EPL play-offs: Brentford eye Premier League after drama as Bournemouth miss out

Brentford are just one win away from the English Premier League after a thrilling fightback enabled them to reach the Championship play-off final with a 3-1 win against 10-man Bournemouth on Saturday.

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Thomas Frank’s side were in danger of defeat in the semi-final second leg after Arnaut Danjuma put Bournemouth 2-0 up on aggregate early in the first half.

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But Brentford, who lost the first leg 1-0 on Monday, were given a controversial lifeline when Ivan Toney scored a penalty awarded for handball by Liam Kelly.

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Bournemouth defender Chris Mepham was sent off soon after that incident.

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To the delight of 4,500 fans at the Brentford Community Stadium, the Bees took full advantage as second half goals from Vitaly Janelt and Marcus Forss sealed a 3-2 aggregate success.

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Brentford, who haven’t played in the top-flight for 74 years, will face Swansea or Barnsley in the final at Wembley on May 29.

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Swansea hold a 1-0 first leg lead heading into the second leg in south Wales later on Saturday.

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It will be Brentford’s second successive Championship play-off final appearance after they lost to Fulham last season.

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With Fulham relegated from the Premier League, Brentford have a chance to pass their west London rivals on the way into the top-flight.

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Brentford are battling to avoid another play-off let-down after decades of failure in the end of season lottery.

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They have taken part in a record nine play-off campaigns without winning promotion.

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Bournemouth are consigned to a second season in the Championship after failing to win an immediate return to the Premier League following last season’s relegation.

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Bournemouth had high hopes after only five minutes when Danjuma, who scored the winner in the first leg, burst onto a clearance from a Brentford corner, racing half the length of the pitch before slotting home.

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Frank’s men drew level in the 15th minute when a cross from Emiliano Marcondes hit Kelly’s arm as he slid in to block.

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Kelly protested that it was accidental but Toney stepped up to slot home his 32nd goal of the season.

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Mepham saw red for bringing down Bryan Mbeumo and Brentford equalised five minutes after the interval as Janelt fired past Asmir Begovic.

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Forss came off the bench to bag the 80th minute winner with a close-range finish from Marcondes’ cross.

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