Brentford vs Burnley: Eriksen, Toney connect for 3 priceless points
Brentford vs Burnley: Ivan Toney scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to give the Bees three priceless points in a pivotal relegation battle at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday.
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Christian Eriksen, making his second start for Brentford after signing in January, found Toney’s forehead with a sensational cross in the 85th minute, and last season’s EFL Championship Golden Boot winner converted from the penalty spot eight minutes later to put the game out of reach. With five goals in his last two games, Toney is up to 11 goals on the season, after scoring just six in his first 22 Premier League appearances.
Brentford (30 points) remain 15th in the Premier League table despite the win, but they now sit nine points clear of Burnley (21 points) in 18th. The Bees have played two more games than the Clarets.
Brentford vs Burnley final score, stats, results
Final score: Brentford 2, Burnley 0
Goal scorers: Brentford (Toney 85', 90'+3 - PK), Burnley (None)
Shots: Brentford 13, Burnley 7
Shots on target: Brentford 4, Burnley 1
Possession: Brentford 55%, Burnley 45%
3 things we learned - Brentford vs Burnley
1. Desperation setting in for everyone: Brentford and Burnley entered the weekend with 10 and 12 games remaining, respectively, and lots of work still to do to secure their place in next season’s Premier League. The ensuing 90 minutes of football made it clear that both sides were well aware of their current predicament, as the Bees and Clarets raced around the field, defending frantically at one end, and finding virtually zero space to attack at the other. NBC Sports studio analyst Robbie Mustoe put it perfectly at halftime: “It looks like a Championship playoff game — it’s that frenetic, it’s that kind of up-and-down there’s that much energy. The importance of the game is very apparent from the way both teams are playing.”
2. Brentford hit their marks: The Bees wrapped up a three-game stretch against fellow relegation battlers Newcastle United, Norwich City and Burnley on Saturday. Ahead of that trio of games, Brentford needed, at minimum, four points, and preferably from the games against Norwich and Burnley, two of the three sides currently in the drop zone. An 11th-minute red card against Newcastle meant that fixture quickly became a lost cause, but Norwich were soundly beaten last weekend, and though Burnley put up a tough fight, Brentford have officially rounded the final turn and have their sights set on the finish line now.
3. Eriksen proves an inspired signing already: The world works in mysterious ways, as they say, for Christian Eriksen would have never — not in a million years — been a Brentford player in March of 2022 had he not suffered a cardiac arrest in the summer, while playing club football in a country that wouldn’t allow him to return to playing with a defibrillator implanted in his body. Put another way, Christian Eriksen wouldn’t be in the process of saving Brentford from relegation with a series of inspired performances in his first two starts. Eriksen’s cross to Toney for the winner on Saturday was a brief, but boisterous, reminder of the quality the Danish superstar possesses, and everything Brentford needed when their season reached a pivotal crossroads.
Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen - Eriksen’s cross, whipped in with his weaker left foot, was a rare moment of brilliance in a game otherwise lacking any semblance of cohesion or quality.
Brentford vs Burnley highlights
Jay Rodriguez smashed crossbar from 35 yards out (goal video)
Goalkeeper David Raya either thought the ball was going five feet over the crossbar, or immediately knew he had no hope of scrambling backward and rising high enough to get a hand on Jay Rodriguez’s quickly dipping blast. Disaster averted. Barely.
Christian Eriksen cross finds Ivan Toney for the opener (goal video)
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