Pep talk from Thomas sees a night to remember.

30 Dec

Well, what is there to say about that one? Nobody likes to overly celebrate ‘plucky defeat’, let’s be honest. Yet at the same time one can only be full of admiration for a Brentford team that came so close to taking at least a point from our illustrious opponents. From the League Champions. Manchester City may have run out 1-0 winners but with a starting XI designed to take advantage of Liverpool slipping up the night before, the visitors failed to have things their own way. Anything but. In a game where referee David Coote showed how us just much he dislikes Coldplay (that can be the only explanation for an ongoing refusal to get out his Yellow), the Bees gave as good as they got. Indeed, were it not for VAR showing Phil Foden to be ‘just’ onside, Brentford could have taken a point that nobody watching would have denied we were worth.

Little toe plays finger onside

That’s not how football works, as we well know. Manchester City had their chance and took it. They’ll likely point to another VAR decision that went against them and a post being hit to further emphasise it was ‘deserved’.  Instead, as with Chelsea, a super spirited performance against just about the toughest opposition imaginable, saw the Bees missing out by the odd goal in one. The difference this time that there was no Rico Henry, no Christian Norgaard, No David Raya etc etc etc. We all know who is missing. We all know how bad Brighton away was the game before. We all went into this game knowing that City turning up and Brentford failing to show could be disastrous. Instead, it was about as as close an encounter as they come.

Dominic Thompson filling in magnificently for Rico at left wing back. Mads Roerslev coming in for Sergi. Matthias Jensen hanging onto his place as much due to lack of options but having a blinder in the middle. Ivan, Wissa and Frank the Tank combining time and again early on as the goal threatened. Dreamland beckoned. City were rattled as a flurry of chances fell our way. The no show against Brighton in the previous game nothing but a distant nightmare. Whatever pep talk Thomas Frank gave his troops clearly worked wonders. The crowd, likewise, on it from the get go.

Yes. Yes. Yeeessss … Noooooooooo. Urghh. There was Phil Foden, suddenly freed up by Kevin De Bruyne, and making it 1-0 City down the other end. 16 minutes gone and with Brentford fans still wondering how the ball hadn’t gone in for us, there were the visitors to punish us with some quite clinical finishing. That’s why they’re League Champions. Brutal. Ruthless. Efficient.

And with that, it was game over. The early surge from the Bees petering out. The game settling in to a pattern of containment but one where, with just a solitary goal dividing the teams, it felt alive all the way until full time. Despite the falling over, theatrics and some silly nonsense from Grealish, Foden and Jesus (amongst others) Brentford kept going. Kept playing out of the skin and ran it so very, very close. We’ve all seen the game. We all know how tight this one was.  There are full fat match reports elsewhere if you want them.

Oh Jesus… Dominic Thompson takes his place prior to kick off

For me, Clive, the important take away is that it was yet another night where we have run a top four team all the way. There was no panic. There was nobody star struck by the galaxy of high profile names lining up in front of them. There was just a solid, solid performance that left me feeling totally gutted at the end of it by virtue of the fact we’d come away empty handed. Points well earned by City but on another day….

Equally, one can take heart in how we’ve performed so far.  It was another notch on the belt of progress. Of showing that we are in this top flight on merit. Looking at those teams currently in the Champions League spots, our home games with Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have only seen five goals conceded. And most of them were in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool.  

Yet last night was probably the most pleasing of those performances, despite the defeat, and as much due to the relatively makeshift nature of the team. For a home side to be priced at 16-1 prior to kick off tells us everything about how two sides from the same division were perceived. By full time, that opinion had been changed by just about everybody.

This Brentford team are full of surprises. With our next league games against Aston Villa and then Liverpool at Anfield, the task at hand isn’t going to get any easier. At the same time, it’s only going to get even more exciting.  Certainly, if we put in a few more shifts like this.

Well played Manchester City. Well played. But well played Brentford, too. You were magnificent last night. The player review is also now up (and you can get that here). For now, time to sit back and wonder what might have been. Perhaps, next season…..    

Until then, we’ve got Aston Villa and Liverpool to look forward to. Not to mention Port Vale in the cup. All the immediate focus will be on if we can close down a certain Ollie Watkins. There’s a man that knows the way to goal. Can he still do it? Roll on Sunday when we find out.

See you there.

Next up – this man makes a return…

Nick Bruzon

5 Responses to “Pep talk from Thomas sees a night to remember.”

  1. Brighton Bee December 30, 2021 at 8:18 am #

    I fully agree with your comments Nick. We could complain about the incompetent referee who decided to give City everything, we could talk about the over paid / self indulgent / self serving / soft / cry baby City players but I would prefer to talk about an absolutely magnificent performance from our patched up team last night. I thought the lads that played did us all proud, these were the real winners last night.

  2. AUSSIE BEE 53 December 30, 2021 at 9:09 am #

    Apart from failing to give himself a yellow for his foul on Jenson I don’t think the ref was that bad.
    Am I right in thinking the cost to build our new stadium was less than 3/4 of which city paid for Grealish ?
    A pleasing performance and yet no reason to believe this squad won’t continue to improve. C.O.Y.B

  3. Max December 30, 2021 at 10:53 am #

    Proud performance by the bees last night ,summed up by the fact that I was disappointed we didn’t put them under more pressure in the last 10 minutes. Now we need this level of performance against the mid and lower level teams .

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) December 30, 2021 at 12:46 pm #

    When you think that the XI that took to the pitch yesterday cost a third of Jack Grealish, we didnt do too bad at all. Its should have been brackets, but the spirit and drive from the Bees was outstanding. The beat team in the world had to resort to falling over the long grass, and being on the ear of a star struck referee to beat little old Brentford. Like you say Nick, we have come such a long way this season, and we are continuing to build and get stronger.

    The atmosphere was outstanding. That moment in the second half when the roar went up and the play advanced 30 yards was spinetingling. We can do so much from the stands to give the lift these players need. We need to do the same against Villa, and with Norgaard back & maybe another surprise returnee, then we can be capable of so much more, and maybe come 4pm on Sunday we will get to hear Kool & the Gang once more

  5. Henry Trull December 30, 2021 at 4:42 pm #

    The way they played suggests to me that they were scared of us. One goal lead, sit on it and pass us to death, so they didn’t get caught on the break

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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