Brentford and Huddersfield Town shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw of few chances and little penalty area action. The Bees came closest to winning the game as Josh Dasilva hit the post late on while Huddersfield striker Karlan Grant also missed a golden chance for his team in a second half that was better than the one which preceded it. But neither team really did enough to take the points and a 0-0 draw felt like the right result.
Brentford dominated long periods of the game without ever quite creating the clear-cut opening they needed. Huddersfield defended well throughout and looked capable of scoring when they opened the game up for a spell in the second period but seemed content to take a point from the contest. And they did just that.
There was little action in either penalty area in the first quarter of the contest and while Brentford had the better of it, they didn’t really look like breaking through. There were shots on goal – a low effort from Saïd Benrahma may have been a bigger test for Kamil Grabara than it turned out to be – but neither goalkeeper was unduly worried. Ethan Pinnock headed a corner over and Dasilva lifted a free kick well over the bar as The Bees had control of the contest without making the incisive move to open the hosts up.
Huddersfield were content to sit deep in the early stages. They were happy to let Brentford have the ball and looked to keep the game condensed in the centre of the pitch. The Bees were able to play in and out of midfield and get Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo involved in the game but could not get their key attacking outlets linking in the final third. They also wasted some early set pieces with delivery that did not worry the hosts.
Brentford were able to create space when they switched the ball quickly and could have taken the lead from one such move. Henrik Dalsgaard switched the play from right back to left wing and Benrahma found space, his ball in the box found Kamohelo Mokotjo and he fed Ollie Watkins, but the shot deflected over the bar. Benrahma then had a shot blocked after a run in from the left and an exchange of passes with Mbeumo.
Mbeumo then shot wide after a run in from the right as The Bees continued to hold the upper hand without breaking through. They had more of the ball in attacking positions than the home side, who were annoying their supporters with their lack of ambition, but did not create the key chance. The game was being played at the pace Huddersfield wanted and that enabled them to sit in and try to defend their penalty area.
That tactic mostly worked for the hosts as they got to half time 0-0. There were, however, more openings for The Bees in the later stages of the half. Grabara saved a curling shot from Benrahma after he played a long one-two with Mbeumo. And Benrahma went closer later in the half when Mokotjo backheeled a return pass and he fizzed a shot just over the bar.
The home side had been looking to attack down the right in the first period, looking to isolate Fraizer Campbell on Rico Henry. It was largely unsuccessful but the Huddersfield man did win a corner in the dying seconds of the first half, Grant delivered it and a Trevor Chalobah header landed on the roof of the net. That was the only attempt on goal of any type that Huddersfield managed before the break, but they had defended well enough to keep the game all square to that point.
And the hosts had more attacking intent immediately after the re-start. Chalobah was able to get on the ball more and the home side as a whole started to look forward rather than backwards. Chalobah had a shot deflected wide and David Raya had to get down well to save a deflected cross from Grant that almost sneaked inside his near post. Chalobah and Grant linked again soon after, but the latter was unable to control a clever pass from the former and the ball ran through to Raya.
The game had completely turned around at the break and Huddersfield now looked like the team most likely to get the first goal. They had upped the tempo dramatically and Brentford were forced back. The Bees were being outmanoeuvred in midfield and their defence was working overtime to keep the home side at bay.
But The Bees were also grateful for some missed chances from the hosts. The best came when Emile Smith Rowe was able to find space on the right and delivered a ball in to the box, Julian Jeanvier did not know whether to clear or not – being inside his six-yard box and facing his own goal – and let the ball run, Grant arrived but blasted over from 12 yards. That was a major let off for Brentford and Raya saved from Smith Rowe soon after before an Elias Kachunga header was blocked.
The second half was certainly providing far more entertainment than the first and both teams looked to attack as the game opened up. Smith Rowe lined up a shot when a corner was half cleared but saw it deflect wide while Benrahma got on to a Dasilva pass, after the midfield man had battled away in to space in the centre of the park, and curled a shot well over. A Benrahma cross just eluded Watkins soon after and the cross-cum-shot from Dasilva, when the ball dropped loose, floated in to the arms of Grabara.
A frantic opening to the second half gave way to a more controlled game as the minutes ticked down. Huddersfield were sitting a little deeper and Brentford dominated the ball, without being able to create the clear-cut chance to find a way through. The home side were also very good out of possession and gave The Bees few chances to expose defenders in one-on-one battles. They did present Brentford with a great chance when a poor Grabara pass gavethe ball to Watkins, he picked out Joel Valencia attacking the penalty area but the attempt to play the next pass to Benrahma was cut out.
Both teams made substitutions as time ran out and it was Brentford that had more intent in the final stages. And they could have won it. There was a clever exchange between Emiliano Marcondes and Benrahma that opened up space for Dasilva, he bent a shot past Grabara, but it hit the base of the post and bounced away. Watkins was waiting to pounce but the ball bounced away and that ensured the game ended all square.
Huddersfield Town: Grabara; Simpson, Schindler, Stearman, Toffolo; Chalobah, O’Brien; Kachunga (sub Hadergjonaj 70 mins), Smith Rowe (sub King 81 mins), Grant; Campbell (sub Bacuna 71 mins)
Subs (not used): Coleman, Mounié, Stanković, Brown
Bookings: Schindler (87 mins)
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry; Dasilva, Nørgaard, Mokotjo (sub Marcondes 76 mins); Mbeumo (sub Valencia 70 mins), Watkins, Benrahma
Subs (not used): Daniels, Roerslev, Thompson, Žambůrek, Dervişoğlu
Attendance: 20,824 (567 Bees fans)