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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Ollie Watkins (74' PEN)
  • Neal Maupay (84')

Neal Maupay inspires Brentford to win at Birmingham

Substitute Neal Maupay inspired Brentford to a deserved 2-0 win at Birmingham.
The striker came off the bench to win a penalty and score in the final 16 minutes as the Bees extended their unbeaten Sky Bet Championship run to eight games.
Ollie Watkins netted the spot-kick after Maupay was brought down before the Frenchman secured the win.
The Bees, who moved up to 15th, looked like being denied by goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak after he twice thwarted Lasse Vibe and Watkins at St Andrew's.
Maikel Kieftenbeld's rocket hit a post in the first half but Birmingham were second best and remain 21st, just two points above the relegation zone.
Birmingham signed Maxime Collin, Harlee Dean and B£6million record buy Jota from Brentford in the summer but Collin was carried off after just seven minutes after going down when unchallenged.
The stoppage contributed to a slow start and it took until the 20th minute for Vibe to go close but he was denied by Kuszczak's smart stop.
Brentford were more comfortable in possession and continued to probe for an opener but their patient approach struggled to create clear chances.
Watkins fired wide eight minutes before the break before lacklustre Birmingham almost stunned the visitors when Kieftenbeld rattled the post from 35 yards.
Brentford survived again ahead of half-time when Daniel Bentley spilled David Cotterill's free-kick and Che Adams was unable to pounce on the rebound.
But they were brief threats from the hosts as the visitors continued to press after the break and Kuszczak denied Vibe after 58 minutes when the striker shrugged off Marc Roberts.
Kuszczak then came to the rescue again when he turned Watkins' effort wide but the former Manchester United goalkeeper was unable to stop Watkins' seventh goal of the season with 16 minutes left.
Michael Morrison failed to deal with a bouncing ball and fouled Maupay, who had been on for just four minutes, in the area allowing Watkins to net the resulting spot-kick.
Maupay then struck when he drilled in low from 15 yards with six minutes left before Bentley's fine late save denied Roberts a consolation.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 West Bromwich Albion 16 +12 33
2 Preston North End 16 +14 31
3 Leeds United 16 +12 31
4 Swansea City 16 +6 29
5 Nottingham Forest 15 +7 28
6 Bristol City 16 +4 28
7 Fulham 16 +7 26
8 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +7 25
9 Brentford 16 +8 24
10 Queens Park Rangers 16 -4 24
11 Charlton Athletic 16 +3 22
12 Hull City 16 +2 22
13 Birmingham City 16 -5 22
14 Cardiff City 16 0 21
15 Millwall 16 -3 21
16 Derby County 16 -3 21
17 Reading 15 -1 18
18 Blackburn Rovers 16 -4 18
19 Huddersfield Town 16 -6 16
20 Wigan Athletic 16 -11 15
21 Luton Town 16 -8 14
22 Middlesbrough 16 -8 13
23 Stoke City 16 -12 11
24 Barnsley 16 -17 9