Brentford fell to defeat against AFC Bournemouth in their final game before the start of the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season. The Premier League side took a first half lead and then added two more after the break as they beat The Bees in the pre-season friendly at a wet and wild Griffin Park. A late goal from Marcus Forss reduced the deficit but did not change the result.
The clinical finishing from the visitors meant they were worth their win at Griffin Park. There was little to separate the teams for long periods but the Premier League side were better in both penalty areas. They did enough to lead at the break and two goals in seven minutes late in the second half meant the Forss goal was just consolation.
Both teams started the game with an attacking mindset. The game flowed from end-to-end in the early stages with the sides aiming to get forward. They matched up with 3-4-3 systems, which left space in the channels and with no shortage of pace on display, an entertaining contest developed.
Sergi Canós had the first sight of goal for The Bees when he wriggled free in the inside left channel but his shot failed to really trouble Mark Travers. There was a better chance soon after for Josh Clarke, this time created by Canós. The Spanish attacker burst forward after Emiliano Marcondes had won a tackle in midfield and fed the overlapping Clarke, on the dart from left back, he steadied himself but fired in to the side netting as the angle narrowed.
Bournemouth probably had more attacking possession in the first 20 minutes without making the most of some good positions. When Dominic Solanke led a break and found Jordan Ibe on the left side, the cut back was met by Jack Stacey but Christian Nørgaard had tracked back well and made the block. Loose passes from Jan Žambůrek and Josh Dasilva gave Solanke and Ibe shooting chances from the edge of the penalty area. Solanke blasted wide, and had another shot blocked soon after, while Ibe did forced David Raya in to a save but did not worry him unduly.
Raya came through a tougher test soon after when he denied David Brooks. The Welsh international was left with only Raya to beat after good work by Ibe but Raya made a brave block. The goal the visitors had been threatening came just past the half hour after The Bees overplayed in their defensive third. Ibe got on to a loose pass after a misunderstanding between Pontus Jansson and Julian Jeanvier, wriggled free and fired low past Raya from a tight angle.
The game had gone in to a lull before the goal. Marcondes had fired a free kick over for The Bees but there was a more patient game being played with the teams happy to keep possession and look for openings. Bournemouth made the most of theirs when it came and took the lead in to half time. Brentford created an opening from a corner when Ethan Pinnock met a deep Marcondes delivery but Travers saved and the goalkeeper denied Canós just before the break after good interplay between Dasilva and Clarke.
The visitors should, in fact, have doubled their lead before the break after more good defensive play. They forced a mistake from Raya with their high line and the Brentford goalkeeper passed straight to Jefferson Lerma when he was looking for Dasilva. Lerma was left with only Raya to beat but the goalkeeper made himself big and kept the ball out.
The Bees made a bright start after the interval and Jan Žambůrek almost forced Travers in to a mistake moments in to the second period. A pass from the Bournemouth goalkeeper just eluded the Czech Republic youth international and any touch would have taken it in to an unguarded net. That was a sign of what was to come in the early stages of the second half as Brentford upped the work rate to force Bournemouth back and in to mistakes.
Forss, on at half time, added an extra dimension to the attack and he saw a shot deflected wide after a good run. Jansson headed the resulting corner over before Travers saved at the feet of Forss after good work by Dasilva. Bournemouth were unable to put together any attacking possession and the nearest they came to a second goal in the first 15 minutes of the second period when was a Raya clearance cannoned in to Solanke and bounced narrowly wide.
When the visitors scored their second goal with 20 minutes remaining it was against the run of play. But it was a well worked goal. Stacey exchanged passes with Brooks and delivered a superb low cross that was poked in by Solanke. The goal was clinically finished once space was created on the right and Bournemouth had breathing space.
The second goal changed the flow of the game and Bournemouth took control of the later stages. Raya had to save a low shot from Diego Rico in the inside left channel and when the visitors got in to a similar position soon after, Ibe delivered a low cross and substitute Sam Surridge arrived at the far post to slot home. That sealed the win for Bournemouth and with heavy rain falling and the teams making substitutions, the last pre-season friendly at Griffin Park mostly meandered to a close.
There was, however, a superbly executed goal from Forss. Dasilva burst through midfield and a clever touch from Mathias Jensen put Forss in the clear, he drew Travers, keeping the defence at bay, and slotted through the legs of the goalkeeper to reduce the deficit. That goal did not change the result but gave the game a fairer looking score line as Brentford ended their build-up to the 2019/20 season with a loss.
Brentford: Raya; Jeanvier, Jansson, Pinnock; Dalsgaard, Dasilva, Nørgaard (sub Oksanen 85 mins), Clarke; Žambůrek (sub Jensen 71 mins), Marcondes, Canós (sub Forss h/t)
AFC Bournemouth: Travers; Mepham, Butcher (sub Cordner 78 mins), Aké; Stacey, Lerma (sub Anthony 85 mins), Kilkenny (sub Sherring 85 mins), Rico; Brooks (sub Surridge 71 mins), Solanke, Ibe