Brentford recovered from conceding inside the first three minutes to beat Bristol City and pick up a second home win in four days. The Bees came in to the game on the back of five second half goals as they beat Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday but fell behind early on against City. They responded and were level before half time thanks to Sergi Canós before Ivan Toney and Saman Ghoddos scored after the break. A late City goal to make it 3-2 could not prevent The Bees taking the points.
And it was a win that The Bees deserved. They had to work hard to get themselves level after a good start from the visitors but dominated possession, territory and chances over the course of the game. The Bees scored three good goals and then saw the game out despite a 90th minute strike to bring it back to 3-2.
The visitors got off to the perfect start, scoring inside the first three minutes. There was a debate over a free kick awarded to them on the left side when Henrik Dalsgaard appeared to win the ball from Owura Edwards before they collided. But once referee Tim Robinson had given City the chance, they took it. Jack Hunt delivered a ball, which arced over the Brentford defenders and perfectly in to the path of Zak Vyner, who arrived to steer it in to the net.
The goal came before any pattern had been established on the evening. Brentford looked to respond and went immediately on the attack. Rico Henry burst through on the left and the ball broke to Canós. The first shot was blocked, and the ball broke back to him for a second effort that fizzed just wide of the near post.
Canós had another effort blocked soon after before a cross-cum-shot from Tariqe Fosu was held low down by City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Bentley made a better save soon after when Toney fed a David Raya pass in to the path of Ghoddos, the shot from 22 yards took a deflection and looked like it might wrong-foot the goalkeeper but he got a hand to it and pushed it around the post. Mathias Jensen took the resulting corner and found Ethan Pinnock arriving unmarked, but he missed the target with his header.
Canós blasted wide after picking up a raking pass from Dalsgaard and cutting in off the left. A corner from Jensen soon after appeared to be dropping on to the head of Pinnock but neither he, nor Dalsgaard behind, could make contact inside the six-yard-box. A clever run by Ghoddos then created space for Fosu to cross but the looping header from Toney was saved by Bentley.
City were being forced to do a lot of defending. Brentford were finding pockets of space and linking well in attacking areas and by the midway point of the first half the only thing the hosts would have been unhappy about was the score. City were playing on the counter-attack and not really troubling the Brentford defence. Raya saved a low effort from Han-Noah Massengo when he cut in off the left and a lofted effort from Famara Diédhiou failed to trouble the Brentford goalkeeper.
The equaliser Brentford had been threatening, and deserved, came just before the half hour mark. A ball down the line from Dalsgaard should have been cut out by Alfie Mawson, but he failed to prevent the path of the pass and Fosu got away. He delivered a great cross that Toney would have converted if Bentley had not gone full stretch to finger tip away. Fortunately for Brentford, the touch went straight to Canós and he slotted home from ten yards.
The Bees could have got themselves ahead moments later when some fine play in midfield from Canós enabled him to find space to play a pass in to the gap behind the City defence. Toney looked set to win the race but a vital touch from Tomáš Kalas prevented the ball reaching the Brentford striker. Kalas was less effective at the other end, smashing a shot well wide from a half cleared free kick while a Ghoddos snap shot for The Bees bounced off the target.
The end of the half was more even with Brentford having plenty of possession but creating fewer openings. A short corner was worked to Jensen to cross but Mads Bech Sørensen was unable to divert it towards goal. The Bees just about had the upper hand at the break but City almost scored seconds after the re-start. Antoine Semenyo got away on the right and worked his way clear of Henry, his cut back was dummied cleverly by Ádám Nagy to allow Vyner to shoot and his low effort was pushed around the post by Raya.
Instead, it was Brentford who got the third goal of the evening. The ball was worked to Fosu on the right and he faced up against Adrian Mariappa. The Brentford wide man shifted it just enough to create space for a cross and whipped it in towards the near post. Toney made a superb run to find space ten yards out, away from Kalas, and met the ball with a volley that flashed past Bentley and in to the net. Brentford had come from behind to lead and Toney had his 20th of the season.
Brentford chose to slow the pace of the game down a fraction after going ahead. City responded well to the goal and tried to get themselves up the pitch both with and without the ball, but Brentford dominated possession. The Bees were playing the game at their pace and were the team creating the chances.
Canós had a shot on the turn that Bentley saved, and Jensen then had a shot from 18 yards that bobbled wide. A deep pass from Jensen released Canós on the left and he delivered a ball in to the middle, Mawson took it away from Toney but diverted it to Ghoddos 12 yards out. The shot from Ghoddos was, however, dragged wide.
Brentford’s third goal came just past the hour mark. There had been a chance when Canós fed a ball to Ghoddos and then got it back after a superb turn inside the penalty area. The shot from Canós was blocked but Brentford recycled the ball. Dalsgaard found Fosu on the right and he dribbled in to space before feeding Ghoddos, who lashed in a shot that Bentley tipped on to the crossbar. The ball looked to be bouncing back to Toney, but Mawson diverted it back to Ghoddos and he swivelled and lashed a shot past Bentley and in to the net.
That sealed the win for The Bees and although City made a triple substitution soon after, they never looked like getting back in to the game. Bentley saved a deflected shot from Canós as Brentford went looking for more goals and an ambitious chip from Toney from 45 yards missed the target. City almost made their night worse when Ghoddos found Canós on the left and he cut the ball back in to the middle, Vyner directed the ball towards his own goal and Hunt had to clear off the line.
Jensen tested Bentley with a free kick late on as it looked like Brentford would get the next goal if there was to be one. Tyreeq Bakinson shot wide for the visitors and was then involved as they got a second goal from nowhere. A Pinnock pass was intercepted and Semenyo played a ball in to the middle, Jensen tackled Bakinson and the ball broke to Nahki Wells inside the box, he rounded Raya and stroked it home to make it 3-2.
Brentford protested as Wells was offside, but the ball probably went to him from Jensen and he was able to go on and score. That gave City a couple of minutes to find another goal but that wasn’t to be. Brentford had done enough to take the win and continue an unbeaten run in the Championship that now stretches to 19 games.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Sørensen, Henry (sub Reid 86 mins); Jensen, Janelt, Ghoddos (sub Žambůrek 79 mins); Fosu (sub Forss 79 mins), Toney (sub Roerslev 88 mins), Canós
Subs (not used): Daniels, Stevens, Haygarth, Gilbert, Pressley
Bristol City: Bentley; Hunt (sub Bakinson 80 mins), Kalas, Mawson, Mariappa; Nagy (sub Palmer 72 mins), Vyner, Massengo (sub Paterson 72 mins); Semenyo, Diédhiou, Edwards (sub Wells 72 mins)
Subs (not used): O’Leary, Moore, Pearson, Bell