It would have been the perfect David versus Goliath moment if Arsenal were still the giant they used to be.
Still, Brentford’s Premier League debut on Saturday morning (AEST) was a moment that united fans from around the world.
“We’re number one in the Premier League and we’re just a bus stop in Hounslow,” Bees manager Thomas Frank said after the game.
“We’re not supposed to be here.”
In a way, he’s right; it was Brentford’s first game in the English top flight since 1947.
But that didn’t stop them.
The opening game of the Premier League season saw Brentford down Arsenal 2-0, thanks to goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard.
Brentford is the first London-based club to win its Premier League debut.
Canos was just one of two players in the Brentford team with Premier League experience, if you can call it that. Only he and Ivan Toney had appeared in the league before; substitute appearances that totalled 19 minutes.
But with eleven players making their first Premier League starts, the Bees were buzzing around the park as they outplayed Arsenal for 90 minutes and allowed the 17,000 fans in attendance to lose their minds as ‘we are top of the league’ rung out around the Brentford Community Stadium.
Brentford’s rise to the Premier League started from the bottom. They won the League Two title in the 2008/09 season, reached the Championship in 2014, before they were finally able to put their playoff curse behind them to secure passage to the top flight.
Their promotion didn’t see the club spend big money to bring in Premier League talent like so many smaller sides choose to do. Instead, Brentford stayed on their own course, one that has secured them three points so far.
“The idea that Brentford, a team that has hardly any experience in the Premier League but could go and high press Arsenal, go do what they did tonight, without the ball and in possession, it’s really impressive,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports.
The Bees will keep their spot atop the Premier League table for at least a few more hours. In that time, their fans and the rest of the football world will lap it up.