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Brentford Player Ratings – Gameweek 25

Gameweek 25 - Brentford Player Ratings after latest matchday

Nick Bruzon assesses Brentford’s Gameweek 25 draw against Crystal Palace and provides an update to his player ratings over the season so far.

An afternoon that began with the formal unveiling of Christian Eriksen ended with the brakes being applied to that run of LLLLL and a point on the board after Brentford held Crystal Palace 0-0.

It was a game that saw a first clean sheet for The Bees since November and a performance to build further on the back of that at Manchester City during the week.

This, despite the continued absence of Ivan Toney who missed out once more with his ongoing calf problem. The return of both Bryan Mbeumo and Yoanne Wissa up top offering a more familiar pairing than the combination seen at the Etihad. Likewise, Vitaly Janelt back in midfield for Frank Onyeka adding to the preferred Bees starting XI and it showed from the off.

Despite kicking the ‘wrong way’ (presumably, Palace winning the toss and wanting to take advantage of the low sun hanging over the West stand), Brentford went for it.

That oh so familiar 20-minute opening salvo coming close to bearing fruit but, alas, it wasn’t to be. With the visitors taking more control as the half wore on, it was still Brentford who had the better chances. Bryan, Rico and Sergi all coming close whilst the outrage felt for the non-penalty after Marc Guehi had clearly handled the ball hangs heavy in the air, even now.

The most nailed on spot kick ever not awarded as a result of an apparent push on the player by Christian Norgaard. If, by push, referee Mr. Hooper meant ‘featherlike touch’ then fair enough.

Perhaps, equally, that decision was still in mind when Palace had their own late, late shout. Rico Henry adjudged not to have committed any wrong doing as Wilfried Zaha fell in the box under the wing back’s challenge. It was proper heart in mouth stuff as Hooper’s arm seemed to be pointing at the spot but, thankfully, it was only towards the six-yard line. I’ve seen them given, Clive.

Even then, the game still hung in the balance until the final kick of the game.

The visitors awarded a free kick just shy of half-way which was hoisted into the box. Collective breath held but the return of Raya means this Brentford team have added steel. Opportunity knocked but the man with the gloves was there to do his thing. The final whistle bringing an end to proceedings as he fell on the ball.

A draw sees Brentford remain 14th. 12 points off the European places. 7 (seven) clear of the drop zone. The former, perhaps, nothing beyond a flight of fancy at this juncture. The later, no real concern although complacency is the mother of all mess ups. Another few wins will certainly soothe some of the frayed nerves that seem to be appearing amongst several of the fans.

So who are the players to guide Brentford to safety? Who impressed on our visit from the Palace? Who closes ground on Ivan Toney with our season long star man missing?

Brentford Player Ratings from Gameweek 25 (vs Crystal Palace)

1st (Star Player) – Matthias Jensen
Had another blinder in the midfield.

This is the Jensen we love to see. Back to his very best rather than the frustratingly inconsistent player who does one wayward thing for every two good. The prospect of Eriksen waiting in the wings seems to have revitalised him and it’s brilliant. Sweeping balls forward, mazy dribbles and even tracking back to tackle in the box. Covered a ton of ground and wins the vote by a mile.

2nd – Ethan Pinnock
A sleeper of a performance. By which we mean that he goes about his business almost unnoticed and there’s just no panic. Calm. Confident. Collected. Ethan got on with it in unflappable style.

None shall pass being the phrase that pays as the centre back won 16 out of 16 challenges with the opposition, coming out on top in 6 on the ground and 10 aerial duels. Even found the time to push forward, too.

3rd – Josh Dasilva
Another 30 minute run out from Josh. His first home start in the Premier League. If the time of his arrival into the field of play was as predictable as they come, bang on the sixty-minute mark, the performance was beyond the dreams of optimism.

We know how good Josh was in the Championship but he’s taken to top flight football like a duck to water. He was here, there, everywhere. On the left. The right. The midfield. Pushing forward and looking to work the opening.

Good luck Thomas in picking the team when he’s fully fit because on this showing, Josh and Matthias are nailed on starters.

4th – David Raya
If Ethan exudes confidence then David absolutely inspires it.

Perhaps didn’t have the busiest game but on an afternoon that saw our first ‘shut out’ since the visit of Everton, one can’t underestimate the importance or psychological boost he provided.

The double albatross of the ‘goals against’ and ‘L’ columns both falling from around the neck of the team. Was rock solid when called upon whilst his reaction times, something so sadly missing in the last few months, were second to none as he threw himself on top of the loose ball following that injury time free-kick.

5th – Pontus Jansson
Only five places available and so, sadly, no room for Kris Ajer. It was close though. So close.

Yet Pontus had one of those games where, like, Ethan, he just got on with it. Header after header. The back line marshalled with authority.

The taste for goal still on his lips as both halves saw him doing his thing in the opposition box and then having to embark on one of those lung busting runs back, very much like Jonathan Douglas back in the day. His second half header from close in probably our best effort of that period and one which drew a fine save from Guaita in nets.

Brentford Player Ratings – Top 5 Players Overall (after Gameweek 25)

All of which means its ‘as you were’ at the top with Ivan Toney not playing and none of the other ‘top five’ getting points on the board. Yet if this is symptomatic of a more rounded team performance then bring it on again. It’s only Arsenal away next up…

1st – Ivan Toney
2nd – Bryan Mbuemo
3rd – Christian Norgaard
4th – Rico Henry
5th – Vitaly Janelt

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Gameweek 25 - Brentford Player Ratings after latest matchday

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