Before Brentford came to Stamford Bridge, only Manchester City had left victorious during the 2021/22 Premier League season, and they had conceded ten times at home in 13 matches. That record was laid to rest as Brentford scored four second half goals to record a memorable win. The Bees fell behind early in the second half but roared back to win 4-1 on a never-to-be-forgotten West London afternoon.
The final score probably does even tell the full story. Brentford were well worth a three-goal win and could arguably have scored even more, so fine was their attacking performance. Vitaly Janelt got two of the goals and Christian Eriksen scored as well. Yoane Wissa came off the substitute’s bench to add the fourth.
All the goals came in a thrilling second half, but the first was almost as entertaining. Brentford dominated the early stages without finding a way through and then had to defend well at the end of the half. The Bees fell behind to a long range strike from Antonio Rüdiger that may end up being forgotten but was the best of the afternoon. They levelled within seconds and never looked back, beating the team that currently hold the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Club Cup.
Brentford made a great start to the game and had much the better of the opening exchanges. Eriksen saw a lot of the ball in the centre of midfield and linked effectively with Janelt and Christian Nørgaard in the middle of the pitch. Mads Roerslev and Rico Henry offered support from wing back and Brentford played on the front foot.
The Bees had the first effort when Eriksen curled a free kick over from 25 yards and Brentford created chances both in open play and from set pieces. They were solid without the ball and looked to break quickly when they could. In the first 15 minutes, there were a series of chances for the visitors as Chelsea were forced to defend.
Bryan Mbeumo stormed up the pitch on the counter-attack and looked to find Ivan Toney at the far post, but the ball was just too firm. Toney recovered possession and found Eriksen in the penalty area, but he was crowded out. Chelsea tried to play out but a poor pass from goalkeeper Édouard Mendy gave Toney possession on the right side of the penalty area. Toney tried to lift the ball back over Mendy in to the net but was a fraction heavy with his effort.
Mendy saved from Toney at the near post and was on the end of another great move soon after. Roerslev, Janelt, Mbeumo and Eriksen were all involved to create space on the left for Henry. His cross was met by Toney with a header, but he could only loop it on to the roof of the net under pressure from Rüdiger.
There was still time in the opening 15 minutes for Toney to flick on a corner to the far post, but the header from Kristoffer Ajer deflected wide. A break in play to allow Mendy to get treatment gave Chelsea time to regroup and they saw a lot more of the ball in the rest of the half. N’Golo Kanté was busier in midfield and was able to work with the ball as well as without it. Mason Mount fired wide from 20 yards and was increasingly influential in the inside right channel.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek strode from midfield before firing straight at David Raya. Mount then fired low at Raya when he was picked out by a delightful Kanté pass. Rüdiger smashed a shot well wide from distance before Mount found Hakim Ziyech on the left and he cut inside before letting fly with an effort that Raya had to tip over the crossbar.
Chelsea ended the first half in the ascendency and almost grabbed the lead at the end of it. Raya came to meet an inswinging corner under pressure from Kai Havertz. The ball looped up and Marcos Alonso had a header deflect on to the roof of the net. Brentford cleared the resulting corner and got to the break level.
The first half had been entertaining and fiercely contested with Brentford starting better and Chelsea ending with the upper hand. But it could not prepare anyone for the crazy scenes in the first 15 minutes of the second half as Brentford came from behind to lead 3-1. It was a sensational period of the game that will be long remembered.
Chelsea had already gone close before they opened the scoring as Pontus Jansson had to make a block from Alonso, when he met a cross at the far post. Moments later there was nothing anyone could do as Rüdiger let fly. He stepped out of the inside left channel and his shot from 30 yards swerved in, so it cannoned the post and nestled in the back of the net. Raya was full stretch to his right but could not get across and Chelsea were in front.
That could have rocked Brentford, who did not deserve to be behind. Instead, they responded brilliantly. The Bees could have levelled when Janelt found Mbeumo on the edge of the penalty area. There was a shot on the swivel, but it lacked the power to test Mendy.
Seconds later, Brentford were level. The ball was played forward and Toney chested it down. The next pass, from Nørgaard, found Mbeumo on the edge of the penalty area and he slipped it to his left. Janelt stepped on to it and smashed a shot hight past Mendy to his right. The goalkeeper had no chance and Brentford were level.
This time Chelsea had to respond, and they went on the attack. A Janelt pass was intercepted, and Chelsea broke away. Havertz put Werner in on goal, but Ajer came from nowhere to make a block and concede a corner. That should have been a chance for the hosts, instead it was Brentford that scored.
The corner was cleared and Mbeumo got away from Ziyech, having too much pace and power for the Chelsea man. Mbeumo stormed down the pitch and cut the ball back to Eriksen, who lifted it first time over Mendy and in to the net. Brentford had come from behind to shock Chelsea with two goals in five minutes, but that wasn’t the end of it.
The pace of the game refused to let up and a Werner header at the far post was blocked. Loftus-Cheek then missed the target with a header from a corner that allowed Brentford some respite. But The Bees were committed to attack and went flying forward.
Toney won Raya’s clearance and Mbeumo got on to the ball, returning the pass. Toney released Janelt darting in behind and he only had Mendy to beat. Janelt lifted the ball over Mendy and in to the net. Mendy got a hand to it but could not keep it out and Brentford had scored three times in ten minutes to turn the game on its head.
Chelsea were never likely to lie down and started to throw everything forward. Raya saved a shot from Kanté before he was replaced, and Chelsea had the ball in the net soon after. Havertz controlled a free kick from Reece James before firing it low past Raya from close range. Referee Andrew Madley spotted a handball from the Chelsea man and that was confirmed by Video Assistant Referee David Coote so the goal was ruled out.
Raya saved a deflected shot from Rüdiger, but the Brentford goalkeeper then saw his clearance charged down by Havertz. Fortunately for Brentford, the ball bounced wide of the target. Chelsea should have pulled one back when the ball was won in midfield and Mateo Kovačić put Havertz in behind. He only had Raya to beat and slotted it wide of the Brentford goalkeeper, but also past the post.
Kovačić then shot well over and Havertz headed wide but there were also chances for The Bees, who were still looking to attack. Toney had a shot deflected wide and then met the resulting corner with a header that was blocked. Nørgaard saw a shot blocked and a Janelt header deflected wide as chances continued to come.
Havertz nodded wide for the hosts before a shot from Rüdiger was blocked. The ball was recycled, and the Chelsea goal scored had another go, this time pulling it well wide. Kovačić had a shot blocked for Chelsea, as did Lukaku, but by that point Brentford were 4-1 up.
The goal was scored by substitute Wissa, who had only been on two minutes and may not have touched the ball prior to scoring. A free kick was played shot and Nørgaard bent it in. Ethan Pinnock won the aerial challenge and Chelsea could not clear. Wissa reacted first and drilled a shot across Mendy and in to the far corner to make sure there was no way back for Chelsea.
There was still time for Ajer to flick a near post corner over the crossbar as Brentford went looking for a fifth. That did not come before Mr Madley brought the game to a close, but it did not matter. Brentford had come to Stamford Bridge and won the Premier League’s West London derby, and fully deserved it.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rüdiger, Alonso (sub James 55 mins); Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Kanté (sub Lukaku 64 mins); Ziyech,Havertz, Werner (sub Kovačić 64 mins)
Subs (not used): Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Jorginho, Saúl, Barkley, Sarr
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Eriksen, Nørgaard, Janelt (sub Jensen 81 mins), Henry (sub Canós 88 mins); Toney, Mbeumo (sub Wissa 85 mins)
Subs (not used): Fernández, Bech, Zanka, Ghoddos, Fosu, Baptiste