Brentford will play in a major cup Semi-Final for the first time ever after beating Newcastle United in the last eight of the Carabao Cup. Josh Dasilva scored the only goal of the game as The Bees won their Quarter Final to reach the last four. It was Brentford’s first ever appearance in the last eight of the competition and Newcastle became the fourth Premier League side beaten by The Bees on their way to the Semi-Final.
While Newcastle had their moments, it would be hard to argue that like in wins over Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham earlier in the run, Brentford had the best of it against top flight opponents. The Bees hit the crossbar in the first half and had the better chances overall. They defended well throughout and particularly as Newcastle put on striker after striker in the later stages as they fully deserved their progress.
Brentford started the game brightly and had two good chances inside the first five minutes. Saman Ghoddos had the first when he found space after drifting inside off the left and picking up a Dasilva pass, his shot from 22 yards fizzed wide. When Ghoddos delivered a corner soon after, Ethan Pinnock arrived at the near post to meet it with a powerful header, but his effort flew over the bar when he was well-placed to trouble Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
The first 20 minutes of the contest were played at a staccato pace with occasional bursts of energy. Both sides were patient in possession and often content to play in their own half. Brentford had an extra man in midfield and looked to move the ball through the channels while Newcastle played with a pair of wingers and wanted to ball out of the central areas. The visitors may have slightly shaded possession in the opening quarter of the contest, but Brentford were proving to be more creative and incisive and should have been in front after the first half hour.
A run from deep from Dasilva gave Sergi Canós the chance to cross from the right and pick out Emiliano Marcondes in the penalty area, but he failed to control when well-placed and unmarked. Canós won the ball back in Newcastle territory soon after and found Dasilva on the right side of the penalty area. He delivered a cross that deflected to Ghoddos at the far post, the shot was bounced in to the floor and past Darlow but hit the crossbar. Ghoddos’ shot was from around ten yards and if he had hit the target, he would almost certainly have scored.
Darlow then tipped a cross-cum-shot from Dasilva over the crossbar at his near post and there was a great chance from the resulting corner. Vitaly Janelt played it deep, Pinnock headed it back and Canós nodded it wide from five yards. Canós had a man to beat on the line but Darlow was stranded and Brentford’s best chance of the half slipped away.
Newcastle had been looking to get central striker Callum Wilson in to the game as often as they could. Wingers Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy mostly stayed wide and with Miguel Almirón unable to find space away from Janelt, Newcastle were unable to create as many openings as The Bees. They did, however, test Luke Daniels when they got in to Brentford territory.
Wilson made the most of a lucky ricochet when Mads Bech Sørensen tried to clear a long ball to get a shot away that tested Daniels at his near post. The follow up shot was blocked. Sørensen then made an important interception to prevent Wilson getting on to a cross from Fraser. Jonjo Shelvey had a shot blocked for Newcastle and then played a superb ball to release Fraser in behind Tariqe Fosu, the winger fired in a first time shot that Daniels pushed over the crossbar.
Fosu fired well over for The Bees when a corner was half cleared but Newcastle probably ended the half with the upper hand. They had more of the ball in the later stages of the first period and had a golden chance in the dying seconds of the opening half. A long ball dropped loose and Fraser flicked it through to Wilson. The striker was behind the defence, but Daniels stood up, forced him wide and prevented Wilson getting a shot away. He fed the ball back to Fraser and the shot was blocked.
Newcastle also had the first chances at the start of the second half. Wilson headed a Jamal Lewis cross over the bar before a clever pass from Sean Longstaff put Murphy away in the inside right channel. He looked like he might be away from Dominic Thompson, but the Brentford left back tracked him all the way, forced him wide and Murphy sliced his shot wide. It had been a good spell either side of half time for the visitors, but Brentford responded. The Bees got their midfield three a little closer together and took control of the game as Marcondes and Dasilva floated around Janelt and Brentford pushed on.
Ghoddos looped a shot in to the arms of Darlow when a corner was half cleared and The Bees had chances from a corner soon after. Thompson recycled a deep one and delivered it back in to the penalty area, Ghoddos headed down and a Canós shot was blocked. The ball dropped to Christian Nørgaard and his fizzing shot was deflected away for a corner.
Nørgaard had only been on the pitch for a few moments. He was introduced, in place of Janelt, on the hour mark as he played a competitive game for the first time since early October. He almost scored with one of his first touches and The Bees did take the lead a few minutes later.
Marcondes got on to a loose ball for Brentford just inside the Newcastle half and played Canós in to space in the inside left channel. Canós attacked the penalty area and then stood up a ball to the middle of the penalty area. It was inch perfect for the run of Dasilva and he volleyed it left footed under Darlow and in to the net. The ball was well measured by Canós and Dasilva’s shot was low and true, putting Brentford in front.
The goal came just seconds after Newcastle had made a double attacking substitution. Strikers Joelinton and Dwight Gayle had been introduced as Newcastle removed Fraser and seemed to change their shape. Joelinton was the man closest to Dasilva as he darted in to the penalty area to finish and if it was his responsibility to track the run then he did not do it well enough.
Newcastle could have equalised immediately when Joelinton broke from the left side and got deep in to Brentford territory. He drilled a ball in to the penalty area, Wilson got on to the ball and turned but a combination of Pinnock and Sørensen stopped him getting a shot on target and the ball flew away for a corner. Murphy shot wide from long range and there was another good chance from Wilson when Gayle flicked on a cross to him, but he failed to control it.
By that point Darlow had kept his team in it. Pinnock flicked on a long throw from Sørensen to the far post and Nørgaard arrived to finish it off, only to be denied by Darlow flying full stretch to his left. Dasilva had a shot blocked before he was taken off and Ivan Toney was also introduced as Brentford looked to push Newcastle back.
The visitors brought on striker Andy Carroll for left back Lewis as they went all out attack. Carroll wasted two opportunities with long range efforts that failed to trouble Daniels. There was a late chance when Gayle got on to a Murphy ball but Sørensen did enough to prevent him finishing. And that was that.
Toney could have put a late gloss on the score line when he won a long ball, exchanged passes with Marcus Forss and fired in a shot that Darlow got fingertips to and prevented it flying in to the bottom corner. That gave Newcastle seconds to find an equaliser, but they could not do so. And it was probably apt that Dasilva, the game’s outstanding player, was the match winner.
Brentford: Daniels; Fosu, Pinnock, Sørensen, Thompson; Dasilva (sub Jensen 81 mins), Janelt (sub Nørgaard 60 mins), Marcondes; Canós (sub Toney 69 mins), Forss, Ghoddos
Subs (not used): Raya, Stevens, Goode, Mbeumo
Newcastle United: Darlow; Yedlin, Clark, Hayden, Lewis (sub Carroll 80 mins); Murphy, Shelvey, Longstaff, Fraser (sub Joelinton 65 mins); Almirón (sub Gayle 65 mins); Wilson
Subs (not used): Gillespie, Ritchie, Hendrick, Krafth
Bookings: Shelvey (71 mins)