Brentford extended their current run to one defeat, and three wins, in their last five games with a demolition of Luton Town. Rico Henry and Ivan Toney scored inside ten first half minutes as The Bees took a 2-0 lead at the interval and never looked back. Marcus Forss came off the substitute’s bench to make it 3-0 late on and seal a comprehensive win.
The score line did not flatter The Bees and there was no doubt they deserved the win. Luton made a decent start but never looked like taking the points, particularly after Brentford got ahead. Henry’s first goal for almost two years came before excellently worked strikes from Brentford’s front duo, who already have 15 between them this season. And it probably could have been even more comfortable for The Bees.
Luton were content to play without the ball in the early stages of the contest. They started the game with a flat back five with full backs deep and two holding midfield players in front of them. They asked a lot of their front players to try and prevent Brentford playing through midfield with their central pair only coming forward when The Bees tried to feed Vitaly Janelt.
Brentford were patient at the start of the match. They were happy to keep the ball, try and pull Luton around and wait for gaps. The Bees could have scored early on when the hosts failed to deal with a long throw and Josh Dasilva crossed for Ethan Pinnock to head over but Luton would have been happy with their first 15 minutes.
The home side had also created a couple of openings from set pieces. One corner looked like it may be about to land on the head of Danny Hylton before Pinnock leapt from nowhere to prevent the ball reaching its target. Sonny Bradley got a shot away that Emiliano Marcondes blocked and Hylton was unable to get on to the loose ball. A low free kick soon after from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was turned wide by Hylton but there were already signs that the game was turning Brentford’s way, and they soon had complete control.
The Bees were 2-0 up before the half hour after as they started to pick gaps in Luton’s defensive shape. Dasilva and Marcondes dropped a fraction deeper and The Bees had their central midfield trio in a tight area. That enabled them to pull Luton’s midfield up the pitch, pick passes around them and run at the home defence. Dasilva, in particular, started to dominate the match with Janelt able to find the time and space to feed him.
Brentford’s first goal owed much to Dasilva finding that space. The Bees played out of defence with Henrik Dalsgaard flicking a swift pass from Raya in to Dasilva. The Brentford man charged up the pitch before feeding the ball to Sergi Canós on the right. Luton were able to clear the cross but only as far as Henry, who took a touch and fired a shot from 20 yards out of the reach of Simon Sluga and in to the net. It was only Henry’s second goal for Brentford but was an unstoppable effort that fizzed off the turf and in to the net.
Luton looked deflated by the goal and Brentford piled on the pressure. The home side were unable to build any sustained possession and the second goal came within ten minutes. Canós was involved again, drifting off the left, picking up a pass from Dasilva in the centre circle and turning well. His pass was superb and released Bryan Mbeumo on the right, he darted away from Rhys Norrington-Davies and crossed for Toney to score. The finish was from a matter of inches out after Dasilva, Canós and Mbeumo had done all the hard work and Brentford had a two-goal lead.
Brentford’s front three were starting to link well, Canós and Mbeumo were coming narrow when needed but also pulling wide to give the midfield players space to move in to. Canós set up Mbeumo for a shot that was deflected wide and then played a one-two with Toney before having a shot blocked. Luton might have got a goal back when Bradley headed a deep free kick back across, but David Raya clawed it away from oncoming attackers.
The home side needed to change things and went through three formations in a short space of time. They introduced Kazenga LuaLua before the interval, as they ditched their ultra-defensive outlook to move to a back four. The hosts then made a further change at half time, bringing midfield player Luke Berry in to the game. That left them with more attacking options on the pitch, with defenders withdrawn, but Brentford continued to have most of the ball.
The Bees had some chances at the start of the second half to get a third goal that would probably have killed the game off. Toney headed a Dasilva cross wide after Luton had failed to deal with a long throw from Mads Bech Sørensen and Canós pulled a shot wide after a fine turn on half way and run from deep. Luton were unable to build any momentum to try and create the chances to find a way back in to the game with Brentford dominating midfield and Janelt providing an effective shield in front of his defence.
Luton did almost find a goal with a fine move out of nothing. Tom Lockyer, pressed in to service at right back by the changes, exchanged passes with Berry and got in behind Brentford, his cut back found Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu arriving but he was chased all the way by Dasilva and the Brentford man was able to deflect the shot away. From the resulting corner, Raya gathered and played a ball that split Luton’s defence in two, Mbeumo raced away from the home players but Sluga rushed out and just got there in time to prevent Brentford going three up.
The resulting long throw was half cleared to Marcondes, but he missed his kick as he attempted to volley in. Marcondes went a little closer soon after when he played a pass wide to the increasingly impressive Canós and darted in to the middle to meet the return cross. His header was powerful but straight at Sluga, who made the stop. Raya saved from LuaLua and Henry could have added an assist to his goal when he fed Canós and raced forward on to the return ball and away from Jordan Clark. Henry drilled in his cross, but it was just behind Toney and the Brentford striker was unable to shift his body to make the finish.
The pressure was building for The Bees and two substitutes combined for a superb third goal inside the final 15 minutes. Mathias Jensen found space in midfield and drove on, he waited for the right moment to pick a pass for Forss, running in behind. The pass was inch perfect, Forss waited to draw Sluga and lifted the ball over him and in to the far corner. Luton had earlier introduced a second striker, but the game was up and Brentford went searching for more goals.
The Bees could have got a fourth when the sensational Henry darted down the left for the umpteenth time. His cross was blocked but Forss got on to it and turned well, his cut back arrived at the feet of Dasilva but the shot from 12 yards flew over the bar. Luton simply had no way to stop Brentford running at them and were hanging on.
They may have got a goal back late on when Mpanzu delivered a cross-cum-shot after twisting and turning in the penalty area, but Raya held on low down. And it summed up The Bees that Dasilva tracked him all the way in to the box to ensure no further danger. Sluga prevented a fourth goal when Jensen delivered a corner that was met by Dalsgaard, although it was possible the power and direction on the effort came from Bradley, and the Luton stop saved superbly to his left. That would not have flattered The Bees, but three goals and three points was a good way to end the month.
Luton Town: Sluga; Cranie, Lockyer, Pearson (sub LuaLua 37 mins), Bradley, Norrington-Davies (sub Berry h/t); Rea, Dewsbury-Hall; Clark (sub Collins 74 mins), Hylton, Mpanzu
Subs (not used): Shea, Tunnicliffe, Lee, Morrell
Bookings: Hylton (54 mins)
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Sørensen, Henry; Marcondes (sub Jensen 75 mins), Janelt, Dasilva; Mbeumo (sub Fosu 82 mins), Toney (sub Forss 75 mins), Canós
Subs (not used): Daniels, Goode, Thompson, Ghoddos
Bookings: Janelt (90 mins) (second of season)