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From the GTech Community Stadium – Brentford look to west London rivals Fulham to pace themselves in the race for Europe.

Two neighbors on the River Thames have emerged as real contenders for Europa League or Europa Conference League football, with Thomas Frank’s men getting Marco Silva out of school on Monday night.

Brentford’s first half sight of a goal came inside the opening two minutes when Ivan Toni dropped deep and let fly from 25 yards, forcing Bernd Leno to save low to his right.

60 seconds later, they should have been in front. Mathias Jensen’s clever free-kick set up Rico Henry running down the left, and he laid a cross on a plate for Brian Mbumo, who somehow missed the target by mere yards.

The Cameroon international was later thwarted by Leno as the Bees continued an incredibly quick start to their one-on-one face-off with the German.

And they took the lead after six minutes. Fulham failed to clear a corner, with the ball falling to Aaron Hickey on the edge of the box. He turned and fired towards Ethan Pinnock, whose shot deflected off Tim Ream from just inside the box.

After a quiet midway through the first half, Toni sent his fans off their seats when his driven free-kick hit the top of the crossbar.

fulham Got a leveler from almost zero just before the break. A free-kick from Andreas Pereira on the very edge of the Brentford box rattled the post, and Manor Solomon was quick to react to the rebound, scoring for the fifth game in a row.

Just after the interval, Brentford were awarded a penalty when Issa Diop kicked over the leg of Christian Norgaard while trying to defend a long throw-in from Mathias Jensen. Tony stepped up and scored from the spot, maintaining his perfect penalty record for the Bees.

The talismanic striker then added about a third Brentford when he tried to lob Leno from inside the Fulham half, with his audacious effort landing on the top of the net.

The hosts sealed the points with five minutes remaining. Fulham substitute Cedric Soares fired a loose ball backward and straight at Toney, who slotted in Kevin Sheady, curling his way past Antoine Robinson to tee-up Jensen at the near post.

Fulham pulled one back eight minutes into stoppage time when a speculative strike from Pereira was cleared away by David Raya, only for Carlos Vinicius to come in and score the rebound, but it was to be the last kick of the game.

Ninth-placed Brentford are now just two points behind seventh-placed Fulham but have two games in hand – if they are really dreaming, they are seven adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, who have the same deficit of matches are together

GK: David Raya – 5/10 – Drove well and claimed several pars. Probably should have done better with Fulham’s second goal.

RB: Aaron Hickey – 7/10 – Recorded one assist and was an asset going forward. It took a sharp reaction to silence Solomon.

CB: Ethan Pinnock – 8/10 – A great deal of luck regarding his goal but hey, they all matter. He and I kept Mitrovic under wraps.

CB: Ben Me – 7/10 – A never ending source of blocks and tackles.

LB: Rico Henry – 7/10 – Driven the game with his pace and width.

Chief Minister: Christian Nørgaard – 7/10 – Reliable as ever in the middle of the park, playing the sweeper effortlessly.

CM: Mathias Jensen – 8/10 – His switches of play and long throws troubled Fulham, eventually leading to Tony’s penalty. A great run to the decider.

RM: Brian Mbumo – 6/10 – There was no way to break the deadlock. Lucky a bit those misses didn’t come back to haunt him.

AM: Mikael Damsgaard – 7/10 – A surprise starter who made the most of it, landing in central midfield when needed, he moved to Fulham. The only fault was the awarding of the free-kick from which Solomon equalised.

LM: Yoanne Vissa – 6/10 – Struggled to score runs on the ball consistently. Several times places were exchanged with Tony but his teammates failed to get his runs.

CF: Ivan Toney – 9/10 – Dominant work at both ends and Fulham couldn’t deal with him. Nerves of steel from the spot, his 22nd successive penalty.

substitute player

Vitaly Genelt (76′ for Damsgaard) – 7/10

Kevin Schade (76′ for Visa) – 8/10

Josh DaSilva (90′ for MbuMo) – N/A

Mads Rorselv (90′ for Hickey) – N/A


Thomas Frank – 8/10 – Brentford were ruthlessly efficient in both boxes, blasting Fulham when it needed to be.

GK: Bernd Leno – 6/10 – Made some good saves especially amid Brentford’s quick start.

RB: Kenny Tate – 6/10 – Galloped to the right with inexhaustible enthusiasm.

CB: Issa Diop – 4/10 – The penalty was soft, but still a clumsy challenge from Deep.

CB: Tim Ream – 5/10 – Pinnock’s goal came from the American and while he couldn’t do much about it, he looked his age at 35.

LB: Antoine Robinson – 5/10 – As Tete offered great width for Fulham, but was later put into the spin-drier by Shad.

Chief: Harrison Reed – 6/10 – Possibly the calmest head in an attacking midfield battle that Brentford would have gladly denied at times.

CM: Sasa Lukic – 4/10 – A more competent referee than Anthony Taylor would have sent off Lukic for two cynical fouls in the first half.

RM: Willian – 5/10 – He was injured when decisions did not go his way. Booked specifically for diving.

AM: Andreas Pereira – 4/10 – Too often tried to get involved with Mitrovic as another striker when he needed to get the ball deep or into wide areas instead.

LM: Manor Solomon – 7/10 – Fulham’s best ever player. Now scored in five games at running back and was a threat for the Bees.

CF: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 4/10 – Presented very little. Swallowed by Pinnock and Mee.

substitute player

Harry Wilson (75′ for Solomon) – 5/10

Bobby de Cordova-Reid (75′ for Lukic) – 5/10

Cedric Soares (83′ for Tete) – 3/10

Carlos Vinicius (83′ for Willian) – 6/10


Marco Silva – 4/10 – Fulham lacked intent on the ball, which Brentford were happy to give them.

Player of the match – Ivan Toney (Brentford)

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