From Brentford Community Stadium – Brentford ended a run of five Premier League games without a win with a vital 1-0 victory at home to Everton.
Thomas Frank’s side had slowly been dragged back into a relegation battle after a tough period, but eased those fears with three points on Sunday – their first home win in the Premier League since their opening night triumph over Arsenal.
Brentford thought they should have been awarded a 20th-minute penalty when Andros Townsend clearly booted Frank Onyeka in the face, though referee Darren England dismissed these claims. However, after a lengthy VAR check, the Bees were awarded a spot kick.
Ivan Toney stepped up and sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way to open the scoring.
Everton nearly replied instantly through Salomon Rondon after turning past Pontus Jansson with ease, but goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez made a smart save with his feet.
The penalty sparked a quiet game into life as Pickford just about reached Onyeka’s low cross which with Bryan Mbeumo waiting to tap in, while Abdoulaye Doucoure made a brilliant recovery challenge to deny Vitaly Janelt a certain goal.
Ethan Pinnock was unable to direct a header either side of Pickford as the Bees ramped up the pressure, while Mbeumo had a bouncing drive kept out by the England stopper.
Charlie Goode was fortunate not to have given away a penalty after nearly stripping Rondon’s shirt off, but Brentford got into half time in front.
The Bees came flying out of the traps after the break as Sergi Canos volleyed just over from a throw-in, before Rondon had a fierce strike blocked at the other end.
Alex Iwobi nearly scrambled one in as Brentford began to sit off a bit more, though the Bees were able to keep their visitors quiet for much of the second half.
Rondon and Iwobi both had tame headers easily dealt and Mbeumo had a strike sail just over deep into stoppage time, and Brentford held on to rise to 12th in the table.
Alvaro Fernandez (GK) – 5/10 – Brentford miss David Raya’s kicking, sure, but Fernandez’s poor distribution is only amplifying that.
Charlie Goode (CB) – 7/10 – Probably the first time Goode has been the best Brentford defender on the pitch at any given time. Strong in the challenge and his throws were a threat.
Pontus Jansson (CB) – 6/10 – A bit flat-footed but generally fine.
Ethan Pinnock (CB) – 6/10 – Not as great on the ball as he has been in recent months.
Sergi Canos (RM) – 5/10 – Great trickery on the ball but goodness me his deliveries were flat.
Frank Onyeka (CM) – 8/10 – Sensational performance up against two of the Premier League’s better central midfielders. Looked a little uncomfortable when pushed further up the pitch in the second half.
Christian Norgaard (CM) – 8/10 – Some iffy passing early on but grew into the game and took control.
Vitaly Janelt (CM) – 6/10 – Looks fit again and if not for Doucoure would probably have grabbed a goal.
Rico Henry (LM) – 6/10 – Unable to keep up his hot scoring streak.
Bryan Mbeumo (CF) – 6/10 – Got into some good positions but at the same time was unable to pick out others when they were through on goal.
Ivan Toney (CF) – 7/10 – More commanding and authoritative today, which Brentford had sorely missed over their barren run.
Shandon Baptiste (CM) – 5/10
Mads Roerslev (RM) – 5/10
Yoane Wissa (CF) – N/A
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 7/10 – Pretty much faultless bar the penalty. Distribution was excellent again.
Seamus Coleman (RB) – 4/10 – Strong at the back but can see that his best years are behind him. Looked leggy after the interval.
Ben Godfrey (CB) – 6/10 – Aggressive and his recovery pace was of use.
Michael Keane (CB) – 6/10 – Passing range became useful in the second half as Everton looked to pick the Brentford lock.
Lucas Digne (LB) – 6/10 – Menacing going forward but Brentford targeted him going the other way.
Allan (CM) – 6/10 – Flattened by Onyeka in the first half before winning some more duels of theirs in the second.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – 4/10 – Looked unfit but was poor at even the basic parts of football, such as passing.
Alex Iwobi (AM) – 5/10 – Found it difficult to get into the game, often tried moving into Gordon’s channel to get onto the ball.
Andros Townsend (RW) – 3/10 – Gave away a penalty rather foolishly and his crossing was aimless.
Salomon Rondon (CF) – 5/10 – A focal point that Everton failed to make the most of.
Anthony Gordon (LW) – 4/10 – Some decent dribbles but nothing to worry Brentford.
Demarai Gray (AM) – 7/10 – Everton’s most dangerous player despite only playing for around 25 minutes.
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