Derby held by Brentford in dramatic contest
Derby’s play-off prospects suffered a setback as they squandered the lead three times in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Brentford at Griffin Park.
During a frantic first half in which four goals were scored in the space of 18 minutes, Harry Wilson put the visitors ahead before Julien Jeanvier drew the Bees level when he reacted first to convert Said Benrahma’s corner.
Frank Lampard’s men then retook the lead almost immediately through Jayden Bogle’s first strike in professional football before Neal Maupay equalised again, sweeping home after a rapid breakaway.
Wilson’s second looked to have won Derby the contest before Brentford clawed their way back once more through Benrahma with seven minutes to go.
The Rams came into the match off the back of a 6-1 mauling of Rotherham and broke the deadlock after 13 minutes.
Tom Lawrence managed to find Wilson in space on the edge of the box and the on-loan Liverpool man worked the ball onto his left foot before placing a shot perfectly into the bottom left-hand corner, giving Luke Daniels no chance.
After four games without scoring, the signs were ominous for Thomas Frank’s men but they soon equalised.
The burly Jeanvier displayed excellent awareness to peel away from a mass of bodies and steer an impressive effort past the surprised Kelle Roos.
Derby were unperturbed though and got their noses back in front almost immediately. Bogle weaved his way past several feeble challenges before firing a brilliant low drive off Daniels’ right-hand post and in.
Despite falling behind for a second time, Brentford did not let their heads drop and scored from the sort of free-flowing move that has become their trademark.
Benrahma broke forward at lightning speed and fed the onrushing Rico Henry, whose sumptuous delivery was met by the clinical Maupay to net his 24th in all competitions.
The game was set up brilliantly for the second period, which began with the game’s biggest flashpoint when Ashley Cole was yellow-carded for a dive when he was adamant he had been fouled. Ugly scenes then ensued as virtually the whole Derby team crowded round the referee before captain Richard Keogh stepped in to restore order.
Derby fans were incensed by another handball claim shortly afterwards and Brentford then might have had a penalty of their own as the atmosphere reached fever pitch.
The Rams were piling on the pressure and five minutes after Mason Mount had crashed an effort against the upright, Wilson bagged his second of the afternoon, latching onto Fikayo Tomori’s measured through-ball to curl brilliantly into the far corner.
But Brentford refused to buckle and another equaliser arrived when Sergi Canos’ pass was not cut out by Richard Keogh, allowing Benrahma to nip in and poke home from 15 yards to round off an unbelievable contest.