Following Thomas Frank's side’s failure to secure an automatic promotion spot last time out, due to their 1-0 loss away to Stoke City, The Bees had to hope that West Bromwich Albion would slip up against rivals, Queens Park Rangers, to present an opportunity for the West Londoners to sneak into second place and the Premier League at the Baggies expense.
As for Gerhard Struber's Barnsley, who handed themselves a lifeline for Championship survival following their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forrest on Sunday, moving them to two points off safety, they would need to reproduce that type of performance again if they were to get past The Bees, who boast one of the most potent attacks and stubborn defences in the League.
Story of the match
The First Half:
The first chance of the match fell to Barnsley, when in the eighth minute, midfielder Luke Thomas weaved through The Bees’ defence to find himself bearing down on goal. Brentford goalkeeper, David Raya, narrowed the angle and forced Thomas to crash his shot against the post.
The Tykes, who have shown in recent weeks that they are not afraid of playing the top sides, from their valiant effort in their 1-0 loss against Champions Leeds to their important victory over Forest last time out, continued to pile on the pressure. An Alex Mowatt free kick in the 20th minute allowed Mads Juel Andersen to leap above The Bees’ defence and plant a header towards goal - his effort, however, was too powerful to be kept on target and cause any trouble for Raya.
Following the drinks break and a tactical refresh in the minds of the Brentford players from boss, Thomas Frank, his side appeared to settle into the game.
In the 28th minute, Said Benraham stung the palms of Barnsley stopper, Jack Walton, after linking up well with Ollie Watkins, which presented a chance for the Algerian winger with an opportunity at goal from just inside the penalty area, but his shot was straight at Walton.
Barnsley, who had been attacking The Bees in swarms, took the lead through Callum Styles in the 41st minute, when the 20-year-old winger scored his first goal for the Yorkshire side after Alex Mowatt floated hopeful cross into the box.
Brentford defender, Pontus Jansson, thought he had done enough to clear the danger, but his clearance fell to Styles just inside the area. The winger drilled a left footed shot towards goal into the bottom left hand corner past Raya, making it 1-0 and giving Gerhard Struber's side the deserved lead.
Brentford thought they had equalised moments later, on the stroke of half time, when, in the 45th minute, Bryan Mbeumo connected with a low cross from Rico Henry.
The France U20 international struck the ball with venom towards goal, only to find an inspired Jack Walton, who somehow flung his body towards the ball to smother the shot and keep his side lead intact heading into the break.
The rebound fell to Benrahma but his effort was denied by Styles who turned attack into defence and blocked the goal bound effort.
The Second Half:
Brentford had to attack the second half if they were to have any opportunity to put themselves in with a chance of gaining automatic promotion.
However, it was relegation-threatened Barnsley who continued their fine form from the first half. Jacob Brown nearly doubled The Tykes’ lead in the 51st minute.
With Brentford pushing for a way back into the game, the 22-year-old was left with acres of space to attack The Bees’ defence, Brown lined up a shot but was thwarted by ex-Barnsley defender and Player of the Year last season, Ethan Pinnock, who put in a last-ditched challenge to keep his old side from doubling their lead.
With Brentford needing two goals to move up to second place, Thomas Frank sent on reinforcements in the shape of attackers, Sergi Canos and Tariqe Fosu, as The Bees looked to set up a grandstand finish.
Brentford's arduous work paid off in the 72nd minute, when midfielder, Josh Dasilva, curled a left footed shot through a crowd of bodies into the top corner, giving Walton no chance and making it 1-1 with just over 15 minutes left to play
Brentford had Watkins, Fosu, Mbeumo, Canos and Benrahma all on the pitch throwing everything at the Barnsley defence, looking to find that elusive goal that would have seen them go above West Brom, who were drawing 2-2 at home to QPR.
Frank's side pushed until the last minute but were caught out in added time. Their lack of a defensive presence on the pitch allowed Barnsley to steal all three points at the death courtesy of substitute, Clarke Oduor, after the left-back gambled at the back post in the 90th minute to get himself on the end of a Patrick Schmidt cross to make it 1-2 and spark wild celebrations from The Tykes’ bench.
What does the result mean?
The Play-offs for Brentford:
If Brentford had won, they would have gained Premier League football following West Brom’s 2-2 draw with QPR at The Hawthorns.
Frank's side will have to dust themselves off and gear up for up the Playoffs against Swansea, who snuck into the top six at Nottingham Forest's expense, following their 4-1 hammering at home from Stoke City.
Barnsley are staying up:
Wigan Athletics' perilous position is still unknown due to their 12 point deduction which has yet to be ratified by the EFL; Wigan would be relegated if that deduction were to stand. Barnsley's win will see them stay in the Championship by a single point thanks to that last gasp winner.
This is the first time The Tykes have been out of the bottom three since September. They showed the determination and the desire not to let Brentford steal the show and they kept fighting right till the end to keep their survival hopes alive, which is a testament to the fantastic job Gerhard Struber has done since arriving from Wolfsberger AC in November.
As it stands, Barnsley will stay in the Championship for next season - they will wait with bated breath for the final decision on Wigan's points deduction.