Brentford 2-0 Ipswich Town: Blues one step closer to relegation after being completely outplayed by Bees
Ipswich Town were completely outplayed as relegation moved ever closer following this evening’s defeat at Brentford.
Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins struck twice in the first half to condemn the Blues to their 22nd defeat of a miserable campaign, but in truth it could have been much worse.
The Bees were the better side in all departments, continually cutting through the Ipswich midfield and defence, threatening the visitors’ box time and time again and moving the ball around the field with ease.
The defeat, coupled with results elsewhere, leaves the Blues 14 points from safety with just 15 to play for, meaning anything but three points in Saturday’s visit of Birmingham will mean relegation to League One is confirmed. The Blues’ fate could be confirmed even if they are able to pick up the victory.
The Blues were backed by more than 1,600 fans at Griffin Park who were in good voice throughout, drowing out their hosts with a mix of ironic cheers, songs of acceptance and a strong backing for their team.
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Lambert made four changes to the side that won at Bolton on Saturday, with Cole Skuse and Gwion Edwards dropping out of the squad completely, James Bree coming in for Josh Emmanuel at right back, Trevoh Chalobah and Flynn Downes returning to midfield and the advertised change which saw Toto Nsiala come into the middle of the Ipswich defence in place of James Collins.
The opening minutes were dominated by Brentford who, with their two wing backs pushing up high to support the front three, popped the ball around nicely and threatened to cut through the Ipswich lines on a number of occasions.
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But the Blues soon found their feet and the creativity of Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell coming to the fore.
Bishop’s driving run from midfield nearly created an opening before Dozzell’s perfectly weighted ball slipped Quaner in on goal. The away end were sure the German’s chipped finish was destined for the net before it bounced back off the post but, within seconds of the chance going begging, the hosts were in front.
Said Benrahma made it, as his quick feet were too much for Nsiala, flooring the Ipswich defender, before his neat ball slipped Maupay away to finish past Bartosz Bialkowski.
The Blues looked to respond but Brentford tails were up and it only looked a matter of time before the second arrived, which it did before the half-hour mark.
Downes got himself in a muddle, 35 yards from goal and fell flat to the turf, leaving Romaine Sawyers free to find Benrahma, who in turn squared the ball for Watkins to turn home in the simplest of fashions.
Maupay then flashed another shot wide as Brentford continued to push, all while the Ipswich supporters continued to amuse themselves by pretending their side were ahead.
Benrahma rattled the top of the bar as the Brentford pressure continued at the start of the second period before Watkins poked a shot wide and Maupay drove past the post.
The French striker and Benrahma were both withdrawn as Brentford took their foot of the gas slightly, but the Blues were not able to take advantage.
Alan Judge, on his return to Brentford, had the best chance with 10 minutes remaining but could only drag the ball wide from just inside the box when presented with a clear path to goal by Kayden Jackson.
That was as close as Ipswich came before the full-time whistle went, putting the Blues out of their misery. For now.
Brentford: Daniels; Jeanvie, Konsa, Bech Sorenson; Odubajo, Sawyers, DaSilva, Henry; Benrahma (Canos 71), Watkins (Forss 87), Maupay (Marcondes 71)
Subs: Balcombe, Dalsgaard, MacLeod, Okansen
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Bree, Chambers. Nsiala, Kenlock; Chalobah (El Mizouni 79), Downes, Bishop (Nydam 66); Dozzell, Judge, Quaner (Jackson 61)
Subs: Gerken, Emmanuel, Knudsen, Dawkins