Emiliano Marcondes came off the bench to inspire Brentford to a 2-0 win over local rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage as Championship football returned.

Setting up Saed Benrahma late on and notching in injury time himself, the Dane sent the Bees to within one point of their opponents in third.

Fulham’s hopes of catching the top two now look all but over as Scott Parker’s men now trail West Brom by six points having played a game more.

Slow Opening 

After a tentative opening quarter an hour gone, it was Fulham who manufactured the first opening.

A neat pass form Harrison Reed released Bobby Decordova-Reid who saw his effort crash back off the bar.

Frank’s men looked short of the free flowing football they boasted before the season was put on hold, evident in the fact they only registered their first real effort ten minute before the break.

Tariq Fosu, in for the injured Bryan Mbeumo, delivered a neat ball from the left which 22-goal forward Ollie Watkins could only glance over.

The home side started the second half on the front foot and thought they broke the deadlock five minutes after the re-start, but Aleksander Mitrovic’s neat finish was correctly ruled off-side.

It was Bees’ keeper David Raya who then thwarted Mitrovic.

This time the Serbian beat the off-side trap to glance Joe Bryan’s dangerous delivery goalbound, only for Raya to instinctively parry clear.

Frank introduced Marcondes and Shandon Baptise half way throught the half to add an injection of creativity to an attack that looked off colour at Craven Cottage.

Super Sub

The changes swayed the balance of possession in the visitors’ favour, and it was Marcondes who proved pivotal in victory.

Picking the ball up on the right, his devilish delivery found the Algerian Benrahama at the back post to steer home with minutes remaining.

Parker threw caution to the win but following a swift counter, Marcondes found himself bearing down on goal to drive home past Rodak in the Fulham goal to seal the tie in injury time.

Fulham: Rodak, Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Decordova-Reid (Johansen 90’), Reed (Arter 80’), Cairney, Kebano (Cavaleiro72’), Knockaert (Jasper 90’), Mitrovic.

Subs: Bettinelli (GK), Christie, Sessegnon, Le Marchand, McDonald, Johansen, Arter, Jasper, Cavaleiro.

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen (Marcondes 70’), Norgaard, Dasilva (Valencia 84’), Benrahma, Fosu (Baptiste 70’), Watkins.

Subs: Daniels (GK), Thompson, Roerslev, Jeanvier, Mokotjo, Marcondes, Valencia, Baptiste, Dervisoglu.