Seven-up Bees ease past luckless Wycombe
Brentford 7 Wycombe Wanderers 2
Brentford sourced all three points in completely surreal fashion against a spirited Wycombe Wanderers who, despite the margin of score line, belied their bottom place in the Championship table.
This was a game of vibrancy, high entertainment value, plenty of needle, great goalkeeping – and was up in the air, until Ivan Toney’s first goal in six games from the penalty spot ended the Chairboys’ admirable resistance.
Brentford found Wycombe’s direct approach, and the physical presence of Uche Ikpeazu in particular, a major difficulty for long spells, before taking ruthless advantage late on. The industrious Bees kept visiting keeper Ryan Allsop insanely busy and the outcome now sees the west Londoners leap to third place.
As expected the high flying hosts – fifth in the table before kick off – started aggressively. Sergi Canos’ close range header went a fraction over the crossbar a second after Allsop deflected Saman Ghoddos’ shot. Toney was then denied when his fierce right footed, angled drive was turned away by Allsop with Brentford showing major intent. Nevertheless, it took until only the 9th minute for the deadlock to be broken.
Foraging forward to meet an expertly whipped corner from Mathias Jensen, Ethan Pinnock was sharpest within a packed penalty area to elude Darius Charles to stab the ball home.
With all expectations settling in for Thomas Frank’s men to add to their lead, there was a shock when Wanderers netted an equaliser just five minutes later – and a fine goal it was too.
Ikpeazu initially picked up possession before slipping easily past Jensen. Keeping his composure, the former Hearts striker cut across the 18 yard line before curling a lovely shot which nestled into the far corner of the net. The perfect response for the embattled side.
Wycombe’s confidence visibly grew and, surprisingly, Brentford, for chunks of the first half, appeared genuinely rattled. They had keeper David Raya to thank for turning away a header by David Wheeler as the clash took on a more direct complexion. More goals in quick succession were to follow as the first period ended in rather tumultuous fashion.
Brentford went ahead again in the 42nd minute, via Tariqe Fosu from the goal line. From a precise Canos cross, the winger was on the scene to bundle the ball into the net after Allsop pushed a Toney shot into his path. There was little the impressive Chairboys custodian could have done on this occasion.
Such was the frenetic nature of affairs in west London, that the hosts’ lead lasted a mere sixty seconds, with Wycombe’s muscular approach paying dividends again.
Jason McCarthy lofted in a free kick 25 yards out on the right and with Charles heading back across goal, Admiral Muskwe got the clinical touch from close in, having escaped the attention of Mads Bech Sorensen. A fine response, much to the delight of Chairboys' chief Gareth Ainsworth, whose side were taking aerial advantage as a result of the absence of Pontus Jansson from Brentford’s line-up.
Whatever Frank said at the interval certainly paid off when the Bees went ahead once more in 49 minutes. Allsop was busy again, parrying a drive from Canos, but eventually the ball ran out to Fosu. The flighty Bee steadied himself and took aim from 18 yards at an angle, before despatching into the far corner of the net.
Referee David Webb found himself at the centre of attention in 53 minutes when he, frankly, wrongly awarded a penalty in Brentford’s favour. A tangle involving Fred Onyedinma and Canos saw the Wanderers midfielder harshly penalised for a mere fresh air swipe.
Toney, naturally, was not one to get involved in the subsequent questioning. The forward ended an uncharacteristic barren spell, stroking home for his 17th goal of the season. In reality, this was an incident that VAR, if it existed in the Championship, would have categorically ruled out.
Wycombe began to tire a little as well as being clearly aggrieved at the turn of the afternoon’s events. And when your luck is out, you tend to get punished remorselessly.
With ten minutes remaining, Canos eventually made matters safe. Josh Dasilva powered down the right and his assist found the Spaniard who swept home with aplomb from inside the box. It was the neatest of finishes; a move somewhat at odds with the boisterous nature of the contest.
Cruelty was heaped upon the Chairboys when another couple of breakaways resulted in two further goals for the Bees. With four minutes left, Toney, on the break, rounded Allsop to score, before Dasilva then cut free on the right to slide the ball under this most luckless of goalkeepers.
What a shame a game like this had to be played behind closed doors. Brentford, meanwhile, keep going in full effect.
Brentford: Raya, Henry (Roerslev 83), Pinnock, Canos, Jensen (Janelt 60), Dasilva, Toney, Ghoddos (Forss 80), Dalsgaard, Fosu (Zamburek 80), Sorensen