Brentford snatch late win at Fulham


A tight, tense contest between the Championship’s third and fourth placed teams was settled in favour of the visitors by two dramatic late strikes, as the game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw.

An end to end first half was played a reasonable pace between these two slick passing sides, but lacked the intensity and goalmouth action a full stadium of supporters would expect of a local derby.

Championship Aleksandar Mitrović had the game’s first chance for Fulham, but planted his header straight at the visitors’ goalkeeper David Raya.

The visitors’ near post was then rattled by Bobby Reid from inside the box, before Anthony Knockaert looped a long-range effort just wide of the far post in the same attack.

Thomas Frank’s men stepped on to the hosts more as half time neared, with Saïd Benrahma teeing up Tarique Fosu to force a good low save from Marek Rodak.

Having stepped into the Brentford starting XI after Bryan Mbeumo tested positive for the coronavirus, then winger then swapped sides and showed impressive dribbling skills to open up space for a whipped cross, but the Bees’ top-scorer Ollie Watkins could only guide a diving header over the bar.

Eight minutes after the break, Mitrović was shocked to have a simple finish disallowed for offside – despite being miles beyond the last defender.

The powerful Serbian striker then forced an impressive reaction save from Raya with a header on the six-yard line, when he should’ve scored.

Brentford failed to significantly threaten the Fulham goal in the second half; a high and wide drive from Ollie Watkins their only effort of note.

That was until the 88th minute, when Emiliano Marcondes flashed a cross across the face of goal.

Watkins failed to get a touch but Benrahma managed to get there ahead of Dennis Odoi at the far post and guide the ball into the empty net.

Then Benrahma returned the favour to the Danish substitute as the Bees sealed the three points with a rapid counter-attack.

The much-coveted Algerian winger switched play to Marcondes, who cut inside the box on his left foot and smashed home beyond Rodak to make it 2-0.

Brentford stay fourth despite the win, but are now just a point behind Fulham in third.


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