Brentford were beaten for the first time in the 2021/22 Premier League season, losing to a last-minute goal from Brighton and Hove Albion. The Bees probably had the better of the game against the South Coast side but conceded the only goal in the 90th minute. Leandro Trossard curled home from the edge of the penalty area to give Brighton a 1-0 win.
It was a game that looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw for long periods, and that was probably what it deserved. David Raya, in the Brentford goal, was mostly untroubled, while The Bees had more shots without coming very close to breaking through. And they were then hit by the late goal.
It was a high-energy start to the game from both sides. The pace in midfield was high and both teams wanted to stop the other taking control of the centre of the pitch. The visitors were a little more patient in possession while Brentford were happy to play longer when they needed to, utilising the power of Ivan Toney to give them the opportunity to play in Brighton territory.
Brighton looked to get the ball in to Trossard, playing just behind their strikers, and have their wing backs attacking in support. Brentford mainly looked to their left, aiming to get Rico Henry in to attacking areas with Vitaly Janelt and Shandon Baptiste in support from midfield. The only save in the first half hour was made by Raya, low to his left when Trossard found Danny Welbeck in the inside left channel. Welbeck was clear of the last defender and may have expected to provide Raya with a sterner test than he did.
Most of the efforts on goal in the early stages went the way of Brentford, but they failed to trouble Robert Sánchez in the Brighton goal. Toney came within a whisker of a goal of the season contender inside the first ten minutes when Ethan Pinnock strode out of defence and found Bryan Mbeumo, who laid the ball off. Toney let fly first time with a shot that whistled over Sánchez and only just over the bar.
Toney looped a header on to the roof of the net from a clever free kick soon after before his work set up a pair of chances for Mbeumo. Toney got on to a Raya ball down the left and eased away from Adam Webster, the ball was cut back towards the near post and Mbeumo let fly with a shot that fizzed wide. The chance moments later was probably better. Baptiste won the ball in midfield and Janelt fed it infield, a dummy from Toney gave Mbeumo time and space 18 yards out, but his shot failed to trouble Sánchez.
The game went in to a minor lull around the half hour, with regular stoppages. Brighton defender Webster was unable to continue and that forced the visitors in to a reshuffle with wing back Joël Veltman shifting in to the back three. As the end of an elongated half approached, Brentford had the initiative and could have taken the lead before the interval.
Mbeumo once again worried the home defence after he got on to a pass from Toney. He eased his way away from Veltman and bent a shot from 18 yards around Sánchez but wide of the far post. Seconds later another pass from Toney released Janelt inside the area, he let fly with a fierce shot that Sánchez palmed away to keep the game level at the break.
The interval gave Brighton a chance to change their shape again, moving Veltman in to a regular right back position. They also reinforced the central area while sacrificing some width to move to a diamond midfield. The tempo of the game was lower in the second period, and it was a midfield battle with both sides looking for supremacy.
There were fewer openings in the early stages of the second half. Henry lashed in a shot that Sánchez saved above his head and Neal Maupay shot well wide at the near post at the other end. Baptiste curled a shot well over from the left side before a tackle from Shane Duffy prevented Mbeumo going through when it looked like he would only have Sánchez to beat.
An Alexis Mac Allister shot deflected wide but as the minutes ticked down, it looked like it would end 0-0. Brighton had the upper hand, but Brentford held firm, until the very end. Mac Allister burst from midfield and the ball fell to Trossard, he created half a yard and curled a shot low past Raya to his left and in to the net. There was no time for Brentford to respond and Brighton had the points.
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canós (sub Roerslev 61 mins), Nørgaard, Baptiste (sub Onyeka 75 mins), Janelt (sub Jensen 68 mins), Henry; Toney, Mbeumo
Subs (not used): Fernández, Zanka, Thompson, Ghoddos, Wissa, Forss
Bookings: Canós (6 mins), Mbeumo (17 mins), Ajer (74 mins)
Brighton and Hove Albion: Sánchez; Webster (sub Moder 37 mins), Duffy, Dunk; Veltman, Lallana, Bissouma, Cucurella (sub March 82 mins); Trossard; Maupay, Welbeck (sub Mac Allister 64 mins)
Subs (not used): Scherpen, Steele, Alzate, Locadia, Roberts, Richards
Bookings: Veltman (55 mins), Duffy (58 mins)
Attendance: 16,518 (1,725 away fans)