Football works in such a way it can provide ecstasy and hope, then shatter it and offer a dose of reality, all within the same 90 minutes.

Four consecutive wins, including a season-best performance against Hull, and three consecutive clean sheets had given Rovers an unexpected sniff of the top six.

The opening seven minutes at Griffin Park was the ecstasy. Only 90 seconds had gone when a first time Bradley Dack strike demonstrated all of his, and Rovers’ quality, finishing off a move which started at the gloves of David Raya.

Danny Graham has proved key to Rovers’ plans, and the lack of signings in January, only heightened the pressure on his shoulders. The 33-year-old showed he was up to the challenge when planting a header in the top corner from a fine Harrison Reed free kick.

But that was as good as it got.

The dose of reality was seeing both goalscorers forced off just after the break, while they also lost Corry Evans and Darragh Lenihan to injury. In among that came five Brentford goals, some courtesy of quality play, others gift-wrapped to them.

This season so far has had many highs, but the lows are the number of heavy defeats on the road. It is not just the scoreline, but the way in which they lost.

Just as at Bristol City in September, Swansea in October, Preston and Wigan in November and Sheffield United in December, Rovers looked like they wanted the ground to swallow them up in the closing stages, a team well beaten.

When games get stretched, Rovers look susceptible.

Tony Mowbray said he had built the hosts up as ‘a bit like Real Madrid’ to his players. But at the back, they were more like Real Badrid, and Rovers should have had more than the two goals they scored. But you'd be hard pushed to criticise not being clinical in the attacking areas when you ship five goals at the other end.

Said Benrahma proved to be a constant threat, troubling Elliott Bennett from minute one with some intelligent movement and close control. He demonstrated that when testing David Raya just four minutes in, but found a way past the Rovers ‘keeper 10 minutes later with a similar finish from the left edge of the box.

By the break he had hit the bar, via the fingertips of Raya, while Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins had both fired over from promising positions.

Going forward, Rovers remained a threat. Adam Armstrong continued to be a real menace, seeing an effort deflected just over, before Jack Rodwell headed over unmarked from the resulting corner.

Dack was on the receiving end of a cynical challenge from Yann Barbet, and it was a surprise he emerged for the second half. He would last just eight minutes, the same as Graham.

No sooner had they made it down the tunnel than the hosts equalised. Benrahma rolled the ball to Watkins from a free kick, and as Rovers failed to close him down quick enough, he thumped the ball in to the bottom corner.

Another reshuffle came after injury to Corry Evans, and the introduction of Ben Brereton appeared to give them more fluidity.

So it was an even bigger hammer blow when Raya challenged for a ball which never looked his some 15 yards from goal, allowing the diminutive Watkins to head in to the empty net.

As it so often has when falling behind away from home, the game began to unravel for Rovers. Credit must go to Brentford, whose slick interplay was easy on the eye, cutting through Rovers to allow Maupay to stroke the ball home with 10 minutes to play.

Sergi Canos added a fifth as Rovers conceded more than once for a ninth time in 15 away games.