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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s draw at Bournemouth.

Brentford went down to the south coast looking to get some momentum back against Bournemouth, who have had a nice run of form under interim manager Gary O’Neil. Brentford lined up in a 4-3-3 while Bournemouth went with a 4-4-2. Tavernier was in an advanced wide position on the right and Billings cut in on the left to create chances through the middle and left side of the pitch.

Brentford held the majority of possession throughout the match by controlling the midfield, cycling the ball into wide areas and quickly moving the ball forward. Jensen, in particular, had a very good match. He was the main man who pulled the strings for the Bees and did the dirty work in midfield, with the most tackles and successful pressures. Ajer had a nice showing at right back, linking up with Mbeumo and the midfielders to show his quality going forward. DaSilva, once again came on later in the match and provided quality chances.

Brentford’s strong start was ineffective because of their struggles in the final third. Poor decision making and lack of creative off ball movement led to these struggles. It was a frustrating match that Brentford should have won, considering their chances, but Bournemouth locked down their box well and held out to end 0-0.

2nd Minute

 

3rd Minute

16th Minute

In the very next possession Ajer linked up well with Baptiste and Mbeumo, who this time played in Ajer’s run towards the goal line. This resulted in a corner after Ajer’s cross was blocked, and led to a half chance by Mee.

26th Minute

One of the best chances in the first half was in the 40’ after a long ball from Janelt fell to Baptiste, who chipped the ball into the box for Toney, but Toney did not make good contact on the half-volley and Neto easily saved the shot. This was a good sequence of play though and shows another example of how dangerous Brentford can be on quick attacks from long balls.

46th Minute

49th Minute

Brentford started the second half holding more possession, but did not create many chances. Frank made his first changes in the 61’ minute, bringing on Dasilva, Hickey and Wissa for Mbeumo, Ajer and Damsgaard. Minutes later, Pontus went down with injury and Zanka came on. These changes were more or less like for like, with Dasilva dropping more than Mbeumo in possession to pick the ball up deeper in the field. Dasilva had the highest xA in the match at 0.4, created three shots and gave Brentford a spark of energy to end the match.

71st Minute

In the 79’ minute, Wissa found Dasilva who then played an excellent diagonal pass for Toney to cut in and shoot, but he couldn’t squeeze it past the defenders. However, he collected the rebound and was fouled outside the top of the box. Onyeka came on for Baptiste in the 84’ minute. Toney and Wissa each had a half chance in the 83’, but the match ended disappointingly at 0-0 with Brentford winning the xG battle 0.38-0.87.

Quick Stats:

Full Time

Possession: Bournemouth 42% – 58% Brentford

xG: Bournemouth 0.38 – 0.87 Brentford

xG Set Play: Bournemouth 0.17 – 0.33 Brentford

Big Chances: Bournemouth 1 – 2 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Total Shots: 13

Interceptions: 7

Aerial duels won: 10 (45%)

 

Summary

Brentford probably should have won this match. They created chances from quick build up out of the back combined with long balls in behind. As predicted by @BeesBreakdown on Twitter, this was a clear change from the Arsenal match. Facing Arsenal, Raya hit long balls up the pitch and Brentford looked to win 50/50 balls from this. Against Bournemouth, Raya rolled or passed the ball out of the back numerous times within the first 15 minutes.

Brentford went back to their usual tactics, including Ben Mee playing long balls to Rico Henry. Brentford also looked to counter quickly from interceptions in the opposition’s half as Bournemouth were prone to losing possession.

Brentford set up in their usual 4-3-3 where Jensen and Baptiste played out wide with Ajer and Henry pushing up ahead of them on the wing. When using this set up, Brentford has struggled to play the ball through the middle of the pitch, but some of this is due to tactics.

It looks as if Brentford’s midfield is struggling, but this is a clear system implemented to play to Brentford’s strengths.

Sometimes this is frustrating to watch and against teams like Bournemouth it would be nice to see more build up through the middle of the pitch as we know Brentford are capable.

Brentford being able to hold the ball higher up the field, also helped their midfield and defense to quickly win the ball back and minimize Bournemouth’s chances. Bournemouth has offered very little going forward this season and they only had a few chances against the Bees.

It was unlucky Brentford did not score against Bournemouth’s deep lying team, but we move on to our next match against Newcastle, who Bournemouth drew 1-1.

Next week Brentford fans would love to see better composure in the final third.