Brentford reached the semi-final of a major tournament for the first time with a fully deserved victory over Premier League side Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup.
Thomas Frank’s in-form Championship side came into this quarter-final on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run and missed a host of good chances before man of the match Josh Dasilva put them in front with a crisp, left-foot volley after 66 minutes.
It was the breakthrough the Bees merited as they dominated, with Saman Ghoddos hitting the bar and Sergi Canos heading wide with the goal at his mercy in the first half.
Callum Wilson threatened briefly for visitors Newcastle but all the urgency and progressive football came from Brentford, who made six changes from their weekend win over Reading, including leaving the second tier’s top scorer Ivan Toney on the bench against his former club.
Brentford show class once more
In the surroundings of their new Brentford Community Stadium, Frank and his players demonstrated how well they have rebuilt from the bitter pain of defeat by Fulham in the Championship play-off final and the loss of key players.
Last season’s main striker, Ollie Watkins, and attacking creator, Said Benrahma, have left for Aston Villa and West Ham United respectively, but Frank still has a progressive, attractive side.
This game could have been over in the first half had Brentford taken those opportunities, but it was no more than they deserved when Dasilva finally broke the deadlock.
The Bees are back in the top four in the Championship, three points off the automatic promotion places, and are shaping up once more as serious promotion candidates.
And this was all achieved with a much-changed team. Frank insisted before Tuesday’s game that, despite the changes, Brentford had the quality and inspiration to win and no-one can begrudge them a historic victory.
Newcastle embarrassed on grim night
Newcastle’s players made for the sanctuary of the dressing room very quickly at the end of a grim night that is sure to bring a storm of criticism down on the head of manager Steve Bruce and his players.
They got the kinder end of the quarter-final draw by avoiding the Premier League big guns, even though this was still a difficult assignment against a very good Championship side.
Newcastle did not even come close to taking advantage.
Yes, the Magpies suffered with a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp recently but there can be no excuses for the lack of drive, ideas and quality served up in west London on Tuesday.
Newcastle laboured throughout and were reduced to the desperate ploy of launching long balls towards substitute Andy Carroll in the closing stages while their opponents still carved out chances for lively substitute Toney with smart passing football.
Bruce has struggled to win over the Toon Army despite some respectable league placings, but this result and performance will go down terribly on Tyneside – a glorious opportunity squandered with a performance devoid of energy and inspiration.
This was a very, very bad night for Bruce and Newcastle.
Brentford make history – the stats
- Brentford have reached the semi-final of a major domestic cup competition (FA Cup/League Cup) for the first time, on their fifth attempt.
- Only Arsenal (13), Norwich City, Southampton and Tottenham (all nine) have suffered more League Cup quarter-final eliminations than Newcastle (eight).
- Before this season, Brentford had knocked out top-flight opponents in just two of their 22 League Cup ties – but the Bees have beaten twice as many in 2020-21’s competition alone.
- Newcastle boss Bruce has now lost five of his six quarter-finals as a manager, including both in charge of the Magpies, having also been beaten by Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup.
- Since the start of last season, 10 of Dasilva’s 14 Brentford goals have come in home matches.
More to follow.
- 29Bech Sørensen
- 14DasilvaSubstituted forJensenat 81′minutes
- 27JaneltSubstituted forNørgaardat 60′minutes
- 7CanósSubstituted forToneyat 69′minutes
- 15LewisSubstituted forCarrollat 80′minutes
- 8ShelveyBooked at 70mins
- 36S Longstaff
- 24AlmirónSubstituted forGayleat 65′minutes
- 21FraserSubstituted forJoelintonat 65′minutes
- 13C Wilson
- Robert Jones
Match ends, Brentford 1, Newcastle United 0.
Second Half ends, Brentford 1, Newcastle United 0.
Foul by Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).
Ivan Toney (Brentford) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Karl Darlow.
Attempt saved. Ivan Toney (Brentford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marcus Forss.
Offside, Newcastle United. Karl Darlow tries a through ball, but Andy Carroll is caught offside.
Foul by Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United).
Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Andy Carroll (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford).
Attempt missed. Andy Carroll (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Foul by Andy Carroll (Newcastle United).
Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Ivan Toney (Brentford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mads Bech Sørensen.
Substitution, Brentford. Mathias Jensen replaces Josh Dasilva.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Andy Carroll replaces Jamal Lewis.
Attempt blocked. Josh Dasilva (Brentford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Saman Ghoddos.
Attempt missed. Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ciaran Clark.