Brentford defeated Fulham at the Community Stadium on Monday. A surprising top-10 clash for the two West London clubs yielded three points for the Bees. As a result, both sides maintained their place in the table. However, the gap between Brentford in ninth and Fulham in seventh is just a single point.
Monday’s game was a lively fixture, as expected given the surprisingly successful seasons from both the clubs. This West London Derby confirmed that both clubs fully deserve their spots in the table, even if they are high.
From the beginning, it was Brentford that opened on the front foot. On two occassions, though, Bryan Mbeumo failed to put Brentford in front. Just three minutes in, the Frenchman missed a sitter from five yards out. The cross deflected off the top of his foot rather than the instep and went wide of Bernd Leno’s goal. Not long after, Mbeumo found himself in on goal. While the winger did get a shot on target this time, the outstretched right leg of Leno matched the effort.
Fortunate bounces keep score level at half
Brentford eventually cashed in on its opening pressure in the first half. After a Brentford corner settled down outside the box, Ethan Pinnock lashed a wild shot towards goal. A standing Tim Ream was in the wrong spot at the wrong time for Fulham, as the ball smacked off his knee and slid past a helpless Leno.
Although Leno may have had the original shot covered, Pinnock still got credit for the goal, but Ream did not get an assist.
Brentford was unfortunate to not double its lead on a couple occasions. Both Ivan Toney and Mbeumo hit the woodwork on free kicks. Yet, the ball bounced out of play, rather than back in.
The same cannot be said about a free kick for Fulham. In the 39th minute, Andreas Pereira whipped a near-perfect free kick that slammed off where the crossbar meets the right post. A diving David Raya watched the ball slide behind him, where Manor Solomon just had to make contact with his head to score. It was Solomon’s fourth-straight game in all competitions with a goal.
Brentford sinks Fulham with two second-half goals
To start the second half, it was a familiar sight for Brentford fans. Ivan Toney converted from the spot for the 22nd time on 22 attempts after an Issa Diop foul. His perfect penalty record is part of the reason he is among the top scorers in the Premier League this season. The Englishman now has 15 goals in the league, trailing only Erling Haaland’s 27 and Harry Kane’s 18.
In the end, that was not the game-winner, even though it seemed that way. Regardless, Mathias Jensen’s goal in the 85th minute provided the two-goal cushion Thomas Frank hunted for. Kevin Schade did great work to set up Jensen, who just had to guide the ball in.
Fulham found a second with the last meaningful kick of the game in the 98th minute. Carlos Vinícius will welcome the goal, even if it was futile in this game.
The result is makes it 12 unbeaten in the league for Brentford. That breaks down into an even six wins and six draws in that span. Moreover, Brentford defeated Liverpool, Manchester City and Fulham in that span, while drawing against Arsenal and Spurs.
Brentford looks to continue its strong form in the coming weeks. The next three games for Brentford are all against sides currently placed 15th or worse in the league. That starts with a trip to Goodison Park in a week’s time. Fulham seeks a bounce back performance with a tall task at home to Arsenal this coming Sunday.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus
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