by Callum Ellis
Date: 22nd October 2019
Venue: Liberty Stadium
A BELOW-PAR Swansea City prepared for this weekend’s south Wales derby with a 3-0 defeat against Brentford.
Said Benrahma’s wonder-strike and an own goal from Swansea defender Jake Bidwell put Brentford in a commanding position at the break.
And Bryan Mbeumo’s second-half effort ensured the away side picked up back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Steve Cooper made five changes from the Swans’ 1-1 draw with Barnsley on Saturday, as Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton, Yan Dhanda, Kristoffer Peterson and Borja Baston were all brought into the starting line-up.
While Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva were the only two changes for the visitors following their dramatic 3-2 win over Millwall.
Joe Rodon – celebrating his 22nd birthday – set up the Swans’ first chance of the evening. His ball forward found Peterson and he delivered to the back post but Roberts failed to pick out a white shirt with his header back across goal.
Kamohelo Mokotjo brought Freddie Wooman into action with Brentford’s opening chance, as the Swans goalkeeper tipped his low shot around the post for a corner.
Peterson – who was handed his first league start by Cooper – caused the away side problems and set up two chances within the space of two minutes. Baston failed to adjust his feet and prodded wide of the target at the near post from Peterson’s first delivery, before his cutback this time fell to Dhanda, whose effort was deflected onto the roof of the net.
But it was the away side who took the lead on the half-hour mark through Benrahma. Ollie Watkins played the ball into the feet of the Algeria international and he cut inside from the left wing before curling a right-footed effort into the top corner.
Brentford doubled their advantage six minutes after the restart courtesy of an own-goal from Bidwell. The Swans defender, playing against his former club, attempted to prevent Watkins’ dangerous pass from finding Mbeumo but could only poke the ball beyond Woodman and into his own net.
Cooper sent on George Byers and Bersant Celina at the break, and the latter went close to reducing the deficit in the opening stages of the second half. The Kosovo international, just as Benrahma did in the first half, cut inside from the left flank and tried to replicate his opposite number’s strike but saw his shot sail inches wide of the target.
Thomas Frank’s side, however, went up the opposite end and added their third of the evening. The Bees surged forward in their numbers and Mbeumo curled past Woodman from the edge of the area.
The goalscorer Benrahma nearly added a fourth for the visitors as he raced forward, only to see his curling effort sail marginally wide of the post.
Brentford goalkeeper David Raya had little to do throughout the 90 minutes but produced a fine save to keep the Swans at bay, getting down low to push substitute Byers’ header past the post.
And Andre Ayew flashed over in the dying minutes to cap off a miserable evening for Cooper’s men.
The Swans have now gone three games without a win and will need to quickly pick themselves up ahead of Sunday’s derby against south Wales rivals Cardiff City.
Swansea City: Woodman, Roberts, van der Hoorn, Rodon, Bidwell, Fulton (Byers 45′), Grimes, Ayew, Dhanda (Celina 45′), Peterson, Baston (Surridge 69′).
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Wilmot, Routledge.
Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Jeanvier, Henry, Norgaard, Mokotjo, Dasilva (Jensen 75′), Benrahma (Zamburek 88′), Mbeumo (Valencia 70′), Watkins.
Subs not used: Daniels, Thompson, Pinnock, Clarke.