Beesotted’s Sara Loewenthal looks back at a night to remember as Brentford went close to pulling off an almighty shock against European Champions Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday. The visitors know they had a lucky escape in TW8.

Growing up as a Brentford fan when I did, the team most of my school friends supported was Ch*lsea and they took the pee out of the Bees relentlessly. I can’t lie, I loathed them with such a passion that as you can see, I still can’t even type their full name. Brentford was a joke to them, if you loved football and were from West London, you had to support them was their view. I wasn’t playing that game. For me it was always Brentford so a day I thought would never come, finally did and what a day it was. I was excited as I walked up Lionel Road but with a slight feeling of trepidation. However, seeing the half and half scarf sellers just made me laugh and I became optimistic. 

What can I say? I’m not a football pundit, just a passionate fan who witnessed my little club batter the Champions of Europe for about 20 minutes yet come away with nothing. A bus stop in Hounslow contained a striker whose transfer fee could probably pay our team’s wages for a few years to some seriously wayward shooting. Our bus stop limited them to 5 shots and their only one on target was the goal. That’s football of course. As long as it goes in, that’s what counts. 

It took a little time for both teams to really get going and we defended well, limiting their access. The aftermath of our first corner produced a shot from Mbeumo which comes off the post then they break for Lukaku to score but it was offside. It now seems he was “forced” into an offside position by a nice bit of skilled “pressing” from Jensen. Further shots from Werner and Lukaku didn’t do much and we looked as though we could go into the break with honours even. However, a rare lapse by the defence where no one picked up an umarked Chilwell on the edge of the penalty box, and a sweet volley put us 0-1 just on the stroke of half time. 

The second half started similarly to the first but we then started to string things together and control the game. At around 75 minutes, Toney had a decent shout for a penalty which was ruled offside but I’m told by people who have Sky Sports (I don’t) that he was onside and it should’ve been given. Anyway, we pressed and pressed and they were all over the place trying to deal with it. Shot after shot came raining in from Ghoddos, Jansson, Pinnock, Mbeumo (off the post again) and four from Nørgaard including a superb bicycle kick in the last 10 minutes or so were stopped bravely and brilliantly by Mendy. I disagree with what Tuchel said at the end. They weren’t lucky, they had Mendy. 

This quote from Chilwell sums it up. ‘It was pretty much hell on earth the last 20 minutes. We have got Edou to thank, he’s amazing. He is getting the credit he deserves.’

Much was made in the press about Chelsea’s “makeshift” defence due to missing Rüdiger and Thiago Silva but not so much said about us missing Janelt and Wissa. Onyeka started instead but he seemed to be off the pace yesterday and both Matt Jensens seemed to turn up. Imagine Wissa being in for the barrage at the end and had Janelt been there, Chilwell might not have had that chance. No excuses though as what ifs don’t count, and however much it pains me to say it, they did what they needed to do and the difference between our two clubs showed. I have no complaints. 

The other “big issue” before the game was referee Anthony Taylor and all the articles suggesting we’d already won because he’s against Ch*lsea. If he’s biased against them, it certainly didn’t show yesterday. Some of his decisions defied logic. Maybe he read those articles and thought he’d better do something about it. Again though, no real complaints there as we acquitted ourselves so well that a few dodgy reffing decisions can’t really dampen my feelings. 

I enthusiastically sang my heart out to “Can we have a referee’ and ‘Champions of Europe, you’re having a laugh” as we really scared them. I came away last night feeling elated and proud and of course sad. Elated because I still can’t quite believe that we’re in the Premier League so every match makes me happy. Proud, prouder than I’ve ever been of Bees in fact (apart from the playoff final) that we played so brilliantly against the Champions League holders and sad because of course we lost. It’s a strange set of emotions to have but I’m still feeling it. 

Sara Loewenthal