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Impressive Brentford held Premier League Southampton to a credible 2-2 draw at a rainy Griffin Park on Saturday, in a game Dean Smith’s side feel they could have won.

The Bees gave a first start to Kamo Mokotjo, who seemed to fit straight into the side, although it appeared he played a little further up the pitch than ‘just in front of the back four’ as the home side took the game to The Saints and piled on the pressure with some intelligent and patient approach play.

Jota almost produced a moment of brilliance when he dribbled past the whole Southampton defence and danced across the edge of the area before shooting just wide – it was the perfect demonstration of why we are so desperate to keep him.

The break through deservedly came five minutes before the break when Romain Sawyers sprayed a great ball out to Canos wide on the touchline – a perfect touch played him passed his marker and in one goal, before finding the perfect pass to pick out Lasse Vibe to sweep past the helpless Fraser Forster.

There were few signs in the first period that Southampton were from a higher division as, for the large part, Brentford were the superior team – but after the break The Saints cranked up the pressure and, in doing so, turned the game around.

Charlie Austin took full advantage of a mix up between Sawyers and Egan, which allowed the former QPR striker the relatively easy job of slotting past the exposed Daniel Bentley; however, his second goal was a touch of real class, nonchalantly sweping home a Sam McQueen centre.

With a little more than 20 minutes remaining Dean Smith changed the team around with numerous substitutions, most notably handing Griffin Park introductions to Dalsgaard, Watkins and Maupay, plus run outs for Ryan Woods, Josh Clarke and Jozefzoon – who all looked very impressive again.

Brentford stepped on the gas in the final 15 minutes as the substitutes grew into the game, but despite claiming a well earned equalizer, the Bees will have to thank England goalie Fraser Forster for flapping under pressure from Neil Maupay and allowing Clarke’s cross to slip straight between is hands and into an empty net. The ironic singing of ‘England’s number one’ was very funny indeed.

There are so many attacking options available to Brentford right now, and picking the team will become increasingly difficult if everyone is on form – I don’t really envy Dean Smith that job if I’m honest. But one thing’s for sure, I’m really looking forward to getting to know these players better in the coming months and seeing a hugely exciting team take on the best in the Championship once again.

Brentford have two more friendlies this week – at MK Dons on Tuesday night, then Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Then the serious business starts on August 5th at Sheffield United – bring it on!

Dave Lane