By G9ija

Chelsea’s five-match winning run came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Brentford in Wednesday’s west London derby.

Graham Potter’s side were unable to secure their sixth successive victory in all competitions, but they did at least extend their unbeaten run under the former Brighton boss to seven matches.

Chelsea consolidated their hold on a top-four place in the Premier League with the hard-earned point at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Encouragingly for Potter, the Blues have now gone five games without conceding a goal after their defensive frailties under his predecessor Thomas Tuchel earlier this season.

However, there was also an injury concern for Potter after England midfielder Conor Gallagher limped off in the first half, a fitness blow that came just days after N’Golo Kante was ruled out for several months.

Potter had made five changes from the side which beat Aston Villa 2-0, with Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropping to the bench.

Brentford threatened early on when Ivan Toney had a header from Mads Roerslev’s cross tipped over the crossbar by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea had a let-off with 10 minutes of the first half remaining when Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s back-header from a free-kick inadvertently let Toney in.

The striker got to the ball before Kepa but was unable to direct his header on target.

The closest Chelsea came to scoring in a low-key half was an angled drive from Cesar Azpilicueta which Bees keeper David Raya tipped around the far post.

The Blues wanted a penalty for a Rico Henry handball, and another when Kai Havertz tumbled under pressure from Ben Mee, but they got neither.

Brentford should have taken the lead five minutes into the second half when Bryan Mbeumo had a free header from another Roerslev cross, but the Cameroon forward planted his header straight at Kepa.

From the corner, Mbeumo found Toney at the near post but his attempt at a glancing header flew wide.

Potter made a triple substitution on the hour but there was still no sign of Aubameyang, with teenager Carney Chukwuemeka sent on along with Sterling and Christian Pulisic.

It was Brentford who were closest to snatching all three points when Henry’s shot crashed into the side-netting.

Aubameyang was finally sent on with 10 minutes remaining but his only half-chance was a low drive from outside the area which was easily gathered by Raya.

Spanish keeper Raya also beat away a swerving drive from Pulisic and saved with his feet from Chukwuemeka in stoppage-time to preserve a deserved point.

AFP