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Brentford Player Ratings – Gameweek 28

Gameweek 28 - Brentford Player Ratings

Nick Bruzon ranks Brentford’s best performers from their win against Norwich & updates his Top 5 Bees over the season so far after Gameweek 28.

Back of the net! Brentford went to Norwich and steamrollered the Canaries with a display of liquid football that had supporters raving.

The Bees were magnificent. Christian Eriksen, starting his first game for Brentford, ended up playing the full 90 minutes. Also doing the same was Ivan Toney. His reward – a hat-trick that included two second-half penalties. Both taken in the customary style. That nonchalant, almost blasé, stroll up to the ball before despatching it with laser-like precision.

Yet perhaps the biggest talking point was Thomas Frank choosing to finally mix it up on the formation front. His selection of three centre backs along with Rico Henry and Sergi Canos suggested more of the same when the team was first revealed. Within moments of kick off it was clear that Kris Ajer would be playing in a traditional right back role whilst Sergi sat on the left side of an attacking trio made up by Bryan Mbeumo in the other flank and, of course, that man Toney up top.

With Thomas also opting to replace the seemingly nailed on Mathias Jensen with his international teammate Eriksen, the stage was set.

Much to the delight of their support, it was Norwich who had the better chances in an opening spell that saw both teams with only one thing on their mind – victory.

Raya had to be on his game from the start but eventually Brentford found their shape, found their form and, with Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield, the dam finally burst. Ivan Toney stabbing home Ajer’s flick on in a move that emanated with a corner swung in by the Danish midfielder. The celebration in front of the away fans said it all. Players and supporters united.

The second period then saw the screw turned with those two penalties – awarded in quick succession within the opening quarter hour. The first, seemingly innocuous until VAR suggested Ben Gibson’s high challenge on Pontus may warrant further review. Despite the protestations of goalkeeper Tim Krul, referee Anthony Taylor kept his finger pointed to the spot and from that moment on there was only one outcome.

If the first had caught us by surprise, there was no doubting the second. Gibson again the culprit. His challenge on Ivan as clumsy as it was late. Taylor with no hesitation. Toney with anti-freeze pumping through his veins. Same approach. Same bottom left corner. Same result. 3-0 Brentford and, surely, game over with half an hour to play?

Perhaps not. 

Milot Rashica pulled one back almost immediately, only for Norwich’s afternoon to go from bad to worse as VAR stepped in to call marginal offside. The scoreboard rolled back from 1-3 to 0-3 and then shortly after up to 0-4. Bryan Mbeumo shooting through a crowd at the other end to send the Bees’ faithful to new levels of delirium. Again, VAR intervening to deliver the same outcome as suffered by our hosts but by then it made no tangible difference to the final destination of those three valuable points.

A colossal eight minutes of time added on gave faint hope for the Canaries, not to mention mild stress for the Bees, when Teemu Pukki eventually found the back of the net. Thankfully it was to prove nothing more than the proverbial consolation goal. Too little, too late. The final score seeing a confident Brentford take the points with a 3-1 win in a game that was the polar opposite of last week’s turgid encounter with Newcastle.

Brentford were wonderful. Enjoying the structure offered by 4-3-3 but, equally, reveling in the world class talent offered up by Christian Eriksen. Luxuriating in the money-can’t-buy cool that is Ivan Toney from the penalty spot. Both of which performances lead to the toughest of decisions – star man and top five…..

Brentford Player Ratings from Gameweek 28 (vs Norwich)

1st (Star Player) – Ivan Toney
We have to give it to Ivan. 

It’s often said that goals, not stats, win games. He weighed in with three of them. 

Thomas Frank has the luxury of this most lethal of finishers in his team and, just like in the play-off final it was a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man. A hat-trick at any level is a fantastic achievement but to do it in the Premier League, away from home, is something special. To have the guts to hit his second penalty to the almost exact same spot as the first takes nerves of steel. 

We all know that Ivan has them by the bucket-load but these strikes, along with his poachers finish for the opener, show what the man can do.

2nd – Christian Eriksen
It was close. So close. 

Short of the kop out in awarding joint first, this is as good as it gets. 

Christian’s appearance from the bench against Newcastle suggested something special might be coming but when given the opportunity, he delivered in style. 

Nobody got close to him, barring Brandon Williams whose initial ire was replaced by the warmest of hugs and broadest of smiles when he realised who’d just tangled with him. 

Eriksen’s dead ball delivery led to the opening goal and a penalty whilst he had more touches (66) and made more passes (44) including more in the final third (16) than any of his team mates. Invaluable.

3rd – David Raya
You could see what this meant to him. Bounding half way up field with a grin like a split watermelon to celebrate our fourth ‘goal’ until VAR intervened. 

Furious when finally beaten by Pukki in the 92nd minute. With Norwich having no choice but to go for all-out attack, David arguably kept us in it as the Bees weathered that early storm and then turned the screw. 

One misdirected pass a minute in could have seen us hung out to dry but there was Raya to draw the sting and kill the mood of expectation around Carrow Road. Colossal.

4th – Pontus Jansson
Another of those games where he was the right man in the right place. 

Despite Norwich having the lion’s share of possession and attacking opportunity, he was there time and again with his head to ensure that their threat remained nothing more than a statistical curio. 

No fear at the other end when going in under the threat of Wilson’s boot and won the game changing penalty for his bravery. Yet, ultimately, it was his calmness under pressure and experience in the box that sees him recognised. Bravo.

5th – Bryan Mbeumo
Robust. Forceful. Energetic. 

Whilst Ivan and Christian grabbed all the headlines, let’s not overlook the performance of Bryan down the right. Delighting in the service provided by Eriksen but also worked wonderfully with Kris Ajer when our new right back pushed up. One could arguably say the goal was just reward for his endeavours and whilst VAR was, fractionally, correct Bryan wasn’t to know that as he worked the opportunity before burying it.

Which means Ivan Toney once again gets some clear air at the top. Bryan Mbeumo stays just ahead of Christian Norgaard and Rico Henry by a single point with Vitaly Janelt hanging on to his early season form to lead a clutch of players chasing fifth.

Brentford Player Ratings – Top 5 Players Overall (after Gameweek 28)

1st – Ivan Toney
2nd – Bryan Mbuemo
T3rd – Christian Norgaard, Rico Henry
5th – Vitaly Janelt

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Gameweek 28 - Brentford Player Ratings

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