Four-goal Bees make it five in a row
Brentford continued their winning run as Wolverhampton Wanderers were dispatched 4-0 at Griffin Park.
The Bees made it five victories on the spin, the first time they have done so in the second tier since 1935, thanks to goals from Alan Judge, Stuart Dallas, Andre Gray and Jota.
It was a clinical display from Brentford in sending Wolves the same way as Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Fulham in the past month and in the later stages they mauled their visitors.
They also defended superbly; made sure they gave nothing away and found a way to break down a resolute Wolves side.
And when they got the scent of goals in their nostrils, The Bees brought Griffin Park to its feet with some scintillating attacking football.
Brentford started positively, they were looking to play in the Wolves half and get bodies forward to join the attack.
Toumani Diagouraga saw a lot of the ball in the early stages, linking the play and getting others to join in and move The Bees up the pitch.
But Wolves held a solid line.
Their two defensive midfield players, with another in front of him to shield some more, prevented The Bees playing through the lines in the centre of the pitch.
They forced Brentford to play mainly in their own half and then looked the strike on the counter attack.
The visitors had the better chances in the first quarter of the match.
David Button saved a curling shot from Ranjiv van La Parra before Bakary Sako curled a free kick narrowly over from 25 yards.
Wolves thought they had taken the lead when van La Parra got away on the right and crossed to the far post, David Graham’s header cannoned off the bar, post and Button and bounced away.
The rippling net seemed to suggest it may have crossed the line but referee Mark Brown and his team decided it had not.
George Saville then had a curling shot blocked for Wolves, who would have been the happier team as the game ticked towards the half hour mark.
Brentford were dominating posession but weren’t quite able to move the ball quick enough to penetrate a well-drilled opposition with a defensive mind-set.
But when the home side did get a chance, it was emphatically taken.
Jon Toral robbed Lee Evans 30 yards out and set off towards goal, Gray’s run created the space for Judge to dart in to, he latched on to the pass and slotted past Carl Ikeme to put Brentford in front.
Wolves responded well to going behind and Sako forced Button in to a save after a good run down the left had led to pinball in the penalty area, Saville’s follow-up was also saved.
The Bees could have doubled their lead as half time approached when Diagouraga led a breakaway, Gray raced down the left channel and got away from his man but his lofted effort drifted across the face of goal.
Brentford went in ahead at the break and came out after half time looking to build on it, knowing their visitors had to have a more attacking outlook.
Moses Odubajo had an early sight of goal after exchanging passes with Toral but his shot hit Gray and was cleared and Matt Doherty made an important tackle to prevent Jonathan Douglas getting on to a Judge pass soon after.
Judge almost doubled his, and Brentford’s tally, when Harlee Dean led The Bees out from the back and Alex Pritchard fed it on, the shot took two deflections and flew just wide.
The game was drifting a little as it went past the hour mark, the visitors were trying to attack but had to be wary of Brentford on the break while The Bees were defending solidly and offering very few openings.
Van La Parra curled a shot over from an acute angle and then delivered a cross that was met by David Edwards at the near post and deflected wide.
Judge could have given Brentford breathing space when, as The Bees broke quickly, he got on to a Dallas pass and trip to chip Ikeme but the goalkeeper tipped it over.
From the resulting corner Tony Craig, sporting a bandage on his header after a first half collision with Sako, saw a header blocked.
But Brentford did not have to wait long for their second goal.
The excellent Dean strode out of defence with the ball and fed Pritchard; he teased his man and then delivered a ball to the far post where Dallas was waiting to stroke it home.
Wolves tried to respond again – and Edwards shot over when well-placed – but Brentford were moving through the gears.
And they grabbed their third inside the final ten minutes.
Judge played the ball from the left touchline 40 yards in to Gray; he turned, raced away from three defenders and fired a low shot unerringly past Ikeme and in to the far corner.
Craig fired wide as Brentford continued to look for goals while Edwards fired across the face of goal at the other end.
Jota put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
Judge dribbled his way in to the box and fed a pass on to the Spanish attacker, who slotted across Ikeme and in to the far corner.
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga; Toral (sub Dallas 66 mins), Pritchard (sub Jota 89 mins), Judge; Gray (sub Smith 84 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Saunders, Tarkowski, Proschwitz
Bookings: Bidwell (33 mins) (third of season)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme; Doherty, Ricketts, Batth, Golbourne (sub Rowe h/t); Evans (sub McDonald 57 mins), Saville; van La Parra, Edwards, Sako; Graham (sub Clarke 90 mins)
Subs (not used): Kuszczak, Stearman, Henry, Jacobs
Booking: Saville (16 mins), Edwards (24 mins), Evans (54 mins), Ricketts (81 mins)
Attendance: 10,923 (1,603 away fans)
By Chris Wickham