Brentford moved to within six points of the automatic promotion places with a hard-fought 1-0 win over league-leaders West Brom at Griffin Park on Friday.
Ollie Watkins’ close-range finish proved to be the difference between the two sides on the night, as he opened the scoring on 16 minutes after a strong run from Josh Dasilva.
It had the makings of a classic at Griffin Park, with Brentford looking to build on an impressive 2-0 win against Fulham in the previous weekend at Craven Cottage.
Whilst West Brom were without a win in their last three matches coming into the game, and were left frustrated in their most recent match, as they were forced to settle for a point against struggling Birmingham City.
In a quiet opening to the game, it was the Bees that took the lead, as neat link up play between Said Benrahma and Josh Dasilva saw the central midfielder fire the ball across goal, where Ollie Watkins was there to fire home from close-range after 16 minutes.
Chances proved hard to come by for West Brom, and Slaven Bilic would have been eager to see a positive response from his side who lacked cutting edge going forward, and were far from their best during the first-half.
There will have been some concern from Bilic and the West Brom supporters watching from the comfort of their homes, as Matheus Pereira picked up a knock towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, but the midfielder was able to carry on, and looked sharper as the Baggies went in search of an equaliser on the night.
As the half-time whistle went, the visitors would have been somewhat relieved to head into the break only a goal behind, as Brentford certainly had the better of the chances during the first-half.
West Brom showed much-needed urgency going forward early into the second-half, with Matheus Pereira firing over from 25 yards after neat link-up play between himself and Grady Diangana.
The Baggies’ first real chance of the game fell to second-half substitute Kenneth Zohore, who curled an effort from distance that beat Brentford shot-stopper David Raya, but struck the crossbar as the visitors starting to build some momentum.
Brentford had a golden opportunity to double their lead after 73 minutes, as Rico Henry’s cross found Dasilva in space on his own in the West Brom penalty area, but the former Arsenal youngster could only drag his effort inches past Sam Johnstone’s post as they remained one goal ahead.
But Brentford held on to take a crucial three points from this one, as they moved up to third in the Championship table, and just six points adrift of Leeds with seven matches remaining in their season.
West Brom return to action on Wednesday evening when they take on struggling Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, in a game they’ll be expected to pick up three points from.
The Baggies stay top of the Championship table, but could be replaced by Leeds United on Saturday if Marcelo Bielsa’s side are to beat fellow promotion rivals Fulham at Elland Road.
Whilst Brentford take on Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday, as they look to make it three wins in a row since returning from a break from competitive action.