Neil Etheridge 

Time for a change. Etheridge is a trop class goalkeeper in many ways, but he is not improving quickly enough in weak areas. Far too often he gives possession straight back to the opposition. Could have done better when Bees’ scored their first. Neil Warnock paid £4m for Alex Smithies and he did well when Etheridge was out injured. Joe Day and Brian Murphy are also in the first team squad, although Murphy’s contract ends before Christmas 4

Lee Peltier

Algerian international winger Said Benrahma gave Peltier a torrid time and spoiled the full-back’s 33rd birthday. Benrhama has terrific skills and tricks. ‘Pelts’ struggled to cope 4

Curtis Nelson 

The centre-back partnership with Flint was solid against Barnsley at home, but fell apart in West London. Nelson has been quick, calm and composed this season, but those assets deserted him. The attacking pressure got to both defenders on a night when the whole City team slipped below their best. Nelson, though, did spare the blushes of Etheridge when the ‘keeper spilled the ball and the centre-backs dashed back to clear 5

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Aden Flint

The physical presence of Flint is more than useful in both penalty areas, but he didn’t have the pace and awareness to deal with Brentford’s fleet-footed forwards 5

Joe Bennett

Bees’ play with width and pace. Peltier was tormented by Benrahma, while Bennett was faced by Torquay-born Ollie Watkins 5

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing

NML simply could not hit his best against the Bees. When he’s hot the pace and power generated puts him up with the best in his position at Championship level. Struggled at Griffin Park and was replaced by Gary Madine just after the hour 4

Leandro Bacuna

Was a doubt before this fixture after limping off against Barnsley. Passed a fitness test and took his place in midfield. Brentford started well in that area and Bacuna, perhaps not 100 per cent fit, had a tough evening 5

Marlon Pack (capt) – Man of the Match

There weren’t too many positives from this Bluebirds’ performance, but Pack’s belter from 25 yards was one of them. Lee Tomlin set up the shooting opportunity and Pack smashed his effort into the net off a post 6

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Junior Hoilett

The Canadian looked out of sorts from the start and limped off injured midway through the first half with Josh Murphy taking over 5

Lee Tomlin

City must find a way to give the playmaker possession in good areas. Tomlin created the shooting chance for Pack’s goal, but he simply did not see enough of the ball. The goal came after Bees’ defender Christian Nørgaard fouled Tomlin. He jumped up and took the free-kick, ignoring the potential shooting chance and slipping a pass for Pack to smash home from outside the penalty area. Stung the fingers of goalkeeper David Raya with a late half-volley 6

Danny Ward

Missed a good chance when Brentford struggled to clear following a corner, but the striker, called into the starting line-up in place of Madine, pulled his effort wide. Replaced by Callum Paterson with nine minutes left 6

Substitutes

Gary Madine (for Mendez-Laing 61)

Josh Murphy (for Hoilett 22)

Callum Paterson (for Ward 81)

Will Vaulks Not used

Joe Ralls Not used

Sean Morrison Not used

Joe Day (gk) Not used

Brentford: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Nørgaard (Mokotjo 74), Jensen, Benrahma, Watkins, Dasilva, Jansson, Mbeumo (Jeanvier 84), Dalsgaard. Subs not used: Daniels, Thompson, Sørensen, Hammar, Roerslev.

Attendance: 10,417 (1,119 away)

Referee: John Brooks