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

Stalemate at the Gtech as Bees share spoils with their neighbours

Brentford (0) 0

Chelsea (0) 0

The latest west London derby ended all square as solid defending at both ends of the pitch ensured a stalemate.

The match lacked the pyrotechnics of the crazy afternoon at the Bridge last season when the Bees ran riot to win 4-1 and the match seemed in keeping with a general shift towards low scoring parity in lots of other Premier League matches this week.

But it still felt like a better result for Thomas Frank’s men than it did for Chelsea, even if the visitors have to feel they are onto something with a fifth clean sheet in a row.

There were some chances and it was not the worst 0-0 in the world.

Last season, it was only the agility of Edouard Mendy which denied the Bees at least a share of the spoils in the home meeting between the teams. This time, Kepa was soon threatening to do the same, with an athletic tip-over to deflect a firm Ivan Toney header over the bar.

Later in the first half, he did the same when the Bees skipper flicked a back header from close range which the Chelsea keeper did well to swat away.

In the second half, he got behind a Bryan Mbeumo header to preserve the status quo, although the Frenchman ought to have done better after being found unmarked by Mads Roerslev’s cross from the right.

Early pressing from the Bees had Chelsea massing around their own 18-yard box and getting a bit hot under the collar when Mbeumo tumbled under a challenge from behind by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There were few openings but some signs the Bees could be the ones to end Chelsea’s run of four clean sheets, with a little more finesse in the final third. Frank Onyeka outstripped Kalidou Koulibaly down the right and into acres of space, but couldn’t make it count.

Graham Potter’s men took a while to assemble moves of any consequence but when they finally established lines of communication with Armando Broja, it looked like it might be profitable. More than once the Diego Costa lookalike got the better of Ben Mee to create panic in the home ranks.

In the end, that project was abandoned, with Broja taken off on the hour and Raheem Sterling on as part of a triple substitution.

Kai Havertz forced a save from David Raya, who was not over-worked. Mbeumo chanced his arm from half way, though Kepa peddled back to avoid calamity.

And as the half-chances continued, Yoane Wissa fed Rico Henry for a narrow-angle attempt into the side netting before Ethan Pinnock blocked superbly to shut out a sniff of a chance for Sterling. Christian Pulisic thumped an effort straight at Raya.

But in truth, this was a match which looked destined to finish scoreless long before the end.

Next up for the Bees is a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday. Chelsea have the small matter of a home game against Man United Saturday evening.

Bees: (3-5-2) Raya – Zanka, Mee, Pinnock – Roerslev, Onyeka (Baptiste 60), Janelt (Ghoddos 90), Jensen (Dasilva 72), Henry – Mbeumo (Wissa 72), Toney. Subs not used: Cox, Canos, Ajer, Lewis-Potter, Damsgaard

Blues: (4-2-3-1) Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella (Pulisic 62) – Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek – Gallagher (Kovacic 16), Mount (Chukwemeka 62), Havertz (Aubameyang 81) – Broja (Sterling 62). Subs not used: Mendy, Silva, Kovacic, Zakaria, Ziyech


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