Brentford beat Luton 3-1 to surge into top half of the table

Brentford moved into the top half of the Premier League table -- and above West London rivals Chelsea for a day at least -- after beating Luton Town 3-1 at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.

French striker Neal Maupay, on loan from Everton and back in the starting lineup, broke the ice on a freezing afternoon in the capital by sweeping home from close range in the 49th minute after a scuffed Ben Mee shot deflected off a Luton defender into his path.

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Mee then made it 2-0, heading in after a 56th minute corner, as Brentford found their flow following a scrappy first half of missed chances.

Luton grabbed one back in the 76th minute through substitute Jacob Brown but Brentford made sure of the three points when Shandon Baptiste scored from close range in the 81st.

Neal Maupay has two goals for Brentford in nine Premier League appearances this season having only managed one in all of last year's campaign with Everton.
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

"I think until their goal they didn't have a shot," Brentford manager Thomas Frank said of what he called a "fully deserved win".

"I think the first 30 minutes, yes, we didn't create big chances but sometimes that's part of breaking down a team," he added.

Brentford moved up to 10th on 19 points, three clear of 11th-placed Chelsea, who play at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Luton remain 17th on nine points, two ahead of Burnley in the final relegation place.

Bryan Mbeumo, Brentford's top-scorer so far this season with six league goals in the absence of banned forward Ivan Toney, saw several attempts go wide or over the bar and was substituted in the 78th minute.

Lively Brentford appeals for a penalty in the 43rd minute for a possible handball by Luton defender Issa Kabore came to nothing.

Brentford's Yegor Yarmolyuk came closest to a first-half goal when his shot was deflected wide but there was otherwise little to fire up the crowd before the break, with Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski even booked for time wasting.

Luton captain Tom Lockyer went down in the second minute after a knee in the back and was replaced at the break, while Brentford lost centre-back Kristoffer Ajer to injury in the warm-up.

Luton manager Rob Edwards said the loss of Lockyer had been a big blow but Brentford deserved the win.

"I felt like we gave them two early Christmas presents in that second half. I didn't feel they had to work too hard for their goals and they had control," he added.

Brentford were still without Mathias Jensen but fellow Dane Mads Roerslev, who also missed the recent Arsenal game, came on as a late substitute.

The Bees are back in action on Wednesday at Brighton and then travel to bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday. Luton, meanwhile, have tough home games against leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester City coming up.

"I'm disappointed but I don't think anyone expected us to come here and win," Edwards said. "If we start to feel sorry for ourselves we're going to be in trouble on Tuesday aren't we?

"The challenge to the boys now is to pick yourselves up and we've got to get something from the rest of this week."