Eriksen takes bow but distress signals starting to fly as Bees brushed aside with alarming ease
Brentford (0) 0
Newcastle United (2) 2 Joelinton 33, Willock 44
Christian Eriksen made an emotional return to football as a second half substitute, but could not inspire a recovery from his new team as the Bees succumbed to two first half goals.
There was a standing ovation for the Dane when he came on for Mathias Jensen after 52 minutes - the Community Stadium mindful of the perilous journey Eriksen has been on.
The fact he was able to play just 259 after suffering a cardiac arrest playing for his country at last summer's Euros was the very best thing to celebrate about another difficult day for Thomas Frank's men.
This was one of three crucial consecutive matches against teams near them at the foot of the table and within 12 minutes they had made life tough for themselves by having Josh Dasilva rightly red carded for a reckless lunge that caught Matt Targett above the ankle.
Referee Mike Dean was persuaded to punish Dasilva after being alerted of the severity of the challenge by VAR.
Newcastle cashed in. Already dominant and confident after an upsurge in performances and results which has seen them move out of the bottom three, they went ahead when Joelinton powered home a header at the far post from a Ryan Fraser cross on the left.
And just before the break, Joe Willock expertly put away a fine goal on the break after being freed by Fabian Schar.
In between, it was only a string of fine saves from David Raya prevented further damage from the Magpies, who are now undefeated in seven under Eddie Howe.
By contrast, the Bees' slump has taken on alarming proportions. This was their seventh defeat in eight Premier League games since the victory over Aston Villa on January 2. Only the goalless draw with Crystal Palace has interrupted the steady drip of defeats.
They have missed the presence of an injured Ivan Toney, who at least made an appearance as a sub on the hour as the Bees tried to rally. But, with 10 men, they did not look like saving themselves from an eighth home loss of the season.
The clashes next week at Norwich City and Burnley the week after that now assume even greater importance. Frank's men are now 15th in the table, just three points above Burnley, who are 18th but have three games in hand.
Bees: (4-3-3) Raya - Ajer (Canos 72) Jansson, Pinnock, Henry - Jensen (Eriksen 52), Norgaard, Janelt - Dasilva, Mbeumo, Wissa (Toney 62). Subs not used: Lossl, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Zanka, Baptiste, Roerslev
Magpies: (4-3-3) Dubravka - Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett - Willock (Lascelles 83), Shelvey, Joelinton - Murphy (Guimaraes 64), Wood, Fraser (Almiron 90). Subs not used: Dummett, Fernandez, Manquillo, Darlow, Gayle, S Longstaff