Brentford 3-1 Fulham: Bees win west London derby
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 02/12/17 6:35pm
Brentford came from behind to beat 10-man Fulham 3-1 in a pulsating west London derby.
The visitors took the lead after 25 minutes when former Brentford loanee Ryan Fredericks raced down the right and his low cross eluded everyone to find Neeskens Kebano at the far post to slot home.
But Sergi Canos, Romaine Sawyers and Ollie Watkins hit back for the Bees to clinch the three points that saw them leapfrog Fulham - who had Denis Odoi sent off in the 53rd minute - and move into 11th place.
Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Sessegnon were constant thorns in the side for the home defence early in the game, with Fulham carving out the better chances of a pulsating first half. Tom Cairney was at the heart of the visitors' most creative moments and he was the first to test Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley with a stinging drive after just three minutes.
The pressure paid off with Kebano's goal and Ojo almost made it two for the Cottagers a minute after the opener, but his rising drive was palmed to safety by Bentley. Just after the half-hour mark the home team equalised. Watkins fed Canos after a run from deep that ended with the Spaniard's deflected angled drive squirming through former Bees 'keeper David Button.
Fredericks teed up Oliver Norwood five minutes before the break but his effort was high and wide. Ojo's glancing header with seconds remaining in the first half then almost left Bentley red-faced until he retrieved the ball on the line as the teams went into the interval level at 1-1.
After the break, Watkins might have scored within a minute, but his angled drive from a defence-splitting Ryan Woods through-ball flashed past the far post. Brentford did not have to wait much longer to take the lead, however, with Sawyers putting them ahead just four minutes after the restart, hammering home from close range after Yoann Barbet's near-post effort bounced back off the upright.
Fulham's hopes suffered another significant setback before the hour-mark when Odoi was sent off for a second yellow card offence after hauling down Watkins in full flight.
And Brentford made the game safe when Watkins smashed home Sawyers' drilled cross at the far post with five minutes remaining. Brentford saw the game out calmly in the final minutes, but will be concerned after losing Lasse Vibe to injury in the first half and Canos, who hobbled off during the second period.
Dean Smith: "We knew that if we pressed Fulham high they would make mistakes and as we did that our belief grew. The third goal was all about our knowledge and game management so it was very pleasing. We are nearing the midway stage now so if we remain as consistent as we have been, show the aggression and intensity we did today and turn some of the draws into wins, then we will maintain our push.
"There's an incredible togetherness about this football club and that will be important to us in the months ahead. That's why it's important to consider performances as well as results."
Slavisa Jokanovic: "We played well for 45 minutes, should have scored more but then gave them an easy goal. We know Brentford and they know us so it was always going to be back and forwards.
"We started the second half very sloppy and they scored. Then we lose a player to a second yellow and that was one of the crucial decisions in the game. With a player less it got complicated for us, but we pushed and tried to force things but we didn't show enough energy to change the situation."