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How Fulham got promoted to Premier League after victory over Brentford in the playoff final



How Fulham got promoted to Premier League after victory over Brentford in the playoff




How Fulham got promoted to Premier League after victory over Brentford in the playoff final


Fulham has been promoted to the Premier League after beating Brentford 2-1 after extra-time in the Championship playoff final at Wembley.

After a drab 90 minutes, it took a moment of inspiration from Cottagers left-back Joe Bryan to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time in the additional period.

With Bees goalkeeper David Raya expecting Bryan to cross the free-kick from fully 40 yards, the Fulham star struck the ball inside the goalkeeper’s right-hand post to trigger scenes of jubilation from his teammates and manager Scott Parker.

And Bryan doubled his tally in the closing minutes, playing a neat one-two with substitute striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to finish on his weaker right foot and seal the victory.

Henrik Dalsgaard headed home to half the deficit with almost the last touch of the game, but it is Fulham who makes an immediate return to the top flight after relegation last year, netting £135million in the process.

The defeat capped a heartbreaking end to the season for Thomas Frank’s side, who lost each of their final two games of the regular season to miss out on automatic promotion.

It is now nine unsuccessful playoff campaigns in all for Brentford.

Two-goal hero Bryan revealed after the game that his free-kick was planned and had been worked on with manager Scott Parker on the training ground.

Bryan said: “I’m not the hero, every single one of them, fans and people around us who have been with us all season is.

“We’ve been written off five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times, I think I read somewhere we were supposed to be scared of them.

“We took it to them, we scored twice, they made it hard for us but they’re a good team and they’ve been playing really well.

“I can’t believe we made it straight back up.

“Scott told me to whip it near post, that was for my dad, he used to give me the eyes when he made me go in goal.”

Skipper Tom Cairney added: “I can’t put it into words. It feels special. We got written off a bit this year, no one talked about us, they talked about Brentford and Leeds.

“It shows the spirit in the dressing room, not many teams bounce back up.

“I knew we had that performance in us, all season when we needed to win we’ve done it when it mattered.

“Brentford is a great side, a pleasure to watch and these were the two best sides in the Championship play-off final.”

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