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  • By Yann Tear at Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford fall foul of Barnsley again as shock defeat ends superb unbeaten record


Brentford (0) 0

Barnsley (1) 2 (Chaplin 13, Morris 47)

Well that wasn’t in the script.

Brentford suffered a first league defeat since October and only their second on home soil as their magnificent unbeaten run of 21 games came to a juddering halt.

Excellent back-to-back wins at Middlesbrough and Reading had propelled them to the top of the Championship for the first time in midweek, but they missed the chance to get back there (Norwich are on top again) with this unexpected reverse.

The Tykes ruined their promotion hopes with a win at Griffin Park at the end of last season and once again looked in the mood to make life difficult for the Bees, who never quite got going.

The relentless pressing from the Yorkshire outfit made it tough Sunday lunchtime for the hosts, who failed to find the net for the first time in the league since a 0-0 draw with Derby in December.

Ivan Toney had few chances to add to his 23 goals (seven of them coming in the last four games) and his afternoon of frustration ended with a booking for a petty foul. Mads Andersen gave him as tough a game as he has had all season.

The tone of the match was set from the beginning and far from what we might have expected from a team unbeaten for so long against a team yet to win in the league in 2021.

Yet the visitors were full of positive intent and tireless pressing – pinning the Bees back in a way that they have not been accustomed to that often at the Brentford Community Stadium.

The Tykes’ front-foot approach was rewarded with a goal in the 13th minute when Callum Brittain got the better of Rico Henry on the right and crossed for Conor Chaplin to turn home from close range.

It was by no means the only time Barnsley threatened either, as David Raya needed to spring up to his left to keep out a looping header from Carlton Morris.

It took a while for Thomas Frank’s men to find their way into the match, with signs of frustration at the fact they were not having things their own way.

For all that, they might have levelled it when Henry crossed for a well-placed Josh Dasilva to screw a tame effort wide, while Saman Ghoddos missed a glorious chance just before the interval – rifling low at keeper Brad Collins after Sergi Canos had opened up the visitors.

Morris doubled the lead right at the start of the second half.

Daryl Dike got in behind the Bees defence after an overhead chip from Chaplin into the inside right channel had created space. His lashed cross-shot found Morris and after taking a touch past a wrong-footed Ethan Pinnock, the striker found the net via Raya’s left-hand post.

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael made a triple-substitution in a bid to keep things fresh and one of those coming on, Victor Adeboyejo, came close to definitively putting the game beyond the Bees with a half-volley from outside the area which drifted inches wide.

The Bees hit back. Canos fired low and a spill by Collins almost allowed a tap-in for the hovering Ghoddos. Frank made a triple substitution of his own for the last 20 minutes, in a bid to change the course of the match. Mathias Jensen among them. But even his guile could not make a difference this time.

Next up for the Bees is a west London derby with QPR on Wednesday at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Bees: David Raya – Dalsgaard (Roerslev 74), Pinnock, Bech Sorensen, Henry – Dasilva (Jensen 74), Janelt, Ghoddos (Forss 74) – Mbeumo (Fosu 64), Toney, Canos. Subs not used: Daniels, Goode, Reid, Zamburek

Tykes: Collins – Sollbauer (Sibbick 67), Helik, Andersen – Brittain, Palmer (Williams 77), Mowatt, Styles – Dike (Woodrow 56), Morris (Adeboyejo 56), Chaplin (Frieser 57). Subs not used: Walton, Kane, Oduor, Moon

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