Blades continue winning run at Bramall Lane
Ten-man Sheffield United recorded their eighth straight home league win, beating Brentford 2-0 to maintain their drive for automatic promotion.
Oliver Norwood scored a first-half penalty and substitute David McGoldrick added a second late on. Brentford had a numerical advantage for nearly an hour after striker Gary Madine was sent-off.
The hosts applied some early pressure with Madine putting a glancing header wide after getting on the end of a John Fleck corner.
Fleck himself went close, firing in a 25-yard effort which went narrowly wide.
Brentford then enjoyed a good spell with Neal Maupay stretching to meet a low cross from Yoann Barbet and diverting the ball on target, forcing keeper Dean Henderson to save with his legs.
Said Benrahma then had a couple of efforts, first firing in a free-kick which Henderson turned over the bar and then sending a low drive wide.
The opening goal came in the 26th minute after United were awarded a penalty. Norwood sent Luke Daniels the wrong way from the spot after Yoann Barbet was penalised for bringing down George Baldock inside the area.
United were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute when referee Tony Harrington brandished a red card following Madine’s late challenge on Ezri Konsa.
Henderson made a save from Ollie Watkins at his near post and Benrahma put a free-kick over in the closing stages of the half.
United boss Chris Wilder made a double substitution for the start of the second half, sending on McGoldrick and Martin Cranie in place of Scott Hogan and Kieran Dowell.
McGoldrick soon made his presence known, finding space inside the area in the opening minute of the half and testing Daniels with a shot.
Jack O’Connell also had a header saved before the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Barbet put a low drive wide and then Henderson had to be at full stretch to keep out an effort from Maupay.
Henderson went close to scoring a bizarre own-goal when he sliced a back-pass into the air before recovering and palming the ball away from under the bar.
Kamohelo Mokotjo went desperately close to equalising, hammering a shot against Henderson’s left-hand post with Julian Jeanvier putting the rebound over.
United’s top scorer Billy Sharp joined the action on the hour-mark, replacing Baldock.
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank responded by making a double substitution shortly afterwards, with Konsa and Moses Odubajo making way for Sergi Canos and Emiliano.
McGoldrick (84) sealed the victory, heading in from close range after Fleck’s corner was headed back by O’Connell.
Despite enjoying a decent spell of possession late on, Brentford were unable to find a way through.