August 4, 2021

Brentford top of Championship after late flurry

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Brentford moved to the top of the Championship after a late double earned a 3-1 win at Reading that extended their unbeaten run to 21 league games.

Reading went ahead midway through the first half from a Lucas Joao penalty – his 19th goal of the season – but Brentford drew level nine minutes before the break through Josh Dasilva.

The Bees spent much of the second half defending but two goals in the last four minutes from Dasilva and top scorer Ivan Toney clinched a victory which moved them two points above long-time leaders Norwich.

Brentford have now won four Championship matches in a row and last lost a league game in late October – a 3-2 reverse at Stoke.

How Bees left it late to open up gap

Thomas Frank’s side made a sluggish start on a bitterly cold Berkshire evening, with Reading – on an undefeated run of seven league matches – making the early running.

Michael Olise swung over two dangerous corners, which the Brentford defence managed to clear without too much fuss.

Brentford gradually made progress going forward, though Toney appeared an often isolated and frustrated figure up front.

Reading again began to threaten and were rewarded in the 24th minute when they went ahead.

Defender Henrik Dalsgaard clearly fouled Josh Laurent as he was in the act of shooting and referee Tony Harrington pointed straight to the spot.

Joao, who had missed two penalties this season, proved successful this time – only just, though, as keeper David Raya got a hand to it but could not stop it going in.

Brentford hit back strongly and levelled with a marvellous effort from Dasilva in the 36th minute. He cut in cleverly from the right flank and unleashed a fierce drive that home keeper Rafael barely saw.

Raya twice prevented Reading from regaining their lead before the break, making smart saves from Joao and Laurent.

Reading kept up the pressure after the interval, with Laurent and Ovie Ejaria orchestrating most of their best moves. Olise tried his luck from a tight angle, after drifting in from the right wing, but saw his well-struck effort deflected wide.

Brentford had to concentrate mostly on defending and relied on the quick break to cause the home side any problems.

From two such attacks, in the 84th and 86th minute, they secured the win.

Toney chested down a deep Mathias Jensen cross for Dasilva to thunder home from close range.

Then, after Rafael had done well to save a shot from substitute Sergi Canos, Toney pounced for his 23rd goal of the season to send the Bees to the summit.