Blackburn 1-0 Brentford: Kasey Palmer scores winner for Rovers
Tony Mowbray's side inflict first defeat of the season upon Brentford
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 25/08/18 6:31pm
Kasey Palmer's first league goal for Blackburn was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship.
The on-loan winger slammed home decisively from close range in the 54th minute - the hosts' only shot on target - as Rovers registered their first win on home soil to remain unbeaten in what has been an encouraging start to life back in the Championship.
As crucial as Palmer's strike was, the chief architect behind Brentford's first defeat this season was Rovers goalkeeper David Raya, who made two outstanding saves while the Bees rattled the woodwork on another occasion.
Indeed, the game swung in a single minute; Raya remarkably tipped onto the bar before at the other end, Palmer struck.
It means the visitors have now gone five league games on the road without winning, stretching back to last season.
Palmer returned from injury for Blackburn, while Joe Nuttall made his first league start for the club since November.
Brentford handed a league debut to Marcus Forss, who replaced suspended top scorer Neal Maupay. Said Benrahma made his first league start for the club.
The opening exchanges passed without much incident. Forss, 19, had a chance when the ball fell kindly to him, but could not generate the power, while Joe Rothwell saw a left-foot shot deflected wide.
In a quiet opening half, the best chance fell to the Bees just after the half-hour when Henrik Dalsgaard stood up an inviting cross from the right that Benrahma met at the near post, but his powerful header crashed back off the crossbar.
It gave the visitors some impetus and Ollie Watkins drifted in from the left before letting fly with a ferocious drive that flashed wide of the far post but had Raya worried.
The Bees were somehow denied in the 53rd minute when Nico Yennaris latched onto a Romaine Sawyers ball and his 20-yard strike was destined for the top corner until Raya produced an astounding save, tipping onto the underside of the bar.
It was a crucial moment as Rovers took the lead a minute later when Elliott Bennett's low cross was palmed away by Daniel Bentley - straight to Palmer, who buried his shot into the bottom corner.
Raya was in the action again moments later, superbly tipping Benrahma's dipping shot over as the Bees looked for a response.
The visitors continued to take risks to push for the equaliser and Watkins was presented with a decent chance following a Sawyers cross but could only drag wide.
There was still time for Lewis MacLeod to hammer goalwards, but the shot went wide and Rovers could celebrate.
Tony Mowbray: "[Palmer] is very technical, but he had to learn his positional play out of possession, to cut off passing lines to wide players. He's come from Chelsea so they have got the ball all the time.
"I watched Chelsea's under-23s against ours the other week. They play with the ball, and so he stands in his position and waits for it to come. When you're not playing for such a good technical team, you have to run, and tackle, chase, win headers, fight and get back, and he's learning that I think, and I'm pleased he's got a goal today."
Dean Smith: "The defeat's a tough one to take. I'm not sure they created much at all. We didn't create an awful lot either. I don't think the pitch was conducive for good football - they'll probably put the horses out there later to graze, and it became a niggly game of football.
"Very slow and ponderous from both teams but I felt that we created the best chances in the game. We didn't take them."