Boosted by Christian Eriksen’s presence in midfield, Brentford got off to an impressive start that unsettled the ‘Blues’ right from the outset. Away striker Ivan Toney didn’t wait long before putting Edouard Mendy into uncomfortable positions – thrice in a row in fact – forcing the Senegal goalkeeper into a brilliant one-handed save at the second time of asking.
The home side responded to the initial onslaught well, finding their feet midway through the half and shooting their first attempt on target via Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s enthusiastic effort that was easily saved by David Raya. The Spanish shot-stopper was then called into action once again six minutes before HT as he leapt to stunningly deny Hakim Ziyech’s left-footed curler that was destined for the top corner.
The ’Blues’ got off to an absolute belter of a start after the break, thanks to a remarkable long-range effort from upwards of 35 yards by Antonio Rüdiger, whose shot cracked the left post before ending in the back of Raya’s net. However, the home side’s joy was short-lived, as Brentford responded to the opener in style just 100 seconds later when Vitaly Janelt bagged the leveller. The ‘Bees’ then upped the ante with two more quickfire goals, each arriving as a result of brilliant counter-attacks that took the Chelsea defence by surprise. Eriksen registered his first Brentford goal before Janelt added his second of the afternoon with tremendous finesse right on the hour-mark.
Chelsea forced Brentford to lay their arms down thereafter, but the ‘Bees’ looked as motivated as ever in their first league visit to Stamford Bridge since November 1946. However, the final blow was yet to come. Substitute Yoane Wissa hit the visitor’s fourth of the afternoon in the 88th minute with a superb volley on the back of a defensive mishap, condemning Chelsea to a second loss in the Premier League against fellow London sides this season.
Thomas Frank’s men close the gap to the top half of the table with just their second away victory in the Premier League since October. They deny the European champions a sixth consecutive league win, in what could have equalled their longest run of successive wins this campaign.
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