Brentford recorded their biggest league win for just short of a quarter of a century as Luton Town were thrashed 7-0 at Griffin Park. Josh Dasilva will take most of the plaudits after scoring a hat-trick, but The Bees put together a ruthless attacking display to put Luton to the sword. They scored four in an 18-minute spell just before half time and a 5-0 lead at the break became 7-0 at full time, The Bees scoring seven in the league for the first time since a 7-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle in December 1994.
There were contributions from all areas after Bryan Mbeumo opened the scoring three minutes in. Ollie Watkins and Mathias Jensen scored before Dasilva grabbed two before half time. Saïd Benrahma got in on the act before winning the penalty and handing the ball to Dasilva to complete his hat-trick and seal the win.
Luton came to Griffin Park with an attacking outlook that was probably their undoing. They played two up front, wingers looking to get high up the pitch and a forward-thinking midfield. They had an early shot from Andrew Shinnie that deflected wide off Pontus Jansson but found themselves a goal down inside six minutes after a dreadful mix-up.
The ball was spread from the left by Ethan Pinnock and an attempt by Dan Potts to chest the ball back to goalkeeper James Shea went horribly wrong. Either Shea overran the pass, or the direction was off but Mbeumo was presented with an open net and rolled the ball in. Shea attempted to recover but Mbeumo was quick off the mark and converted from a tightening angle to put The Bees in front.
The game was stopped for more than two minutes after the goal as Jensen received treatment, but he was soon back in to his stride and so were The Bees. Jensen could have set up a goal for Pinnock from a corner, but his header was blocked on the line. Jensen then curled a shot wide from 22 yards after good work by the impressive Mbeumo.
The early goal knocked Luton’s confidence in defence a little but did not affect their attacking outlook. Brentford pressed forward and dominated possession, but the visitors looked to counter-attack at speed and with as many bodies as they could. David Raya was forced in to a save from a Ryan Tunnicliffe shot and Sonny Bradley headed a corner over.
But Luton’s problems were at the other end. Out of possession they were leaving gaps all over the pitch. Brentford had space in midfield, on the flanks and between the lines. Chances were being created and it was not long before they turned in to a match-winning lead as Brentford ruthlessly exploited Luton’s generosity and 1-0 just before the half hour became 4-0 before 40 minutes had elapsed and 5-0 by half-time. And it could have been more.
The second goal was the 12th of the season for Watkins and came after a long spell of possession in Luton’s final third. Christian Nørgaard spotted Dasilva in space and he played the crucial pass, picking out Watkins 12 yards out. The pass from Dasilva just needed diverting by Watkins and the deflection it took on the way past Shea did not affect the final outcome.
Four minutes later it was three and Luton barely touched the ball in between. This time a cross from the right was recycled by Watkins on the left. He picked out Jensen with a ball inside and the Danish midfielder took a touch and, using a defender as a shield, wrong-footed Shea with a low shot. The ball crept just inside the post with Shea on his back as Jensen celebrated his first Brentford goal.
Three became four seven minutes later as Dasilva took over. Watkins was the architect again with a turn and run from deep that left Luton floundering. he picked out Dasilva on the right and the midfield player took a touch to create the space for his party piece, the left footed shot in to the top corner from 20 yards. Shea was helpless as Potts gave Dasilva the space and it was ruthlessly exploited.
For reasons known only to themselves, there were no tactical or personnel changes from Luton as they continued to leave space for The Bees. And when the fifth went in seconds before the interval, it had been coming. And arguably it was the best of the lot. After more lengthy possession, Benrahma wriggled free and lifted a ball over the Luton defence. Dasilva took a touch, jinked the ball from right foot to left and then back to right before drilling it through Shea and in to the net.
Two-and-a-half minutes in to stoppage time referee Tony Harrington took pity on the visitors and ended the half that could have been even worse for Luton. Their plight was summed up when Shinnie, who had earlier wasted a good breakaway by running in to a blind alley with players in space to his left, took a shot from 30 yards, saw it blocked and then watched as five Brentford players steamed past him to attack. It was no surprise that Shinnie was one of two players withdrawn at half time as Luton tried to stop their day getting even worse.
And even though Shea had not been perfect in the first period, he made a superb save to deny Watkins one-on-one at 1-0 after Dasilva had flicked a Benrahma pass in to his path. Nørgaard and Jensen then set up Benrahma for a shot that was blocked. Benrahma had another shot blocked between the goals and Henrik Dalsgaard also went close on a couple of occasions. He saw a header blocked but the better chance came when he fed the ball inside, Watkins dummied and Benrahma played it back to the darting Dane. Dalsgaard attempted to lift it over Shea, but the ball deflected just wide.
It could be argued that 5-0 at half time is better than Luton could have expected given their performance and the chances created and they made two substitutes at the break to try and affect Brentford’s momentum. They added an extra man in midfield that, albeit 45 minutes too late, gave Brentford an extra barrier and there was a quieter start to the second period. Luton losing Izzy Brown to injury early in the second half did not make their day any better.
Brentford continued to push forward in the second half but with the game well won there was perhaps a lack of intensity. And Luton’s desire to keep the score down ensured there were fewer chances. Mbeumo lashed a free kick wide from distance and Dasilva then lined a shot up that he curled well wide from an equally long way out.
But just when it looked like Luton might have taken the sting out of the game, further trouble befell them. Substitute Brendan Galloway went down injured in the left back position and after lengthy treatment, he was removed on a stretcher. With all substitutes used, Luton had to play the last 22 minutes, plus stoppage time, with ten men. And within two minutes, they gave Brentford another goal.
The visitors cleared a corner and when Nørgaard tried to find Watkins, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu won the header. The Luton man then inexplicably bundled in to the back of Watkins when the ball dropped loose, and Mr Harrington pointed to the spot. Benrahma rolled the penalty to the left of Shea as he collapsed to his right and Brentford had six.
The rest of the game was attack against defence. Brentford used the man advantage to pull Luton this way and that while the visitors attempted to keep a steady shape and make it difficult for The Bees to get through. Jan Žambůrek, Mads Bech Sørensen and Mads Roerslev were introduced to give them more Sky Bet Championship experience while Brentford chased more goals.
Benrahma and Watkins exchanged rat-a-tat passes inside the penalty area before the former’s shot was well saved by Shea. Mbeumo then curled a shot just wide before a Benrahma free kick was tipped around the post by Shea. The next time Benrahma got up a head of steam, Brentford had their seventh.
Benrahma played a one-two with Mbeumo and wriggled in to the box before he was brought down by Potts, and Mr Harrington again pointed to the spot. Benrahma grabbed the ball again but this time he handed it straight to Dasilva. This time Shea went the right way but the penalty from Dasilva was firmly placed high to the goalkeeper’s right and Brentford had seven.
There were still nine minutes left, including stoppage time, and Brentford hunted an eighth. A Nørgaard shot, after a clever Mbeumo lay-off, looked set for the next before it was blocked and Benrahma saw a low shot saved by Shea, who probably kept it down to single figures. An eight did not come do Brentford had to settle for a magnificent seven and another home win.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard (sub Roerslev 76 mins), Jansson (sub Sørensen 62 mins), Pinnock, Henry; Dasilva, Nørgaard, Jensen (sub Žambůrek 71 mins); Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma
Subs (not used): Daniels, Thompson, Oksanen, Mokotjo
Luton Town: Shea; Bree, Bradley, Pearson, Potts; Mpanzu, Brown (sub Butterfield 53 mins), Shinnie (sub Bolton h/t), Tunnicliffe; Collins, Cornick (sub Galloway h/t)
Subs (not used): Sluga, McManaman, LuaLua, Jones
Attendance: 11,287 (1,636 away fans)