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  • By Yann Tear at Brentford Community Stadium

Mbeumo's last-gasp penalty seals dramatic comeback win over Watford for never-say-die Bees

Brentford (0) 2 Jansson 84, Mbeumo 90

Watford (1) 1 Dennis 24

Bryan Mbeumo’s penalty deep into injury time crowned a thrilling late rally from Brentford as they came from behind to claim another precious home win.

For much of this Friday night clash, they trailed to a first-half strike from Emmanuel Dennis, but Watford retreated into their shell for the entire second half and paid the price at the death.

First, skipper Pontus Jansson nodded home with six to go, then a reckless lunge from William Troost-Ekong on sub Saman Ghoddos gave Mbeumo the chance to seal another Premier League win.

The Frenchman normally does not get a look in from the spot, but with Ivan Toney absent, the onus was on him to keep his cool, and he did.

With home games against both Manchester clubs to come before the year is out, the importance of this win should not be underestimated – particularly as it came when the Bees are experiencing a difficult moment.

They are looking stretched personnel-wise – especially defensively, considering there is no Zanka, no Kris Ajer, no David Raya.

Ethan Pinnock’s Covid-related absence, along with that of Toney and a suspended Sergi Canos forced Thomas Frank into unwanted changes.

Vitaly Janelt was pressed into unfamiliar defensive duty and Yoane Wissa was given a rare start. Josh Da Silva is still a big miss.

What they have though, is spirit in abundance and they always looked capable of getting something from a mostly scrappy encounter, if only because they carried a threat and Watford were incapable of retaining the ball.

This was only a second win in nine games but it is enough to take the Bees into the top half of the table going into the weekend.

The opening perhaps hinted at what might come.

Shandon Baptiste had a volley tipped over after four minutes during a good opening spell for the hosts and there was another good chance when Baptiste’s ball into the ideal inside-right channel ended with Bryan Mbeumo sending a curling left footer towards the far corner.

Daniel Bachmann, who did so much to prevent a rout at the hands of Man City last weekend, stretched expertly to tip aside.

Josh King struck woodwork with the first moment of danger the Hornets created – picked out by the ebullient Cucho Hernandez.

But from Tom Cleverley’s ensuing corner kick, Emmanuel Dennis rose highest to power a close-range header into the net for his seventh Premier League goal of the season.

The goal came very much against the run of play and a combination of Mbeumo’s lightning runs and set piece menace suggested hope was not lost.

The Bees made subs and raised the tempo. Marcus Forss and Saman Ghoddos came on – Wissa and Mathias Jensen sacrificed – and the Bees built up a sufficient head of steam to start asking more questions.

Mads Roerslev sent a low cross to the far post that reached Rico Henry on the left but the final effort was blocked. Janelt popped up in an advanced position to fire at Bachmann as the Hornets retreated – seemingly unable to relieve the pressure by retaining the ball for long enough or getting forward in numbers.

Finally, with six minutes to go, Jansson deservedly drew the Bees level by getting in front of Kiko Femenia to nod home from close in after Forss had deflected a Janelt cross from the right towards the far post. A VAR check came and went. The goal stood.

All was set for the ultimate denouement.

Understrength they may have been, but Brentford still had too much for a disappointing Watford.

Bees: (3-5-2) Fernandez – Goode, Jansson, Janelt – Roerslev, Baptiste, Norgaard, Jensen (Ghoddos 69), Henry (Onyeka (76) – Wissa (Forss 69), Mbeumo. Subs not used: Cox, Thompson, Onyeka, Bidstrup, Sorensen, Stevens, Young-Coombes

Hornets: (4-1-4-1) Bachmann – Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Ngakia – Kucka – Hernandez (Sema 76), Cleverley (Pedro 58), Sissoko, King – Dennis (Turfan 90). Subs not used: Elliot, Rose, Louza, Sema, Fletcher, Kabasele, Angelini


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