Sergi Canós and Lasse Vibe both scored twice as Brentford came from 3-1 down to record a thumping win over Burton Albion. The Bees may have been down and out as they trailed by two at the break after a first half that the hosts had the better of. But two goals before the hour mark levelled it up and Brentford never looked back. Vibe got his second of the game and then crossed for Jota to make it 5-3 and seal a win that looked unlikely midway through the match.
The Bees had scored the first of the eight goals of the afternoon through Canós but two from set pieces from Marvin Sordell swung the game the way of the hosts. When Cauley Woodrow made it 3-1 late in the first half the game looked just about done but the half time team talk from Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith had the desired effect. Vibe reduced the arrears before Canós levelled it up from a tight angle and gave The Bees the platform to go on and take the win.
The game had been relatively quiet before Brentford opened the scoring ten minutes in. A long-range effort from Woodrow skimmed past the post with Daniel Bentley scrambling across while another shot from distance – this one from Jackson Irvine – flew in to the arms of the Brentford goalkeeper. That Irvine shot came seconds before The Bees took the lead with the first piece of real quality of the afternoon. The ball fell fortunately for The Bees in midfield and was swept out to the right, Romaine Sawyers delivered a cross and Canós arrived to smash it home on the volley from close range.
The goal was followed by a long delay, and Burton protests, as Kyle McFadzean was down and unable to take part in defending the attack. That he got up holding his head only angered the home side more. There was no real pattern to the game before the goal. The hosts had perhaps started a little brighter and had a clear plan with three attackers high up the pitch, preventing Brentford playing from defence in to midfield. The teams matched up with three men in the centre of midfield and the middle of the pitch was congested.
Brentford looked to use Canós and Jota on the flanks to build their attacks and a good piece of play from the latter won a free kick that Yoann Barbet curled in to the arms of Jon McLaughlin. Michael Kightly tested Bentley with a free kick 20 yards out soon after but Brentford appeared to have everything in hand when the game swung Burton’s way midway through the first half with two goals that were almost identical. Both came from corners delivered on the right by Lasse Vigen Christensen, both were flicked on at the near post by McFadzean and both were converted at the far post by Sordell.
The first, equalising goal, was headed in from a yard out after the flick on looped across the box. And two minutes later Sordell was equally unmarked to poke in from a couple of yards after the flick had ricochet around the area. The goals were probably not merited on the balance of play but Brentford’s inability to deal with the cross cost them dear. That double gave Burton a boost and Brentford were forced to play largely in their own territory for a period. But after regaining their composure The Bees looked to find a way back in to the game. Canós had a pair of shots blocked and McLaughlin was forced to save low to his left when Jota shot from 25 yards.
But they were left with a second half mountain to climb when Burton grabbed a third before the break. Sawyers was robbed in midfield and then fouled Kightly as he tried to win the ball back. That gave Woodrow the chance to line up a free kick from 22 yards and he curled it around the wall and in to the bottom corner. It could have been worse for The Bees as Sordell saw a shot blocked and Tom Flanagan headed a corner wide but Burton went in at the break deserving their lead and looking well set for victory.
But the game was noticeably different after half time. The home side sat deep and looked nervous while Brentford were invigorated. They were quicker to the loose balls, passed with pace and accuracy and when they got a goal back six minutes in to the second half it was no surprise. There was fantastic interplay on the edge of the box before Jota slipped a ball through and found Vibe, he stepped away from defenders and slotted home to halve the deficit.
Harlee Dean saw a shot saved after being set up by Sawyers and Maxime Colin before the equaliser came just past the hour mark. Canós picked a ball up and headed towards goal, he exchanged passes with Vibe, rounded McLaughlin and squeezed a shot in from the tightest of angles before celebrating in front of the travelling Brentford fans.
Burton looked stunned by Brentford’s second half response. Bentley had denied Woodrow before the equaliser and then did so again, a little less comfortably, afterwards but they were clearly rattled. The home side had come out after the break and sat deeper, they invited Brentford on and found it hard to reverse the momentum. They did, however, slow The Bees down a little and as the game ticked in to the final 15 minutes there were chances at both ends.
Woodrow fired over when meeting a Kightly free kick at the far post before Luke Murphy smashed a shot well wide. Irvine then had a golden chance when he arrived late to meet a Kightly cross but he flicked his header off target. The best opening, however, fell to Woodrow. Kightly had created the chance, working his way – fortuitously – past Dean and letting fly from 15 yards, Bentley saved but the ball bounced to Woodrow 12 yards out with the goal at his mercy but he screwed it wide. And that proved to be a key moment.
Brentford introduced Nico Yennaris and Florian Jozefzoon and the home side could not deal with the fresh legs. Yennaris picked up everything in midfield and allowed Ryan Woods to dictate play while Jozefzoon replaced Canós and gave Burton a new set of problems on their right flank. Jozefzoon could have scored with his first touches when he ran from deep and exchanged passes with Jota before letting fly from 18 yards with a shot that was arrowing in to corner before John Brayford appeared from nowhere to divert the ball over the top. He also failed to convert when unmarked at the far post soon after.
When, moments later, following more great interplay in Burton territory, Jota smashed a shot against the post and a pair of follow-up efforts from Yennaris were stopped by first McLaughlin and then a packed defence it looked like Brentford might not find the winner. But five minutes from time the goal came. Jozefzoon was the architect, he sped down the left after getting on to a raking Woods pass and delivered a cross to the far post for Vibe to convert on the stretch.
And 4-3 became 5-3 less than 90 seconds later when Alan McCormack, the third substitute, helped win the ball deep in Burton territory, Vibe delivered a cross and Jota turned it home at the near post. The goals were very much deserved for Brentford’s second half display and Burton looked shattered.
There was clearly no way back for the hosts and it was a matter of whether Brentford could add to their tally. McCormack fired inches wide after being set up Jota and when a corner was half cleared a Barbet shot was blocked and McLaughlin saved from Tom Field. Vibe turned a near post cross from Colin just wide as he sought a hat-trick while anything Burton tried was repelled by the commanding Dean. Even five minutes of stoppage time was not enough for the hosts to find a way back in to the game and Brentford had the win.
Burton Albion: McLaughlin; Brayford (sub Akins 87 mins), McFadzean, Turner, Flanagan; Christensen, Murphy, Irvine (sub Palmer 80 mins); Sordell, Woodrow, Kightly (sub Dyer 80 mins)
Subs (not used): Bywater, Mousinho, Naylor, Varney
Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Barbet, Field; Woods; Jota, Kerschbaumer (sub Yennaris 63 mins), Sawyers (sub McCormack 78 mins), Canós (sub Jozefzoon 72 mins); Vibe
Subs (not used): Bonham, Egan, Clarke, Shaibu
Bookings: Jota (67 mins) (second of season)