By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 0 v Brentford 2
Chelsea embarrassed themselves once again as Brentford, who, humbly call themselves a bus stop in Hounslow, dismantled a billion-pound operation with organisation, determination, a simple Plan A and B to beat their west London neighbours 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Centre-back Nathan Pinnock pierced the Chelsea defence early in the second half with a fine close range header. And seconds from time goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who had come up for the Blues for a late, late corner, found himself chasing back towards his own goal a Brentford breakaway which saw Bryan Mbeumo slot home into an empty net.
Brentford are 10th in the Premier League leapfrogging the Blues who languish in 11th.
Nicolas Jackson had the first effort, albeit, a wide one on eight minutes, when the Blues opted for their now traditional counter-attacking ploy.
The striker’s right-footer, a curling effort from the apex of the Bretford area went wide of mark Flekken’s left upright.
The home side got a tad closer three minutes late, this time Noni on the right, cut inside and let fly with a lovely left-footed curler, this time the ball bounced off Flekken’s right post.
The basketball game continued with Conor Gallagher trying his luck from range – Flekken parried the ball away to safety.
Chelsea should have taken the lead on 19 minutes when an edge of the area chipped pass by Cole Palmer was met, badly by Marc Cucurella and his scuffed knock-on, while on target, was soft and went straight into the goalkeeper’s hand.
Raheem Sterling’s shot was blocked by Christian Norgaard a minute later as the Blues inched closer to the opening goal.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
But t was Brentford who looked the most likely to score and they should have done, five minutes in to the restart.
Excellent, controlled passing, but also moving up the pitch at the same time, wrong-footed Chelsea and a byline cutback saw in-running Yoane Wissa strike a first-time shot that Robert Sanchez managed to get his body behind. The ball zipped off him but was cleared.
They got their just deserts on 58 minutes when another byline cross was met at the far post by Ethan Pinnock, who bullet-headed home unchallenged from close range.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank brought on Frank Onyeka for Mathias Jensen, while Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino responded by bringing on Reece James and Ian Maatsen – off went Axel Disasi and Noni.
Frank then brought on Yehor Yarmolyuk for Vitaly Janelt and Neal Maupay for Wissa on 75 minutes.
Pochettino responded again by bringing on Deivid Washington for his Blues debut for Cucurella while Lesley Ugochukwu replaced Caicedo.
In a seemingly never ending steam of substitutions, then next one off was Aaron Hickey for Saman Ghoddos for the visitors with seven minutes left of the regulation 90.
The Blues responded but could not find a finishing touch.
To add to the frustration Pochettino’s assistant head coach Jesus Perez was red-carded by referee Simon Hooper. A Brentford coach was given a yellow.
Brentford should have finished the game off on 89 minutes when a quick breakaway saw Yarmolyuk cut loose, but his shot was well blocked by Sanchez.
With seconds left Chelsea had a corner – up went Sanchez – he will wish he didn’t because straight-away the Bees broke free free with Sanchez desperately clinging onto his bootlaces.
But the supporting Bryan Mbeumo tapped the ball home into an empty net.
Teams: Chelsea, Sanchez, Disasi, Cucurella, Silva, Sterling, Madueke, Jackson, Palmer, Gallagher, Caicedo, Colwill
Subs: Beach, Badiashile, Ugochukwu, James, Gusto, Petrovic, Maatsen, Washington, Matos
Brentford: Flekken, Hickey, Pinnock, Norgaard, Jensen, Wissa, Mbeuma, Ajer, Collins, Janelt, Roerslev
Subs, Strakosha, Maupay, Zanka, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Mee, Yarmalyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley
Referee: Simon Harper
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ