Bees stung by the mighty Bouch
ANDREAS Bouchalakis lit up his Championship debut with two strikes of such rare quality that even the beaten manager tipped his hat to the Greek midfielder.
Bouchalakis, brought in this summer by Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis from his other club Olympiakos, scored either side of half-time as the visitors ripped control from Brentford.
And they withstood a late comeback to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and leave Bees manager Dean Smith to say: “They scored two wonder goals and a deflected one which was disappointing, but sometimes you do have to take our hat off to the opposition and they were just two great strikes.
“He is going to find it very difficult to score two goals like that in the same game again.”
Forest did not have to pay a fee for Bouchalakis, who has signed a three-year deal after impressof ing on trial this summer. Already it looks a shrewd piece of business by Marinakis and manager Mark Warburton after his two almost identical 20-yard strikes into the corner of the Brentford net punished the home side’s poor set-piece clearances.
“In practice he has shown us that he can be dynamic on the pitch,” said Warburton. “And those two goals were just the icing on the cake for us.”
As half-time approached, very much against the odds Brentford had taken the lead through defender John Egan’s far-post header from a set-piece.
However, that advantage was quickly cancelled out by the first Bouchalakis’s spectaculars. And the teams still had not gone back to the dressing rooms for the interval when Daryl Murphy put the visitors ahead.
When Bouchalakis scored again two minutes after the break, Forest took total charge.
Most of Brentford’s efforts were thwarted by the assured defensive qualities of Murphy and Matt Mills, so there was some surprise when from a corner Andreas Bjelland narrowed the gap by squeezing home a header off the bottom of the crossbar.
But four minutes later Forest had the points in the bag when substitute Mustapha Carayol placed a low shot past Daniel Bentley.
However, a minute into extra time Brentford responded again when Neal Maupay cracked home a drive from 15 yards.
But there was only four minutes left and Forest played calm possession football to seal victory.
Smith felt that while the scoreboard remained blank for the first 38 minutes and then having taken the lead, his side should not have been dominated by Forest.
“For the first 40 minutes our players moved the ball around the world. We created some chances but didn’t take them,” said Smith, whose side remain pointless after two games. “That’s been the scenario this season. So it was surreal in the end that we scored three goals at home and still ended up on the losing side.”
Warburton, who began his management career at Brentford before he went north of the border to Rangers, said: “When we got 3-1 up we had one or two chances to take it to four or five and put the game out of their reach but we didn’t produce good finishing then.
“And Brentford have a lot of good quality players and the way they can play they are going to do a lot of damage to teams this season.”
VOLLEY GOOD SHOW: Nottingham Forest’s Andreas Bouchalakis is congratulated by his new team-mates after his first goal, inset