2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Nico Yennaris (8')
  • Florian Jozefzoon (47')
  • Neal Maupay (78')
  • Lewis Grabban (13', 45'+3' PEN)
  • Daniel Bentley (40' OG)

Brentford hit back as Sunderland squander two-goal lead

Brentford fought back from 3-1 at half time to salvage a point in a six-goal thriller with Sky Bet Championship strugglers Sunderland at Griffin Park.
Lewis Grabban's first half brace either side of a Daniel Bentley own goal was not enough to clinch only a second win of the campaign for the Black Cats as Nico Yennaris, Florian Jozefzoon and Neal Maupay ensured the points were shared.
The hosts were ahead inside eight minutes, Yennaris slotting home from close range after Jozefzoon's shot came back off the post following a defence-splitting Romaine Sawyers through-ball.
But Sunderland hit back within five minutes when a speculative long ball caught the Bees defence square and Grabban ran on to draw goalkeeper Bentley and coolly slide home.
The Black Cats took the lead five minutes before the break when Bentley misjudged Bryan Oviedo's corner and could only watch in horror as his palmed clearance dropped into the net.
And the visitors were 3-1 ahead when Duncan Watmore charged clear and was sent tumbling in the box by Ryan Woods, Grabban stepping up to blast home the penalty.
Howeverm the hosts gave themselves hope two minutes after the restart when Jozefzoon curled a superb free-kick up and over the wall and into the net from the edge of the area.
And the comeback was complete 12 minutes from time when Jozefzoon's goalbound drive was deflected in by Maupay, completely wrong-footing Jason Steele in the Sunderland goal.
The equaliser rocked the visitors back on their heels as Dean Smith's side surged forward in search of the winner, Steele pulling off routine saves to deny a Josh McEachran drive and Maupay header.
The swirling wind played a major part in the game, with Sunderland happy to fire long ball towards the lively duo of former Brentford loanee Grabban and winger Watmore.
Brentford had skipper John Egan to thank before the break when the former Sunderland man headed a Watmore drive clear, before Josh Clarke raced up the other end and brought a full-stretch save from Steele.
After the break it was always Brentford, with the wind at their backs, who looked the more likely to score as Sunderland dropped deeper to protect their slender lead.
But the direct running of Watmore was always a danger on the break, and Sunderland manager Simon Grayson braved the visiting fans' boos when he withdrew him in the dying stages.
Winger Aiden McGeady had probably the north-east side's only worthwhile second half effort on goal just after the hour mark when he turned Henrik Dalsgaard, only to flash a low drive into the side-netting.
Once again the Griffin Park faithful were far from happy with the referee, who made no allowances for the difficult conditions with a string of inconsistent decisions.

English League Championship Standings

1 Leeds United 21 +22 46
2 West Bromwich Albion 21 +21 46
3 Fulham 21 +10 35
4 Bristol City 21 +4 35
5 Nottingham Forest 20 +10 34
6 Preston North End 21 +7 34
7 Brentford 21 +15 33
8 Sheffield Wednesday 21 +9 33
9 Cardiff City 21 +2 31
10 Blackburn Rovers 21 0 31
11 Swansea City 21 0 31
12 Queens Park Rangers 21 -5 31
13 Millwall 21 -1 30
14 Hull City 21 +3 29
15 Birmingham City 21 -6 28
16 Derby County 21 -6 26
17 Charlton Athletic 21 -2 23
18 Reading 20 -2 22
19 Huddersfield Town 21 -10 21
20 Middlesbrough 21 -10 21
21 Luton Town 21 -17 20
22 Stoke City 21 -11 17
23 Wigan Athletic 21 -15 17
24 Barnsley 21 -18 13