Thomas Frank stuck with a 4-3-3, but a surprising change was Damsgaard getting a start. Dasilva and Janelt sent to the bench as Damsgaard made only his second start. Brentford used their usual tactics with Damsgaard pressing high with Nørgaard controlling the center of the pitch. Jensen would stay further back, helping prevent Fulham creating chances from wide areas.
Fulham lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 with Mitrovic up top, but Palhinha missed out due to yellow card accumulation. Palhinha is instrumental to Fulham’s attack and defence, cutting out passing lanes and starting counter attacks. The Bees caught a break with him out of the starting XI with Lukic taking his place.
Possession: Brentford 36% – 64% Fulham
xG: Brentford 2.3 – 1.5 Fulham
Big Chances: Brentford 4 – 3 Fulham
xG on Target (xGOT): Brentford 2.79 – 1.96 Fulham
Other Brentford stats:
Total Shots: 14
Tackles won: 15 (68%)
Aerial duels won: 18 (69%)
Brentford started off hot with early chances for Mbeumo, but were unable to convert. Brentford continued to threaten with Mbeumo and Toney both hitting the woodwork on freekicks. Eventually, one of Brentford’s less threatening chances ended up with the ball in the back of the net.
Brentford set up in a 4-3-3 when attacking, but settled into a 4-4-2 at times on defence. Typically Brentford’s wingers would drop in leaving Toney upfront and Damsgaard in an advanced role to press. Wissa and Mbeumo dropping in helped defend Fulham in wide areas and prevent crosses.
Damsgaard brilliant game will force Thomas Frank to make a difficult decision for the starting XI this weekend, but that’s a good decision to have. Damsgaard ended with 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 5 clearances.
Damsgaard finally fully fit showed how Brentford view him. A high pressing but still box to box midfielder with loads of responsibility going forward and defending. Thomas Frank clearly rates his passing ability and wants him to be the outlet to start counter attacks
Damsgaard will need to improve on his 50% passing completion, but try not to read too much into passing statistics for an advanced midfielder. Damsgaard is expected to try difficult passes to create goal scoring opportunities, which he certainly did by recording 3 shot creating actions.
We also saw Schade again paired up top with Toney. It goes to show how good Brentford’s scouting is and how they had a vision for where to play Damsgaard and Schade long before they were in the squad. Brentford will want Schade to continue working on winning aerial duels, but he’s already showing his potential on and off the ball with his speed.
Schade showed his pace against another lightning-fast player in Robinson. A bit of individual brilliance gave Brentford their third goal. Credit to Jensen for a calm finish to seal the win for the Bees.
Pinnock was again rock solid at the back, leading the Bees with 4 aerial duels won and keeping Mitrovic quiet most of the night. Thomas Frank will surely work on reacting quickly to shots and free-kicks during training this week. A little disappointing to see two goals given up while Brentford were ball watching, but better to concede those when it doesn’t affect the result.