Home win for The Bees
Brentford recorded their fourth successive home win as Blackburn Rovers were beaten at Griffin Park.
Jonathan Douglas put The Bees in front in a first half hour they completely dominated but the visitors equalised with a deflected goal before the break.
Andre Gray restored Brentford’s lead and Jota made it 3-1 soon after as The Bees continued to hold the upper hand.
Blackburn attacked with numbers as they sought a way back in to the game but Brentford had done enough to take the victory, their sixth in seven Sky Bet Championship games.
Blackburn started the game with five midfield players, looking to congest the central area and make it difficult for Brentford to play.
They looked to press The Bees all over the pitch, hunting in packs and stifling the hosts.
It meant the game started slowly as Brentford dominated possession but had to work their way up the pitch slowly.
The Bees were content to start again often and leave their visitors chasing the ball, happy that the openings would come at some point.
It didn’t take too long for Brentford to take the initiative and turn possession in to chances and then the opening goal.
The Bees went ahead just past the quarter hour when a Moses Odubajo cross was half cleared, Jake Bidwell drilled it back in and Douglas diverted it home from close range.
They could have been in front before then, a Gray shot deflected just wide after the striker had turned well and, when the resulting corner was half cleared, Tony Craig fired wide.
Alex Pritchard fired a free kick over the bar just before the goal and a low Jota shot was saved by Jason Steele just after.
Rudy Gestede had an early shot blocked for Blackburn and Ben Marshall curled a free kick wide but the visitors weren’t really in it in the first half hour and they were clinging to a foothold in the game.
After good possession from The Bees, Odubajo delivered a cross from the right, Gray was denied a shooting opportunity before Jota’s fierce follow-up, which looked set for the net, was blocked.
Gray’s pace was causing the Blackburn defence problems and after he tricked Grant Hanley with a dummy, and was then pulled back by the defender – not illegally impeding his progress according to referee Andy Woolmer, it took a last ditch tackle from Shane Duffy to prevent him getting in a shot from 12 yards, Pritchard picked up the loose ball and his effort deflected a fraction wide.
Blackburn came in to the game as the first half entered its later stages.
David Button saved from Marshall and Craig then made a vital block when Gestede looked set to meet a Marcus Olsson cross.
Button then saved at the feet of Alex Baptiste, getting a kick for his trouble, before a magnificent full length tackle from Harlee Dean prevented Ryan Tunnicliffe going through.
The visitors then turned their small spell of pressure in to an equalising goal.
They broke quickly and Craig Conway got away on the right, his cross was met by Gestede but it was not troubling Button until it took a wicked deflection, wrong-footing the Brentford goalkeeper, and rolled in.
Douglas had a shot blocked late in the first half by Hanley but Brentford went in at the break level despite dominating the majority of the half.
Both before the break and immediately after Blackburn tried to get their midfield higher up the pitch.
Tunnicliffe was closer to Gestede and the wide players were further forward.
The second period started in the same way the first had, Brentford dominated the ball but Blackburn pressed high, even higher – in fact – than the first half.
But Brentford got the measure of it, played though, round and over and got in to attacking areas.
Bidwell volleyed in to the side netting after meeting an Odubajo cross and it took a fine save from Steele to his right to prevent Jota ending a weaving run with a goal.
The next time the Spaniard got on the ball, however, he set up Brentford’s second goal.
He picked a delightful pass through to Gray, the striker spun and although he missed his first shot he reacted quickest to toe end the ball past Steele and the defenders on the line.
Blackburn came flying back at Brentford and should have been level within three minutes.
Gestede headed a deep cross back in to the danger area, Conway was crowded out by Dean but Marshall arrived with the goal at his mercy only to blast it against the post.
Duffy then headed a Conway corner over from close range but seconds later Brentford had their third.
Jota again weaved his way in from the left and moved the ball inside to Douglas, it ricochet back to the Spaniard as Conway went in for a tackle and he calmly slotted home from 15 yards.
Blackburn needed goals quickly and brought Jordan Rhodes and David Dunn in to the game, soon to be followed by Jason Lowe.
Button saved a Dunn shot and got out quickly to save at the feet of Rhodes soon after but at the other end a move involving Jota, Alan Judge and Pritchard ended with Douglas through on Steele with the ball running away from him, the goalkeeper rushed out and saved at the feet of the Brentford man, although there was a suspicion of a foul.
Dunn shot wide and Rhodes turned an Olsson cross just past the post as Blackburn continued to press.
Rhodes blasted over when well-placed as the game ticked in to stoppage time and Gestede missed the target with an acrobatic effort but the visitors’ chances had gone and Brentford had the win.
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga; Jota (sub Dallas 76 mins), Pritchard (sub Smith 86 mins), Judge; Gray (sub Proschwitz 86 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Tarkowski, Saunders, Toral
Bookings: Diagouraga (78 mins) (second of season)
Blackburn Rovers: Steele; Baptiste (sub Lowe 79 mins), Duffy, Hanley, Olsson; Marshall, Williamson (sub Rhodes 67 mins), Tunnicliffe, Evans, Conway (sub Dunn 67 mins); Gestede
Subs (not used): Eastwood, Henley, Varney, Songo’o
Bookings: Baptiste (39 mins), Williamson (66 mins)
Attendance: 11,848 (1,582 away fans)
By Chris Wickham