Brentford produced a memorable away performance as they beat Swansea City 3-0 in South Wales. After an even start to the contest, Brentford took control with two goals in six minutes just past the half hour and Swansea could find no way back. Bryan Mbeumo added a superb third goal in the second half to seal a well-deserved win.
While Swansea may point to the chances created, Brentford were superb at both ends of the pitch. They blocked a series of shot and when David Raya was called upon, he did everything he needed to keep a clean sheet. Saïd Benrahma opened the scoring late in the first half and a Jake Bidwell own goal doubled that lead soon after. Mbeumo put the icing on the cake and Brentford made it back-to-back wins after coming from 2-0 down to beat Millwall on Saturday.
In both league games between the teams last season, Swansea scored inside the first minute. But in the third Sky Bet Championship meeting between the sides in 12 months, it was Brentford that took control early on. They prevented Swansea building any momentum with a high starting position and the home side were only able to play in the ball in areas that did not worry The Bees for the first 20 minutes.
Julian Jeanvier, who was imperious throughout, made an important clearance when Connor Roberts nodded a Kristoffer Peterson cross in to the six-yard box but that was a rare attack for the home side in the first quarter of the contest. Brentford, meanwhile, were able to do more with their possession. Benrahma and, in particular, Mbeumo were able to attack on the flanks with Josh Dasilva providing support from the centre of midfield.
Henrik Dalsgaard shot wide for The Bees early on when a cross was half cleared and Dasilva saw a shot blocked after a good break from the visitors. Dasilva had another effort blocked when a corner was played low and it took a good save from Freddie Woodman in the Swansea goal to give The Bees that corner. Swansea were pushed back and Matt Grimes gave the ball to Dasilva as Brentford forced the mistake, Kamohelo Mokotjo found Ollie Watkins and his shot was pushed around the post.
The next time Brentford won possession in Swansea territory, half an hour in, they took the lead. Mokotjo got on to a ball from Christian Nørgaard and released Watkins, he attacked the penalty area and played the return pass. Mokotjo found Benrahma on the left side and he cut inside before lifting a shot over Woodman and in to the top corner. Brentford counter-attacked ruthlessly and Benrahma finished brilliantly to grab his first goal of the season and put The Bees in front.
The goal came after Swansea’s best spell of the game. Raya had to make a save from a Yan Dhanda effort, but the main threat was coming on the left from Peterson, who was getting isolated against Dalsgaard. He beat Brentford’s Danish international with a clever dummy and picked out Borja Baston, but the striker could not convert from eight yards. Peterson beat Dalsgaard again moments later and picked out Dhanda with his cut back, but the shot deflected on to the roof of the net.
Swansea appeared to have the upper hand at that point, the midway one of the first half, but two quick goals gave Brentford control. Benrahma opened the scoring on the half hour and it was two soon after. Watkins intercepted a poor Peterson pass and raced forward, he tried to find Mbeumo breaking to his right but Bidwell – who scored only three goals in 211 Brentford games – was there to poke the ball past his own goalkeeper. Bidwell was attempting to make a tackle and if he had not Mbeumo would almost certainly have scored but he found the bottom corner perfectly, Woodman had no chance and Brentford were two up.
It could have been even better for The Bees as Watkins attacked the edge of the penalty area and lashed in a near post shot that Woodman tipped around the post, but the home side responded as half time approached. Andre Ayew headed a cross wide and Raya saved low from Grimes before Dhanda missed the target with a curling effort. A goal before the break may have changed the momentum of the game and the home side made two substitutions at the interval as they attempted to find a way back in to the contest.
Ayew had a shot blocked early in the second period and Bersant Celina, newly introduced, shot wide as the pattern of the game changed slightly. Swansea were slightly more urgent in possession and got more men forward. They were happy for the game to be stretched and backed themselves to get the goals needed. Jeanvier made a fine tackle to half block a Baston shot after good work by Celina and Raya saved. Peterson then cut inside and curled a shot just past the far post.
But a stretched game also suited The Bees. They still looked to get high up the pitch out of possession and capitalised on any mistake from the home side. A few times early in the second half the visitors could not make the crucial pass in the final third but Watkins, in particular, was finding pockets of space and linked up well with Mbeumo, Benrahma and the roaming Dasilva.
Jeanvier met a Benrahma corner on the volley and forced a save from Woodman. He then met another corner with a header that was cleared with Watkins lurking. Watkins went close with a low shot that almost caught Woodman out at his near post, but the goalkeeper got down well to save. Ten minutes in to the second half, however, the goalkeeper was left helpless by the brilliance of Mbeumo. The young attacker got on to a loose pass from Joe Rodon and darted towards goal, he let fly from 20 yards and watched as the ball whistled past Woodman and in to the net.
That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side, who were playing in to Brentford’s hands and kept giving the ball away. They tried to attack but got no joy against the brilliant Jeanvier and even when Raya dropped a cross it was a Brentford man who reacted first. And The Bees continued to go forward, looking for more goals.
Benrahma shot wide before producing a moment of magic that would have lit up any game in the world. The Algerian magician produced a flick that defies explanation to take two defenders out of the game and then got on to a reverse pass from Watkins, also flicked through his legs. Benrahma tricked his way to the edge of the penalty area and curled a shot past Woodman but inches past the far post. It would have been the goal of any season if it had bent a fraction more but those in attendance could still marvel at what had been produced.
Watkins saw a shot deflect wide, but Swansea also created chances in the later stages. Ayew had a shot blocked and Pontus Jansson cleared an effort off the line from George Byers after a Peterson cross had reached Roberts at the far post. Raya saved from Peterson and then made a superb stop low to his right from a Byers header as Brentford battled to add a clean sheet to their three points.
The home side should have pulled one back when Celina found Ayew in the box, he cut back on to his left foot when an earlier shot may have been better and then lashed over from 15 yards. Sam Surridge then shot over from slightly closer after good work by Roberts before he toe-poked an effort inches over the bar after getting his own pass back from Ayew.
Benrahma had a shot blocked for The Bees at the other end before giving way to Jan Žambůrek in the dying stages. He was applauded from all four sides of The Liberty Stadium as he made his way off, the game well won. The later chances fell to Swansea, but they could find no way through, and Brentford celebrated a very satisfactory evening in South Wales.
Swansea City: Woodman; Roberts, Rodon, van der Hoorn, Bidwell; Fulton (sub Byers h/t), Grimes; Ayew, Dhanda (sub Celina h/t), Peterson; Bastón (sub Surridge 69 mins)
Subs (not used): Nordfeldt, Routledge, Wilmot, Naughton
Bookings: Roberts (71 mins), van der Hoorn (83 mins)
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Jeanvier, Henry; Dasilva (sub Jensen 75 mins), Nørgaard, Mokotjo; Mbeumo (sub Valencia 70 mins), Watkins, Benrahma (sub Žambůrek 88 mins)
Subs (not used): Daniels, Clarke, Thompson, Pinnock
Bookings: Jansson (85 mins)
Attendance: 15,875 (215 Bees fans)