Thomas Frank’s Brentford continued their 100% win record since the season’s resumption, and heaped the pressure considerably on West Bromwich Albion this evening as they secured an impressive 3-0 victory over Reading at the Madejski.
Goals from Bryan Mbeumo, Josh Da Silva and Joel Valencia secured the victory for the west London outfit in what turned out to be a professional, yet comfortable win for the visitors.
The Bees are now within two points of the Baggies who sit in second in the table, with Bilic’s side set to play Sheffield Wednesday, tomorrow evening.
Brentford looked comfortable throughout the 90 minutes and asserted their authority in the early stages of the game, as they moved the ball around crisply and accurately as Reading afforded the Bees plenty of time on the ball.
In what turned out to be a first-half of few clear-cut chances, it was Brentford, who kicked off the scoring in the 22nd minute.
Bryan Mbeumo, who was called up for his first start since the season’s resumption to form the renowned ‘BMW’ attack, alongside Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, proved fruitful as he scored the Bees’ first.
Consistent possession and early pressure for the Bees told as a deep corner was headed back by Ethan Pinnock into the six-yard box and Mbeumo arrived to nod in from close range, as the Royals’ defenders failed to get tight enough to the Frenchman.
Reading’s Micheal Olise and Yakou Meite seemed the main catalysts for the Berkshire outfit when trying to initiate attacks in the latter stages of the first half, but their efforts in the build-up came to no avail as the imperious Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock snuffed out any Royals attacks with relative ease.
As the second half switched into the gear, the first chance fell, expectedly to Brentford, when Ollie Watkins found the ball stumble to to his feet just outside the six-yard box after a jinxing run from Benrahma, but Rafael stood tall and saved Watkins’ close-range effort to ensure the Royals didn’t go 2-0 down.
The Bees continued their utter dominance of possession soon after that Watkins chance and a second goal came not long after, as Josh Da Silva was on hand to notch Brentford’s second.
A well-worked move down the right culminated in Da Silva drilling a shot from the edge of the area – Rafael saved the first effort but the former Arsenal midfielder followed up and smashed it in high past Rafael.
The home side continued to struggle with Brentford’s energetic, relentless style of play and the impressive Christian Norgaard nearly made it three in the 75th minute, as he whipped in a curling shot from 25-yards but Rafael was there to acrobatically parry it away.
Whilst, Watkins then forced another save from Rafael in the 85th minute as his low drive was saved by the Brazilian.
Brentford finished off their win in style as the ball found itself to substitute Joel Valencia, who then fired a vicious shot from 20 yards past Rafael, in what was his first goal for the club.
The Bees continued to see out the remaining minutes comfortably as they sealed all three points in Berkshire, in what was an impressive performance for the visitors, but a very laboured one from the hosts.
Frank’s men will firmly have their eyes on the next game as they face off against Wigan at Griffin Park on Saturday, looking to increase the pressure on the top two even more.