Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Brentford
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal decided to make just the two changes from their 2-1 win away at Nottingham Forest at the weekend. Ross Wallace and Liam Palmer came into the starting line-up replacing Jack Hunt and Daniel Pudil.
Brentford came into this game in poor form in the Championship, especially away from Griffin Park. However, the Bees did put Wednesday under some pressure in the opening minutes of the game.
The Bees got their first big chance of the game around 20 minutes in. Romaine Sawyers managed to get to a loose ball before Kieran Westwood but failed to convert an attempted lob from a tight angle. Almen Abdi was rewarded with another start after his superb goal at the weekend and tried his luck again from long range but his volley was saved comfortably by Daniel Bentley.
Despite Brentford’s early possession, the hosts started to up the tempo and create some chances of their own. Good work from Palmer created a double chance for Jordan Rhodes and then Abdi but neither could convert.
Referee Darren Bond became an unpopular figure amongst the home support when he decided to not award a penalty as Fernando Forestieri went down following a challenge from Harlee Dean. The boos became even more noticeable in the 35th minute of the game when Brentford took a 1-0 lead. John Egan’s header from a Ryan Wood free-kick looped up over Westwood to deservedly put Brentford in front.
The home crowd started to push their side up the field as they looked for an instant equaliser. This almost came five minutes before the break as Palmer’s cross was headed onto the crossbar by Rhodes.
However, it didn’t take the away side long to resettle after their opener and they doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Dean headed home a corner to make it 2-0.
Carvalhal no doubt had some stern words to say to his team at half-time and it was his side who came out looking the brighter after the break. However, it was Brentford who almost got themselves further ahead as Jota’s deflected free-kick almost caught Westwood off guard.
Callum McManaman replaced Abdi in the 67th minute as Wednesday looked for some inspiration and a way back into the game. Brentford had a fantastic opportunity to kill the game with around 20 minutes to play. Sloppy play from Wednesday in midfield allowed Saywers to race through on goal before playing in Jota who failed to make the most of it.
The hosts desperately tried to get themselves back into the game. McManaman made a positive impact after coming on as a substitute and put a handful of enticing crosses into the area. However, the Brentford defence was holding firm and Bentley made a superb save to keep out Forestieri’s volley. Bentley kept the Argentine out again minutes later as he tipped over his free-kick.
The home side continued to create a host of chances with time running out. Rhodes had his header cleared off the line before substitute Steven Fletcher failed to convert the rebound amid a huge scramble in the area. Their best chance of the game came in injury time as Vincent Sasso missed an open goal following a rebound from Forestieri’s shot.
Despite Bentley’s superb performance for the Bees, Forestieri was finally able to find the back of the net as his curling effort found the bottom corner to make it 2-1 and give Wednesday hope with just minutes to play. Substitute Sam Winnall had a chance to level the scores but could only head his effort straight at Bentley as Brentford claimed a very impressive victory.
Carvahal, whose side face a huge clash against Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday, said: “The referee in the first-half is a disaster. [He had a] very poor performance and made everybody nervous.”
“He didn’t see a clear penalty [on Forestieri], he didn’t see the block they did to [Vincent] Sasso for the second goal from the corner and there was more than this.”
“We played very pitiful in the first-half. We played three days ago and Brentford didn’t play. We started very slow but I think it is probably about the few days between the games but we must play better.”
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Sasso, Loovens (Fletcher, min. 81), Reach, Wallace, Hutchinson, Abdi (McManaman, min. 67), Bannan (Winnall, min. 45), Rhodes, Forestieri.
Goals: Forestieri, 1-2, min. 90+3.
Brentford: Bentley, Colin, Dean, Egan, Henry (Field, min. 86), Yennaris, McEachran (Kerschbaumer, min. 45+7), Woods, Jota, Sawyers, Canos (Jozefzoon, min. 63).
Goals: Egan, 1-0, min. 35. Dean, 2-0, min. 44.
Venue: Hillsborough Stadium
Referee: Darren Bond