Brentford all but guaranteed another season of Premier League football after completing a first league double over West Ham in 68 years with a 2-0 victory.
After spurning a host of chances in a goalless first half, Bryan Mbeumo broke the deadlock three minutes after the break when he unerringly dispatched Ivan Toney’s precise through pass.
Mbeumo turned provider 18 minutes later, returning the favor when his hooked ball back into the six-yard box found Toney unmarked and he nodded his 12th goal of the season home.
Brentford’s fourth victory in five games lifts Thomas Frank’s side up to 13th in the Premier League on 36 points – 12 clear of the bottom three – and surely allays any lingering relegation fears.
Defeat dealt another blow to West Ham’s fading hopes of a top-four finish, and they were also dealt a potentially massive setback ahead of Thursday’s Europa League second leg against Lyon with defender Kurt Zouma was forced off injured in the first half.
Brentford: Raya (7), Henry (7), Pinnock (7), Zanka (6), Ajer (6), Norgaard (7), Eriksen (6), Janelt (6), Wissa (6), Mbeumo (8), Tony (7).
Subs: Canos (5), Jensen (6), Roerslev (n/a).
West Ham: Fabianski (5), Coufal (5), Dawson (6), Zouma (5), Cresswell (5), Rice (6), Soucek (6), Fornals (6), Lanzini (5), Bowen (5), Antonio (5).
Subs: Vlasic (5), Benrahma (5), Diop (5).
Man of the Match: Ivan Toney
Brentford dent West Ham’s European bid
Brentford were still buzzing from last weekend’s thumping 4-1 win at Chelsea and Mbeumo had the game’s first effort on target when he headed Rico Henry’s cross straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
The Frenchman tested the West Ham goalkeeper against with a rasping near-post drive midway through the half and, after Zouma departed, turned a rebound onto the bar after Christian Eriksen’s corner threatened to curl under the bar before Fabianski’s last-ditch save.
- Centre-back Zanka and forward Yoane Wissa came into the Brentford team as Thomas Frank made two changes to the team which won 4-1 at Chelsea.
- Manuel Lanzini, Lukasz Fabianski and Vladimir Coufal returned as West Ham made three changes to the team held to a 1-1 draw by Lyon in the Europa League.
West Ham were off the pace throughout and registered just a single attempt on target, with Tomas Soucek heading Vladimir Coufal’s cross straight into the arms of Bees keeper David Raya.
Mbeumo found his shooting boots three minutes after the restart when he ruthlessly dispatched Toney’s flick with a fine first-time finish past Fabianski.
And Brentford deservedly doubled their advantage on 64 minutes when Rico Henry’s cross was hooked back across goal by Mbeumo for Toney to head into the empty West Ham net.
Brentford seal Hammers double – Opta stats
- Brentford have recorded the league double over West Ham for only the second time, last doing so in 1953-54 when both sides were in the second tier.
- 39% of Brentford’s 36 Premier League points this season have come in London derbies (W4 D2 L3), with only Chelsea (18) picking up more such points in the division this term than the Bees (14).
- West Ham have lost seven of their last 11 away Premier League games (W2 D2), now one more away defeat than they suffered last season (6). The Hammers have suffered three consecutive away defeats for the first time since a seven-game run between December 2019 and June 2020.
- Bryan Mbeumo has scored in both Premier League games against West Ham this season, only the second Brentford player ever to net both home and away against the Hammers in the same league campaign, after Jack Holliday in 1933-34.
- In the Premier League this season, only two other duos -Saïd Benrahma & Michail Antonio (5) and Son Heung-Min & Harry Kane (6) – have combined for more league goals than Brentford duo Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo (4).
Frank: Close to complete performance
Brentford manager Thomas Frank: “I think it was close to a complete performance. It was the first time all season we have more or less controlled the game from minute one to minute 90.
“Winning 2-0 against a very good side, a side in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and challenging for the top four, and restricting them to just five shots, that’s ‘wow’ for me.
“I’m very proud of the performance, it was possibly even more complete than the Chelsea one. The way we did it shows how far we’ve come.
“It’s a combination of a top performance and a good win, that’s the big thing. Of course I looked at the table, but I want to focus on the next game.”
Moyes: Schedule caught up with us
West Ham manager David Moyes: “It was disappointing, but just maybe playing Thursday and Sunday caught up with us. We lacked intensity and hardly made any chances.
“It was a really low level game in the first half, but we gave them a leg-up in the second with a really poor, shoddy goal from our point of view.
“If we can get European football again it would be a great achievement, but we missed an opportunity today.”
Man of the Match – Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney has scored eight goals from 32 shots in the Premier League in 2022, after netting just four times from 36 attempts prior to the new year.
Indeed, only Heung-Min Son (9) has scored more top-flight goals since the turn of the new year than the Brentford striker (8).
Brentford travel to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm, while West Ham travel to Lyon for their Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday at 8pm before hosting Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday at 2.15pm.
April 14 – Lyon (a), Europa League
April 17 – Burnley (h), Premier League
April 24 – Chelsea (a), Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 1 – Arsenal (h), Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 7 – Norwich, Premier League
May 15 – Manchester City (h), Premier League, live on Sky Sports *
May 22 – Brighton, Premier League
*Subject to change due to FA Cup final