The championship final is so much more than just a ticket to the Premier League. It involves hard work of a whole year, so much emotion of the fans, the manager and players. A lot is on the line as a defeat would mean that the losing team will have again go through the drill for one more year.
The 2019/20 Championship final was no different, Brentford and Fulham locked horns at Wembley Stadium. The game was also great significance from a financial point of view, as it was the world’s most valuable game.
Scot Parker decided to start with a 4-5-1 formation while his counterpart Thomas Frank went with a 4-3-3. Both the teams looked nervous at the start of the game. However, as the game went on both the teams created goal-scoring chances but none of them managed to convert them in the first half. The second half was no different both the teams had chances to score but could not convert their chances into goals. While both the goalkeepers also deserve some credit for keeping the game goalless for ninety minutes.
After a goalless ninety minutes, the match went into extra time. The story was similar in extra time as well. Both teams created chances but lacked the quality in the final third. Then in the 105th minute with Fulham left-back, Joe Bryan managed to score from a free-kick with his quick thinking. Brentford was awarded a corner, the corner kick was easily collected by Fulham’s goalkeeper Rodak, who kicked it towards Kamra. Brentford’s goalkeeper David Raya came way off his line to clear, only for the ball to fell to Bobby Reid who was fouled by Christian Nørgaard.
Joe Bryan took the free-kick which completely caught David Raya wrong-footed and Fulham got the lead. Fulham manager Scot Parker explained that it was actually no fluke that Brayan managed to score.
He said, “I told him [Bryan], ‘You need to keep an eye on his positioning, and I want you to commit to it, I want you to commit to the shot’, and it’s worked”. The Bees seem to have lost hope and confidence after that goal as the game was coming to an end. In the 117th the minute they looked lethargic and left open spaces. The Cottagers full exploited that as substitute Aleksandar Mitrović played a nice one-two with Joe Bryan and the two combined for Fulham’s second goal.
The second goal scored by the Englishman was like a final nail in the coffin for Brentford’s hopes of scoring an equaliser and taking the game to penalties. However, they did not lose hope completely. The Bees won a freekick in their own half which taken by David Roya, Brentford had committed all the other ten-player forward. From the left-wing, a cross was flung in which was met by Christian Nørgaard and Brentford’s right-back Henrik Dalsgaard scored a header to give Brentford a consolation goal in injury time.
At the end of extra time, Martin Atkinson blew his whistle which confirmed that Fulham have won the 2019/20 Championship final playoff. The Cottagers were relegated last season only and they are now right back into the Premier League with Leeds United and West Brom being the other two teams who have qualified for the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
Brentford vs Fulham Highlights
Full time: Brentford 1 (Henrik Dalsgaard, 120+4’) vs Fulham 2 ( Joe Bryan 105’, 117’)