Bournemouth and Swansea edge toward EPL

·2-min read

Arnaut Danjuma's second-half goal has earned Bournemouth a narrow 1-0 advantage over Brentford in the first leg of their Championship promotion play-off semi-final.

With a limited but vociferous crowd inside the Vitality Stadium, the south coast club struck in the 55th minute when Dutchman Danjuma was slid in by David Brooks before composing himself to find the back of the net.

Brentford, beaten in last year's play-off final by Fulham after squandering a chance to gain automatic promotion, searched for an equaliser and should have grabbed one but forward Bryan Mbeumo somehow failed to convert Christian Norgaard's low cross.

Meanwhile, a curling strike from Andre Ayew late in the first half sealed a 1-0 win for Swansea City at Barnsley as fourth met fifth in the other semi-final first-leg tie.

Barnsley, roared on by about 4,000 home fans welcomed back for the first time since March 2020, mustered a spirited response after the break but could not find an equaliser.

The result leaves Steve Cooper's side in charge of the tie before the return match at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday as the Seagulls eye a return to the Premier League three years on from their relegation.

Third-placed Brentford had been the form team leading into the playoffs with four successive league wins, while Bournemouth, who finished sixth lost their last three of the regular season.

But now The Bees face a nervous second leg at their own stadium if they are to maintain their hopes of a return to the top flight for the first time since 1947.

Bournemouth are looking to bounce back at the first opportunity after being relegated from the Premier League last season after a five-year stay.