Brentford ended their three-game losing run with victory over struggling Sheffield Wednesday to maintain their place behind Norwich in the Championship’s top two.
Bryan Mbeumo guided in Sergi Canos’ volley from close range to put the home side in front after Wednesday failed to clear a looping throw.
However, it took until the 74th minute for the Bees to give themselves breathing space, Saman Ghoddos sliding Mbeumo’s pass wide of Owls keeper Joe Wildsmith.
Mads Bech Sorensen headed in a curling free-kick, despite Wildsmith’s attempt to palm it away, to seal victory late on and give the scoreline a slightly flattering look.
Wednesday, who had decent periods of possession, failed to take advantage of their hosts’ stuttering start when Barry Bannan’s shot was beaten behind by David Raya and Tom Lees headed wide.
Chances after that were limited, though Liam Palmer’s solo run ended with a swerving shot drifting wide and Bees keeper Raya claimed a couple of tricky crosses from wide positions.
They were also unhappy with a tackle by Henrik Dalsgaard, a cynical ‘halting’ tackle on substitute Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, which led to him going off.
This defeat is damaging to their survival hopes as it keeps them second from bottom, three points from safety, and also stretches their losing run to three matches.
Although Thomas Frank’s Brentford responded to their mini-slump with this victory, a side missing the key presence of injured players Pontus Jansson, Christian Norgaard and Rico Henry, plus with 24-goal Ivan Toney on the bench, lacked the same rhythm that took them on a 21-game unbeaten run.
Their early passing and movement was nervy and stilted as a confident Wednesday closed them down promptly, but having got themselves on the scoreboard midway through the opening period, the Bees slowly imposed themselves on the game.
Ghoddos missed a good chance when he rolled wide, but the late introductions of Toney, Josh Dasilva and Emiliano Marcondes gave them a more regular balance to the line-up, and coincided with a sharper edge in front of goal to secure the win.