Your Derby County v Brentford match report powered by Utilita
Brentford were unable to cope with the early dismissal of Sergi Canós as they were beaten by high-flying Derby County. The Spanish attacker was sent off by referee Peter Bankes after 21 minutes at Pride Park and suddenly an even contest between The Bees promotion-chasing Derby swung the way of the hosts. They grabbed two goals in three minutes just past the half hour and there was no way back for The Bees.
Brentford battled as they looked for a way back in to the game while Derby were content to try and play time out and hold on to their 2-0 lead. Brentford dominated large periods of the second half and looked as if they might grab a goal to set up an interesting finish. But Derby’s well-drilled defence kept The Bees out and ensured the home side took the points. A late penalty sealed the win and gave the score line a slightly flattering 3-0 gloss
The key moment in the game came midway through the first half. Derby had just gone close to taking the lead in very fortunate circumstances when a deflected cross from Ikechi Anya forced Daniel Bentley to back-peddle furiously and palm the ball out from underneath his crossbar. Canós was battling in midfield and looked as if he might make a break when the ball ran away from him and he went in to a tackle with Marcus Olsson. Both players were committed but Olsson flew high in the air and Mr Bankes rushed over, brandished a red card and sent Canós off. The ball went in the direction the Brentford man played it but the referee’s judgement was that the tackle was reckless or dangerous and The Bees were presented with a major handicap.
The game had ben relatively even until that point. Brentford had started well, dominating possession in the opening exchanges but playing largely in their own territory. The home side were very keen to get on the front foot and once they started to get their share of the ball they pushed on. The closest either team came to scoring before the red card was the deflected Anya cross but there were other chances.
Andreas Bjelland bravely blocked a shot from Matěj Vydra and Curtis Davies headed a corner wide for the hosts but the best chances fell to The Bees. Florian Jozefzoon should have put the visitors ahead when a cross was half cleared and dropped to him in the penalty area but he blasted over from 12 yards. Ollie Watkins then got on to a Jozefzoon cross and fired on the turn but pulled his effort wide.
After the red card, Derby took control. Brentford were forced to play a man light in midfield and were unable to disrupt the hosts in the same way. There were gaps for Derby to play through and space out wide if needed and the hosts used their advantage. Bentley rushed out well to save at the feet of Vydra before a clever pass put Tom Lawrence away on the right, his cross was cleared by Chris Mepham and Brentford were fortunate to see it bounce wide after hitting Bjelland.
The goal Derby were threatening came just past the half hour, although Brentford would have been disappointed to see it come from a Lawrence corner. The delivery was met by Jerome and when Bentley made the save, Tom Huddlestone poked home the loose ball. That lead was doubled three minutes later. This time Huddlestone was involved earlier in the move, playing a ball over the top to Lawrence. Appeals for offside were waved away as Lawrence got his shot off and although Bentley once again made the save, Jerome was there to bounce his shot in to the net.
There was a drop off in intensity from the hosts after that double strike. They were more content to let The Bees have the ball and Brentford could have halved the deficit late in the first half when, following a short corner, Watkins set up Romaine Sawyers to shoot from 18 yards but he fired over. George Thorne shot wide in first half stoppage time but Derby hadn’t gone chasing goals after the double strike and played as if the game was won.
The second period started in similar fashion. Brentford made a tactical switch at the break, pulling Watkins over to the left and using Sawyers as the man furthest forward and The Bees had a foothold in the game. Sawyers linked up the play and enabled Brentford to have possession in Derby territory and while they did not create chances, The Bees arguably had the better of the opening period of the second half. Vydra, however, had the best chance of that period when Jerome got free in the box and cut the ball back. The Derby man wasted it by firing it high and wide.
With Sawyers pulling the strings Brentford were starting to create openings and the introduction of Nico Yennaris and Emiliano Marcondes Camargo Hansen gave them further impetus. When Yennaris fed Henrik Dalsgaard on the right, the Danish defender exchanged passes with Kamohelo Mokotjo and let fly with a shot that took a deflection and Scott Carson had to push it out for a corner. That was played short, Sawyers delivered and Mepham’s flicked header was again saved.
There was another chance for The Bees when a corner was again worked short and Emiliano drilled it across but the ball was scrambled clear. Lawrence blasted a free kick wide at the other end and Anya shot over as the minutes started to tick down. Bentley then saved from Lawrence as Derby looked to end on the front foot before denying Sam Winnall.
Derby put a gloss on the win with a third goal that was again mired in controversy. Winnall looked to be offside when he found space in the box and as Mepham tried to recover he made a foul that Mr Bankes penalise. Vydra drilled the penalty home to make it three. There was still time for Yoann Barbet to whip a free kick narrowly over the bar and Sawyers to blast high and wide before Mr Bankes brought the game to a close.
Derby County: Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Olsson; Thorne (sub Ledley 79 mins), Huddlestone; Lawrence, Vydra, Anya (sub Palmer 90 mins); Jerome (sub Winnall 63 mins)
Subs (not used): Roos, Forsyth, Baird, Nugent
Bookings: Jerome (63 mins), Olsson (90 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Mepham, Bjelland, Barbet; Woods (sub Yennaris 62 mins); Jozefzoon (sub Emiliano 62 mins), Sawyers, Mokotjo (sub Judge 75 mins), Canós; Watkins
Subs (not used): Daniels, Egan, McEachran, Maupay
Bookings: Woods (37 mins) (sixth of season), Bjelland (71 mins) (third of season)
Sent Off: Canós (21 mins)