There was a sense of optimism before kick-off within the Newcastle United fan-base, due to the apparent gulf in quality between the two teams named by the respective managers.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank named a weakened team, with star man and former Newcastle starlet Ivan Toney dropping to the bench. Newcastle, on the other hand, named arguably their strongest available side - with Steve Bruce again risking the injury prone Callum Wilson for the fourth time in 10 days.
Brentford's back up brigade outclassed Newcastle's strongest team
The sense of optimism soon dissipated after the first whistle blew. Brentford took the initiative, almost scoring three times within the opening 30 minutes. Befitting the Steve Bruce era, Newcastle's response was muted. They sat back, soaked up pressure and created very little going forward.
Brentford entered cruise control after Josh Dasilva gave them the lead with an excellent volley. The home side comfortably saw out the final stages of the tie with little challenge from the away side.
Newcastle's lack of a 'Plan B' was as apparent as ever, the magpies looked totally lost - and there is evidently no contingency plan in place for chasing losses late on.
Andy Carroll's cameo appearance epitomised the need for a real attacking plan. In seven minutes, he had multiple long balls aimlessly hit to him; which unsurprisingly went astray. When the 31-year-old got the ball himself, he launched two wild efforts at goal from distance. That was all in terms of a late siege on the Brentford goal.
Body language: a serious concern
When the final whistle blew, it could be easily seen just what victory meant to the Brentford players. An empty stadium was momentarily filled with not just noise, but pure ecstasy.
You would be forgiven for expecting the Newcastle reaction to be the direct opposite; complete devastation. Suprsingly, the players looked totally detached from the entire scenario. Not one Newcastle player looked devastated, or even slightly upset for that matter. Disappointment has become almost customary.
As they trudged off the pitch, the lack of emotion was palpable. It felt as though the players were totally apathetic to the situation, that they had no fight left to give.
That reaction mirrored their performance, it was devoid of any real passion or fight. Newcastle are a passive, lifeless entity at the moment. With Manchester City up next, it could well be a grim festive period for their fans.