Brentford 2 Fulham 1
Jota fired a dramatic last-gasp winner to earn Brentford bragging rights in Friday night’s west London derby.
The Spanish super-sub landed the decisive blow in the dying seconds after Harlee Dean had cancelled out Hugo Rodallega’s opener.
It was no more than Mark Warburton’s side deserved after dominating for long spells in a pulsating game at Griffin Park.
Brentford were on the front foot from the first whistle. Elsad Zverotic’s last-ditch block denied Alex Pritchard, while Marcus Bettinelli tipped over Tony Craig’s header from the resulting corner.
The Fulham keeper did well to hold on to Alan Judge’s mis-hit cross as the home side made most of the early running.
Bettinelli got down low to palm away Jon Toral’s header, while Jonathan Douglas blazed across the face of goal after Fulham failed to deal with Pritchard’s corner.
The 21-year-old came to the Cottagers’ rescue again just after the half-hour mark when he got a vital touch to divert Toumani Diagouraga’s well-struck shot around the post.
Referee David Coote waved away Brentford penalty appeals when Diagouraga was shoved in the back by Kostas Stafylidis.
The Bees continued to batter their rivals but they couldn’t find a way past an inspired Bettinelli, who dived full-stretch to claw away Judge’s curling free-kick.
Kit Symons’ side almost took the lead against the run of play when Rodallega’s header was beaten away by David Button.
The Brentford No 1 was called into action at the beginning of the second half when he got a hand to McCormack’s low shot.
At the other end, Bettinelli was called into action again when he bravely blocked Gray’s point-blank effort.
However, Fulham took the lead just before the hour mark. George Williams capitalised on Dean’s slip to find McCormack, who put the ball on a plate for Rodallega to slot past Button.
The Brentford defender made amends when he fired Brentford level 10 minutes from time. Scott Parker failed to cut out Stuart Dallas’s cross, and Dean was on hand to smash the ball into the top corner.
The drama didn’t end there as Jota climbed off the bench to snatch victory when his long-range shot took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed a stranded Bettinelli.
Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell, Diagouraga (Jota 72), Pritchard, Douglas, Toral (Dallas 65), Judge, Gray (Proschwitz 83). Subs (not used): Bonham, Saunders, Smith, Tarkowski.
Fulham: Bettinelli, Zverotic, Bodurov, Burn, Stafylidis, Parker, Christensen, Williams, Ruiz (Eisfeld 70), McCormack, Rodallega. Subs (not used): Kiraly, Hutchinson, Roberts, Woodrow, Dembele, Hyndman.