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Brentford 3-1 Swansea City (agg 3-2): Bees book spot in Championship play-off final

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brentford 3 1 swansea city agg 3 2 bees book spot in championship play off final

Though the doors on this creaking ground will now close, nothing will stop the memories of this last dance seeping into the streets of west London, towards Brentford’s glitzy new home and perhaps an even brighter future. 

After 116 years at Griffin Park, pastures new await. But first Thomas Frank’s side must detour to Wembley after their long goodbye ended with a thrilling win over Swansea that keeps their promotion dreams alive. 

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Brentford appeared to be cruising towards the final after goals from Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Marcondes and Bryan Mbeumo. 

Brentford have booked their place in the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

Brentford have booked their place in the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

Brentford have booked their place in the Championship play-off final after beating Swansea

But Pontus Jansson ensured a nervy climax after his mistake allowed Rhian Brewster to give Swansea hope. 

Brentford held on, so as the sun sets on a slice of their history, a new dawn could yet break with a first taste of top-flight football since 1947. 

Now, only Fulham or Cardiff stand between them and the £170million carrot dangling from the famous arch. 

Following defeat at The Liberty – which he compared to a punch in the face – Frank vowed his Bees would ‘fly’ at Swansea. And so it proved. 

Ollie Watkins broke the deadlock early to get the tie level following Swans' win in the first leg

Ollie Watkins broke the deadlock early to get the tie level following Swans' win in the first leg

Ollie Watkins broke the deadlock early to get the tie level following Swans’ win in the first leg

The in-form striker celebrates by putting his finger on his lips after scoring in the first half

The in-form striker celebrates by putting his finger on his lips after scoring in the first half

The in-form striker celebrates by putting his finger on his lips after scoring in the first half

Emiliano Marcondes (centre) doubled Brentford lead and turn the semi-final tie on its head

Emiliano Marcondes (centre) doubled Brentford lead and turn the semi-final tie on its head

Emiliano Marcondes (centre) doubled Brentford lead and turn the semi-final tie on its head

Bereft of fans but carried by the wave of emotion, the home side landed a quickfire 1-2 which left the visitors bloodied, behind – if not yet beaten. 

Inside five minutes, Erwin Mulder beat away Marcondes’ swirling effort from distance before Rhian Brewster raced clear at the other end, only to be given offside. 

There was no flag and no mistake from Watkins after he was set free by Mathias Jensen minutes later. 

The striker fired home his 26th of the season and, within four minutes, the turnaround was complete after Marcondes headed Said Benrahma’s cross past Mulder. With the tie now teetering on a knife-edge, more chaos followed. 

First Swansea’s Conor Gallagher saw a shot palmed out by David Raya, just beyond the onrushing Andre Ayew, and then Benrahma thought he had made it three. 

Within 15 minutes, the play-off semi-final had been turned on its head with two goals

Within 15 minutes, the play-off semi-final had been turned on its head with two goals

Within 15 minutes, the play-off semi-final had been turned on its head with two goals

Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster pulled one back in the second half to make it 3-1 on the night

Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster pulled one back in the second half to make it 3-1 on the night

Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster pulled one back in the second half to make it 3-1 on the night

Brewster grabs the ball and sprints back to the centre circle with Swansea needing one more

Brewster grabs the ball and sprints back to the centre circle with Swansea needing one more

Brewster grabs the ball and sprints back to the centre circle with Swansea needing one more

Again the winger caused havoc down the Brentford left, this time cutting inside and firing towards Mulder’s near post. The ball struck the woodwork and fizzed along the line but would not go in. 

On such fine margins, futures can turn. Steve Cooper shuffled his pack at halfway but moments later, Mbeumo gave Brentford breathing space at last. The irony? Rico Henry – whose first-leg red card was later overturned – delivered the cross. 

But Brentford don’t do the easy life and Jansson’s miscued clearance allowed Brewster to lob Raya with 12 minutes to go. As Swansea pressed for an equaliser and tempers flared in stoppage time, they would have felt like 116 years. 

A place at Wembley is at stake as Brentford and Swansea City meet in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final, with the Swans having a narrow advantage.

Despite finishing 11 points clear in the table, the home side are on the back foot following the first leg after Andre Ayew’s winner on Sunday

As well as trying to fight back and take a step closer to a first ever appearance in the Premier League, Brentford will also be hoping to end their 116-year stay at Griffin Park on a high as they play at the ground for a final time ahead of a stadium switch this summer.

Follow all the action, team news and build up ahead of Brentford vs Swansea City here with Sportsmail for the 7.45pm kick-off. 

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Arsenal transfer of £13.4m rated defender Shkodran Mustafi to Lazio or Napoli ‘gaining momentum’

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arsenal transfer of 13 4m rated defender shkodran mustafi to lazio or napoli gaining momentum

ARSENAL defender Shkodran Mustafi is reportedly a transfer target for Serie A sides Lazio and Napoli.

The Gunners are open to offers for the German who has just one year left on his deal at the Emirates.

Shkodran Mustafi is a £13.4million target for Lazio and Napoli

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Shkodran Mustafi is a £13.4million target for Lazio and NapoliCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Calciomercato claims Lazio have identified Mustafi as a priority for the centre of their defence, with Arsenal willing to sell for around £13million.

The report states that asking price could even drop to £11million.

Napoli are also interested in Mustafi, as well as his Arsenal team-mate Sokratis, as a potential replacement for Manchester City target Kalidou Koulibaly.

The biggest obstacle in any deal could be the World Cup winner’s salary.



Mustafi is thought to earn around £4million per year in north London.

Lazio are reportedly willing to offer the 28-year-old a five-year deal worth £2.3million per season plus bonuses.

Mustafi featured heavily for Mikel Arteta’s side last season following their switch to a 3-4-3 formation before a knee injury ruled him out of the FA Cup final.

He is still recuperating and has yet to feature for Arsenal this season.

Mustafi previously played in Serie A for Sampdoria between 2012 and 2014.

The Gunners added centre-backs William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes to their squad in the off-season, hence their willingness to let Mustafi go.

Arsenal are hoping to raise money through sales to fund a move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.

The north London outfit have already sold goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for £20million, with several other names linked to the exit door.

Mikel Arteta claims Arsenal are as big as Barcelona which helped convince Aubameyang to stay and sign new deal

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7.15am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Edouard Mendy quarantine LATEST, Jovic offer revealed, Rice bid ‘WILL be made’

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7 15am chelsea transfer news live edouard mendy quarantine latest jovic offer revealed rice bid will be made

CHELSEA are close to securing the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, after Rennes’ manager confirmed the goalkeeper WILL join the Blues.

And Frank Lampard is also set to make a bid for Declan Rice as the club takes its extravagant transfer spending up yet another notch.

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7.15am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aouar ‘contract AGREED’, Partey LATEST, Mustafi exit ‘gaining momentum’

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7 15am arsenal transfer news live aouar contract agreed partey latest mustafi exit gaining momentum

HOUSSEM AOUAR has reportedly agreed a contract with Arsenal, however the Gunners have yet to match Lyon’s asking price.

It is also reported that should Mikel Arteta only be able to sign one of the two players he will opt for the French ace rather than Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.

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