Soccer

Ivan Toney sends Brentford into automatic places after Blackburn win

Blackburn 0-1 Brentford: Ivan Toney sends Bees into automatic promotion places as red-hot striker scores from the spot in bounce back from defeat against runaway leaders Norwich

  • Brentford returned to the automatic promotion places with a win at Blackburn 
  • Marksman Ivan Toney scored the winner from the spot early in the first half  
  • The Bees are looking to build momentum for the last sprint to the finish line
  • Thomas Frank’s side have endured a run of mixed results in recent weeks 

Ivan Toney struck his 26th goal of the Championship season to return Brentford to the automatic promotion places.

Toney, the £5million signing from Peterborough, has proved a revelation after being identified as the replacement for Aston Villa-bound Ollie Watkins last summer and surpassed his predecessor’s tally for 2019-20 with an early penalty.

The 24-year-old was involved in the build-up to the game’s opening goal, surging forward in the eight minute and – with options opening up on either shoulder – slipping in Tarique Fosu to his left.

Brentford have moved into the automatic promotion places after defeating Blackburn Rovers

Championship top scorer Ivan Toney extended his goal tally with a cooly taken penalty kick

The 24-year-old extends his arms out wide after putting the promotion hopefuls ahead 

The Bees were awarded the spot kick after Tariqe Fosu was fouled by Darragh Lenihan

Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Harwood-Bellis, Douglas; Buckley (Bennett 77), Trybull (Travis 55 (Johnson 62)), Dack; Brereton (Elliott 46), Dolan, Gallagher (Rothwell 46)

Substitutes not used: Bell, Branthwaite, Evans, Pears

Booked: Buckley, Lenihan, Bennett, Johnson

Scorers: None

Manager: Tony Mowbray

Brentford: Raya; Bech-Sorensen, Pinnock, Reid, Dalsgaard; Janelt, Norgaard (Ghoddos 77), Jensen (Marcondes 73); Fosu (Canos 73), Mbeumo (Forss 86), Toney

Substitutes not used: Bidstrup, Daniels, Roerslev Rasmussen, Stevens, Zamburek

Booked: Mbeumo

Scorers: Toney

Manager: Thomas Frank 

Fosu switched the ball between his boots and feigned to shoot as he skipped through the area and the trickery duped Darragh Lenihan into a rash challenge.

Referee Geoff Eltringham pointed to the spot as Fosu hit the turf and Blackburn goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski was beaten by a penalty at Ewood Park for the second time this week – Andre Ayew struck Swansea’s equaliser from 12 yards on Tuesday – when Toney’s precise routine sent him the wrong way.

It was the 24-year-old’s 10th goal in as many games, and helped return Thomas Frank’s team to winning ways after leaders Norwich inflicted a fourth defeat in six upon them last week.

However, it took a fine save from ex-Rovers goalkeeper David Raya six minutes into the second half to deny a Blackburn team limited in its threat by the absence of injured top scorer Adam Armstong an equaliser.

Tony Mowbray’s tactical switch at half-time, in which he sacrificed forwards Ben Brereton and Sam Gallagher for the dribbling skills of Harvey Elliott and Joe Rothwell, looked to have paid dividends when the hosts cut through the middle and Dack’s left-foot shoot appeared destined for the bottom corner until a fingertip diverted the ball around the post.

Two more stops from the Spaniard followed to keep out Rothwell strikes while the recalled Ryan Nyambe believed Blackburn should have had a penalty of their own when he was felled under the challenge of Mads Bech Sorensen 10 minutes from time.

Fosu looks to keep possession of the ball with Rovers defender Ryan Nyambe battling for it

Brentford midfielder Christian Norgaard tries to squeeze a shot goalward but fails to score

John Buckley attempts to win the ball off Mads Bech Sorensen in a tough midfield battle

With Toney in their ranks, Brentford always carry a threat and he audaciously attempted to make it 2-0 just shy of the hour mark with a 50-yard lob that left Kaminski stranded but landed on the roof of the net.

And they could have settled lingering nerves three minutes from time only for Kaminski to keep out substitute Marcus Forss’s header with a point-blank save.

But a return to second place in the division was only confirmed following a significant stoppage in injury time caused by another serious-looking knee injury to Dack, a player who was still tentatively building up his match minutes following a long-term lay-off with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Dack hung back around the goalposts following the breakdown of a Blackburn attack and cheekily attempted to nick the ball off former team-mate Raya as he threw the ball onto the deck to clear down field.

An over-stretch resulted in the 27-year-old crumpling to the ground screaming and medical staff rushed onto the pitch to strap his legs up and stretcher him off.

Sorensen slides in for the ball in front of Blackburn full back Nyambe during Friday’s contest

Thomas Frank will hope his Bees can build momentum towards the finish line this campaign




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