Fulham Win Promotion to the Premier League After Victory in Championship Play-Off Final

Toby Cudworth
Joe Bryan scored the only goal of the Championship playoff final.
Joe Bryan scored the only goal of the Championship playoff final. / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Fulham have won promotion to the Premier League after a 2-1 victory over Brentford, sealed by Joe Bryan's extra time double.

In a contest billed as the richest game in world football, both sides were unable to find their fluent best - with pre-match hopes of a goal fest soon dashed by some stoic, impressive defending.

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But in the end, Fulham's quality told as Bryan struck twice - first catching out Bees goalkeeper David Raya at his near post with a long-range free kick, before converting a neat one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic - to deservedly take the Cottagers up into the top flight, condemning Brentford to another season in the Championship.

Brentford did strike with almost the last kick of the game, as Henrik Dalsgaard nodded in - but it was too little, too late for Thomas Frank's side.

Promotion caps a memorable season for Fulham, who have bounced back at the first time of asking after enduring relegation last season. Scott Parker's first full season in charge has seen a complete overhaul of the club's style of play, with a high-intensity pressing game taking the Cottagers to within a whisker of automatic promotion.

Though their form dropped off a little post-lockdown, they've shown plenty of spirit and fight all season - and in 26-goal Mitrovic, who was unable to start the game because of injury, they possess the Championship's Golden Boot winner.

On the night, in a game of very few clear cut chances, both teams reigned supreme defensively - with Fulham perhaps enjoying the better of the early exchanges.

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Extra-time... ? #FULFORCE

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Nerves undoubtedly played a part in the season ending showpiece failing to live up to the free-flowing game that many expected, while an eerily quiet atmosphere - in a game normally played in front of 90,000 spectators - added to the unusual spectacle.

Ultimately, it's Fulham who have seen their Premier League dreams come true once more - earning the club at least £80m through television broadcast right and sponsorship deals alone. A busy summer of transfer activity now awaits, though Parker's men will be wise to learn from their many failed dealings of last time around.