Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s draw against Bournemouth.
Thomas Frank almost kept the same starting lineup for a third straight match, but Ben Mee’s return from injury saw him replace Collins in the back line. Brentford stuck with their 4-3-3 with a backline of Hickey, Pinnock, Mee, and Henry. The usual midfield trio consisted of Jensen, Nørgaard, and Janelt. Brentford’s front three this season has routinely been Mbeumo, Wissa, and Schade. Thomas Frank had a tough decision dropping Nathan Collins from the starting XI after his string of quality performances. Collins, Ajer, and Lewis-Potter gave Brentford options off the bench.
Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth side came out in a 4-2-3-1, but their shape varied throughout the match. Solanke and Billing were the crucial components up top, with Kluivert and Semenyo the supportive wingers. Cook and Christie started in a double pivot, while Kerkez and Aarons were the fullbacks. The centrebacks Senesi and Zabarnyi has been Iraol’s first choice pairing this season.
Possession: Brentford 60% – 40% Bournemouth
xG: Brentford 2.91 – 2.09 Bournemouth
xGOT: Brentford 1.54 – 2.05 Bournemouth
Shots: Brentford 21 – 12 Bournemouth
Shots on Target: Brentford 7 – 5 Bournemouth
Clearances: Brentford 16 – 28 Bournemouth
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 23 (61%)
Brentford now lead the Premier League in xG created (9.7), but only have the 9th best xGOT (7.2). This match is the perfect example of how Brentford need to be more clinical. Brentford created 2.91 xG against Bournemouth, but only had 7 shots on target amounting to 1.54 xGOT. The Bees were able to get into dangerous areas and create chances, but were not able to capitalize on those chances.
Jensen’s goal came off a 0.04 freekick chance. Jensen did well to recognize Neto cheating in preparation of a cross. On the other hand, Jensen struggled when it came to his long passing, ending with 2/12 (16.7%) long passes. Luckily, other players, such as Nørgaard and Pinnock, stepped up. Nørgaard had a good outing on both sides of the ball, ending with 7 tackles and interceptions, along with 6/7 (85.7%) long passes. Frank Onyeka had a good cameo, coming on with 20 minutes left and recording the most key passes with 0.7 xA.
This season Brentford have struggled to hold onto leads and close out games. The Bees now have one win and three draws in the Premier League. Thomas Frank seems willing to play for draws and not risk too much going forward, even when it seems Brentford are the better side. As the season progresses it will be interesting to see if Thomas Frank sticks with this philosophy or starts rolling the dice.
The international break gives the Bees some time to rest before an away day to Newcastle on September 16th. Thomas Frank’s side will be hoping for better luck at St. James’ Park than last season. Look out for our match preview here a few days before the game.