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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium

Relief is the word as Brentford end their winless run to put clear daylight between themselves and bottom three



Brentford (0) 2 Arblaster og 63, Onyeka 90+4

Sheff United (0) 0


This was the gimmie they needed. But boy did they make it difficult for themselves.


Mikkel Damsgaard's run from half way just past the hour did not immediately raise alarm bells for the Blades, who had plenty of players tracking back. But when the Dane whipped in a cross, the unlucky Oliver Arblaster deflected the ball past keeper Ivo Grbic and the deadlock was broken.


That moment was crucial. This was a Bees shorn of confidence. Nervy. At times desperate to find some spark from somewhere to lift themselves out of their torment.


Still without a half-fit Ivan Toney, they lacked the optimism he carries with him onto the pitch and spreads among the ranks. Mathias Jensen was resorting to hitting long balls - more in hope than expectation.


The Blades were increasingly enjoying themselves. Resigned to relegation as they are, they played without pressure and were starting to fancy themselves.


Then came that goal out of the blue and suddenly the Bees were on their way to a first win in 10 - one which gives them a precious seven-point cushion above the trapdoor, going into next Saturday's trip to Luton.


Damsgaard's assist for the opener was almost followed by a goal of his own, but VAR flagged up a foul in the box as the midfielder volleyed in a free-kick floated across the area from the right by Bryan Mbeumo.


Brentford could have done with that added insurance, but as it was, that ugly goal was more or less enough to get the job done - albeit with the gloss of a second goal coming in injury time.


That arrived when Frank Onyeka - fresh off the sidelines - took advantage of terrible marking at a throw-in to crash home the clincher.


The Bees have not been terrible in recent weeks - the recent draws against Man United and Aston Villa are proof of that - but an unkind fixture list that compounded the never-ending injury worries plus ill fortune on the pitch had led to a run of nine without a win.


A home game against the Championship-bound Blades was the chance to finally break free of those worst fears about being sucked into the bottom three come close of play at the end of May.


It hasn't half helped that Everton and Nottingham Forest have both been docked points, otherwise the picture would have looked decidedly grim. No team has ever survived with 34 points and the Bees only had 29 ahead of the fixture with six to play.


With Luton losing at Man City, the picture is much rosier now.


The Bees hadn't beaten the Blades since the days when they were meeting in League One back in 2013. They had gone six games since then without getting the better of the Steel City outfit. Today was a good day to put that right.


They should have been on their way to victory in the 36th minute when a stray pass from Anel Ahmedhodzic fell straight to Mbeumo and a chip forward from the winger gave Neal Maupay a glorious opening that he stabbed wide.


That near-miss did not herald an avalanche of chances as the xGs stayed modest all round. But somehow the Bees got the job done, even adding some gloss at the end with that second goal.


They also had the boost of returning Ethan Pinnock and Kevin Schade to action with late arrivals off the bench, making it hugely successful day all round for a much-relieved Thomas Frank.



Bees: (4-3-3) Flekken - Roerslev, Zanka, Collins, Reguilon - Jensen (Onyeka 90), Janelt, Damsgaard (Yarmoliuk 78) - Mbeumo (Schade 90), Maupay (Lewis-Potter 79), Wissa (Pinnock 90)


Blades: (3-5-2) Grbic - Holgate (Slimane 90), Ahmedhozic, Trusty - Bogle (Archer 76), Hamer, Arblaster, Osborn, Larouci (McAtee 57) - Brereton Diaz, McBurnie


Attendance: 17,115

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