Brentford 2-0 Burnley: Toney sends Bees on their way to survival
Photo by Getty Images/Catherine Ivill

A tight match at the Brentford Community Stadium was decided late on as a brace from Ivan Toney earned Brentford a vital three points against relegation-threatened Burnley.

The first 45 minutes was an evenly contested affair and, though the hosts seized the initiative in the first half, it took them 85 minutes to find the breakthrough when Toney nodded home a brilliant delivery from Christian Eriksen. The striker then added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Nathan Collins had been sent off for hauling him down in the box.

The result sees Brentford remain in 15th in the table but now well clear of Leeds United and Everton below them, while Burnley still occupy 18th and remain in very serious danger of relegation.

Story of the game

Brentford started the brighter of the two sides, with a raucous home crowd getting behind them from the off. They worked a fairly good chance to score with just 90 seconds played when Bryan Mbeumo drifted into the box, but both he and Toney, the next to bite the cherry, couldn't work the space to get the shot away.

The visitors weren't far from opening the scoring either just minutes later when Josh Brownhill went close with a whipped free-kick from 25 yards, but it wasn't enough to call goalkeeper David Raya into action.

A match of vital importance, this game began perhaps more open than one might have expected. Again, Brentford came within inches of breaking the deadlock early when Toney laid the ball off to Mbeumo on the penalty spot, but the Frenchman slipped as he was taking his shot.

The new hero round these parts nearly had his name up in lights for the first time 15 minutes in. Christian Eriksen received the ball from Sergi Canos 20 yards out and drilled one towards the bottom corner, drawing a fine diving stop from Nick Pope.

The frantic beginning soon faded into a match predictably as tense as it was significant, with neither team taking many risks in possession and both thus lacking that final bit of quality in approaching the box.

But that didn't stop the odd chance coming. Dwight McNeil picked up possession in midfield and fed the ball through to Maxwel Cornet, reinstated into the starting 11 today, but the Ivorian pulled his effort just wide of the far post.

Burnley had another gilt-edged opportunity to get themselves ahead when McNeil latched onto Ashley Westwood's cross, but the winger got his header terribly wrong as it missed the target by a number of yards, much to the relief of Raya and his defence.

On the cusp of half-time, heroics from former Bee James Tarkowski kept the scores level. Canos' whipped cross evaded the entire back-line and fell to Mbeumo at the far post — the forward side-footed an effort across goal, but the visiting skipper was there to clear it off the line. Collins then summoned up a superb tackle to win the ball from Vitaly Janelt moments later.

It all now rested on the second-half, and the first opening fell the way of Brentford. Canos — lively all afternoon — swung in another delicious delivery which met the head of Janelt, but the midfielder got underneath the ball and his effort soared high of the target.

The hosts were having the better of it after the restart. Just past the hour-mark Toney and Mbeumo combined well once again, the former setting the latter through on goal with a clever chipped pass, but Tarkowski caught up with the forward and marshalled him away from goal expertly to divert the danger.

Burnley had been pretty toothless in attack for about 25 minutes, but they had their first chance of the second-half when Cornet was able to run through on goal after a slip-up from Ethan Pinnock, but the forward tripped as he pulled his foot back and ultimately produced a tame effort which Raya was able to save with ease.

Substitute Jay Rodriguez then clattered the crossbar with a sublime strike from distance which seemingly caught the whole stadium off-guard — Raya watched on helplessly as it rebounded off the woodwork and, fortunately for him, away from goal.

Momentum seemed to be heading back in Burnley's direction, but no — Brentford got the timely breakthrough with just five minutes of regulation time remaining. Eriksen strode forward effortlessly and supplied an equally nonchalant ball into the box which met Toney's head at the back post and the striker made no mistake, putting a deft header back across goal and sending the ground into raptures.

Just like a London bus, Brentford had waited all that time for one before two came along at once. Collins was sent off for a lunge on Toney in the box and the striker stepped up to score his second of the match and seal the three points.

With two wins on the bounce against teams below them — and all of their last five goals being scored by Toney — Brentford are now well and truly on their way to safety, whilst Burnley remain in serious trouble.

Teams

Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson [c], Pinnock, Henry; Janelt, Norgaard (Jensen ), Eriksen; Mbeumo (Onyeka 90'), Toney, Canos (Wissa 73').

Unused subs: Lossl, Roerslev, Zanka, Bech, Baptiste, Ghoddos.

Burnley: Pope; Roberts, Tarkowski [c], Collins, Taylor; Lennon, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Cornet, Weghorst (Rodriguez 66').

Unused subs: Hennessey, Lowton, Bardsley, Long, Thomas, Cork, Stephens, Barnes.

Referee: Paul Tierney

Up next

Following victory here here, Brentford travel to the east Midlands to face Leicester City next Sunday.

Meanwhile, Burnley's fixture versus Southampton next weekend has been postponed due to the Saints' continued involvement in the FA Cup, therefore the Clarets' next match will be at home to Manchester City on 2 April.

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