Brentford reached the last 16 of the Carabao Cup as they beat Premier League West Bromwich Albion in a penalty shoot-out. The Bees trailed twice away from home to a pair of penalties from Hal Robson-Kanu but battled back. Emiliano Marcondes lit up the game with a spectacular goal before Marcus Forss made it 2-2 with a spot kick of his own. That took it to a shoot-out and David Raya saved from Grady Diangana to give Christian Nørgaard the chance to send The Bees through with the final kick, which he did.
The Bees will feel they just about deserved to progress. They shaded a first half that ended 0-0 and responded well after conceding two penalties to trail twice in the second half. Marcondes hit the post in the first period and scored a sensational goal before Forss took it to penalties. Nine players converted brilliantly but Raya guessed right to save the effort from Diangana. And with that being the only failure, The Bees went through to the Fourth Round for the first time in a decade.
The game was quick to come to life with both teams having good chances in the opening exchanges. The best early chance went the way of the hosts when Matt Phillips got away from Dominic Thompson on the right and drilled in a low cross. Connor Gallagher arrived to meet it inside the penalty area but blasted his shot over the crossbar when he would have expected to test Raya.
Charlie Goode also made an important block for The Bees, diverting a Rakeem Harper shot away after good work on the right by Robson-Kanu. That corner wasn’t properly cleared, and Gallagher created space for a shot that Raya held on to low down. But the Premier League side did not have it all their own way in a first ten minutes that was full of intensity from both sides. The Bees had a lot of the ball in West Brom territory and created some good openings of their own.
It was an aggressive opening from The Bees. They looked to get the ball in to West Brom territory when they could, turning the home defence and pushing them back. Brentford looked to get their wide players in to the game and their full backs high up the pitch, trying to get West Brom’s midfield players to face their own goal rather than attacking.
There was a good early opening for The Bees when Sergi Canós fed Tariqe Fosu in the inside left channel. The angle was tight, and he drilled an effort across the face of goal. A Mads Bech Sørensen long throw was met by Goode but lacked the power to test David Button in the home goal and Rico Henry then lashed over after a run from his role as right back for the night. Canós lashed over after a one-two with Forss before a superb pass from Goode released Marcondes in the inside left channel but he couldn’t find a team mate inside the penalty area.
An all-action opening the minutes had seen plenty of chances but no goals. It was an even contest and chances continued to come at both ends, albeit The Bees were slightly on top as the half hour approached. Phillips was unable to get up to head in a Robson-Kanu cross from the left and there was a great chance soon after at the other end. Goode’s pass was worked via Henry and Canós to Marcondes in the inside right channel. He let fly with a shot that flew past Button and hit the inside of his near post. With the goalkeeper stranded, the ball dropped to Fosu but he smashed a shot against Lee Peltier, the only man between him and the net.
Brentford started to dominate possession at the end of the half but lacked an incisive touch to break down the home defence. Marcondes could have opened the scoring when a free kick dropped loose, but he couldn’t force it in. West Brom were content to defend solidly and look to counter-attack when they could as Brentford mostly played in front of them. Phillips had a shot deflect in to the arms of Raya for the home side and Conor Townsend curled a free kick over at the end of a half that promised much but delivered no goals.
The goals did not, however, take long to come in the second half. It was a rather sedate opening to the second period. The home side dominated possession and territory. They got their midfield and full backs higher up the pitch and started to push The Bees back. They forced mistakes and looked to make the most of them when they came.
Phillips failed to capitalise on a Sørensen error just after the break, a poor touch from the defender was picked up by the West Brom man but his attempt to loft a shot over Raya from 25 yards failed to trouble the goalkeeper. Sørensen did not, however, get away with his next error. The ball ran loose in midfield and Robson-Kanu got on to it, he burst through the middle and was brought down by Thompson as he prepared to shoot. After a delay, referee Darren England awarded a penalty, albeit the challenged looked to have been outside the penalty area. Robson-Kanu took it and rolled it past Raya as the Brentford goalkeeper dived to his left.
That lead lasted a matter of seconds. Brentford won a throw in from kick off and Sørensen propelled it in to the penalty area. The ball was cleared but then worked back to Sørensen on the left. The cross came in, Goode headed it back and Marcondes scored with an acrobatic overhead effort from 15 yards. The home defence gave Marcondes too much space, but the overhead kick was superbly executed and flew past Button and in to the net off the crossbar.
But West Brom continued to push on and soon restored their lead. They could have scored when Phillips picked up a loose Henry pass but elected for a shot that was comfortably saved by Raya rather than a square ball to Robson-Kanu. But moments later the home side had another penalty. Gallagher found Kyle Edwards inside the penalty area and Goode’s attempt to win the ball saw him bundle the West Brom man over. Mr England pointed to the spot again, Robson-Kanu stepped up again, Raya dived left again, and the ball was rolled past him again as West Brom went 2-1 up.
But once again, Brentford responded. They introduced Josh Dasilva, acNørgaard and Ivan Toney, went to a two-man strike force and tried to get up the pitch. And with 17 minutes remaining, they were awarded a penalty. Dasilva fed Toney and the ball was worked on to Forss, he got a toe to the ball and went down as Cédric Kipré cannoned in to him. Mr England pointed to the spot and Forss took the responsibility, lashing it high down the middle to level the scores again.
The Bees could have edged ahead when Nørgaard won the ball in midfield and fed Fosu. A run from Forss created some space and Fosu lashed in a shot from 22 yards that fizzed just past the post with Brentford appealing that Button got a touch to it. But more chances were coming at the other end. Edwards headed a Grady Diangana cross back and Gallagher lashed over when well-placed. Gallagher’s next effort was a better one and Raya made a good save high to his left.
Brentford were loose in possession and West Brom were looking the more likely team to get a winning goal. Gallagher set up Robson-Kanu for a shot that deflected over the bar. Sam Field then got inside the box on the left and drilled in a cross that just eluded Robson-Kanu. There was a late chance for The Bees when a Toney free kick deflected over, and the resulting corner was played low by Nørgaard in to Sørensen, but his effort deflected over the bar.
That ensured a shoot-out would decide it. West Brom went first and scored their opening four kicks, albeit with Robson-Kanu now off the pitch. Toney, Dasilva, Fosu and Forss scored with increasing confidence before Raya dived right to push out the effort from Diangana. Nørgaard drilled his spot kick low to Button’s right to put Brentford through to the last 16.
West Bromwich Albion: Button, Peltier, Kipré, Ivanović (sub O’Shea 59 mins), Townsend; Harper, Field; Phillips (sub Diangana 71 mins), Gallagher, Edwards; Robson-Kanu (sub Austin 86 mins)
Subs (not used): Bond, Furlong, Sawyers, Pereira
Bookings: O’Shea (88 mins)
Brentford: Raya; Henry, Goode, Sørensen, Thompson; Marcondes (sub Toney 71 mins), Baptiste, Žambůrek (sub Dasilva 67 mins); Canós (sub Nørgaard 67 mins), Forss, Fosu
Subs (not used): Daniels, Pinnock, Dalsgaard, Dervişoğlu