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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s defeat against Brighton.

The midweek match saw Thomas Frank rotate some of the starting XI. Brentford, surprisingly, deployed a 4-4-2, which hasn’t been seen this season. Pinnock and Ben Mee were the two centrebacks as Mads Roerslev came back into the starting lineup at right back, with Ghoddos filling in at left-back. Onyeka was the left midfielder while Baptiste was the on the right. Yarmolyuk and Janelt, the centre midfielders, were sent out to help control the match. The front line of Mbeumo and Maupay helped give Wissa some rest for the Sheffield match.

De Zerbi also rotated his squad, but still sent out a strong starting XI. His 4-2-3-1 had Pedro up front with Adingra on the right wing and Mitoma on the left. Bounanotte, Gilmour, and Baleba formed a triangle in midfield, while Hinshelwood, van Hecke, Igor, and Gross comprised the backline. James Milner and Evan Ferguson waited on the bench to make an impact

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Brighton 62% – 38% Brentford

xG: Brighton 1.57 – 1.52 Brentford

Shots: Brighton 18 – 8 Brentford

Shots on Target: Brighton 7 – 2 Brentford

Clearances: Brighton 20 – 19 Brentford

PPDA: Brighton 8.96 – 11.46 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 11

Aerial duels won: 13 (34%)


Thomas Frank’s surprising formation didn’t pan out the way he wished it would. It was clever thinking to add an extra midfielder, but it’s always difficult to keep the intensity with hybrid pressing.

The man marking system didn’t cause Brighton as much trouble as it has in the past. A midweek match makes it hard to implement that throughout 90 minutes. De Zerbi also made excellent adjustments to take advantage of the space Brentford were giving. Another issue was Brentford’s high press didn’t lead to many changes of possession, and it commonly led to transitional moments that Brighton took advantage of.

Although the xG looks the same, 0.79 of Brentford’s xG is from their penalty. Brentford only had 2 shots on target on 8 total shots. They struggled to progress the ball, only completing 2 passes within 20 yards of goal, while Brighton did that 19 times in the match.

Damsgaard’s appearance in the second half should give Brentford fans some joy. He clearly made an impact, even if it didn’t result in a goal. His progressive passing helped breakdown Brighton’s defence, and he even led the team with passes into the final third.