benham has paid off massively.
From Ollie Watkins to Ezri Konsa and Said Benrahma to Neal Maupay, Brentford have developed great players and made huge profits on player sales to the Premier League, but they’ve come up short in the playoffs in two of the last six seasons.
Let’s see if Ivan Toney and Co. can make it third time lucky, and get past either Barnsley or Swansea City in the final at Wembley on May 29.