SWANSEA 0 BRENTFORD 3

Stewart Purvis saw a memorable away win at the Liberty Stadium.

 

All the Bees’ Swansea nightmares last season- a potential cup victory thrown away and two league games where we conceded in the first minute-were banished as Brentford stormed to a back to back win that promises so much for the rest of this season. 

In his starting line-up Thomas Frank had made the change in midfield that many fans were calling for, Josh Dasilva replacing Mathias Jensen. And with Nikos Karelis unlikely to be seen again this season with the leg injury he got against Millwall, it was back to Ollie Watkins up front with Said Benrahma on the left and Bryan Mbeumo on the right. For the Swans Jake Bidwell, chunkier looking than most of us remembered him at Griffin Park, was at left back.

At the start it was the new Brentford midfield line up that caught the eye with Dasilva showing the confidence to stride forward, Christian Norgaard playing his best game yet and Kamo Mokotjo contributing some crucial touches.

But in truth most of the early chances fell to Swansea thanks to Kristoffer Peterson on the left who was tormenting Henrik Dalsgaard. In this Scandinavian battle it was the Swedish international coming out on top against the Dane. Fortunately none of the crosses which Peterson, once a Liverpool under-21, put over were converted.

A Brentford counter attack after one of these Swansea raids led to the opening goal. Norgaard fed it to Mokotjo who put Watkins away with a beautiful pass. When Ollie ran into traffic it was again Kamo who picked the right pass, this time to Benrahma who had the time and space to launch one of those dipping shots we know so well that land in the top right corner of the net. He then ran over to Thomas Frank for a big hug.

Both sides were making occasional mistakes in defence but Swansea made the biggest of the night when a Brentford attack that was probably running out of steam got an unexpected boost when Bidwell intervened and put it past his own keeper.

‘Jake Bidwell,he’s one of our own’ sang the 215 Bees fans in the away end.

Two-nil to the Bees at half-time and the Swans were booed off by the home crowd which struck even diehard Bees fans as a touch tough. 

As the second half developed Dalsgaard got Peterson under control, the central defenders were dominant in the air, Swansea were making lots of mistakes in midfield and Benrahma was starting to show off his skills up front.

But it was the other wide player, Mbeumo, who got the third with a rocket of a shot after a run to the edge of the box. ‘Is it Bidwell again?’ tweeted one wag from home.

There was then a piece of pure Benrahma theatre as he spectacularly flicked the ball round an opponent, took the return ball from Watkins and set off for goal curving his shot just inches wide of the post. Another candidate for what would have been a goal of the season if it had gone in. When he was substituted even local fans were spotted applauding. 

With ten minutes to go the question was not so much would Brentford win- the chances of Swansea doing to Brentford what the Bees did to Millwall were slim- but would they keep a clean sheet. A succession of missed Swans chances, principally falling to Andre Ayew plus some excellent saves by David Raya ensured the answer was ‘yes’. 

At the end there were embraces all round including one between Thomas Frank and CEO Jon Varney. It had been a great team performance by the Bees as they moved into the top half of the Championship,their natural home for the past few years. Frank said he couldn’t praise the boys enough. Indeed, everybody had contributed something positive. And who's to say that this line-up can’t do even better despite running on nearly empty in terms of reserves up front. 

 

Swansea City: Woodman; Roberts, Rodon, van der Hoorn, Bidwell; Fulton (sub Byers), Grimes; Ayes, Dhanda (Celina),Peterson; Baston  (Surridge)

Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Jeanvier, Henry; Dasilva (Jensen), Nørgaard, Mokotjo; Mbeumo (Valencia), Watkins, Benrahma ( Žambůrek)