A first-half strike from Aiden O’Brien was enough for Millwall to defeat third-placed Brentford to ensure they finish 2019 with a victory which leaves them two points away from the play-offs. 

Starting for the first time under new manager Gary Rowett, super-sub O’Brien capitalised on a mistake from Brentford keeper David Raya in the 13th minute to score his fourth goal of the season. 

Brentford dominated the second half as they searched for an equaliser but a robust defensive performance from the Lions ensured all three points. 

Gary Rowett made two changes to the side that draw away against Cardiff on Boxing Day by reinstating the unwell Murray Wallace at left wing-back and replacing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson with Aiden O’Brien up front. 

Millwall looked to end the decade in style as they started the fixture the hungrier of the two sides and had the ball in the back of the net after 4 minutes after Wallace headed in Shaun Williams’ freekick before being ruled offside by the assistant referee. 

The host’s 5-2-3 formation allowed Millwall to dominate proceedings in the early stages by carrying out a high press which forced Brentford to be camped inside their own 18-yard area. 

Incidentally, Millwall’s high press played a key role in their deserved opener in the 13th minute after Bees keeper David Raya was caught out by a sliding challenge from Jayson Molumby – allowing O’Brien to pick up the loose ball and curl one into an empty net from 20 yards. 

Thomas Frank’s side began to build momentum on the half-hour mark when Bartosz Bialkowski was called into action to thwart a close-range effort from Bryan Mbeumo. 

However, Millwall started the second half similarly to how they did the first – on top – and almost doubled their lead when Tom Bradshaw’s blocked effort fell into the path of Mahlon Romeo who failed to hit the target from 8 yards. 

The visitors replied with an effort on their own when Mbeumo’s header from 6 yards was heroically blocked by a determined Murray Wallace on the hour mark. 

Brentford pursued an equaliser in the final ten minutes of the game but substitute Jan Zamburek scuffed a golden opportunity late on which allowed the Lions to see out the game and secure all three points. 


Millwall: Bialkowski, M.Wallace, Hutchinson, Pearce, Cooper, Romeo, Molumby, Williams, J.Wallace (Skalak 86), Bradshaw (Bodvarsson 79), O’Brien (Ferguson 79). 

Subs: Steele, Smith, Mahoney, Skalak, Mitchell

Brentford: Raya, Henry (Valencia 79), Pinnock, Jansson, Dalsgaard, Jensen (Zamburek 71), Mokotjo, Da Silva, Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma 

Subs: Daniels, Yearwood, Jeanvier, Sorensen, Roersley