A goal in each half gave an excellent Barnsley side a well-deserved 2-0 win against Brentford in West London. The visitors took the lead early on after a fast start and then added a second moments after the restart to earn a cushion they never looked like losing. The Bees had chances, particularly at 1-0 down, but were unable to mount a comeback and Barnsley took the points.
And it was a win that they fully merited. The visitors were incredibly energetic off the ball and produced quality in the final third to score the opening goal. They limited Brentford to few chances and then took theirs when it came just after the interval. With a 2-0 lead, they never looked back and took the win.
Barnsley started the game in a very intense manner. They were on the front foot with and without the ball, got a lot of their players high up the pitch and played in Brentford territory. They won early set pieces and put a lot of crosses in to the Brentford penalty area. The Bees dealt with most of them, with David Raya making a save from a flicked effort from Carlton Morris, but the visitors deserved the lead they got 13 minutes in.
It came when Callum Brittain isolated himself against Rico Henry and then got a fortunate ricochet as the defender made the tackle. Brittain delivered a brilliant cross from the right and Conor Chaplin arrived at the far post to finish. Chaplin got himself between Henrik Dalsgaard and Ethan Pinnock and although Raya got a hand to the shot, the ball rolled over the line.
That lead was merited but The Bees had a great chance to level within three minutes. Saman Ghoddos bent a pass in to the left channel for Henry to burst in to space. The ball was cut back to edge of the penalty area for Josh Dasilva, who took a touch and had time to measure a shot but pulled it wide.
Ivan Toney had an effort blocked, as did Sergi Canós when The Bees recycled the ball. And Brentford moved up a gear after falling behind. Barnsley were still working incredibly hard off the ball, but The Bees were dominating possession and were playing more in the visitors’ half. Raya had to make a save at full stretch when Morris met a Brittain cross with a well-placed header but most of the action was now taking place in Barnsley territory.
A Ghoddos free kick caused difficulty for the visitors and a fierce Pinnock shot was blocked. The ball broke back to Pinnock and his next effort deflected wide for a corner. That was played deep and met by Pinnock again, but his header was blocked. Dalsgaard had a header saved by Brad Collins late in the half and The Bees could have levelled in stoppage time when Toney took a free kick quickly and Canós found Ghoddos 18 yards out, but his low shot was saved again by Collins.
Brentford were starting to take the upper hand at the break but were two down within seconds of the restart. The ball was played by Barnsley in to the inside right channel and Daryl Dike found space. His next touch seemed to be a shot that he pulled horribly but, as Pinnock missed his kick, it became a great cross. Morris took a touch and slotted the ball past Raya and in to the net off the post.
And there was no way back from there for The Bees. Barnsley’s work off the ball was intense and relentless and Brentford had no way to build momentum. The visitors changed their front three as a unit just before the hour mark to ensure they could keep up the pressure. They could have got a third when Cauley Woodrow fed a long ball in to the path of Victor Adeboyejo, but his shot from 22 yards whistled just wide.
Brentford tried to find a way back in to the game and looked for different ways to get in to attacking areas. Barnsley’s work off the ball made it hard to progress forward through midfield but there were openings when The Bees went a little longer and when they could switch the play. They also won free kicks and corners. Pinnock headed a dead ball from Vitaly Janelt over before Dasilva lashed well off target when one was cleared to him.
Another free kick from Ghoddos looked like it might beat everyone and sneak in, but it was cleared inside the six-yard box. Canós lashed it back in and Dalsgaard diverted it over the bar. Canós then had a near post shot blocked before he weaved in off the left and let fly with a shot that Collins failed to gather. Ghoddos and Tariqe Fosu were lurking but neither could force it in. A cross-cum-shot from Dasilva deflected over the crossbar as Brentford pushed forward, without creating any really good chances.
There was a late header from Toney, which flew over the bar, but The Bees never came close to salvaging something from the match. And Barnsley came closest to the third goal of the afternoon. An Alex Mowatt shot deflected in to the arms of Raya and he went close again in the dying seconds. Jordan Williams broke from midfield and fed a pass in but Mowatt’s shot was weak and Raya saved. But that did not affect the overall result as Barnsley ended Brentford’s 21-match unbeaten run.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard (sub Roerslev 74 mins), Pinnock, Sørensen, Henry; Dasilva (sub Jensen 74 mins), Janelt, Ghoddos (sub Forss 74 mins); Mbeumo (sub Fosu 64 mins), Toney, Canós
Subs (not used): Daniels, Goode, Reid, Žambůrek
Bookings: Toney (90 mins) (fourth of season)
Barnsley: Collins; Helik, Sollbauer (sub Sibbick 67 mins), Andersen; Brittain, Mowatt, Palmer (sub Williams 77 mins), Styles; Chaplin (sub Frieser 56 mins), Dike (sub Woodrow 56 mins), Morris (sub Adeboyejo 56 mins)
Subs (not used): Walton, Kane, Odour, Moon
Bookings: Sollbauer (26 mins), Dike (43 mins), Woodrow (83 mins), Mowatt (90 mins)