Brentford beat Luton with strong second-half show
The Bees were 3-1 winners in west London.
Brentford scored three second-half goals to edge an important Premier League victory over Luton at Gtech Community Stadium.
Neal Maupay opened the scoring and Ben Mee added a second soon after. Although Luton’s Jacob Brown pulled a goal back, Shandon Baptiste sealed a 3-1 success for Thomas Frank’s men with nine minutes remaining.
However, the Bees’ injury troubles worsened when Kristoffer Ajer picked up a knock in the warm-up, with Saman Ghoddos replacing him.
The hosts lacked any edge to their play in the first half as they struggled to play without midfield operator Mathias Jensen, who remained sidelined with an abductor injury.
Luton’s absent Alfie Doughty, who picked up a hip injury in the week, was replaced by centre-back Amari’i Bell, who slotted in as a makeshift left-wing back.
In the early stages of the contest, Bryan Mbeumo beat Jamaica international Bell on the outside, before his deft cross was dealt with by Luton’s tight defence.
Neither side registered a shot on target inside the first half hour, although Yehor Yarmoliuk came close for the hosts. The midfielder’s close-range effort took a heavy deflection off Carlton Morris before the ball narrowly missed the inside of Thomas Kaminski’s post and went out for a corner.
The Bees gained momentum from this and Mbeumo was in the thick of things again in the 37th minute. The attacker glided past his marker, driving inside, before producing a whipped curling shot which narrowly missed the target.
The six-goal man was Brentford’s only real outlet in the first half and his neat flicks and feints opened opportunities up for attack partner Yoane Wissa, who tested Kaminski moments later.
The home side came out for the second half strongly and broke the deadlock in the 49th minute.
The pacey Wissa took up a dangerous position on the left and sent a testing cross into the box. The ball cannoned off Gabriel Osho and into the path of the alert Maupay, who opened the scoring.
Frank’s half-time wisdom paid dividends for the west Londoners and they doubled their lead in the 56th minute through Mee.
Mbeumo’s corner found the head of the rising central defender, whose effort deflected off Morris and into Kaminski’s net.
Luton had paid the price for an erratic opening 10 minutes of the second half, as their defensive structure and organisation abandoned them.
However, Rob Edwards’ team sought a way back and Brown, who helped them to a first home win of the season last week, came off the bench to make it 2-1 in the 76th minute.
A week after his 83rd-minute winner against Crystal Palace, Brown cut through the middle of the Brentford backline and shot powerfully into the bottom corner of Mark Flekken’s goal.
However, in keeping with the Hatters’ day, a series of mishaps led to Brentford sealing the win five minutes later.
The ball pinballed around Luton’s penalty box and no defender managed to clear their lines before a poor parried save from Kaminski gifted Baptiste with an easy tap-in to round off the scoring.