Brentford’s unbeaten run extended to ten games, but they were only able to take a single point as Derby County held The Bees to a 0-0 draw. Brentford had the better of the contest and created almost all the chances but were unable to find a way through. They hit the woodwork twice in the second half, but the crucial goal would not come and the spoils were shared.
There were few chances in the first 45 minutes, but all the attacking was done by Brentford. The Bees continued to hold the upper hand after the break and created good openings that they couldn’t take. Derby also hit the woodwork in the second half and had a few chances later in the contest but would probably have been the happier of the two teams with the full-time score.
Brentford made a fast start and could have been ahead inside two minutes. A Henrik Dalsgaard throw released Emiliano Marcondes on the right side, his cross was half cleared by Andre Wisdom as far as Josh Dasilva. Neither Dasilva nor Sergi Canós could get a shot away inside the six-yard box, Vitaly Janelt did, but his effort flew over the crossbar.
If that had gone in, the game may have opened up. Instead, the first half hour of the contest was cagey. Derby were content to sit with two defensive midfield players in front of their back four and that six-man blocking line rarely strayed far from home. Craig Forsyth offered some attacking intent from left back but Derby mostly played in their own half. The visitors were mostly neat in possession but rarely played with enough intent to worry Brentford in the first 30 minutes.
Brentford spent more time on the front foot than their opponents without really taking complete control of the game. Dasilva, Marcondes and Janelt saw a lot of the ball and tried to bring wide players Bryan Mbeumo and Canós in to the contest. Brentford utilised the opportunity to run with the ball when they could, and Rico Henry, often offered an extra man on the left, but they did not create many openings.
Janelt had a sight of goal when he picked up a loose ball in midfield and drove forward, but his shot flew just wide with Derby goalkeeper David Marshall rooted to the spot. A Dalsgaard header from a Mads Bech Sørensen long throw was gathered by Marshall and The Bees upped the tempo in the later stages of the first half. When Derby failed to clear a set piece, Canós got away on the right and cut a ball back for Marcondes, his shot deflected off Matthew Clarke and rolled just wide. Another Sørensen long throw caused difficulty in first half stoppage time, it bounced to Mbeumo and he fired the bouncing ball towards goal, it beat Marshall but flew wide of the post.
The game was level at half time, but Brentford had started to take the initiative and made a bright start to the second period. Marshall punched away a fizzed Marcondes free kick from the inside left channel and Canós saw a shot deflect wide soon after when Derby failed to deal with a corner. The next corner was played low, Janelt flicked it back, Canós had a shot blocked and a flicked effort from Ivan Toney was deflected wide.
Brentford continued to apply the pressure and Mbeumo saw a shot blocked after he was found by Canós with a cross field pass. The chance Mbeumo had a few moments later was the best of the game to that point. Dalsgaard played a raking cross that Marshall misjudged, and Toney headed it back across goal. Mbeumo got on to it and fired it over from 12 yards. Marshall was out of position and while there was a defender on the line, Mbeumo had most of the goal to aim at and could only glance the crossbar with his effort.
That almost proved to be a doubly disappointing miss as Derby created their first chance of the contest. Kamil Jóźwiak picked up a ricochet in midfield and drove in to the penalty area, he smashed the ball across and Tom Lawrence could only chest it wide. The run and cross had taken Brentford’s entire defence out of the game and if the effort had been on target, it would not have been stopped.
Lawrence had another effort soon after, a shot that deflected wide. The resulting corner dropped loose and Jóźwiak got off a shot that beat David Raya and cannoned off the post. Lawrence, who had taken the corner, got on to the ball and fired in a shot that deflected wide of the far post.
Brentford broke from the next corner and had a great chance of their own. Toney cut inside off the lefty before a back heel found Canós in the box, he drilled a ball across and Dasilva arrived to lift a shot against the crossbar and over. Marshall was beaten but the effort was a few inches too high and the game remained goalless.
Derby had been forced in to a defensive change just past the hour mark. When challenging Pontus Jansson for a header, which the Brentford man nodded wide, Curtis Davies crumped in to the penalty area and was removed on a stretcher. They brought on teenager Kornell McDonald to play at right back with Wisdom moving inside.
That defensive shift may have given Brentford an opening, but the visitors defended well. The Bees made changes, introducing attacking players as they went looking for a winner, but Lawrence almost grabbed it for Derby with a shot from 20 yards after a free kick was half cleared, but it flew over. Saman Ghoddos hit a defensive wall with a late free kick and the later stages of the game even saw a change in assistant referee as Robert Hyde signalled he could not continue. Fourth Official Ian Cooper took the flag for an uneventful final few moments as the game finished without a goal.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Sørensen, Henry; Marcondes (sub Jensen 74 mins), Janelt (sub Ghoddos 83 mins), Dasilva; Mbeumo (sub Fosu 74 mins), Toney, Canós (sub Forss 83 mins)
Subs (not used): Daniels, Stevens, Pinnock, Thompson, Pressley
Bookings: Dalsgaard (55 mins) (third of season), Dasilva (90 mins)
Derby County: Marshall; Wisdom, Davies (sub McDonald 65 mins), Clarke, Forsyth; Shinnie, Bielik; Holmes (sub Lawrence h/t), Knight, Jóźwiak (sub Whittaker 90 mins); Kazim-Richards (sub Waghorn 85 mins)
Subs (not used): Roos, Bird, Ibe, Buchanan, Stretton
Bookings: Shinnie (41 mins)