Jimenez misses big chance as Fulham held at rivals Brentford

Raul Jimenez missed a big chance late on for Fulham as Marco Silva’s side drew 0-0 at Brentford in a mid-table west London derby clash on Saturday.

The Fulham striker had only just come on as a sub when the cutback from fellow replacement Adama Traore rolled into his path but the Mexican – without a goal in 2024 – skied his shot with the goal at his mercy.

Brentford had hit the bar in the first half, when Bryan Mbeumo’s effort on the angle took a flick off Calvin Bassey, but both sides ultimately showed a lack of quality in the final third despite bringing intensity to this local rivalry. This was the first goalless draw between the sides in 20 years.

Fulham might be happier with the result, given their recent record in this fixture. They had lost six of their last seven away to Brentford but edge up to 12th in the table with this draw, while Brentford stay 16th, already safe from relegation but eight points behind their neighbours.

Player ratings:

Brentford: Flekken (6), Ajer (6), Collins (6), Pinnock (7), Reguilon (6), Damsgaard (6), Norgaard (6), Janelt (6), Mbeumo (6), Toney (6), Lewis-Potter (6).

Subs: Roerslev (6), Yarmoliuk (6), Wissa (6), Schade (6), Onyeka (6)

Fulham: Leno (6), Castagne (6), Diop (7), Bassey (7), Robinson (7), Palhinha (6), Lukic (6), Iwobi (6), Pereira (6), Willian (5), Muniz (6).

Subs: Jimenez (5), Traore (7), Cairney (6), Reid (6), Wilson (N/A)

Player of the Match: Issa Diop (Fulham)

How it happened

These sides have little substantial to play for in the final weeks of the season but their local rivalry added an edge which was reflected by a fast start, with Alex Iwobi clipping the bar and Keane Lewis-Potter seeing a penalty appeal rightly waved away from Issa Diop’s challenge.

Team news:

  • Brentford made two changes, with Mikkel Damsgaard and Keane Lewis-Potter coming in for the injured Mathias Jensen, with Yoane Wissa dropping to the bench.
  • Fulham made two changes, with Sasa Lukic and Willian selected. Harrison Reed missed out with a knock, while Bobby De Cordova-Reid moved to the bench. Tosin Adarabioyo wasn’t involved again amid speculation over his future. It was later reported he was unwell.

The home side came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half, with Mbeumo’s shot diverting off Calvin Bassey and onto the bar before Lewis-Potter wastefully fired a follow-up at Bernd Leno.

Further chances followed at both ends, with Andreas Pereira blasting over, Iwobi hitting the target and Rodrigo Muniz heading wide for the visitors, while Christian Norgaard swiped across the face of goal and Lewis-Potter forced Diop to head over his own bar after lobbing Leno. But there was a lack of sharpness in both boxes.

There was more evidence of that after the break, with Muniz heading into the ground for Mark Flekken to save and Timothy Castagne glancing over from a corner but the biggest miss came from sub Jimenez, who side-footed Traore’s cross over when he looked primed to score.

Traore was a livewire, forcing Flekken into a stop himself before showing his speed to stop Mikkel Damsgaard from breaking away. But his efforts weren’t enough to decide a tight contest, while Brentford’s late shout for a penalty, when Jimenez appeared to pull Ivan Toney’s arm at a corner was swiftly dismissed by VAR.

Frank: Both sides missed a cutting edge but I’m happy with clean sheet

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Thomas Frank gives an honest assessment of Brentford’s 0-0 draw against Fulham and says neither side showed a ‘cutting edge’ in their west London derby.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank: “Even though it wasn’t a 3-3 game, I think it still meant a lot to the players. Because it’s a local derby and you can see what it means to the fans. We just didn’t have the cutting edge, both teams offensively. After the problems we’ve had defensively, I’m actually quite happy with the defensive side of it.

“If we played this in game 10 of the season, everyone would say ‘OK’. Now we have another narrative that we have nothing to play for. It’s just on the day where the front three didn’t hit the highest level.

On Ivan Toney’s goal drought: “I guess he’s not overly happy. We had a spell where we didn’t hit the highest level. Everyone needs the team to click. It’s not only down to the one player. If the others were at top level he would have had more service. It was a step forward this game. He will come back.

Will it affect his Euros chances? “Nah. Not personally. I’m not Gareth Southgate. I don’t know but I’m pretty sure Gareth knows who he wants to pick and if there’s a dip in form… if you’re fit that’s the most important thing and then in a tournament it’s a different energy.”

Silva: The only thing we can regret is our finishing

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Fulham boss Marco Silva said his side needed to be more clinical in their 0-0 draw against Brentford.

Fulham boss Marco Silva: “A tough match as you expect for both sides. Always tight. Normally a game with goals, this afternoon was the opposite. The team that created the most chances was Fulham. Unfortunately for us the only thing we can regret is the conclusion of the attacks – to be more clinical there.

“Brentford had one chance on the counter-attack in the first half. We controlled well a tough attacking line. We kept them quiet. A good game from our backline.”

Final third improvement next season the focus for Brentford and Fulham

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

Heading to the Gtech Community Stadium in the spring sunshine, there was hope two teams with nothing much to play for beyond local bragging rights would cut loose and serve up an entertaining, goal-filled contest. It wasn’t to be.

Bryan Mbeumo’s deflected shot hit the bar in the first half and sub Raul Jimenez spurned a good opening late on but these two teams – despite bringing intensity to this derby – both proved to be badly lacking in the final third.

The visitors repeatedly failed to make good positions count, with crosses drifting away from Fulham players and some wayward passing from the disappointing Willian not helping. Birthday boy Rodrigo Muniz was not at his best, Andreas Pereira was off target and Fulham have now drawn a blank 12 times this term – only Sheffield United have done so more.

As for Brentford, there was encouraging link-up play between Mbeumo and Ivan Toney but the latter has now gone 10 games without a goal, while Keane Lewis-Potter was a nuisance for Fulham but nothing more.

The real work for these sides is done. Brentford are safe and Fulham are settled in mid-table. But the area to work on in the summer is clear…

Opta stats – Toney’s drought goes on

  • Brentford have drawn at home against Fulham for the first time in 19 matches in all competitions (W11 L7), previously doing so before today in February 1987 in the third tier (3-3).
  • Brentford are unbeaten in five Premier League home games (W1 D4), keeping clean sheets in each of the last three, having conceded in 10 consecutive such matches since the start of November 2023 (22 goals conceded in total during that period).
  • Fulham have kept consecutive away clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since February 2023, having shipped 28 goals across their previous 12 matches on the road before their 2-0 victory at West Ham in April.
  • This was Brentford’s eighth 0-0 draw in the Premier League, only Crystal Palace (11) and Brighton (9) have had more since the Bees were promoted to the competition in 2021-22.
  • Brentford’s Ivan Toney has now gone 10 Premier League games without scoring, only in his very first 11 league matches for Northampton in 2013-14 has he gone longer without netting a league goal for a single club.
  • Both sides hit the woodwork in the match, only Liverpool (24) have done so more often than Fulham (18) in the Premier League this season, while Fulham’s woodwork has been hit more times than any other side (19).

What’s next?

Brentford head to Bournemouth on Saturday May 11, kick-off 3pm, before finishing their season at home to Newcastle on Sunday May 19, kick-off 4pm.

Fulham host title-hopefuls Manchester City at lunchtime on May 11, kick-off 12.30pm, and then head to Luton on the final day on May 19, kick-off 4pm.

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