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Bournemouth 0-0 Brentford: Cherries denied penalty by VAR in tight, goalless, tussle at the Vitality

Bournemouth 0-0 Brentford: Gary O’Neil’s unbeaten run as interim manager continues – but the Cherries will feel hard done by with a first-half penalty call denied by VAR

  • Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth and Thomas Frank’s Brentford had a goalless draw  
  • Bournemouth were denied a first-half penalty after a lengthy VAR check 
  • Jefferson Lerma’s goalbound flick was cleared off the line by Bees’ Ivan Toney 

A third draw in four games maintained Bournemouth’s unbeaten run since Gary O’Neil took temporary charge. O’Neil and his players, though, will believe they could have been celebrating victory had a first half penalty decision gone their way.

O’Neil has done an impressive job of bringing a sense of stability to the Vitality Stadium following the departure of Scott Parker and against a backdrop of continuing uncertainty surrounding the future ownership of the club.

Once again they demonstrated the resolve and determination that has been evident in recent displays. On this occasion, they were also left with a sense of frustration after referee Thomas Bramble stuck with his original decision to dismiss claims for a spot-kick despite reviewing the incident on the pitch side monitor.

Bournemouth and Brentford played out a tight, goal-free tussle, at the Vitality Stadium


Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Neto 7; Smith 6, Mepham 8, Senesi 7, Zemura 6; L Cook 6, Lerma 6: Tavernier 6, Solanke 7, Billing 6; Moore 6 (Christie 72, 6).

Subs not used: Travers, Stephens, Marcondes, Stacey, Lowe, Dembele, Hill, Anthony

Brentford (4-3-3): Raya 6; Ajer 5 (Hickey 61, 6), Jansson 6 (Zanka 64, 6), Mee 7, Henry 7; Baptiste 6 (Onyeka 84, 6), Janelt 6, Jensen 6; Mbeumo 5 (Wissa 61, 6), Toney 5, Damsgaard 6 (Dasilva 61, 6)

Subs not used: Cox, Buchanan, Ghoddos, Roerslev, Trevitt

Referee: Thomas Bramall 6

Brentford were also entitled to feelings of disappointment after failing to find the cutting edge required to break down the home side.

Bournemouth had demonstrated a much more determined streak in their three performances under O’Neil before the international break. And it quickly became clear they would have display a similar approach against a Brentford side anxious to move on from the heavy home defeat to Arsenal last time out.

Mikkel Damsgaard – included in the Bees’s Premier League line up for the first time after four appearances from the bench – served the first warning when he worked his way in from the left before testing Neto with a curling shot that the keeper pushed wide while at full stretch.

A second shooting opportunity for Damsgaard confirmed Brentford’s early superiority but Frank’s side were unable to make their early dominance count and Bournemouth gradually began to look more assured while struggling to carve out a clear opening.

They were convinced, though, their chance to make the breakthrough should have come in the 20th minute when Jordan Zemura went down after a challenge from Kristoffer Ajer. The left back raced into the Brentford area to meet Marcus Tavernier’s pass and went to ground after being caught by Ajer’s sliding tackle.

Gary O'Neil has overseen his third draw in four games as interim head coach of the Cherries

Gary O’Neil has overseen his third draw in four games as interim head coach of the Cherries

Referee Thomas Bramall ignored appeals for a penalty and stood by his decision even after being advised to review the incident on the pitch side monitor by VAR John Brooks to the evident frustration of O’Neil and his players.

Ajer had the chance to add to that frustration when he headed onto the roof of the net shortly before the break.

But Bournemouth reached half time with growing confidence after Marcus Tavernier had been denied by a superb block by Ben Mee moments later and they carried that momentum into the second period.

It took a goalline clearance by Ivan Toney to deny Dominic Solanke’s looping header shortly before an excellent covering tackle by Brentford left-back Rico Henry halted an incisive home counter-attack.

Frank reacted by making a triple substitution in an attempt to inject more urgency into his side after the assurance the visitors had shown during the opening stages appeared to have faded.

Ivan Toney made a critical goalline clearance early in the second half to keep the scores level

Ivan Toney made a critical goalline clearance early in the second half to keep the scores level