Brentford 2-1 Charlton Athletic: Said Benrahma inspires Bees to late victory

Said Benrahma has scored five goals in five games since the Championship season resumed

A Said Benrahma-inspired Brentford came from a goal down with 16 minutes to go to beat a dogged Charlton side at Griffin Park and keep their hopes of an automatic promotion place alive.

The hosts went behind early on to Macauley Bonne’s header – which ended Brentford’s five-game run of clean sheets – but dominated much of the proceedings, with the Algerian at the heart of it.

Having scored a hat-trick against Wigan on Saturday, Benrahma again showed his class with half-a-dozen efforts and won a 74th-minute penalty which he converted to level.

Benrahma’s deflected shot with six minutes left brought a fantastic reaction save from Dillon Phillips, but Ethan Pinnock rose to head Brentford’s winner from the resulting corner.

The victory sees the third-placed Bees close the gap on second-placed West Bromwich Albion to two points, having played a game more, while Charlton slip to 20th place, two points above the relegation places.

The result also saw Brentford achieve a club-record sixth-successive win in the second tier – and Thomas Frank’s side have not been beaten since 29 February.

Dogged Addicks begin well

Macauley Bonne’s goal was his ninth of the season for Charlton

Despite the home side’s impressive form, Charlton could well have got more out of the game had they taken their early chances.

Addicks boss Lee Bowyer made changes to the side that lost to Millwall on Friday and three of those new faces came together to create Bonne’s early opener.

Jonny Williams’ industrious run down the left wing allowed the Wales midfielder to release Alfie Doughty and his excellent cross was headed back across the goal by Jake Forster-Caskey for Bonne to nod home from close range.

Jason Pearce grazed the bar with a volley as Charlton almost doubled their lead, and while Brentford dominated possession, the visitors did well to limit the hosts to mainly long-range efforts in the opening period.

Benrahma gives Bees their sting

Since the Championship restarted after the Covid-19 outbreak, Benrahma has been at the centre of Brentford’s charge for a top-two place.

Having scored one and made the other in their win over then-third-placed Fulham, the Algerian scored all three on Saturday as they beat Wigan and at times Charlton found him unplayable.

Twice in the first half he curled efforts just wide of the far post, and he should have scored with two further chances before the hour.

Josh Cullen, though, was unable to stop himself fouling Benrahma for the penalty after a good ball into the box and he sent Phillips the wrong way from the spot.

Josh Dasilva hit the post for the Bees a couple of minutes after the equaliser in a move that began when Benrahma’s shot from the edge of the box was saved.

And it was another save from a Benrahma effort which caused the corner that saw centre-back Pinnock rise highest to head in.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank:

“This is a massive win. I’ll not stand here and say this didn’t mean anything, it was a big win.

“We know every game is a big win, but I just had a feeling because of all the circumstances, that this game would be very, very difficult.

“They have a very good ability to compete against the best sides because they defend and they are very well fixed and they have a good structure.”

Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer:

“I’m proud of the players tonight, there’s not many times you’ll hear me say that when we lose a game.

“But tonight you’re playing against a top, top Brentford side who have been hammering teams left, right and centre, before the lockdown and after the lockdown, they’re the in-form team in our division and we’ve just given them a right scare.

“On another day we might have come away with something, but we’ve just got to keep showing that fight and I’m sure we’ll be OK. “