In-form Said Benrahma scored two second-half goals as he inspired automatic promotion-chasing Brentford to a 3-1 victory over Derby at Pride Park.
Thomas Frank’s men took less than 180 seconds to edge in front when Ollie Watkins tapped his 24th league goal of the season home (3), but Jason Knight capped a spell of Derby pressure with a deserved equaliser (29).
Former Bees goalkeeper Ben Hamer gifted the visitors the lead when he allowed Benrahma’s relatively tame effort to squirm from his grasp (49), before the Algerian netted for the sixth time in just three games with a brilliant curling effort (64).
Derby remain ninth in the Sky Bet Championship table, three points off the top six, while the Bees move above Fulham into third once more, with two points separating them and second-placed West Brom.
How Brentford won their seventh straight game
Kicking off before automatic promotion rivals West Brom and Leeds gave Brentford another chance to apply some more intense pressure to the two teams who have exclusively occupied the division’s top two positions since October.
The Bees couldn’t have got off to a better start. A brilliant, defence-splitting ball from Josh Dasilva allowed Mbeumo to get a shot away, with Watkins mopping up with his 24th goal of the season after the ball bounced off the base of the post and into his path.
Derby’s response was inspired and shortly after Chris Martin stung the palms of David Raya, Knight angled a shot beyond the goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box after Wayne Rooney had rolled the ball in his direction.
The equaliser invigorated the Rams, but their hard work to get back on level terms was undone just a few minutes after the restart. A pass from Emiliano Marcondes allowed Benrahma to try his luck and though the shot lacked venom, Hamer was left red-faced as it trickled through his outstretched hands.
Any chance of Phillip Cocu’s men getting back into the game was effectively wiped out when the reported Chelsea target added his second of the afternoon with a stunning effort after cutting in from the left.
The hosts had a shout for a late penalty when Tom Lawrence appeared to be fouled by Rico Henry, but referee Tim Robinson waved away half-hearted appeals to condemn them to a second consecutive defeat.
Derby travel to the Cardiff City Stadium to face Cardiff on Tuesday, July 14, while Brentford host Preston in the penultimate league game at Griffin Park the following evening. That game is live on Sky Sports Football from 4.30pm; kick off is at 5pm.