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📰 Match report: Three Bees first half goals stun Royals

A valiant second half performance was not enough to earn anything from the Brentford

19 December 2020

Three goals in the first half ruined the Royals' chances of taking anything from their penultimate away game of 2020, but Veljko Paunovic's side never gave up and battled hard in the second half, earning opportunities and forcing David Raya into some good saves that could have made a big difference.

Both teams began the game patient in possession but quick to press and close down when looking to retrieve the ball.

But with nothing to mention goal threat-wise in the opening 10 minutes, the Bees broke the deadlock with their first shot at goal. Sergi Canos looped the ball between two defenders for Jensen to run onto and he drilled an effort at goal from the left side of the box. The shot was half parried by Rafael but the ball squirmed between his legs and dribbled over the line.

Reading looked to respond quickly and Laurent did brilliantly to burst down the left and tee up Baldock for an early cross. It was headed away from Semedo coming onto it at the back post, but Ejaria's trickery on the left allowed Semedo a sight of goal - the forward scuffing his shot and David Raya easily gathering up the ball.

The equaliser so nearly came from a free kick on the right, won and delivered by Olise. His cross was glanced on by Morrison and it came off a Brentford toe and bobbled just wide of the right post. 

From the resultant corner, Olise's deep delivery found Moore who opted to volley the ball goalwards - but his well struck effort was straight at Raya who made no mistake in saving.

And the hosts had a second to rub salt into the wounds of those missed chances - Mbeumo cut inside Esteves and arced a lovely shot wide of the dive of Rafael and inside the left post.

And it was 3-0 five minutes later when Mbeumo collected a ball into feet from Dasilva, neatly turned on the penalty spot and swept a left-footed shot past Rafael to give the Royals a massive mountain to climb.

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Ejaria wizardry out on thr left handed Esteves the chance to attack the Bees' box from the left, but he ran the ball beyond the byline as he scuttled towards Raya's near post.

Raya was called into a very good save with seven minutes of the first half remaining, Ejaria finding Laurent in an advanced position and the midfielder whipping a fabulous shot at goal that the Brentford stopper did well to save with an outstretched arm.

The Royals ended the half strongly in fact, Olise forcing Raya to punch an inswinging free kick off his line - but the Bees threatened to hit us again on the counter attack through Henry and Jensen, the latter's pass back to Henry too strong in the end.
 
Half-time: Brentford 3-0 Reading

In torrential rain, the second half began at a high-tempo and Esteves and Baldock looked to combine but couldn't complete a fizzed one-two to work an opportunity.

And it took a good stop from Raya to deny Ejaria soon after - Baldock scampering onto a quickly taken throw and pulling the ball back for Ejaria who swept an effort on target only for the Bees keeper to push it wide with a fine save. 

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But the Royals did pull one back on the hour. Sone Aluko had only just come off the bench, but he found himself connecting with a good Olise cross from the  left and placing a downward header past Raya for 3-1.

But the hosts nearly restored their three-goal gap when Olise was robbed of possession on the left and allowed to break with no whistle for a foul. Holmes did well to get back to prevent one of a number of free Brentford forwards from converting.

Reading kept pressing, Esteves hooking a dropping ball over the crossbar after Brentford had headed clear an Ejaria set piece.

And as we entered the final quarter, the hosts were having to defend their lead consistently. Ejaria strode onto a lovely throughball, turned onto his left boot and forced Raya into a parried stop.

Reading recycled it and Holmes twice connected with a deep ball to the back post - first with his head and then with a high right-footed stab that was deflected high into the air for Raya to jump to collect.

It was all Reading in the final stages but they could find no way through the home defence and Fosu arrowed over when a rare opportunity presented itself for the Bees to attack.

In five minutes of injury time, Toney nearly added to his tally for the season, heading against the crossbar from a corner delivered from the right. But it was to end in victory for the hosts and disappointment for Reading.

Full-time: Brentford 3-1 Reading

Brentford:
Raya, Henry (Thompson HT), Goode, Canos (Forss 77), Jensen, Dasilva (Emiliano 64), Toney (c), Mbeumo (Ghoddos 64), Fosu, Sorensen, Janelt.
Unused subs: Daniels, Norgaard, Pressley, Stevens, Haygarth.
Yellow: Jensen, Janelt
Goals: Jensen 11, Mbeumo 23, 29

Reading
: Rafael, Holmes, Esteves, Moore (c), Morrison, Rinomhota, Laurent, Semedo (Aluko 61), Olise, Ejaria, Baldock.
Unused subs: Southwood, McIntyre, Bristow, Dorsett, Watson, East, Onen, Melvin-Lambert, Aluko. 
Goals: Aluko 64

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