Brentford 3 – 0 Southampton. Brentford went up to seventh in the Premier League table, heaping more pressure on bottom club Southampton with a comfortable win at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Ben Mee put the hosts in front, meeting Bryan Mbuemo’s cross with a thumping header in the 41st minute.
And three minutes later Brentford doubled their lead after Mbuemo dispatched Yoane Wissa’s cut-back into the bottom corner.
Mathias Jensen added a third nine minutes from time, nodding in a Rico Henry cross from close range.
With relegation rivals Everton edging out Arsenal and Wolves beating Liverpool, the defeat left Southampton three points from a position of Premier League safety.
Meanwhile, Brentford extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, their longest in the top flight for 87 years.
Brentford’s victory moved them above Fulham – and they were already ahead of another west London team in Chelsea.
The Bees, unbeaten in the league since 23 October, always looked the better side against their struggling opponents and are now just six points off a top-four spot.
Thomas Frank’s team nearly took the lead in the eighth minute when Wissa rounded Southampton keeper Gavin Bazunu only to strike the ball against the crossbar from a tight angle.
And, after a flurry of half-chances, the hosts did go in front through Mee’s header, with the defender rising highest to meet Mbuemo’s enticing cross.
Mee was checked for a concussion immediately after his opener having clashed heads with a Saints defender, but was able to carry on as the Bees doubled their lead through Mbuemo.
Brentford’s top scorer Ivan Toney had an effort cleared off the line midway through the second half before Jensen rounded off the win with a header into the far corner.
Southampton may have given Newcastle a late scare in their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday, but against Brentford, they looked tame.
The visitors came close when James Ward-Prowse went through on goal early in the first half but the midfielder chose to square the ball just out of team-mate Che Adams’ reach when shooting looked the better option.
In the second half, substitute Theo Walcott had a decent strike blocked by a combination of Ethan Pinnock and Mads Roerslev with the scoreline at 2-0.
It is in defence, though, where Saints manager Nathan Jones will be most worried.
Southampton has conceded 53 goals in their past 27 Premier League matches, keeping just one clean sheet in that time, and they were repeatedly carved open by Brentford.
The Saints are still rooted to the bottom of the table as they hope to improve on a run that has brought four defeats in their past five games.
They take on Wolves next Saturday, while Brentford faces a test against leaders Arsenal on the same day.
source – BBC