Brentford 1-0 Newcastle United: Bees advance to semi-finals with fourth Premier League scalp
Photo by Getty Images/Clive Rose

Under the floodlights at the Brentford Community Stadium, hosts Brentford defeated their fourth Premier League outfit in a row to reach the last four of the EFL Cup as Newcastle United bowed out of the competition.

A largely even contest was ultimately decided by a composed finish from Josh Dasilva in the second-half to clinch it for the Bees, but either side had plenty more chances to find the back of the net throughout the game.

Brentford will discover their semi-final opponents on Wednesday, while the Magpies will now have the opportunity to focus entirely on their Premier League exploits before they enter the FA Cup in January.

Story of the game

Home manager Thomas Frank made six changes to the side that dispatched Reading at home on Saturday, the most notable of which came in the forward areas where Marcus Forss and Saman Ghoddos replaced Bryan Mbeumo and top scorer Ivan Toney.

Steve Bruce also made four adjustments to his starting 11, with Isaac Hayden and Jamal Lewis replacing Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett in defence while Jacob Murphy and Ryan Fraser were introduced in the wide areas at the expense of Matt Ritchie and Joelinton.

Heavy rain threatened to spoil the stadium's usually immaculate pitch at the, as well as the football that could be played on it, but the hosts were unfazed by the climate and started positively indeed, by far the brighter of the two sides.

First, Ghoddos sent a vicious effort just wide of the top-right corner after some intricate build-up, before centre-back Ethan Pinnock headed over from a corner just two minutes later. Newcastle needed to find their footing quick if they were to avoid an early setback.

It took them 10 minutes to get going, but that they did, and they nearly took the lead when Callum Wilson reacted quickly to a misjudged header from Mads Sorensen. The resultant effort drew a fine save from goalkeeper Luke Daniels who then did well to gobble up the rebound too.

Newcastle's growth into the game created something of a stalemate and, with the rain continuing to bucket down, either side struggled to string passes together in a sloppy 10-minute spell. However, a moment of magic from Fraser nearly broke the deadlock, the Scot's sumptuous cross just evading the reach of Wilson at the back post.

The fine margins of that missed opportunity threatened to punish the visitors when Ghoddos was given the time and space to strike from the middle of the box after good work from Dasilva down the right, but the Iranian mishit his effort slightly and saw the ball bounce up onto the crossbar with Karl Darlow stranded.

Moments later, Frank was in disbelief that his side hadn't taken the lead. Pinnock drifted to the back post at a corner and, unmarked, headed across goal where Sergi Canos was lurking — somehow, though, the Spaniard failed to direct his effort on target from a couple of yards out, and held his head in his hands as the ball trickled wide.

Somehow the deadlock remained unbroken, and Newcastle sought to capitalise on the profligacy of their hosts when a lofted pass picked out Fraser behind the Brentford defence on 35 minutes. The Scot chested the ball down and struck a powerful shot at goal, but Daniels was equal to it.

The final sequence of note in the first half came when Wilson latched onto a through-ball in the box, but Daniels did well to stand up and deny him a shooting opportunity as the chance fizzled out. Goalless at the break; this was clearly a very good contest.

Newcastle picked up proceedings quickly after the break. Jonjo Shelvey picked out Lewis out wide on the left, and the full-back's deliver into the box met the head of Wilson who — perhaps expecting Pinnock to clear — react too late the direct his effort on goal.

With 50 minutes on the clock, a superb driven pass from Sean Longstaff set Murphy through on goal with acres of space to run into, but as the winger bore down on goal full-back Dominic Thompson was breathing down his neck and did just enough to put Murphy off, the eventual effort failing to trouble Daniels.

It was Brentford's turn to cause a stir when Tariqe Fosu burst down the right flank and skipped past Lewis, but the resultant cross was just about scrambled away by Hayden and Darlow for a corner. Calls for handball against the former were in vain.

Unhappy that his side had failed to take the lead, and sensing the game looked set to remain in the stalemate state, Bruce shuffled his pack 65 minutes with the introduction of Dwight Gayle and Joelinton in forward areas.

Yet, just a minute later, it was Brentford who took the lead. Canos twisted and turned down the right before dropping his shoulder and chipping a clever ball onto the penalty spot for Dasilva to latch onto. The midfielder fired home on his stronger left foot, the power leaving Darlow with no chance of making the save.

The breaking of the deadlock was sure to make this game open up even more. Wilson had a fairly good chance to equalise just moments later when he was picked out by an incisive pass from Joelinton, but the striker was always under pressure and his effort was blocked well by Pinnock.

Brentford had a glorious opportunity to extend their lead when Forss latched onto a throw-in from Sorensen, but Darlow got out well and made himself big enough to deny the effort from close range.

Heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation time, it was no surprise to see the hosts sit deeper and deeper as the clocked ticked on, and a half-chance for Wilson as well as long-range pot-shot from Andy Carroll failed to trouble Daniels as Brentford advanced into the last four.

Takeaways from the match

Brentford not at their best, but still defeat a Premier League outfit

This result bodes really well for Frank and his side who, despite perhaps performing slightly worse than they have done in recent league assignments, nonetheless edged out a side competing in the division above theirs. It's a good precedent to set as they seek promotion to the top flight, where the Bees undoubtedly believe they deserve to be.

Brentford created chances even without top scorer Toney on the pitch and probably deserved to lead at the break; Dasilva's fine finish was the least they deserved. At the other end, Pinnock and Sorensen provided good protection for Daniels against a proven Premier League goalscorer in Wilson.

Profligacy rather than impotence Newcastle's problem this time around

This will go down as a disappointing defeat for Bruce's Magpies, yet there were aspects of their performance which indicated an improvement on recent league display's. Here, the visitors created enough chances, but just lacked that cutting edge to put them away.

Overall, Newcastle embraced the role of being the dominant team — effectively matching Brentford in the possession stats (51-49) — but profligacy made them pay in the end, with Wilson in particular spurning a handful of good chances to get his team off the mark.

Standout player

Josh Dasilva (Brentford)

The former Arsenal youth prospect was a constant nuisance attacking from the right of midfield tonight, and his immense technical ability — as demonstrated by his goal — coupled with his physical prowess make him look a real asset against any opposition.

Dasilva was substituted with just under 10 minutes of regulation time remaining, presumably to preserve his energy — the 22-year old will be a key part of both Brentford's promotion push and their ongoing quest to reach the final of this competition at Wembley Stadium.

Teams

Brentford: Daniels; Fosu, Pinnock, Sorensen, Thompson; Dasilva (Jensen (81'), Janelt (Norgaard 60'), Marcondes; Canos (Toney 69'), Forss, Ghoddos.

Subs not used: Raya, Goode, Stevens, Mbeumo.

Newcastle United: Darlow; Yedlin, Hayden, Clark, Lewis (Carroll 80'); Shelvey, Longstaff; Murphy, Almiron Gayle 65'), Fraser (Joelinton 65'); Wilson.

Subs not used: Gillespie, Krafth, Hendrick, Ritchie.

Up next

Boxing Day sees Brentford travel to Cardiff City as the Bees look to extend their 13-game unbeaten streak in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Newcastle travel to the northwest to face Manchester City.

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