Two goals from Algerian winger Said Benrahma helped inspire Brentford to a 3-0 win over Fulham in the Carabao Cup 4th round.
Finnish striker Marcus Forss opened the scoring in the 37th minute followed by a double from Benrahma (62,77), which included a wonder strike from distance.
Thomas Frank’s men piled on the misery for Fulham who had already lost three games prior to this one, with their only wins coming in the earlier rounds of the cup.
The game was a rematch of last season’s championship playoff final where Fulham ran out 2-0 winners with a Joe Bryan brace being the difference.
Scott Parker made ten changes to his Fulham side who nearly took an early lead after winger Neeskens Kebano rattled the woodwork with a freekick from 25 yards out.
Fulham nearly went ahead again after David Raya presented the ball to Anthony Knockaert from a poor clearance but the Frenchman could only find the side netting.
The game swung Brentford’s way eight minutes before the break when debutant Sam Ghoddos fired a low cross to the edge of the box, after Jean-Michel Seri had given away possession, and Marcus Forss was there to rifle it home from 18 yards out.
New Fulham signing Ademola Lookman, recently signed from RB Leipzig on a season-long loan, came on at half time and nearly helped the whites draw level.
He broke down the left and cut the ball back to Neeskens Kebano standing on the penalty spot but Kebano’s looping shot produced a fine save from Brentford stopper Raya.
Lookman again was at the centre of Fulham’s attempts to draw level as he played another inviting low cross into the Brentford penalty area but Jean-Michel Seri couldn’t keep his effort down from twelve yards out.
Fulham were made to rue their missed opportunities in the 62nd minute when a floated freekick from just inside the Fulham half was met by Ethan Pinnock. Pinnock’s looping header dropped to Said Benrahma at the back post who poked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner beyond Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.
The highlight of the game came in the 77th minute when reported Crystal Palace target Benrahma received the ball 30 yards from goal.
He miscontrolled the ball with his first touch but his second touch was a neat Cruyff turn to put the ball between the legs of Fulham defender Michael Hector.
He then took one touch to set himself and proceeded to fire the ball past Rodak in the Fulham goal from 25 yards out to round off a convincing win for the bees.
After the game, Brentford manager Frank was open about Benrahma’s future at the club stating: “If the price is right we are open to selling him but if not, we will be happy for him to stay.”
He also took pride in getting the first win over their west London rivals Fulham at the brand-new Brentford Community Stadium.
“It’s particularly satisfying that we wrote history tonight at the new stadium, beating a local rival and creating history, we are very pleased,” he said.
As for Fulham, Scott Parker was disappointed with his team’s performance and was adamant that his squad needed reinforcements before the transfer window closes on October 5th 2020.
“We all understand, we strengthened in certain areas but it’s quite clear the team in a certain area needs some help,” he said
Brentford will now face a home tie in the quarter-finals against Premier League outfit Newcastle United due to be played the week beginning December 21.
They are back in league action on Sunday as they host Preston North End. Fulham meanwhile face a difficult trip to the midlands to face Wolves as they will look to get their first league win of the season.