Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s win against West Ham.
Thomas Frank switched back to his 4-3-3 from the 3-5-2 used against Chelsea and Big 6 sides. Aaron Hickey picked up a hamstring injury and will reportedly be out until the New Year. Without many options remaining, Janelt had to take his place at left-back again. Ajer, on a great run of form, joined Pinnock and Collins in the backline. Onyeka slid into Janelt’s spot in midfield with Jensen and Nørgaard beside him. The front 3 consisted of Mbeumo, Maupay, and Wissa, who looked to continue to build their chemistry from the Burnley match.
Moyes switched his formation to have two strikers up top in a 4-4-2, changing from their usual 4-2-3-1 shape. Antonio and Bowen started up top, with Benrahma and Kudus the wide players providing support. Soucek and Ward-Prowese started in central midfield, with Aguerd and Mavropanos the centrebacks. Emerson and Coufal rounded out the side as the fullbacks, while Fornals and Danny Ings waited on the bench for their numbers to be called.
45 Minutes + 7
Possession: Brentford 58% – 42% West Ham
xG: Brentford 1.3 – 1.8 West Ham
xGOT: Brentford 1.59 – 1.37 West Ham
Shots: Brentford 16 – 12 West Ham
Shots on Target: Brentford 4 – 2 West Ham
Clearances: Brentford 32 – 26 West Ham
PPDA: Brentford 12.00 – 13.30 West Ham
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 24 (57.1%)
West Ham created more xG than Brentford, but 0.96 of this was from their second goal. Antonio wasted their other big chance by smashing a tap in wide of the goal. West Ham caught Brentford in some transitional moments to create their fair share of opportunities. The Bees were able to keep West Ham in wide areas for much of the match, and Strakosha didn’t face a shot on target in the second half.
The Bees again showed they could build out of the back and progress the ball in a variety of ways. West Ham’s 4-4-2 was meant to help their attack, but it ended up giving Brentford an advantage in midfield. Brentford also worked to create numbers advantages in different areas. West Ham tried a variety of tactics to press Brentford, but these uncoordinated attempts led to Brentford progressing the ball fluently.
Brentford’s shape in their 4-3-3 did not differ much from previous matches this season. Onyeka was the right midfielder that was in more of an advanced role, while Jensen stayed further back on the left. Jensen did not have to drop very deep to receive the ball because of West Ham’s shape and was able to stay in a central position in buildup.
Brentford’s positioning allowed them to consistently win second balls. Nørgaard was phenomenal with this and is 2nd in the Premier League for loose balls recovered. Jensen’s positioning and then ball retention to keep possession troubled West Ham throughout the match. Brentford picked up a much needed 3 points with the next fixtures being Liverpool away and Arsenal coming to GTech.