Toney scores twice to boost Brentford’s survival hopes

Ivan Toney’s late double gave Brentford a hugely important 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Burnley, which moves the west London side nine points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.

Burnley were on their way out of the bottom three with a tense encounter looking set to finish goalless. They had even come close to winning it themselves, with Jay Rodriguez’s superb strike from long range thumping the bar in the second half.

But Christian Eriksen showed his quality with an inviting, bending ball into the box for Toney to head home on 85 minutes and then Nathan Collins saw red when he brought down the striker in injury-time, allowing Toney to seal it with his second from the penalty spot (90+4).

That’s five goals in two games for Toney, who was also Brentford’s match-winner at Norwich last weekend, and those two victories have given Thomas Frank’s side a huge boost in their survival bid. They had picked up just one point in their previous eight games prior to securing their first back-to-back wins in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Burnley’s concerns grow; they have now lost three on the spin and sit a point behind Everton, who have played two games fewer than them.

The visitors could have been behind in the first half, too, but captain James Tarkowski made crucial blocks at the beginning and end of the opening period, atoning for a poor pass to Sergi Canos to head away the Spaniard’s effort before throwing himself in the way of Bryan Mbeumo’s shot just before the break.

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Brentford were completely unchanged from their 3-1 win at Norwich last week, with Eriksen starting in midfield. Ajer and Norgaard started having been forced off at Norwich with injuries.
Burnley made just one change from the 4-0 home defeat by Chelsea last week as Cornet replaced Rodriguez. Mee remained out.

There was also a sharp stop from Burnley keeper Nick Pope to deny Eriksen from 20 yards, with the Dane looking to mark his first start in front of the Brentford home fans with a goal.

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At the other end Maxwel Cornet dragged a shot wide before Dwight McNeil got a header horribly wrong from Ashley Westwood’s cross. But it was Burnley’s disappointing quality from set pieces which really stood out in the first 45 minutes, with Sean Dyche’s side failing to create a real chance from seven corners.

Those poor deliveries continued in the second half but Cornet almost capitalised on a poor back pass from Rico Henry, and Rodriguez crashed against the bar as they put the pressure on in open play.

But Toney, with the assistance of a wonderful cross from Eriksen and a shove in the back from Collins as he raced through on goal, came up with the decisive double blow in the end for Brentford, clinching a potentially pivotal match in the fight for Premier League status.

Opta stats – Another Eriksen assist; a rare red for Burnley

Brentford have won consecutive top-flight games for the first time since September 1946.Burnley have suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since losing five in a row between May and August 2021.Ivan Toney has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League appearances, after having scored just four goals in his first 19 appearances this season for Brentford.Brentford’s Christian Eriksen registered his first Premier League assist since December 2019, when he assisted Jan Vertonghen’s winning goal against Wolves for Spurs. Since his first Premier League appearance in September 2013, only Kevin De Bruyne (80) has more assists in the competition than Eriksen (63).Nathan Collins became the first Burnley player to be sent off in the Premier League since January 2019, when Robbie Brady saw red against Huddersfield Town, ending a run of 119 league games without the Clarets having a player sent off.

What’s next?

Brentford’s next Premier League game will see them travel to face Leicester on Sunday March 20 at 2pm.

Burnley’s next fixture against Southampton on Saturday March 19, which was due to be played live on Sky Sports, has been postponed. This means Sean Dyche’s side are next scheduled to host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday April 2 at 3pm.

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