Report and free match highlights as Brentford beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 with two goals in the final eight minutes; Forest led 1-0 thanks to Danilo’s effort in first-half stoppage time; Ivan Toney’s free-kick squirmed under Keylor Navas, who failed to keep out Josh Dasilva on 94 minutes
Nottingham Forest’s first away win since early January was cruelly taken away from them as Brentford scored twice in the final eight minutes to snatch a 2-1 comeback win.
Steve Cooper’s side were comfortably heading for three points after Danilo’s strike on the stroke of half-time put them ahead – but Forest, and notably goalkeeper Keylor Navas, chucked away their lead.
With under 10 minutes to go, Ivan Toney’s free-kick went round the wall too easily and bounced off the post before squirming through Navas’ body and into the bottom corner.
Then, in the 94th minute, substitute Josh Dasilva smashed home past Navas’ near post to send the Gtech Community Stadium into raptures.
Keylor Navas looks dejected after letting two goals in
But VAR checked whether Brentford striker Yoane Wissa was interfering with Navas’ vision and while the technology deemed the forward to be onside, Cooper hinted that he may dispute the call.
“The guys are fuming, the subs and staff could see it live and we thought it would be the opposite. I’m waiting to see the clear-cut image to make it ok. You can’t make it on judgement or assumption.
“If he is offside, he would have been affecting with the goalkeeper’s vision. If it is onside, it is onside. I really hope at this stage of the game and the season that they didn’t make a call when they’re under pressure on assumption.
“I hope I see it [an image where Wissa is definitely onside]. It’s a massive call. It will make the headlines for you guys [journalists].”
The result means Forest remain one point above the relegation zone but one of Leicester or Everton can put them in the bottom three if one of them beats the other, live on Sky Sports‘ Monday Night Football.
How a slow game suddenly came to life!
The game started in slow fashion, with Forest not even testing the Brentford goal for 41 minutes.
Meanwhile, Brentford struggled to break down the visitors’ backline, with Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade firing straight at Navas with a long-range drive and header respectively.
The game suddenly came into life four minutes before the interval. Bees goalkeeper David Raya came out for Brennan Johnson’s cross and did not get there, with Taiwo Awoniyi heading over with the goal gaping.
At the other end, Brentford missed their best chance of the afternoon as Ethan Pinnock’s long-range drive after a goalmouth scramble was well-saved low down by Navas, with Mikkel Damsgaard pouncing on the rebound, but the Brentford midfielder could only prod the ball straight at Navas from a yard out – and, minutes later, Forest were ahead.
A corner was cleared as far as Morgan Gibbs-White, whose effort was blocked into the path of Danilo who fired past Raya into the top corner.
The second half went to the tune of Brentford holding a lot of possession but creating very few chances against a stubborn visiting defence.
The first two goalscoring opportunities of the second period were of an acrobatic nature – Moussa Niakhate firing straight at Raya at one end and Ben Mee putting a similar effort over at the other.
With 10 minutes to go, Forest were cruising to three points. But Toney’s free-kick went round the feeble Forest wall and off the post. The ball, which might have been going in anyway, then bounced off Navas’ body and into the bottom corner.
The pressure grew and grew as Aaron Hickey fired wide and Navas stopped Frank Onyeka’s deflected effort on the goal line.
But substitute Dasilva cut inside too easily and his near-post shot went through Navas’ gloves and in at the near post. There was a brief VAR check for an offside on fellow sub Yoane Wissa – who may have blocked Navas’ vision – but he was millimetres onside.
The goal-given graphic caused an almighty roar in the Brentford home end – which took them through to full-time.
It’s been a tough one to take, if I’m being honest. I think it was always going to be a bit of a tired game being the third one in a week, with both teams playing on Wednesday with a quick turnaround.
I did feel like the game would be decided on small margins, and some decision-making, and that ended up being the case.
Frank: Brentford are not on the beach!
“We didn’t perform that well today to be honest, we actually had a winless run of six games and have now won the last two – arguably they haven’t been our best performances, there were much better performances in the games we didn’t win.
“That said I think it was a fair win, a tight win. I loved the way we kept going, staying in the game, it’s remarkable. I tried to get my head around it last weekend against Villa, when we played maybe one of the games of the season, and we should’ve won. They equalised late and it felt like a loss.
“Today we didn’t play that well, scored a late winner and the feeling is amazing. It’s crazy.
“I’d like to give Nottingham Forest a lot of credit, they’re very difficult to break down and we struggled to do that, then they had one chance where they got a deflection which drops for them right, they score and then make it even more difficult for us.
“But I think the determination from the players during the game shows we’re definitely not on the beach, we’re definitely going to do everything we can to win as many games to the end of the season and it means everything to us to finish as high as possible and we are responsible to the other teams in the bottom of the league to do everything.”