It was Brentford who emerged victorious at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Bees comfortably saw off play-off rivals Reading thanks to a brace from Bryan Mbeumo and a fortunate strike from Mathias Jensen.
Both sides made two changes to the teams that drew and lost to Watford and Norwich City in midweek respectively – with Tariqe Fosu and Charlie Goode coming into the backline for the Bees in place of Henrik Dalsgaard and Ethan Pinnock, whilst for Reading Tomas Esteves and Sam Baldock came in for Sone Aluko and Lewis Gibson.
It was Brentford who made the breakthrough as Jensen was played in by Sergi Canos, the midfielder’s resulting shot was tame but somehow Rafael Cabral in the Reading goal managed to let it in – a clanger from the keeper that he won’t want to see again!
Both Jensen and Vitaly Janelt really dictated the play throughout the first half, spraying balls out to the flanks at every opportunity afforded to them and soon enough it had the desired effect as the Bees struck a second.
It was Mbeumo who doubled Brentford’s lead as he cut in from the right after being found by a well driven diagonal pass from Josh Dasilva before hitting a terrific strike into the far corner.
You would have thought there would be a little bit of rest bite for Reading after going two behind, however it was soon three as Brentford really turned the screw.
A stunning move involving Canos and Ivan Toney led to the latter feeding Mbeumo who finished well into the corner for his second of the contest in what was proving to be one of the Frenchman’s brightest showings of the season so far.
Reading largely struggled to get their influential pairing of Michael Olise and Ovie Ejaria into the game, with both players cutting frustrated figures during the opening 45 minutes.
Tomas Esteves, to his credit, was Reading’s best attacking outlet during the first half, despite the Portuguese having to play in a unfamiliar left back role, offering a good option in wide areas during Reading’s rare forays forward into the opposing half.
The only first half chance of any note for the Royals came in the form of a well struck shot from Josh Laurent, after the midfielder was slipped in on the angle of the box by Ovie Ejaria, with the midfielder’s shot being well saved by David Raya.
Moving into the second half and there was a good opening for Reading as Sam Baldock broke forward before laying it into Ejaria who tested Raya well with a shot towards the near post that was deflected behind for a corner by the Spaniard.
There was then a big chance for Brentford as Dominic Thompson combined well with the influential Mbeumo before striking just wide of the far post.
Reading then got a goal back against the run of play as second half substitute Sone Aluko headed home unmarked from Olise’s cross.
There was then something of a lull in play before the away side created a good opening as Ejaria was played in down the left side of the box but the resulting shot on his left foot was palmed up into the air by Raya, with the rebound eventually coming to nothing as the Spaniard gathered following a small scramble.
The Bees rarely threatened during the closing stages of the second half with only a rising efforts from Fosu and substitute Marcus Forss coming anywhere near to increasing their lead.
In the end the home side saw off any late resistance from the Royals to seal all three points for Thomas Frank’s side on home turf, thus increasing their unbeaten run to 13 games in the league.
Whilst for Veljko Paunović and his team it is back to the drawing board after a poor run of results in recent weeks with Luton Town up next in the league for the Berkshire outfit.
FULL TIME: Brentford 3-1 Reading