Goals from Jensen and Mbeumo helped Brentford to cruise past an error-prone Reading with a comfortable 3-1 win. This win extended the Bees’ unbeaten run to 13 league games.
Brentford started brightly and found themselves ahead in the 11th minute. Sergei Canos managed to draw three Reading players, none of whom put in a challenge. Meanwhile, Jensen made a clever run and found himself in oceans of space in the box. His shot was straight at Rafael, with the Brazilian keeper somehow managing to palm the ball down and into his own net.
Reading looked to react quickly. First Semedo fired tamely at Raya after some clever movement, with Liam Moore volleying low and hard at the Brentford stopper from an Ejaria delivery.
However, Reading’s inability to close down players on the edge of the box came soon back to haunt them. Dasilva picked out Mbeumo on the right flank with a sumptuous cross-field ball. Mbeumo ran across the top of the Reading box, and neither Esteves nor Semedo could get the block in to stop the shot which found the far corner past Rafael.
The game was sewn up on the half-hour mark, with a second goal for the remaining member of the BMW trio. Some nice one-touch passing from the hosts found Toney in the middle of the pitch. His pass was met by Mbeumo who, with his back to goal, rolled past Moore and Esteves to slot into Rafael’s bottom left corner.
Playing football when you’re 3-0 is easy, and as has been too often the case for the past few seasons Reading finally awoke. As Brentford sat off, the visitors started to dictate play and nearly had a glimmer of hope before the break as Laurent’s powerful shot inside the box was met by the fingertips of Raya.
After the break, Reading continued on the front foot. A good run by Baldock allowed him to lay the ball off to Ejaria in space in the box. Ejaria’s shot looked to be bending inside Raya’s left post, but the keeper was equal to it.
A glint of optimism could be afforded just after the hour mark. Michael Olise had been having a quiet game before his whipped delivery found Sone Aluko unmarked with a free header from eight yards out. He made no mistake in nodding past David Raya.
That glint nearly turned in to a beaming ray, with just under ten minutes remaining. Ejaria broke into the Bees’ box, with his shot awkwardly saved by Raya who continued to keep Reading at bay. From the resulting scramble, Aluko found the onrushing Holmes at the far post whose shot was well blocked by Marcondes.
However it was Brentford to have the last meaningful action of the game. A good corner from the left caused panademonium in the Reading area as Toney headed against the bar, via the hand of Rafael. Goode’s rebound was well blocked but Brentford again won the second ball as Forss fired uncharacteristically wide from close range.
All in all, this game was done after Mbeumo’s second rippled the back of the Reading net. A slack first half was duly punished in full, and whilst the performance thereafter was encouraging a real comeback never looked likely.
Reading now have a week to dust themselves down after consecutive defeats before the visit of Luton Town on Boxing Day. Brentford face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup in midweek ahead of their festive fixture at Cardiff.