Brentford gave new Stoke boss Nathan Jones a baptism of fire as they eased to a comfortable 3-1 win at Griffin Park.
Goals from Said Benrahma and Rico Henry and a Ryan Shawcross own goal sank the Potters, who replied through Benik Afobe with their only meaningful shot on target.
Brentford started brightly and played all the football in a first half played out mainly in the visitors’ end, with the Potters defence always looking shaky and goalkeeper Jack Butland having to deal with a Benrahma shot after six minutes.
Calamitous defending gifted Brentford the opener a minute later when Afobe’s clearance from a drilled Benrahma corner rebounded off team-mate Shawcross’ head and into the net.
Brentford top scorer Maupay came close to adding to his 16-goal haul after 10 minutes with a tricky dipping drive, but again Butland was equal to it.
The Bees stretched their lead on 17 minutes when a slick six-man move ended at the feet of Benrahma and the winger’s low angled drive flew inside the far post.
But Stoke hit back minutes later, a poor clearance finding Tom Ince who slid a superb ball through to Afobe who ran on and found the top right corner from just inside the box.
Jones made several changes to his side’s shape throughout the game but struggled against a well-drilled defence and a midfield bossed by Romaine Sawyers and Kamohelo Mokotjo.
Brentford sealed the points in style on 54 minutes, left back Henry latching on to a superb Sawyers reverse pass to glide past three Stoke challenges before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner for his first goal for the Bees.
Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay both hit the bar as Brentford tore into City with wave after wave of attack without adding to the scoreline, leaving Jones with a lot of thinking to do in his new job.
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