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West Brom stay top despite Brentford draw

West Brom will remain top of the Championship at Christmas after they were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow high-flyers Brentford at The Hawthorns.

Henrik Dalsgaard gave the dominant Bees a deserved lead two minutes before the break but their joy was short-lived as Darnell Furlong equalised in first-half stoppage time.

West Brom were denied victory two minutes from time when substitute Charlie Austin’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Albion stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches – the current longest run in the division – but a point was all they deserved from a below-par performance, although they remain above Leeds after their 2-1 at Fulham.

Slaven Bilic’s side lacked their normal flow and too many passes went astray against excellent opposition.

Kyle Edwards missed two clear chances for the hosts but Julian Jeanvier, Ollie Watkins and Christian Norgaard were just off target for Brentford.

The visitors made the much better start and created two chances in the first five minutes. A lovely sweeping move eventually saw Bryan Mbuemo force goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to smother with his legs before Said Benrahma’s fierce low drive was pushed away by Johnstone at full stretch.

Albion had barely crossed the halfway line for the first 28 minutes before Brentford should have taken the lead. An awful pass out of defence by Seyi Ajayi went straight to Norgaard on the edge of the box and his curling attempt missed by a fraction.

West Brom finally sprang into life just before half-time and playmaker Matheus Pereira was at the heart of it.

First, the on-loan Sporting midfielder put Kyle Edwards through, only for goalkeeper David Raya to make a brilliant interception at his feet to flick the ball to safety. Then Pereira let fly from the edge of the box but a slight deflection dragged his skidding left-footed drive a yard wide.

However, Brentford took a deserved lead when Dalsgaard glanced home Mathias Jensen’s corner from eight yards out for his first goal of the season.

Their lead lasted barely two minutes before Albion levelled with a near carbon copy move, as Furlong got across Jeanvier to head over Raya into the far corner.

Edwards had another chance just before the hour, but instead of taking it early and shooting with his left foot, he delayed and opted to turn inside on his right and rolled a weak effort straight at Raya.

Brentford continued to a be a thorn in West Brom’s side and Jeanvier’s headed flick from Norgaard’s cross-shot flew just wide before Benrahma’s long-range effort hit Ajayi and went the same way.

Austin stabbed home after Pereira’s drilled shot was parried by Raya but his joy quickly turned to frustration when the assistant’s flag went up for offside.