Bryan Mbuemo gave us the lead after just six minutes before Bristol’s Ashley Williams was sent off with the game was just 13 minutes old after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.
It would get better for The Bees when Dasilva spread the play from left to right to isolate Mbeumo on City left back Jay Dasilva. Mbeumo cut back inside and returned the pass to the roaming Dasilva, the Brentford version, before it went on again to Jensen, he let fly with a shot that City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley could not hold and although Watkins was unable to force home the loose ball, he fed Benrahma, who slotted in.
The Bees then continued to make their one-man advantage count as Watkins found the net twice in the second half to make it a memorable start to the year.
Emirates FA Cup
Emirates FA Cup action would follow on 4 January at Griffin Park as a much-changed Bees side took on Stoke City.
It was Emiliano Marcondes, who had recently returned from his loan during the first half of the season with FC Midtjylland, who scored from a free kick just before half-time as The Bees secured themselves a Fourth-Round tie with Leicester City. The match also saw Fredrik Hammar make his First Team debut with the Brentford B man playing the final 10 minutes from the bench.
West London derby delight
Another West London derby would follow on 11 January as Brentford welcomed Queens Park Rangers to Griffin Park. A scintillating first half saw the ‘BMW’ hit fantastic form with Benrahma’s strike just before the 20-minute mark followed closely by Mbuemo, before Watkins made it 3-0 on the half hour mark. Nahki Wells pulled a goal back in the second half, but an impressive display defensively saw to it that Brentford would take the points.
Three consecutive wins would then be halted when Brentford were held to a goalless draw away from home at Huddersfield. Josh Dasilva hit the post late on, but that was the closest The Bees came to a goal as they were made to settle for a stalemate.
Emirates FA Cup action would follow on 25 January when Brentford hosted Premier League side Leicester City in front of the BBC cameras. Thomas Frank opted for a similar team to that of the Third-Round win over Stoke with a number of youngsters involved. The match was decided after only four minutes when Kelechi Iheanacho fired home from a James Justin cross. Brentford improved going into the later stages of the first half and after the break, but they were unable to find a way back into the game as they exited the competition.
Brentford’s first league loss since the match with Millwall at the end of 2019 came at the hands of Nottingham Forest at Griffin Park as The Bees were left frustrated with Joe Lolley’s goal the difference between the two sides.
Looking to strengthen the squad ahead of the second half of the season The Bees brought in Oxford United duo Tariq Fosu and Shandon Baptiste. The exciting talents had been producing excellent displays in SkyBet League One which caught the eyes of Brentford and the club acted to bring both players into the club. Tariq and Shandon both made their debuts as late substitutes against Leeds United at Griffin Park on 11 February.
Having confirmed the deal during the previous summer, Halil Dervisoglu was then brought into the club from Sparta Rotterdam.
February started in wonderful fashion when the Bees travelled north to take on Hull City and put in a five-star performance to claim a 5-1 win away from home.
A Said Benrahma hat-trick took the plaudits with an excellent and clinical display, whilst there was also a goal for Ollie Watkins, along with an own goal from Reece Burke.
Bees come out on top in five-goal thriller
Ollie Watkins scored the winner, reaching 20 for the season in the process, as Brentford won the match 3-2 at Griffin Park. The striker fired home three minutes from time to finally kill off Middlesbrough, who pushed Brentford all the way on a late winter afternoon in West London. The Bees took the lead three times but were pegged back before Watkins finally won it in the dying stages.
The other Brentford goals came from Julian Jeanvier and Bryan Mbuemo as they resisted a spirited Middlesbrough side who pushed The Bees all the way to the wire, but Thomas Frank’s men were able to hold out for an important three points.
Three consecutive draws would follow for Brentford, the first of which against a promotion chasing Leeds United. Brentford actually led against Marcelo Bielsa’s side through Benrahma, but Liam Cooper equalised on 38 minutes to decide the match.
A tough trip to a rain-soaked Midlands would follow shortly after when Ethan Pinnock netted his first goal for the club to cancel out an early goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz for Birmingham City. The Bees may have felt they should have taken three points from the game. While they could have been a couple down in the opening 15 minutes, they had the upper hand for the remainder of the contest. They hit the post late on and had other chances come and go but could not find a way through and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Blackburn Rovers would then travel to West London and managed to go 2-0 up at Griffin Park with Adam Armstrong netting both goals for the side, but The Bees fought back to ensure they would claim a point on the day.
With Brentford trailing, it was Ollie Watkins who gave the side hope with a remarkable finish into the top corner after latching onto Henrik Dalsgaard’s ball over the top. Benrahma would then finish from the penalty spot after youngster Mads Roerslev was fouled in the box.
Luton Town would stand in front of Brentford next in a midweek fixture at Kenilworth Road. With The Hatters fighting to stay in the division they picked up an important win through a Baptiste own goal before Martin Cranie scored to make it 2-0. Watkins pulled one back seven minutes from time, but it would end in defeat for The Bees.
A trip to South Wales would be the final match of February for The Bees and it would see Luka Racic net his first senior goal for the club when he turned the ball home early on. Mbuemo would then double Brentford’s lead with a finish on 21 minutes, but despite having a strong grasp on the game, it would be the home side who would battle back to ensure they took a point with goals from Junior Hoilett and Joe Rolls before the break.