Andre Ayew’s thumping 1/2-volley saw Swansea city grab the initiative in their Championship play-off semi-final towards 10-man Brentford.
Swansea will take a 1-zero lead into Wednesday’s second leg at Griffin Park after Ayew lashed residence eight minutes from the end to give the hosts a bonus they’ll feel they deserve after controlling the second half of.
Swansea (; Welsh: Abertawe [abɛrˈtawɛ]) is a coastal city and county, officially known as town and County of Swansea (Welsh: Dinas a Sir Abertawe) in Wales. The county house comprises Swansea Bay (Welsh: Bae Abertawe) and the Gower Peninsula. Swansea’s position on the southwest coast of Wales is inside the ancient county boundaries of Glamorgan and the traditional Welsh commote of Gŵyear. Swansea is the second greatest metropolis in Wales and the twenty-fifth greatest metropolis in the United Kingdom. Swansea had a population of 241,300 in 2014; the 2d most populous local authority area in Wales after Cardiff. together with Neath and Port Talbot, Swansea shaped a much broader urban house of 300,352 in 2011.
during the nineteenth-century industrial heyday, Swansea was once the key centre of the copper-smelting business, earning the nickname Copperopolis.
Swansea city 1-0 Brentford: Hosts take Championship play-off …
Ayew ran in opposition to the home dugout to have fun his 18th purpose of the season, which got here simply sixteen minutes after he had viewed a penalty saved.
Brentford have been the simpler facet in the first period, when Ollie Watkins and mentioned Benrahma both missed just right opportunities to put them in control.
Swansea city 1-0 Brentford: Hosts take Championship play-off …
but the hosts got here into the contest after the wreck, with Brentford’s lead to no longer helped when Rico Henry was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Connor Roberts on 65 minutes.
Swansea, who only sealed a high-six spot within the demise minutes of the regular season, endured their surge into advertising competition as Brentford suffered a third successive defeat.
Brentford’s negative run continues
There used to be ache in Griffin Park’s home dressing room within the wake of defeat via Barnsley in the 116-yr-previous floor’s closing regular-season recreation.
In a division the place consistency is notoriously exhausting to search out, Brentford had conjured a supreme run of put up-lockdown form to catapult themselves into automatic advertising rivalry.
but after eight successive victories, Thomas Frank’s side stumbled with the finishing line in sight.
They overlooked two opportunities to climb into the highest two as they misplaced to 2 groups combating against relegation, Stoke metropolis after which Barnsley on the final day.
Frank instructed his players to clear their minds and focus on a 2nd opportunity to achieve the most appropriate League.
They answered within the opening degrees, pressing excessive and knocking Swansea out of their stride.
Benrahma headed the primary chance of the contest huge prior to Watkins’ back-header forced a diving stop from Erwin Mulder.
Watkins, the Championship’s 2nd top scorer in 2019-20 with 25 targets, then powered a header the fallacious side of the a long way post from Henry’s inviting cross.
Swansea more advantageous as the first 1/2 wore on, but Brentford’s best likelihood came just prior to the break when Benrahma burst far from Jay Fulton and round Mike van der Hoorn before lifting his shot narrowly over the bar.
The Championship’s most mighty attack had now not taken their opportunities, and another likelihood came and went soon after the damage as Mathias Jensen dragged a shot extensive.
From that point on, Brentford were on the back foot.
They confirmed resilience, particularly after Henry was shown a straight red card for a strong challenge on Roberts, best to be breached late on.
as soon as once more, Frank must ask his gamers to dig deep and discover a response if they’re to reach Wembley.
Swans ending with a flourish
Swansea were three points adrift of the play-offs in eleventh when football was suspended on account of coronavirus in March.
They then took 17 points from their last nine video games to climb into the play-off locations for the first time for the reason that January within the ultimate throes of the final day. talk about timing.
The Swans had gave the impression destined for the departure lounge with 25 minutes of their recreation at reading ultimate, however three late objectives and a similar flurry for Stoke at Nottingham wooded area noticed Cooper’s facet send their campaign into time beyond regulation.
Brentford completed 11 points and three places ahead of Swansea within the regular season, and had a purpose difference of +42 in comparison with +9.
additionally they beat Swansea with ease in both league meetings, so Cooper’s gamers might have anticipated the stern examination they acquired within the first period.
Swansea’s three-four-1-2 formation had carried them to sixth place, however too frequently right here they may not to find area to play.
however that they had chances, with Rhian Brewster drilling too with reference to Brentford keeper David Raya after a candy contact from Conor Gallagher.
From a Gallagher nook, Ayew glanced a header on to the post and Brewster – who was now not flagged despite showing to be offside – nodded the rebound straight at Raya.
Swansea have been asking questions once more early within the 2d half of, with Ayew heading too close to Raya ahead of a tremendous breakaway ended with the Ghanaian curling a shot extensive.
The penalty came on sixty three minutes, when Ayew fed Brewster and the on-loan Liverpool ahead went down as Pontus Jansson dangled out a leg.
Ayew has been faultless from the spot this season however at this the most important stage he used to be denied, with Raya guessing proper and reaching high to paw the spot-kick to safety.
Swansea kept pushing, with Henry’s early exit adding to their momentum.
Gallagher flicked cleverly to Fulton, who touched the ball down for Ayew to compensate for the penalty pass over with a fierce force which flashed past Raya and inside the near post.
Swansea head tutor Steve Cooper:
“i’m happy with tonight. We knew Brentford are a good group. i believed the first half of was a bit edgy, rather tactical. They did some things we needed to take care of at 1/2-time.
“each groups had good probabilities to score, which you’d are expecting as a result of we’ve got each obtained bad gamers.
“2nd half we had the penalty saved and the purple card, then it was once somewhat of a special recreation.
“i assumed it was once a clear penalty. i have never seen the 2nd (attraction) on Rhian when he bought booked for diving, however my analysts concept there used to be a just right shout for a penalty there.
“The red card, you can’t do this nowadays. that you may’t be as excessive as that, as bad as that, whether or not there is a touch on the ball or no longer, and are expecting to stay on the pitch. times have modified. the one positive was once that Connor received up because I truly feared for him.”
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank:
“i am very pleased with my avid gamers. It showed top character from the primary second.
“We had two minor setbacks however we dominated the sport and i believe we had been one of the best workforce.
“The purple card changed the game. After that, they worked so arduous and showed prime togetherness. We simplest gave one chance away, one bit of brilliance from Ayew.”