The playoff curse hit Brentford again who, since the 1990-91 season, have lost in the semi-finals or the final in the nine play-offs they have played, either to advance to the Championship or the Premier League.
Fulham, arrived 4th in the regular season, ahead of goal difference by Brentford (3rd) who had the best attack with 80 goals, waited for extra time to unlock this disappointing West London derby for 90 minutes.
The hero as late as it was unlikely of the game was left-back Joe Bryan.
He opened the scoring with a fairly harmless free kick, more than 35 meters of goal and slightly off-center, seeing that the Spanish goalkeeper of the “Bees”, David Raya, had taken an insane risk at this moment of the match by placing himself on his six meters.
Bryan rolled up his left strike which went to place itself flush with the post (1-0, 105th).
A three minutes from the end, he did not hesitate to project himself forward to double the bet after a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Championship’s top scorer (26 goals), returned just before extra time.
A cruel epilogue for Brentford who reduced the score in added time by Henrik Dalsgaard (2-1, 120 + 3), but his triplet Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins – nicknamed BMW -, who had scored the appreciable total of 59 league goals this season, has been far too low-key.
We had to wait for a 16-meter strike from the last one, 20 minutes from the end of regulation time, boxed by Marek Rodak above her cages, to attend the first banderillas of the Bees.
Certainly worn out by the 46 days of the regular season and the two semi-final games, the Brentford players lacked precision in the Opposing last 30 meters.
The stake of a match whose fallout has been estimated at 160 million pounds (177.2 M EUR) – 85 M GBP (94.2 M EUR) in television rights next season and 75 M GBP (83 M EUR) in “parachute” payments over the next two seasons if they were relegated to the end of the first exercise – was also enough to tense up.
The Cottagers, however, deserved their victory in this match after having had the best opportunities by Josh Onomah (4th, 17th), on which Raya had been impeccable and a free kick from Neeskens Kebano (48th) flush with the post.