September 28, 2021

Andre Ayew’s promotion hopes end as Benrahma’s Brentford beat Swansea

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The Algeria winger played his part in helping the Bees get one step closer to top flight football in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg

Said Benrahma was a catalyst for Brentford as they turned around a one-goal deficit to see off Andre Ayew’s Swansea City 3-1 in the second leg of their Championship promotion play-off semi-final on Wednesday.

The Bees had fallen to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at the Liberty Stadium courtesy of Ayew’s brilliant 80th-minute strike after the Ghana international had missed a penalty.

However, Thomas Frank’s men clearly had other ideas for the return leg in what was their last game at Griffin Park having played there since 1904, and they came out in full force with Ollie Watkins giving them the lead in the 11th minute to level the tie.

It didn’t take long before it became 2-0 with Benrahma’s long ball from deep finding the head of Emiliano Marcondes four minutes later.

Brentford were in control, but still added more, with a third coming from Franco-Cameroonian Bryan Mbeumo at the restart, as he tap in Rico Henry’s low cross.

Swansea pulled one back through Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster in the 78th minute after a dismal error from Brentford captain Pontus Jansson but it proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation.

Benrahma had a fine game, producing six shots and having two efforts hit the woodwork. The Algerian also had 64 touches which was the joint second highest of the Brentford players; 34 accurate passes at 85% (second-highest) and four key passes.

During the regular season, Benrahma scored 17 goals and provided nine assists as Brentford finished in third place, just two points shy of automatic promotion.

Ayew meanwhile was far from his best, having no shots but having a 100% success in his dribbles (five from five attempts). The 30-year old Ghanaian had 45 touches, 13 accurate passes at 56% success rate, and was dispossessed while on the ball 21 times.

2019-20 is the most productive season of Ayew’s career with 18 goals and seven assists in all competitions, which is just one short of his last three campaigns in England combined and his loan stint in Turkey with Fenerbahce.

For Chelsea-linked Benrahma and Brentford, they will have a chance to make it into the English top flight for the first time in more than 70 years when they face either Fulham or Cardiff City in the final at Wembley next Tuesday.