Brentford 2-4 Preston North End: Alex Neil’s side come from two goals down at half-time to win after sensational 18-minute second-half blitz with Scott Sinclair scoring twice before Brad Potts and Sean Maguire sealed victory
- Preston now have their first win in the league this season and move up to 14th
- Brentford have struggled since their play-off final defeat in August and sit 15th
- Said Benrahma’s future in west London is unclear as he was benched again
Football looks very different at the moment but still retains the power to surprise.
Take the remarkable transformation in fortunes here as Preston North End, two goals down to Brentford and comprehensively second best, conjured four goals in the space of 18 minutes seemingly out of thin air.
This second-half blitz – which saw two Scott Sinclair goals swiftly followed by Brad Potts and Sean Maguire strikes – certainly lifted Preston’s season start from the mundane.
Scott Sinclair scored twice to inspire Preston North End to a brilliant comeback over Brentford
Sean Maguire slots home Preston’s fourth to seal the thrilling victory on Sunday afternoon
Ivan Toney netted for the second straight Championship game to put Brentford in front
The summer signing from Peterborough United then doubled the home side’s advantage
Their manager Alex Neil must have said something of impact at half-time as they re-emerged a different team, finding a cutting edge completely absent beforehand.
It left Brentford shell-shocked as they suffered a first defeat in their new stadium despite cruising into a 2-0 lead thanks to two Ivan Toney goals.
Even the introduction of a certain Said Benrahma after Preston’s third goal couldn’t save them and no doubt the speculation over his future will rumble on right until the domestic transfer window shuts on October 16.
Benrahma, linked with Crystal Palace and Fulham among other top-flight clubs, once again started on the bench and the Bees were doing fine without him until a post-half-time collapse that must have been hard to fathom for manager Thomas Frank.
It certainly wasn’t the desired result just before a two-week break and the Dane can only mull over his team’s repeated lapses in defensive concentration.
Even the most banal things remain a novelty as Brentford get used to life at their magnificent new stadium. ‘This is the first time we’ve had rain at a match here,’ said the PA announcer ahead of kick-off.
Not that it’s taken long to settle in here following the move up the road from Griffin Park. Brentford had won two and drawn one of their first three games here and even the drawn one was won on penalties.
They took great pleasure in beating local rivals Fulham 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night and meant business early on here.
Brentford’s Christian Norgaard was forced off after 20 minutes to be replaced by Brian Jensen
Preston midfielder Alan Browne had the best chance for the visitors in a disappointing first half
Just eight minutes were on the clock when they broke the deadlock. A typically slick move stemmed from young left-back Dominic Thompson, whose pass down the left touchline allowed Josh Dasilva to slip inside Preston’s Joe Rafferty.
Dasilva’s speed soon carried him clear and a low near-post cross was on a plate for Toney to slide home his first open-play goal following his £5m summer move from Peterborough.
Preston were loose defensively to start with and Emiliano Marcondes was left unmarked just outside the box to receive another Dasilva pass. Luckily for the visitors, Marcondes fired straight at keeper Declan Rudd.
Brentford’s flow might have been affected by an injury to Christian Norgaard – making the midfielder a possible doubt for Denmark’s Nations League trip to Wembley on Thursday week – but Frank’s side always back themselves to pass their way out of any situation.
Sinclair (carrying the ball) scored his third league goal of the season to halve the deficit
Preston grew more into the game as the half progressed and started to enjoy patches of possession. But the chances didn’t really come with the one exception being Alan Browne’s volley that was easy enough for Luke Daniels to save.
Nonetheless, Preston were moments away from getting back to the dressing rooms just a goal in arrears when they became sloppy again.
Bryan Mbeumo hadn’t been involved a great deal but nipped in to win the ball close to halfway after a Canos cross-field ball and picked out Toney in a considerable amount of space about 30 yards out.
Former Celtic winger Sinclair then tucked the ball past Luke Daniels to bring the scores level
Brad Potts (centre) then completed a remarkable turnaround on 63 minutes for Preston
Toney drifted through and scored crisply at the near post, leaving Preston kicking themselves again.
But their afternoon improved significantly seven minutes after half-time. Rafferty advanced down the right side and his deep cross was nodded down at the back post by Patrick Bauer and perfectly for Sinclair, who applied the close-range finish for his second of the season.
Suddenly Preston had their tails up and Brad Potts couldn’t quite steer a left-footed effort on target a couple of minutes later.
Said Benrahma was brought on after Preston North End’s third to turn the tide but to no avail
They wouldn’t be denied on their next foray forward, however. Mbeumo wasn’t quick enough turning with the ball and Andy Hughes nicked it off him.
He whipped in a ball that Sinclair was able to bring under his control before finishing past Daniels at the near post and from being dead and buried, Preston were very much back in the contest.
Astonishingly, it would get even better three minutes later. Sinclair was roaming about on the edge of the Brentford box but didn’t appear to be going anywhere.
Sean Maguire pictured scoring Preston’s fourth past Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels
Preston manager Alex Neil saw his side win their first Championship match of the campaign
Ryan Ledson took over and found Potts, who cut sharply inside and picked out the bottom corner with Daniels failing to cover his near post. The away bench went up in celebration, while Frank turned around and beckoned for Benrahma to get ready.
Preston seemed to be scoring with every attack and the fourth came on 70 minutes, this time from a corner. Ledson’s delivery was headed down by Ben Davies amid statuesque Brentford defenders and dropped perfectly for Maguire to sweep home.
Brentford were desperate for inspiration all of a sudden and Benrahma seized the ball before setting up Dasilva to flash a shot past the post. Frankly, they were too stunned to respond.
Both sets of players take the knee prior to kick-off at the Brentford Community Stadium
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