Premier League • England

Chelsea thumped and left with no hiding place as Eriksen steals headlines in historic Brentford win

Vitaly Janelt, Bryan Mbuemo Chelsea v Brentford April 2022

Brentford stunned Chelsea by inflicting their first Premier League defeat since January, with Christian Eriksen scoring in a 4-1 thumping for the Bees.

Denmark midfielder Eriksen stole the show at Stamford Bridge with his goal, which was another marker of his remarkable resurgence in the past year. Indeed, it was his first goal since he returned to the Premier League in January following his cardiac arrest last summer, which put his whole career in doubt.

But, Eriksen returned from the international break in style to score his third goal in as many games. The 30-year-old’s goal came in a 10-minute second-half flurry from Brentford.

Chelsea, who rode their luck in not going behind in the first half, actually went in front.

However, Brentford hit back and a double from Vitaly Janelt also helped them to a crucial three points.

Chelsea were sluggish in the first half and it took them 21 minutes for Mason Mount to register their – albeit tame – first effort on goal.

Before then, Ivan Toney led Brentford’s high and relentless press. And he almost made Edouard Mendy pay. The Blues goalkeeper’s sloppy pass went straight to the striker, whose subsequent lob had too much on it.

Toney then forced a save from a longer-range effort before firing a header over.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was consequently irate in his dugout. However, his frustration did not lead to Brentford fearing too much.

Mount – and Chelsea’s – first effort was wide, as was another long-range strike by Antonio Rudiger. David Raya’s first real bit of work was to tip Hakim Ziyech’s shot over, before he survived a goalmouth scramble in the Bees’ penalty area.

Chelsea hit the front, but hit by triple bee sting

Christian Eriksen, Chelsea v Brentford April 2022

Chelsea came out for the second half looking a different team – and Rudiger’s second long-range shot had a completely different outcome.

This time, the Germany centre-back’s powerful effort cannoned in off the post, with Raya at full stretch.

Brentford had probably been the better side up to that point. Thomas Frank’s team were therefore in no mood to let the scoreline say otherwise.

Chelsea join Dybala race with Werner likely to exit this summer

Chelsea officially join the race to sign free agent Dybala this summer from Juventus

Just two minutes after Rudiger’s opener, Janelt stuck the ball in the top corner. And four minutes after that, Eriksen made it 2-1.

The goal actually came after renewed Chelsea pressure, but they could not stop Brentford’s lethal counter-attack. Bryan Mbuemo drove forward from a Blues corner and his pinpoint pass fed Eriksen, who did the rest.

However, they were not done there. Toney had a point to prove after his earlier miss. From another Chelsea corner, the striker’s fantastic pass to Janelt survived a VAR check and Mendy could not stop the midfielder’s shot making it 3-1.

Chelsea thumped as Brentford cruise to win

Reece James, Mateo Kovacic and Romelu Lukaku all came on as Chelsea looked to get back into it.

Kai Havertz thought he had reduced the deficit, before the offside flag ruled it out – and a VAR check showed handball.

Brentford had to keep cool to see the result out, but Raya almost made them pay. Havertz closed the goalkeeper down and the ball looped just wide of the post. Havertz then fired wide after a Kovacic pass.

But if Chelsea were not clinical, Brentford were the absolute opposite.

Substitute Yoane Wissa made it 4-1 after 87 minutes – two minutes after coming on. He controlled a difficult ball well in the area and drove the ball low past Mendy.

The result moves Brentford to 33 points and 11 clear of 18th-placed Watford and the relegation zone.

Chelsea remain third, but Arsenal can move to within two points of the Blues with a win over Crystal Palace on Monday.