In a matchup of two playoff hopefuls, Brentford extended their unbeaten run to five matches on the trot at Griffin Park with a 3-1 victory over Swansea City. The Bees move up to third in the Skybet Championship table while the Swans see their own three match unbeaten run come to an end.
Swansea manager Mark Cooper made two changes to the side that defeated Luton Town over the past weekend with Ban Cabango and Sam Surridge named to the side. Ben Wilmot was forced into the starting lineup after an injury to Mike van der Hoorn in warmups.
Brentford grab all three points behind Watkins
Clear-cut chances were at a minimum in the opening stages of the match, Andre Ayew's shot blocked by Ethan Pinnock while Mathias Jensen also saw his effort blocked after a poor giveaway by Matt Grimes, Swansea dominating most of the opening 15 minutes with nothing to show for it.
Ollie Watkins came close to opening the scoring for the hosts when his shot hit Connor Roberts and drifted wide. The hosts did go in front after 20 minutes with some neat build-up play from a corner, Jensen's delivery nodded on by Pinnock to Bryan Mbeumo, who headed past Freddie Woodman.
Brentford began to take control of the game, Josh Dasilva meeting a Watkins layoff, only to see his shot blocked. Mbeumo also had a strike blocked and Woodman did well to save from Henrik Dalsgaard, the visitors under tremendous pressure.
More great buildup play led to Brentford's second. Said Benrahma slipping the ball between Ayew's legs, playing in Rico Henry, who turned in Watkins, the 23-year old getting just enough on his shot to nudge it past Woodman to double the Bees' lead and notch his 14th goal of the campaign.
Ayew was the main threat for Swansea and he shot just wide early in the second half. Bersant Celina then scared the Brentford goal as his effort went just wide. The two linked up to cut the Bees' lead in half when David Raya let Celina's shot slip from his grasp, Ayew tapped in to make it 2-1.
The visitors made a go at evening the score, Ayew and Celina once more seeing shots blocked while Pontus Jansson made a clearance to prevent Borja Baston from latching onto a loose ball. With the danger averted, Brentford went about looking for a third to put the game away.
Watkins nodded a Raya kick into the path of Benrahma, who whistled the shot over. His second shot was blocked and saved by Woodman after the excellent Watkins had set him up again and Dasilva played a neat one-two with substitute Jan Zamburek, who could only find the side netting.
With two minutes to go, Brentford's third finally arrived. Dasilva perfectly picked out a pass and fed Watkins, who left Wilmot for dead and poked it past Woodman to put the game to bed, sending the Bees to fourth and condemning the Swans to eighth after they had been in the playoff spots much of the season.