Frank admits Bees ‘missed a great opportunity’

Thomas Frank admitted Brentford spurned a great opportunity to progress to the Carabao Cup semi-finals after slipping to a 2-0 defeat against a depleted Chelsea side.

In a largely uneventful encounter, Brentford had two golden opportunities to score in the first half when Yoane Wissa and Mathias Jensen both headed weakly at Kepa Arrizabalaga after being picked out unmarked in the box by Rico Henry.

Chelsea, who started the match with three teenage debutants and made eight changes to the side that drew with Wolves on Sunday, offered little threat in attack until the introduction of Reece James and N’Golo Kante in the second half, with the pair involved in the build up for two late goals.

The first was an own goal by Pontus Jansson, who fired James’ low cross into his own net, before keeper Alvaro Fernandez brought down Christian Pulisic for a penalty that was converted by Jorginho.

“We gave nothing away and had the biggest chances of the game in the first half, and should have been in front, but in second half we struggled to create anything and were poor from set-pieces which is usually one of our strong points,” Frank said.

“We need to do better with both goals, Pontus has had a fantastic season and will blame himself, and also the penalty – two minor mistakes cost us.

“I am really disappointed we missed a great opportunity against a top side.

“I went with the strongest I possibly could due to the Covid situation and used the bench in the second half to try and change the game.

“Up until they scored it looked a 0-0 game all over and heading for a penalty shoot-out. But in games against these top sides it is the smallest margins which dictate and they didn’t go this way.”

Frank added that he took off Rico Henry, who was impressive on the left flank, as a precaution because of a tight hamstring.

He explained: “It was just a minor thing. The hamstring got a bit tight so I didn’t wanted to take any chances with him being a key, key player for us.”